Sunday, January 27, 2019

Third Sunday of Epiphany

Organ PreludeIn illo tempore (Gregorian proper)

Words of Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge

Choral IntroitBe Joyful In The Lord (Donald Moore)

Be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands! Serve the Lord with gladness,
and come before His presence with a song. Amen.

* Call to Worship

L: In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, native people and later comers to this land…
P: Indeed the body does not consist of one member but of many.
L: If one member suffers, all suffer together with it;
P: If one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
L: We are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
P: Baptized by the Spirit, we claim our membership in the body of Christ.

* Opening HymnIn Christ There is No East or West UMH 548

1. In Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.

2. In Christ shall true hearts everywhere their high communion find; his service is the golden cord close binding humankind.

3. In Christ is neither Jew nor Greek, and neither slave nor free; both male and female heirs are made, and all are kin to me.

4. In Christ now meet both east and west, in him meet south and north; all Christly souls are one in him throughout the whole wide earth.

Prayer of Invocation (All)

We thank you, O God, for calling us into your church to be your people. We have gathered, God of grace and wisdom, because we have heard your call. You have reached out to us in Jesus Christ, you have touched us with your Spirit; and we have turned toward you, seeking to love as we have been loved. We call upon your holy name: empower us to worship and serve you, walking gently on this earth, through the grace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moment

Anthem – O Quanta Qualia (Healey Willan)

1. O what their joy and glory must be,
These endless Sabbaths the blessed ones see!
Crown for the valiant, to weary ones rest;
God shall be all, and in all ever blest.
2. Truly Jerusalem came we that shore,
‘Vision of peace,’ that brings joy evermore!
Wish and fulfilment can severed be ne’er,
Nor the thing prayed for come short of the prayer.

3. There, where no troubles distraction can bring,
We the sweet anthems of Sion shall sing,
While for Thy grace, Lord, their voices of praise
Thy blessed people eternally raise.
4. Low before Him with our praises we fall,
Of Whom, and in Whom, and through Whom are all;
Of Whom, the Father, and in Whom, the Son;
Through Whom, the Spirit, with Them ever One.

A Reading from the Old Testament – Nehemiah 8: 2-4, 5-6, 8-10     Johnny Olszewski, Liturgist
Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand.

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Prayer of Confession Johnny Olszewski, Liturgist

L: As Ezra reminded the returning exiles of their identity as the people of God, they were deeply moved and wept, because they had forgotten about the mighty acts of God which had shaped them and their history.
P: We confess, O God, that we also forget our identity as your people and so fail to witness to your activity in our lives in Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
L: Ezra called on the people not to grieve their shortcomings but to celebrate
their calling and their strength as the people of God.
P: We confess that there are times when we concentrate on our
weaknesses rather than rejoicing over our strengths.
L: Jesus also reminded the people of his day of their responsibilities as the
people of God and then told them “Today the scriptures have been fulfilled
in your hearing”.
P: Today can be a confronting word when we tend to postpone until
tomorrow what Jesus may be calling us to do today.
L: Jesus makes it very clear what his purpose is, as he spells out, and then
radically reveals in his life and death the true meaning of loving one’s neighbor.
P: Merciful God, anoint us with your Spirit so that the words of Scripture proclaimed by Jesus are heard by us – today – and acted upon by us – today – and fulfilled through our worship, witness and service – today – and in all the days that lie ahead. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness Johnny Olszewski, Liturgist

L: Anointed with the Holy Spirit, Jesus brings us the good news of salvation – that we are released from the oppression of all our sins. And so I declare to you: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: Thanks be to God!

* Hymn of PreparationWe Are the Church UMH 558

1. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together! The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.

2. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together! We’re many kinds of people, with many kinds of faces, all colors and all ages, too, from all times and places.

3. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together! Sometimes the church is marching, sometimes it’s bravely burning, sometimes it’s riding, sometimes hiding, always it’s learning.

4. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together! And when the people gather, there’s singing and there’s praying, there’s laughing and there’s crying sometimes, all of it saying:

5. I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together! At Pentecost some people received the Holy Spirit and told the Good News through the world to all who would hear it.

A Reading from the Gospel – Luke 4:14-21

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Sermon – “Together We Are the Church”                                                                        Rev. Debbie Scott

The Offering of Gifts & Tithes

OffertoryBlessed Are They That Always Keep Judgement (S.S. Wesley)

Blessed are they that always keep judgement, and do righteousness. They are always blessed.

* Presentation of Offering – Praise 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)

We are part of the body of Christ which extends around the world. Together, we form a caring community, united in spite of many differences in appearance, understanding, and function. If others are suffering, we, too, will suffer. When we have the ability to help, it is a joy to do so. May our offerings preach good news, proclaim liberty, and recover among us all the ability to see and hear and respond. Amen.

* Closing Hymn The Church’s One Foundation UMH 545

1. The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the Word. From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride; with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

2. Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth; her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

3. Though with a scornful wonder we see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping; their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.

4. Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace forevermore; till, with the vision glorious, her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

5. Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with thee.

* Benediction

Go as far as your courage takes you, for you cannot go beyond the reach of God.
Give as extravagantly as you may, for you cannot spend all the riches of God.
Care as lavishly as you are able, for you cannot exhaust the love of God.
Keep journeying as a friend, for God will always be with you. (B. Hughes)
All: May it be so!

* Choral ResponseGod Be with You Till We Meet Again (Vaughan Williams)

God be with you till we meet again;
By His counsel’s guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Organ PostludeAllegro Festale (Jackson)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on January 25, 2019

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