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Event Series Event Series: Worship (In Person and Online)
Choir members singing in red robes

Fifth Sunday in Lent

  • Date: Sunday, March 17, 2024
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

Service for the Lord’s Day

Gathering around the word

Prelude                                                           Though I May Speak (O WALY, WALY), Setting by Emma Lou Diemer

Composer and keyboard performer, Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927) received her B.M. and M.M. from the Yale School of Music. She studied in Brussels, Belgium on a Fulbright scholarship and then went on to receive a PhD at the Eastman School. This beautiful tune is adapted from an English folk tune and can be found in Glory to God as hymn #693. The text is a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13.

† Call to Worship

Let us join our voices with the saints whose lives inspire.
We are here today, aspiring to claim the life of faith with courage. 

We are ready to worship and give thanks for whose we are.
In our worship, we share God’s message with the world.

Come, let us worship God!

† Hymn #3                                                             “Womb of Life and Source of Being”

Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Loving God, in this quiet time of prayer and meditation, we feel our souls stretching, reaching past our sins to be closer to you. Help us look deep into ourselves, that our Lenten penitence might be about more than something we want to give up, or even something new we want to take on. Reveal to us the temptations that make us complicit in the ills of this world. Rid us of the desire to get more and inspire us to give more. Rid us of our selfish insecurity and guide us in the way of selflessness. In our brokenness, may we find the kind of healing that brings wholeness to others.

Kyrie #577 “Lord, Have Mercy”

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Pardon

Jesus walked on the earth and knows the temptations that lead us away from God. His gift of healing extends even to our transgressions. His life shows us the transforming power of God’s mercy in a world of hurt and pain. His ceaseless love and grace assure us of our forgiveness.

Hear the good news! In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Thanks to be God!         

† Response of praise: Hymn #582                                  “Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me”

† Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Upcoming events and recent announcements are available in the back of the bulletin and on our website.

Recognition of the CPC Family Child Care Center

We are grateful for the teachers, staff, families of FCCC. As we recognize the dedication of these individuals, we especially lift up the work of the CPCFCCC administration:

  • Michelle Hepner, Director
  • Stacie Kephart, Assistant Director
  • Ashley Graham, Office Manager
  • Bill Zeller, Maintenance
  • Joyce Danzig, Bookkeeper

We lift up the faithful service of those on the Child Care Council, both current council members and those who have served throughout its rich history. We give thanks for Donna Dittman’s service in the class of 2024.

Class of 2025

  • Betsy Hall
  • Jess Renn, co-chair
  • Johanna Santa Rita
  • Rich Johns, co-chair
  • Diane McCarter

Class of 2026

  • Nancy McLaughlin
  • Megan Long

Class of 2027

  • Judy Halsey
  • Lyn Walther

Proclaiming the Word

Children’s Message

Prayer for Illumination

Your word, O God, has power to change our lives and to create a whole new world. As we meditate on your word this day, fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we may treasure your word with our whole hearts and fix our eyes on you. Amen.

Scripture                                                                                         Jeremiah 31:31-34

Hymn #692                                                                             “Spirit, Open My Heart”

Scripture                                                                                                 John 12:20-33

Sermon                                                                                           “The Desire to See” Ken Kovacs

Responding to the Word

Call to Offering

Offering of Tithes and Gifts


† Doxology #607                              “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

† Prayer of Dedication

Merciful God, we thank you for your wonderful works among humankind. Accept this offering with the dedication of our lives and help us be an emblem of your steadfast love for the world, in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayers of the People & The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

† Hymn #543                                             “God, Be the Love to Search and Keep Me”

† Benediction

Postlude                                                             If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee, Chorale and Variation, Setting by Georg Böhm

German Baroque composer Georg Böhm (1661-1733) had a profound influence on the young Johann Sebastian Bach, who loved and studied Böhm’s music and was possibly tutored by him while living in Lüneburg. “This hymn and its tune were created by the author/composer at the age of twenty in thanksgiving for finding employment many weeks after being left almost penniless following a robbery.” (from Glory to God, hymn 816)


Image: Ardboe High Cross (late sixth century), County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Storytelling the Season: Covenant. Karen Ware Jackson. “When we learn in God’s story together, we grow in God’s story together.” —Heather Ruth Johnson.

Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071

Worship Participants

Dorothy Boulton
Associate Pastor

Keith and Kathy Glennan
A/V Production

Wendy Johnston
Organist and Assistant Director of Music

Greg Knauf
Director of Music

Ken Kovacs

Vickie Lord
Social media support

Cynthia Schwanz

Learning & Growing

Access the articles for Adult Education at catonsvillepres.org/belonging

The Practices of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Compassion

Sunday, March 17 | Led by Ken Kovacs | 9:00 a.m. in the Library

The season of Lent is a time for growth in faith—through prayer, spiritual discipline, and self-examination in preparation for the annual commemoration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In our journey through these forty days (minus Sundays), we are invited to reflect deeply on how to live out the meaning of our baptism as disciples. We’ll explore three key practices associated with Lent: prayer, fasting, and works of love or compassion. We’ll give special attention to how we can nurture our inner life and cultivate loving habits of the heart. And we’ll offer ways to make these essential practices more meaningful and relevant in our walk with Christ.

Thursday Morning Bible Study: Toward A Theology of Death

Final meeting on March 21 | Led by Ken Kovacs | 10:30 a.m. in the Library

Thursday Morning Bible Study resumes in Lent for a special series that explores the Bible’s understanding of death. The Bible does not speak with one voice on this subject. What we find in Judaism is a gradual unfolding of insights into the nature of death, God’s relationship to death (and the dying), and speculations about life after death. Many of these ideas are present in the Old Testament but take on new and deeper meanings after the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. Each week we’ll study a different passage of scripture, supported by additional articles and reflection pieces to inform our discussions.  We plan to look at the following texts: Genesis 3, Psalm 23 and Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel 37, John 11, and 1 Corinthians 15.

Middle and High School Youth Group

Sunday, March 24 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall

Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to an Easter-themed escape room. Snacks and drinks are provided.


Fellowship Hour

Thank you to the Childcare Council and FCCC for hosting today’s Fellowship Hour! Today’s St. Patrick’s Day refreshments will be served in the lower-level classroom. Use the stairs between the Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary.

Good Friday Vigil

On Good Friday between noon and 3 p.m., you’re invited to sign up for a 15-minute slot (or multiple slots) to pray and keep vigil in the sanctuary. Everyone is welcome to spend time praying in the sanctuary regardless of whether you are signed up or not. Sign up now at tinyurl.com/vigil-24.

Home Communion

The Deacons are scheduling home communion the week after Easter (April 1-3). If you would like to set up a time for a Deacon visit, please contact Dorothy Boulton by March 20.

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, March 24, children should meet in Fellowship Hall before worship to wave palms for the processional hymn. Parents are invited to accompany young children. After worship, all ages are invited to the Fellowship Hall for an Easter craft.

Scouting for Food – Thank You!

The annual Scouting for Food collection was very successful. Last week, Scout Troop 306 collected 829 pounds of food and Cub Pack 306 collected 275 pounds. The food pantries at St. Gabriel’s and Catonsville Emergency Assistance received these donations early in the week.

Thanks to Scout leader Hope Riley, Pack leader Eric Silva, and all the adults who helped make this a successful project. Thank you to our members and friends for contributing to this effort and for assisting our neighbors in need.

Night at the Yard

Back by popular demand, we’re planning another Night at the Yard! On May 17, we will watch the Orioles play the Mariners. Tickets are $16 per person. To reserve your tickets, please contact the church office no later than April 10. Hope to see you there!

Iftar dinner

Please plan to join us for dinner in Fellowship Hall on Saturday, April 6th at 6:30 p.m. A breaking of the fast meal (Iftar), celebrating Ramadan, will be shared with our Muslim friends from Maryland Turkish American Inhabitants (MARTI). Dinner will be served at sundown, preceded and followed by a shared program led by MARTI and CPC. Reservations are required and our congregation will have 50 seats available. Please register online at tinyurl.com/iftar-24 or contact the church office. Should you need assistance with reservations please email office@catonsvillepres.org or call (410) 747-6180.

Bridges to Housing Stability: Beans & Bags for Bridges

Join in a day of fun and community as we work to end homelessness through Bridges to Housing Stability’s Beans & Bags fundraiser! Enjoy delicious chili from Absolutely Perfect Catering, compete in a friendly cornhole tournament, place bids on exciting silent auction items, and listen to live music by local musicians. Chili tickets and cornhole registration are now available at tinyurl.com/beans-bags-24.

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