Worship Service – January 10, 2021 – “Tearing Apart the Heavens”

Today, Epiphany Sunday, marks two events:  the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, and the baptism of Jesus by his cousin John the Baptist.  Both were announcements of God’s presence in our world.  When we experience the presence of God, the companionship of the Spirit, the friendship of Jesus, we are challenged to continue growing in faith.

Follow the entire service in the video here, or go at your own pace with portions of the service provided below. Note that the video has a “Closed Caption” transcript, accessible by clicking the CC button at the bottom of the video window.

Children's Worship
Children’s Worship: This week Karen Stoffers-Pugh from Fresno Wesley UMC welcomes and blesses the children; Marylee Sheffer from Napa UMC talks about light and Mort shows how much he likes light… but you have to watch to the very end to see how much!

The Opening Hymn sets the mood for the service. Sing along as Denise plays “Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness” from The Faith We Sing #2120.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free;
Spirit, spirit of Restlessness, stir me from placidness,
Wind, Wind on the sea.


You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;
and over the eons you called to each thing:
wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.
Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free;
Spirit, spirit of Restlessness, stir me from placidness,
Wind, Wind on the sea.


You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
with bold new decisions your people arise.
Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free;
Spirit, spirit of Restlessness, stir me from placidness,
Wind, Wind on the sea.

MHUMC window: Spirit descending as a dove
MHUMC window: Spirit descending as a dove

Welcome from Pastor Patrick:
As we celebrate this first Sunday after Epiphany, we’re so glad you have chosen to worship with us today and we’re blessed to have you take part in worship with us!

May the love of God, the grace of Christ, the friendship and peace of the Holy Spirit, be with you.

Our vision, as a faith community, is to create an inclusive, reconciling and progressive spiritual community that welcomes all people based on the teaching of Jesus “to love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Here, in this place, all are welcome;
Here, human diversity matters;
Here, open minds matter.

Here, prayerful hearts guided by spirit and rooted in scripture, tradition, reason and human experience matter.

As United Methodist Christians, along with other United Methodist brothers and sisters, and the clergy in the Central Coast area of California, we stand in solidarity against Wednesday’s violence at our nation’s capital, as stated in our UMC Clergy Statement of Solidarity.

Call to Worship and Remembering our Baptism, with Pastor Patrick.

MHUMC window: Baptism of Jesus
MHUMC window: Baptism of Jesus

I invite you now to join us here as we remember and reaffirm our Baptism.  (Please have a cup of water available for this part of the service.)

Sisters and brothers in Christ:
Through the sacrament of baptism,
God’s Spirit has been poured out upon water,
water poured over and immersing us,
water that flows freely for all who will receive it,
water from the streams of God’s saving power and justice,
water that brings hope to all who thirst for righteousness,
water that refreshes life, nurtures growth, and offers new birth.

Today we come to the waters, to renew our commitments in each other’s presence to Christ who has raised us, the Spirit who has birthed us, and the Creator who is making all things new.

As we remember our baptism let us  renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, and reject the evil powers of this world, and and accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves!

Let us live and proclaim the good news as disciples of Jesus Christ, and be the body of Christ on earth.

Please pray with me: 
Most wonderful God, foolish and flawed though we are, we too delight in your beloved Son.
As in his name we gather in the homes of many praises, may the heavens be opened for us,
that we may catch a glimpse of that Light and Love that transforms our common days with a beauty not of our making. Through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen!

Our Gospel hymn is “Baptized in Water” from The Faith We Sing #2248.  Please sing along with the accompaniment, played by our pianist Denise Melroy.

Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit, cleansed by the blood of Christ, our King;
heirs of salvation, trusting his promise, faithfully now God’s praises we sing.


Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit, dead in the tom with Christ, our King;
one with his rising, freed and forgiven, thankfully now God’s praises we sing.


Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit, marked with the sign of Christ, our King;
born of one Father, we are his children, joyfully now God’s praises we sing.

Coloring Page: Baptism of Jesus
Coloring Page: Baptism of Jesus

Our New Testament reading by Trish  is from Mark 1:4-11 (The Message), when John is baptizing people in the Jordan River. John’s is a baptism of repentance. We tend to think of repentance as feeling guilty about our sins, but it is more—much more. The Greek word, metanoia, means a change of mind or direction. It is related to the Hebrew word tesubah, used by prophets to call Israel to abandon its sinful ways and to return to God. Both of these words imply “a total change of spiritual direction”.

 Our offering is given to the mission and ministry of MHUMC.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is the one true Church whose faith we support with our Prayers, our Presence, our Giving, our Witness and our Service. I invite you to give generously, as we worship God through sharing our gifts, tithes, and offerings.

Thank you to those of you who have been leaving some dry grocery goods on your front porch for pick up by our Church to Go Bag teams at your home each Saturday. We are happy to pick them up and deliver them to our local food bank, Reach Out. It is through this way of connectional giving that the people of The United Methodist Church make a huge difference.

Remember our gifts come from us, as the people of God, for the work of God, to the Glory of God in the world.
Make a donation

Special Music: “Day by Day,” from the musical “Godspell,” written by Stephen Schwartz, sung and played by Steve Cole on guitar.

 Steve Cole
Steve Cole

The Prayer of the People and the Lord’s Prayer includes these words of comfort:
Lord God, you revealed your Son in the waters of the Jordan and anointed Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim good news to all people. Sanctify us by the same Spirit, that we may proclaim the healing power of the gospel by acts of love in your name.

This we pray as Jesus taught, saying: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven, give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever, Amen.”

Trish Catalano
Trish Catalano

The message today from Trish Catalano is “Follow Me.” See it in the video recording above, at 27:37. 

Weekly Announcements:
See this week’s announcements here.

Go now, and live in the spirit of your baptism,
even when you are led into wild and hard places.
With repentance and trust, give yourselves to God, and with fasting and prayer,
strengthen yourselves against the ways of the tempter.
And may God enfold you in tender and lasting love.
May Christ be beside you in times of struggle.
And may the Spirit guide you back to the path whenever you stray, that you may keep the covenant.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “Here I Am, Lord” Sing along as Denise plays the refrain from The United Methodist Hymnal #593.

Here I Am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Credits and copyrights

  • “Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness” by James K. Manley. © CCLI License #2718708
  • “Baptized in Water” words by Michael Saward (based on Romans 6:3-5), to a traditional Gaelic melody.  © CCLI License #2718708
  • “Here I Am, Lord” by Dan Schutte, music adapt. by Carlton R. Young. © CCLI License #2718708
  • All other text on this page © The United Methodist Church of Morgan Hill.


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