Sunday, June 30, 2019

Celebrating Independence Day

Organ PreludeIn Somer Sweete (Trad. English) Choral

Words of Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge, Lay Leader

* Choral IntroitWe Praise You, O God (Barnby)

We praise you, O God: we acknowledge You to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship You, the Father everlasting. Amen.

* Call to Worship

L: We gather this morning appreciating our freedom to worship God.
P: May God continue to bless the Church of Christ in this land.
L: We draw near to the God who rules over all nations.
P: May God continue to bless our country and all the countries in the world.
L: We seek to live in harmony and peace together with all peoples on the earth.
P: May God continue to establish peace on earth and help us understand that it begins in our hearts.
L: Come, let us worship the Lord!

* Opening Hymn – America the Beautiful                                                                                             UMH 696

1. O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain; for purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

2. O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.

3. O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.

Prayer of Invocation (All)

Lord, we want to follow you whoever you lead. Reach out to us this day, stirring our souls and spirits with the winds of your power that we may faithfully be your disciples. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Time

Reception of New Members UMH 33

Brently Neal Orr, Profession of Faith

Kristie Lynn Weimar, Profession of Faith

AnthemThe Lord Is My Shepherd (Matthews)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters; He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

A Reading from the Epistles – Galatians 5:1, 13-25                                                   Cathy Dryden, Liturgist
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

Prayer of Confession Cathy Dryden, Liturgist

L: Merciful God, we think of the freedom which Paul speaks about and too often we accept it as the freedom to do what we like, rather than being obedient to you and serious about reflecting your character into the world. We confess, with shame, that whenever we “bite and devour one another” such things as discord and factions exist – even within our faith communities.
P: Forgive us when we use our freedom to be self-indulgent, instead of serving one another in love.
L: We confess that we fail miserably when we try on our own to live lives shaped by love, joy and peace; patience, kindness and goodness; faithfulness gentleness and self-control.
P: Forgive us when we fail to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit who enables our lives to produce such fruit – fruit which enrich and enhance our lives, and through us, the lives of others.
L: Merciful God, we confess also our failure to seek the empowerment of your Spirit when we are confronted daily with the challenges of following Jesus. When we look at the cost which Jesus sets on discipleship, we confess that so often we fail to meet that cost.
P: Forgive us when we fail to take Jesus’ demands on our lives seriously enough, forgetting that out of love for us, he has already walked the hard road – the way of the cross.
L: Gracious and loving God, in and through Jesus Christ, you have given us the freedom and the power to live by the Spirit, and be guided by the Spirit.
P: May our acceptance of these gifts be visible as we bear profusely the fruit of the Spirit, and as we faithfully follow Jesus on the challenging road of discipleship. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

L: “…Your way, O God, is holy. You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples. With your strong arm you redeemed your people…” (Psalm 77 vv13,14) And that redemption was given a human face… “in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8b), Friends, believe the gospel: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: Thanks be to God!

* HymnGod of the Ages UMH 698

1. God of the ages, whose almighty hand leads forth in beauty all the starry band of shining worlds in splendor through the skies, our grateful songs before thy throne arise.

2. Thy love divine hath led us in the past; in this free land with thee our lot is cast; be thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay, thy Word our law, thy paths our chosen way.

3. From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence, be thy strong arm our ever sure defense; thy true religion in our hearts increase; thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

4. Refresh thy people on their toilsome way; lead us from night to never-ending day; fill all our lives with love and grace divine, and glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.

A Reading from the Gospel – Luke 9:51-62

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Sermon – “Paths to Freedom”                                                                                                 Rev. Debbie Scott

The Offering of Gifts and Tithes

OffertoryOwe No Man Anything (Cullin)

Owe no man anything, save to love one another; for he that loveth his neighbor
hath fulfilled the law. Amen.

* 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)

Receive our humble offerings, O Lord, for your work in the world. Bless those who give, those who send, and those who will receive these gifts. May our offering sow seeds of hope and bear the fruit of love wherever they are sown.

* Closing HymnThis Is My Song UMH 437

1. This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

2. My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine; but other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. O hear my song, thou God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine.

3. This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms: Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done. Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him, and hearts united learn to live as one. O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations; myself I give thee; let thy will be done.

* Benediction

L: Walk by the Spirit, showing the fruit of the Spirit, giving thanks to God in all circumstances.
P: We will call to mind the many deeds of God. We will meditate on the wonderful works of God.
L: As those who belong to Jesus Christ, inherit the realm of God and share it.
P: God walks with us on our daily journey. God makes a path for us through deep waters.
L: God grants true freedom to those who love, who walk in faithfulness all their days.
P: We accept the prophet’s mantle to empower us. We receive the Spirit’s gifts to guide us. Amen.

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

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

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Organ PostludeAlla Marcia (Duncan)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on June 28, 2019

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