Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost


Words of Welcome and Announcements Rev. Debbie Scott

* Choral Introit – Hear Our Prayer, O Lord (George Whelpton)

Hear our prayer, O Lord; incline Thine ear to us, and grant us Thy peace. Amen.

* Call to Worship

Our world offers many wide avenues and beautiful boulevards to walk;
Our God invites us to walk the road of service and sacrifice.
Our society suggests we put down our roots in the shallow soil of pleasure and greed.
Our God seeks to plant us on the banks of hope, watered by the rivers of joy and grace.
Our culture promotes achievement, success, climbing to the top, ringing the bell.
Our God tells us if we want to be first, we need to go to the end of the line.

* Opening HymnO For A Thousand Tongues to Sing (vs. 1-4) UMH 57

1. O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

2. My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all of the earth abroad the honors of thy name.

3. Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease;’ tis music in the sinner’s ears,’ tis life, and health, and peace.

4. He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can made the foulest clean; his blood availed for me.

Prayer of Invocation (All)

Lord, be with us this day, helping us to put our priorities in order; so that we may faithfully serve you by serving your people. Heal our spirits. Enable us to follow your ways all the days of our lives. AMEN.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moment

AnthemHow Amiable (Ralph Vaughan Williams)

O how amiable are Thy dwellings, Thou Lord of hosts. My soul hath a desire and longing to enter in to the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, even Thy altars O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house. They will be always praising Thee. The glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us. Prosper Thou the work of our hands upon us. O prosper Thou our handiwork.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

A Reading from the Epistles – James 3:13-4:3, 7-8                                                Cathy Dryden, Liturgist

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Prayer of Confession

L: Lord Jesus Christ, there are times when we all feel like victims – pawns in the power plays which are so much a part of life these days. As usual, however, you look into our hearts and question what part we play in these power games.
P: We know that in your eyes it is not social status, or wealth or reputation that count,
L: And we confess how easily our lives can become enmeshed in such worldly values.
P: You risked personal comfort and security when you reached out to those
on the edge of your society,

L: Lepers and sinners – people whom others considered unclean.
P: Forgive us when we fail to meet your challenge to identify with those
whom society would call worthless.
L: You showed us that the journey of discipleship is a journey into servanthood and powerlessness.
P: Forgive us for being tempted to pursue power and to favor competition over compassion.
L: You, Lord, saw the good in everyone and showed us exactly what it means to be the servant of all.
P: While too often we see others as rivals in the race for success, influence and popularity.
L: “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”
P: Imprint these words on our hearts and put your living Spirit within us, we pray,
so that we serve others and you with wisdom, understanding, love and compassion. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

L: When we submit ourselves to God, we are drawn into the heart of divine love and forgiveness. Out of that deep love for us God sent Jesus into the world to save sinners – and to make all things new. And so I declare to you, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: Thanks be to God! Amen!

* HymnPrecious Lord, Take My Hand UMH 474

1. Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light: Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

2. When my way grows drear, precious Lord, linger near, when my life is almost gone, hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall: Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

3. When the darkness appears and the night draws near, and the day is past and gone, at the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand: Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

A Reading from the Gospel – Mark 9:30-37                                                                       Rev. Debbie Scott

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Sermon – “Who Sent You?”                      Rev. Dr. Wanda Bynum Duckett, District Superintendent

The Offering of Gifts & Tithes

OffertoryWhen, Dearest Lord, When Shall It Be? (Jane Marshall, words by Charles Wesley)

When, dearest Lord, when shall it be
That I shall find my all in Thee;
The fullness of Thy promise prove,
The seal of Thy eternal love.
Lord, I am sick: my sickness cure;
I want: do thou enrich the poor;
Under Thy mighty hand I stoop,
O lift the abject sinner up.
Ah! Wherefore did I ever doubt?
Thou wilt in no wise cast me out,
A helpless soul that comes to Thee
With only sin and misery.
Lord, I am blind: be Thou my sight;
Lord, I am weak: be Thou my might;
A helper of the helpless be,
And let me find my all in Thee.

* Presentation of OfferingPraise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, yet heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Offering Prayer (All)

Rather than boast of all that we have and are, may we humble ourselves, as we offer our lives, our hearts, and our gifts, in putting others first, that they might discover the wonders of the kingdom of grace and hope. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

* Closing HymnGreat Is Thy Faithfulness UMH 140

1. Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be. Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

2. Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

* Dismissal with Blessing Rev. Dr. Wanda Bynum Duckett

* Choral ResponseNew Testament Benediction (Christian Gregor)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Postlude

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on September 21, 2018

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