Welcome to the Bourne and Cataumet United Methodist Church!

In an abundance of love and caution, we are suspending worship services until further notice. 

~ An Important Message From Pastor Tim ~

March 19, 2019
Dear Friends,

Out of concern for the health of our parish, neighbors, and the wider community, and in keeping with recommendations of health officials, we have reluctantly decided to cancel church services for the next eight weeks or till further notice. 

Contact Information:

I will be on call and checking email regularly:

  • timatwater@juno.com (508) 563-9215
  • Bourne Secretary Vicki Horne will continue office hours Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9-1 and will check phone messages (508-759-4898) and email (bumcsecretary37@gmail.com ) daily
  • Cataumet Secretary Linda Henderson will be checking messages left at the church phone (508-563-3555) or email (cumcsecretary2@gmail.com daily.

Once a week I plan to send out a worship bulletin with readings and words of hymns and songs suitable for home worship. We are exploring ways of live-streaming small group worship, and/or posting worship to our website and Facebook page.

Click on the links below to read the complete message…

Bourne and Cataumet United Methodist Churches
Bulletin for Home Worship
Palm Sunday April 5, 2020

Prelude – The Palms … Tatsiana Mazheika, pianist

(Imagine the sound of the bell – inviting us to reflect, meditate and pray)

Thought for the Week:

Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem. Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the war-horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations.

                                          – Zechariah 9:9-10

Psalm 118:1-9, 19-20
Response Now thank we all our God – with heart and hands and voices

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?
The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes….

Response: Now thank we all our God – with heart and hands and voices

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Response: Now thank we all our God – with heart and hands and voices

Hymn – Hosanna, Loud Hosanna   #278

1. Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang,
through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them close folded to his breast,
the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

2. From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
the victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of earth and heaven rode on in lowly state,
nor scorned that little children should on his bidding wait.

3. “Hosanna in the highest!” that ancient song we sing,
for Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.
O may we ever praise him with heart and life and voice,
and in his blissful presence eternally rejoice!

Opening Prayer: (in unison)

Holy and gracious God, whose steadfast love endures forever – Open our hearts to your love made visible in Jesus. As he comes to reign over us, humbly riding a donkey’s colt, open the gates of your kingdom, that we may enter, singing hosannas, and proclaiming Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth. In the power of his name we pray. Amen.

(And we pray as Jesus taught us – )

The Lords 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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass 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.

We Listen for God’s Word

Children’s Time                                 Tracy Jaekel

First Reading – John 11:45-57

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death. Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.
          Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.


Hymn How Firm a Foundation 1   #529 verses 1-3

1. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

2. Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

3. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

Second Reading John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
          When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

HymnHow Firm a Foundation 4   #529 verses 4-5

4. When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
my grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

5. The soul that on Jesus still leans for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”

Third Reading – John 12:12-19 

The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
          His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”

Palm Sunday   April 5, 2020   Psalm 118, John 11:45-57, 12:1-11, 12:12-19   Look, your king is coming


Signs are meant to point to something. And some signs are easier to see – recognize – understand – believe – than others. It’s relatively easy to know what a STOP sign means. Even before we learn to read, we can recognize the stop-sign’s message – by its shape, size, color and that four-letter-word meaning do something we don’t always want to do.
          Other roadside signs can be harder to decipher. If we’re traveling at highway speed in less familiar surroundings — Did that sign I just noticed mean downtown Providence This exit? Or was it Providence, Next exit? (Did I miss my exit? Or do I still have time to turn?)
          And of course, sometimes even very clear and obvious signs are widely ignored. It’s not unusual in Massachusetts to be going 9 miles over the speed limit and be the slowest car on the road. Every driver knows what a red light means, but we’ve all seen motorists slow down just a little, barely glance around, and run a red light…. And I should probably confess, sometimes especially at night when there’s no traffic… that No Right Turn on Red sign  coming out of Market Basket… can be hard for me to notice…

Some signs are easier to read, believe, and interpret than others. St John the gospel writer uses the word sign habitually to describe anything miraculous Jesus does. And to keep us on our toes – John also uses the word sign to describe less-obviously miraculous things that Jesus does. Sign is a very big word in the vocabulary of John’s gospel. And from the beginning, not everybody Notices…Recognizes… Believes… every sign… accurately…

When Jesus feeds thousands from just a few loaves and fishes, everyone who sees and eats that meal is ready to make him king then and there on the spot. But elsewhere in John’s gospel, people are often slow to see and slower-still to understand the signs Jesus does. Possibly partly as a result, Jesus does many signs almost in private. Only a few notice what’s he’s doing as he turns water into wine (John 2). Only a few disciples see him walking on water late at night (John 6). And when Jesus does certain other signs in public – healing a lame man (John 5), giving eyesight to the blind (John 9) that point clearly to God’s power at work – still, many religious leaders are not only not impressed – they’re upset and very angry with Jesus now – because he’s healing people on the Sabbath. Disrupting business-as-usual… where the lame stay lame, the blind stay blind, and the dead stay dead…

And now Jesus has just raised his friend Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, up from the dead… As we’ve picked up where we left off last week (John 11). And this giving of new life to the dead is the final sign that seals the fate of Jesus (in John’s telling of the gospel)… Because, we’re told…                  Religious leaders are convinced this unauthorized raising of the dead will cause people to follow Jesus and name him king. And if Jesus is acclaimed as king – so the religious leaders reason – the Roman Empire will come down like a hammer on Israel, destroy the temple, crush the nation. And Caiaphas, the high priest, says, “It’s better to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation be destroyed.”
          With abundant though unconscious irony, Caiaphas, the high priest, whose authority depends on the approval of the Roman Empire, speaks prophetically (as John tells us). Jesus indeed will die for the people of Israel – and not just for the nation – but for all people on earth. Jesus is indeed the perfect sacrifice. The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, as John the Baptist testified in John’s first chapter. The perfect sacrifice for the nation and all the world – though rejected and condemned by the religious and political authorities of the world and the nation.    
          John’s gospel was written at least fifteen to twenty years after the Romans destroyed the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD. So there’s yet-more irony here, in that by the time this gospel’s written, everyone knows – the execution of Jesus did not stop the Empire from destroying the Temple and dividing the nation. But now we may be getting too far ahead in the story…
          As meanwhile, back in our first reading today, we’ve overheard religious authorities deciding to have Jesus executed – and now word’s out on the street –  anyone who knows the whereabouts of Jesus must inform the powers-that-be so he can be arrested. Jesus now is The Most Wanted Man in Jerusalem…

Yet here he comes, riding into Jerusalem – with crowds shouting Hosannas. Quoting Psalm 118 (the psalm we’ve read today), shouting Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord the king of Israel!
Jesus comes riding a donkey’s colt into Jerusalem. Knowing full well the authorities have given orders for his arrest and execution. This parade Jesus leads is not like any Fourth of July, St Patrick’s Day, or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yet…this Parade is a far more joyful celebration. These crowds shouting Hosanna! are getting it right – Jesus indeed is our King. They get it right – it’s always right to praise him… And give him thanks without ceasing… 
          And – these Hosannas we’re shouting are also prayers. The word hosanna means “Save us, we beseech you…” Crowds are getting it right… Beginning now to recognize Jesus as both Savior and King… 
          They’re not recognizing him yet as all of who he is as King and Savior. But to be fair to the crowds, we remember – even his closest disciples who’ve been traveling with him for three  years didn’t understand this sign Jesus is doing at the time. They do seem to get it now that Jesus is fulfilling the quote we’ve heard from the prophet Zechariah (in our Thought for the Week) – about Israel’s king coming, riding on a donkey’s colt…But they probably don’t understand yet… the rest of that quote from Zechariah (9) – who foretold a king who will, in the prophet’s words, “cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and… to the ends of the earth.”
          Only after Jesus has risen from the dead, John tells us, will his followers really start to figure out what kind of king Jesus is. And begin to understand all the signs he has been doing…
Meanwhile, Mary and Martha of Bethany are probably the only ones besides Jesus who understand what Jesus is doing… The only ones who understand where he’s heading, and what he’s about to go through… As they serve a banquet honoring Jesus and celebrating the return of their brother Lazarus from the dead… 
          We can feel the depths of their love for Jesus…As we see Martha serving and Mary pouring out her costly gift of precious ointment on the feet of Jesus. The heads of kings of old were anointed when they were crowned.  Now here’s Mary, anointing the feet of Jesus with oil of pure nard. Giving her very best. Somehow knowing – she is anointing him for his death and burial.

We too, try to give our very best to Jesus. Recognizing we need to pay close attention to Jesus to know what deeds and actions actually serve him. To know what it really means to be “giving our best”… we know we need to keep our eyes open… our ears listening… for Jesus.
          Through the ages, some have read our second reading today too quickly, missing Jesus’ point. When Jesus says “the poor you always have with you” he’s referring to Deuteronomy 15 (verse 11), where its written: Since there will never cease to be some in need on earth, I (the Lord) therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in the land.” Jesus calls us to always be open-handed, open-hearted to the poor. And devoted to Jesus. Love for Jesus and love for the poor are meant to be both/and – not either/or.

And Jesus’ main point is – we need to keep paying close attention to him – to know him for who he is – and be able to recognize each precious moment of this life – as  the gift of God it truly is.
          The more we get to know Jesus, the more we know – to keep looking for the presence God… And not let God’s presence go by… un-noticed…
          If we know Jesus we know his commandment – to love and respect every person on earth – made in the image and likeness of God…
          If we know Jesus, we know – to never treat human life as a financial transaction or commodity that can be bought, sold, or rented…
          If we know Jesus, we know God is love. We know love one another as I have loved you is His royal law. And we know…
          Looking to Jesus as our King and Savior and Lord of Life… is the hidden-in-plain-sight-key-to-his-kingdom – the key to knowing Jesus. But…

If we think Jesus is like other kings only bigger, better, tougher, stronger–  We’re not recognizing King Jesus yet…
          ‘The kings of this world lord it over others,’ Jesus says (Luke 22)… ‘But here I am among you as one who serves’… And as Mary of Bethany has tenderly anointed his feet… Soon Jesus will be washing the feet of his disciples…
          The kings of this world ride in chauffeured chariots and limousines. Jesus rides on the back of a lowly donkey. No Cadillac, BMW or Mercedes for Jesus. Just a donkey’s colt.

Those who know Zechariah’s prophesy know – Jesus is revealing himself as our king by this very sign. Yet few besides Mary and Martha know… Anything close to the fullness… of the kind of king Jesus is… and…

‘We don’t see Jesus,’ Martin Luther said, ‘because we don’t look low enough.’ We still want a Jesus who will rule like the powerful CEO of a giant corporation – putting everything right in a hurry – making heads roll to get it done. Fixing life quickly…

But Jesus keeps coming in under our radar.
Unarmed. Unguarded. Unnoticed…

And we often still don’t see Jesus for who he is… because we’re still over-exposed to the world’s siren sounds, sights, and signs that crowd our minds and cloud our vision…
          Making it harder to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus… Even when he’s coming into town to the sounds of shouts and songs of joyous praises…
Harder, much harder… to keep our focus on Jesus…

As he’s heading for the Last Supper…Where he will be breaking bread with us and washing our feet… and letting us know he knows…
          Most of us will take our eyes off Jesus often… Even flee from his presence and deny him…

Yet Jesus always keeps his eyes on us…His healing hands, his welcoming arms,  his loving heart is always open wide for us…

Even as he travels on into Jerusalem, knowing all that’s to come…
Jesus keeps inviting, hoping, and praying for us to stay close by him… 

All through this week we call Holy Week…

So may we do our best to make glad the heart of Jesus…
Keeping our eyes on him… Listening for his word.
Singing his praises…
All glory, laud and honor… to our Redeemer King…

We Respond to God’s Word

HymnAll Glory, Laud and Honor    #280

Refrain: All glory, laud, and honor, to thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.

1. Thou art the King of Israel, thou David’s royal Son,
who in the Lord’s name comest, the King and Blessed One.  (Refrain)

2. The company of angels are praising thee on high,
and we with all creation in chorus make reply. (Refrain)

3. The people of the Hebrews with psalms before thee went;
our prayer and praise and anthems before thee we present. (Refrain)

4. To thee, before thy passion, they sang their hymns of praise;
to thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise. (Refrain)

5. Thou didst accept their praises; accept the prayers we bring,who in all good delightest, thou good and gracious King.  (Refrain)

Silent Prayer and Meditation

Prayers of the People

(Please pause – breathe deeply – meditate and pray between each line…)

We give thanks to God as we recall God’s blessings…
(Thank you Lord, for… )

We pray for one another in our parish…
(We pray for people by name…)

We pray for all those in our towns and villages…
(We remember names and concerns…)

We pray for all our country…
(we pray God’s love and love and wisdom to guide us all…)

We pray for all in all God’s world…
(we pray for God’s love and wisdom to guide us all…)