Exterior detail shot of Catonsville Presbyterian Church, showing roofline, decorative window, and steeple.


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

Second Sunday of Easter

  • Date: Sunday, April 7, 2024
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

Service for the Lord’s Day

Gathering around the word

Prelude: Alle Menschen müssen sterben, Johann Sebastian Bach

Albert Schweitzer called Bach’s setting of this chorale “celestial happiness,” and the mood is utter serenity, from the first note to the last. Despite the morose title (“Every human life must perish”), the message of this chorale is of peace and hope through the Resurrection of our Lord.

Every human life must perish, all flesh must decay like grass, all that lives must one day wither, else it cannot be renewed.

And our bodies, they must crumble in the hope of transformation to the glory, great and bright, readied for our soul’s delight.

† Call to Worship

Into our fears and through our locked doors.
Come, Almighty God. 

When we think ‘peace be with you,’ means no change or disruption,
Come, Risen Jesus. 

Amidst our lives that confuse religious entertainment with Easter fulfillment,
Come, Holy Spirit. 

For the sake of a community meant to be its best during crisis,
Come Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Come, let us worship God!

† Hymn #248: “Christ is Risen! Shout Hosanna!”

Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

O Lord our God, we think our best should happen when we are in control. Forgive us for not expecting the risen Christ to show up when we are anxious, content to lock the doors of your house for fear of all that is outside. 

Forgive us for thinking that church mainly happens inside these walls and not into the world you so love and into which we are sent. 

Forgive us for looking for your power in all the conventional places but never in places of brokenness, crisis, and defeat. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, repair what we are, and by the power of Christ’s resurrection, raise us up to serve others for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Pardon

Friends, we have an advocate with God—Jesus Christ, the righteous one—who offered his life in love to save the world from sin.

This is the good news of the gospel: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

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

† Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Come in your faith, and in your doubt! If you are joining us for the first time, we invite you to share your information by scanning the QR code. We would love to connect.

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

Proclaiming the Word

Children’s Message

Prayer for Illumination

Divine Redeemer, bearer of life, open us to the wisdom of your Word today and enlighten us with your truth. Liberate us from all that distracts us and turns us from your path. Guide us and ground us in Christ’s everlasting hope. Amen.

Scripture: John 20:19-31

Hymn #256, “These Things Did Thomas Count as Real”

Sermon: “Making Room for Doubt” Kenneth Kovacs

Responding to the Word

Call to Offering

Offering of Tithes and Gifts

Offertory: Hymn #748, “Go With Us, Lord”

First time: children’s choir in unison
Second time: children’s choir in canon
Third time: congregation in canon

To sing in canon, when group 1 reaches the asterisk (*), group 2 begins singing from the beginning.

Go with us, Lord, and guide the way (*)
Through this and every coming day,

that in your Spirit strong and true,
our lives may be our gift to you.

† 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

Good and gracious God, help us to say thank you, to live with gratitude, to look for the best in each other, and to live charitably with all. May your resurrection never stop surprising us, disrupting us and transforming us, until Christ’s kingdom comes. 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 #246, “Christ Is Alive!”

† Benediction

Jesus says: ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’
The work of the church is not over; it has just begun. 
Go with joy where the crucified and risen Christ is sending you.

And as you go, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
go with you, now and forevermore. Amen.

Postlude: Paraphrase on a chorus in Judas Maccabeus, Alexandre Guilmant

Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911), succeeded Charles-Marie Widor, as organ professor at the Paris Conservatoire. Guilmant became an accomplished virtuoso and was well known for his organ recitals. He came to the United States on tour and in 1904, played 40 recitals for the St. Louis Exhibition Organ, which today is preserved as the Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia’s downtown Macy’s. You can still hear this world’s largest playing organ today in daily recitals, a tradition since 1911.

This is such fun. I learn so much and have a greater appreciation for why I chose these pieces in the first place—because I do choose them for a reason! It gives meaning to my daily/weekly practice and hopefully, meaning to the congregation as they listen.


Image: Icon, Appearance of Jesus Christ to Saint Thomas or Doubting Sunday by Theophanis the Cretan (1535), Stavronikita Monastery, Mount Athos.

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

Marcellous Dixon-Grant
Worship Technical Director

Wendy Johnston
Organist and Assistant Director of Music

Greg Knauf
Director of Music

Ken Kovacs

Vickie Lord
Social media support

Stephanie Stevens

Learning & Growing

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

Adult Education: Resurrection

Sunday, April 7 | 9 a.m. in the Library | Led by Ken Kovacs

In this season of Eastertide, we’ll put a spotlight on the apostle Paul’s sublime understanding of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14). What is resurrection, and how did the early church understand it? We will focus on 1 Corinthians 15, contrasting the difference between “resurrection of the body” and “immortality of the soul.” And we’ll explore some of the themes we discussed in our Thursday morning Lenten series Toward a Theology of Death.

The Church and Refugees

Sunday, April 14 | 9 a.m. in the Library | Led by Susan Krehbiel and Rick Santos

Over the years, conflict, persecution, food insecurity, and the consequences of climate change have driven people from their homes and countries of origin. As of January 2024, the U.N. reported over 700,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers dwelling in Kenya alone. On April 14, we’ll hear about experiences in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, gain a better understanding of refugee trends across the globe, and unpack how Church World Service (CWS), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), and CPC are working to support refugees. This will be led by Rick Santos, President and CEO of CWS, and Susan Krehbiel, Associate for Migration Accompaniment Ministries with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).


Fellowship Hour

Thank you to the Zink and Parkhurst families for hosting Fellowship Hour today!

Earth Day and You

It’s not too late to pick up a copy of the “22 Days to a More Meaningful Earth Day” calendar in the front or rear of the sanctuary to reflect on how you can help heal the Earth.

Worship Flowers

If you would like to dedicate the flowers for a service in memorial, recognition, or celebration of a loved one or special event, please email the church office. The cost is $55. A short message will be published in the bulletin, and you can take one or both bouquets home.

Remembering Loved Ones

We remember this Eastertide that “in life and in death we belong to God,” (A Brief Statement of Faith). The Columbarium ministers and bears witness of this truth to us and our community. This Eastertide and into Pentecost, consider spending time in contemplation and remembrance at the Columbarium. For those who feel led to help create this sacred space, engraved pavers can be purchased and embedded in the garden for $170. If you’d like to explore adding a poem, Bible verse, quotation, or remembrance of a loved one through an engraved paver, contact columbarium@catonsvillepres.org.

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 this Wednesday, April 10. Hope to see you there!

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