Worship Service

Ascension of the Lord Sunday (May 16, 2021)

Service for the Worship of God

Art: Martyrs of Uganda, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 12, 2021]. Original source:

Today’s flowers were arranged by Helen Cox.

To learn more about today’s choir and organ music, click here for notes from Musical Director and Organist Dr. Steven Seigart.

Click here for a print-friendly bulletin.


“Quasi andante” from L’organiste (1890)
—César Franck (1822–1890)
Played on the Erben organ

Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us worship God!

Preparing to Hear God’s Word

Call to Worship
The Laughlin Family

We have heard that we are not enough: not good enough,
not strong enough, not whole enough.
But God tells us otherwise.
We have heard that we do not make enough,
do not own enough, do not have enough.
But God tells us we have more than enough in Jesus Christ.
We gather to worship, for God’s Word is enough:
hope enough, love enough, life enough.
God blesses us with eternal life, and this life is in God’s Son.
Let us worship God!

Hymn 267
Come, Christians, Join to Sing

1. Come, Christians, join to sing:
Alleluia! Amen!
Loud praise to Christ our King:
Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice,
before his throne rejoice;
praise is his gracious choice:
Alleluia! Amen!

2. Come, lift your hearts on high:
Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky:
Alleluia! Amen!
He is our guide and friend;
to us he’ll condescend;
his love shall never end:
Alleluia! Amen!

3. Praise yet our Christ again:
Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain:
Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven’s blissful shore
his goodness we’ll adore,
singing forevermore:
Alleluia! Amen!

Prayer of Confession
Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

O Christ who prayed for us, who died for us, and lives for us, you taught us that we belong to you, and your word is our truth. Forgive us, O Lord, when we live as if we belonged only to ourselves. Forgive us when we foolishly think that power is the ultimate truth. Speak your words of peace to us this day, and make our lives a testimony to your grace. For you are the source of life itself, and only in you can we truly live. Hear now the prayers we bring to you in silence …

Assurance of Pardon

God’s Word to Us


He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
—Spiritual, arr. by Margaret Bonds (1913–1972) and Moses Hogan (1957–2003)
Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Elise Jenkins, alto solo

Scripture Lesson
Dr. Steven Seigart
Acts 1:1–11

Time with Children
The Wayer Family

Scripture Lesson
Rev. Juli Wilson-Black
Ephesians 1:15–23

Rev. Juli Wilson-Black
Peaceful Transfer of Power

Our Response to God

Affirmation of Faith
Mrs. Noelle Castin
Adapted from A Declaration of Faith (1977)

We are certain Jesus lives. He lives as God with us, touching all of human life with the presence of God. Because he shares our humanity and has bound us to himself in love, we have an advocate in the innermost life of God.

We declare that Jesus is Lord. His resurrection is a decisive victory over the powers that deform and destroy life. His lordship is hidden. The world appears to be dominated by people and systems that do not acknowledge his rule. But his lordship is real. It demands our loyalty and sets us free from the fear of all lesser lords who threaten us. We maintain that ultimate sovereignty belongs to Jesus Christ in every sphere of life. Jesus is Lord! He has been Lord from the beginning. He will be Lord at the end. Even now he is Lord.

Invitation to Discipleship
Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

Presentation of Our Tithes and Offerings

Prayers of the People and 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 261
Peoples, Clap Your Hands! (Psalm 47)
genevan 47

1. Peoples, clap your hands!
Shout to God with joy!
King of all the earth
is the Lord most high;
sing your praise to God,
sing with joyful voice!
With a mighty hand
God brings nations low,
and beneath our feet
casts down every foe;
our inheritance
comes from God the Lord!

2. God ascends the throne
with a joyful cry,
and with trumpet sound
has gone up on high;
sing your praise to God,
sing with joyful voice!
Rulers, peoples,
now join to serve the Lord;
for earth’s mighty ones
all belong to God,
who exalted reigns:
now with Psalms rejoice!

Charge and Benediction
Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

Choral Response

—Richard Smallwood
Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir


Jesus is all the world to me
Will Thompson (1847–1909), arr. by Craig Curry (b. 1966)

Today’s Guest Preacher

We are delighted to welcome the Rev. Juli Wilson-Black, Pastor at nearby Fairlington Presbyterian Church, to our pulpit today!

Rev. Wilson-Black is a native northern Virginian, having grown up in Loudoun County. She attended the University of Richmond, where she majored in religion and Latin American studies. She spent time as a student and Presbyterian Church (USA) mission volunteer in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. She earned her Master of Divinity degree at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1995, and served small and large churches in Chicago, Louisville, KY, and Bethesda, MD, before coming to Fairlington in 2013.