High Desert United Reformed Church · highdeserturc.org

Worship Guide

March 29, 2020

It’s best if at least one family member can follow this guide online to play audio for hymn tunes and the sermon. Others can follow along with printed copies or their own device at highdeserturc.org/guide.

Call to Worship

One person can pray, asking God to bless your worship.

Our gracious heavenly Father, you have made us, and we are your people and the sheep of your pasture. As we gather at home to worship you today, we enter your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise. We give thanks to you and bless your name! For you are good; your steadfast love endures forever, and your faithfulness to all generations. Please bless us with your presence, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we seek to worship you through faith in Jesus Christ.


Sing together:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Hymn of Praise : God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength

Sing together. Listen to the tune:

Reading of the Law: 1 John 2:7–11 (ESV)

One or all can read:

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

General Confession of Sin

Confess together:

O great and everlasting God, who dwells in unapproachable light, who searches and knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart, we confess that we have not loved you with all our heart, or with all our soul, or with all our mind, or with all our strength, or our neighbors as ourselves. We have loved what we ought not to have loved; we have coveted what is not ours; we have not been content with your provisions for us.

We have complained in our hearts about our family, about our friends, about our health, about our occupations, about your church, and about our trials. We have sought our security in those things which perish, rather than in you, the Everlasting God. Chasten, cleanse, and forgive us, through Jesus Christ, who is able for all time to save us who approach you through him, since he always lives to make intercession for us. Amen.

Silent Confession of Sin

Take a moment to confess your sins privately.

Reading of the Gospel: 1 John 1:9, 2:1–2 (ESV)

One or all can read:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Confession of Faith: Apostles’ Creed

Read together:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell 1; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe a holy catholic 2 church, the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.

  1. We confess that Jesus descended into hell figuratively, not literally. He suffered the pain of hell in His earthly ministry and on the cross in our place. (See Heidelberg Catechism question and answer 44.)

  2. “Catholic” here means universal, affirming that there has always been and will always be only one true Christian Church.

Family Prayer

One can pray or all can take turns praying for the needs of your family, our church, the state, and the world.

Prayer for URC Missionaries

One person can pray:

Lord, we pray for Reverend Melvin Dotinga ("DOH-tinga"), professor at MINTS International Seminary. We pray for traveling mercies for him and his wife Jane as they head to Papua New Guinea this month. Please keep them safe and in good health as they travel to remote regions of this South Pacific nation. Lord, as Reverend Dotinga teaches and preaches, we pray that you would enable him to communicate well the wonders of your Word. Help Reverend Dotinga develop leaders in the churches of Papua New Guinea through the work of MINTS.

The Lord’s Prayer

All pray aloud:

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 of Preparation : How Excellent a Thing It Is

Sing together. Listen to the tune:

Sermon — Rev. Tom Morrison

Listen together. Listen online at https://tinyurl.com/hdurc-sermon-2020-03-29 . Read along with the Old and New Testament lesson texts below. Full sermon audio is now available.

Old Testament Lesson: Psalm 133 (ESV)

Listen along with the sermon audio, or one person or all can read aloud:

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

  Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
  It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
  on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
  It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
  For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
    life forevermore.

New Testament Lesson: Galatians 6:1–10 (ESV)

Listen along with the sermon audio, or one person or all can read aloud:

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Hymn of Response : Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed

Sing together. Listen to the tune:

Gloria Patri

Sing together:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.

Closing Prayer

One person can pray:

We thank you, our heavenly Father, for the opportunity to worship you today. Even when we cannot gather together as the entire church, you nevertheless bless us at home in private worship. In this time of temporary separation, we have a greater appreciation for the warmth of the communion of saints and for the preaching of the Word and the Sacraments. Thank you for the church and for her King and Head, Jesus Christ, who shed His precious blood for her. As we resume our activities today, please comfort us in the knowledge that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ.


The church continues to have financial needs even while services are suspended. For your offering, please mail a check to HDURC, P.O. Box 3418, Victorville, CA 92392.


  • NEW — The men’s and women’s breakfasts have been canceled for the next month.
  • The Community Center has canceled all group events through March, which includes our worship services. We will contact you when we are able to worship together again.
  • POSTPONED — For the women of the church: the Mrs. Mary Ellen Godfrey talk has been postponed indefinitely.
  • POSTPONED — Oceanside URC Spring Bible Conference has been postponed indefinitely.
  • Prepare for next week’s service: please see our Facebook page for the hymns, Psalms, and Scripture lessons for the coming week.

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. You may not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.