Welcome & Announcements

One: Good morning and welcome to Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ, where no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey . . .

All: You are welcome here!

[We offer you a warm welcome, and as is our practice, we remember that the land on which we meet is, was, and always will be native land. We acknowledge those indigenous tribes to Oklahoma: the Wichitas, Caddos, Plains Apaches, and the Quapaws, as the original custodians of the land in this place. We grieve the violence done to native language, culture, and personhood, and seek to honor the sovereignty and dignity of native peoples.]

We are so glad to worship together!

Call to Worship

One: The lights are on, the doors are open, and the coffee is as good as it’s going to get!

All: So come, all who want to work for peace through justice for all of creation. Come, all who are weary and need rest. Come, all who are want to learn of love and grow in grace.

One: There is a place for you here. There is room for your whole entire self. This is a community of plenty.

All: Let us rise together in body or in spirit to lift our hearts with song!

Hymn

In the Midst of New Dimensions, Hymn 391
New Century Hymnal
[Please rise in body or in spirit.]

Passing the Peace of Christ

One: "May the peace of Christ be with you."
All: "And also with you!"

[Please rise in body or in spirit to enact the ancient practice of passing the peace.]

Anthem

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
from Erneuerten Gesangbuch
Glenda Stansbury

Joys + Concerns

For the joys of this congregation, let the people say: Thanks be to God.

[If you have a joy or concern you want shared next week, please let us know by submitting your prayer request using the button below.]

The Lord's Prayer, a translation by members of this congregation:

Our Creator, who is in heaven, holy is your name.
Your kingdom come, your 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 you reign in the power that is love, now and always. Amen.

Anthem

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
arr. Joel Raney
Carolyn Manning and Glenda Stansbury

Pastoral Prayer

Rev. Lori Walke

Scripture: Isaiah 40:31

". . . but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Sermon: Lance Preston

Lance Preston MBA, JD, MJ, is a compassionate leader who has dedicated his life to making a difference in the lives of marginalized youth across the United States. Born and raised in a small Southern Baptist town in Tennessee, Lance's early experiences shaped his deep commitment to serving others. After “coming out” as gay at the age of 18, Lance faced relentless persecution from the Southern Baptist church. His resilience and unwavering spirit saw him through his darkest hour—a harrowing suicide attempt at the tender age of 19. Miraculously surviving after a week on life-support, he experienced a profound revelation that God's love knows no bounds and that he has a divine purpose to fulfill. After a successful career practicing high-exposure civil litigation defense for twenty-five years, Lance faced another life-altering event when he battled a severe bout of COVID-19 in early 2020. His twenty-eight weeks in neurological intensive care served as a catalyst to retire from practicing law and embark on a new journey of creating impactful change. In the wake of his retirement, Lance founded Rainbow Youth Project USA, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates a 24/7 suicide prevention and crisis intervention hotline for LGBTQ+ youth under the age of 19. Since its inception in April 2022, the organization’s crisis center has answered over 42,000 calls from those in need, and has provided free mental health counseling services to over 5,700 youths across 48 states. Through his unwavering dedication to promoting mental wellness and supporting at-risk youth, Lance Preston exemplifies resilience, empathy, and advocacy. His own journey of overcoming challenges and finding strength in vulnerability has inspired him to provide a lifeline to those experiencing crisis. His remarkable journey and the life-saving work of Rainbow Youth Project have been profiled extensively in the media with appearances on CNN, MSNBC, NBC News, CBS News, National Geographic Documentaries, TIME, The Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC News, Le Monde, and others. His message is clear and unwavering: respect, accept, and above all, love LGBTQ+ kids for who they are.

Hymn

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, Hymn 403
New Century Hymnal
[Please rise in body or in spirit.]

Benediction

One: May God grant to us the grace to never sell ourselves short, the courage to risk something big for something good, and the wisdom to know that the world is too small for anything but love. Let us go in peace, pray for peace, wage a little peace, and love one another . . .

ALL: Every single other.

Benediction Response

What Does the Lord Require?
Jim Strathdee

Part 1: What does the Lord require of you? What does the Lord require of you?
Part 2: Justice, kindness, walk humbly with your God. Justice, kindness, walk humbly with your God.
Part 3: To do justice, and love kindness and walk humbly with your God. To do justice, and love kindness and walk humbly with your God.

[Sung in a round, Part 1 begins the response, joined the second time by Part 2, then by Part 3, and then a fourth time through. For those in-person, it is our tradition for the congregation to stand and turn towards the center aisle during the benediction response so that we might "send each other forth" to embody what we sing.]