Sunday, August 27, 2023

Organ Prelude
Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge, Lay Leader
Choral Introit “You Alone Are Holy” Martinez
You alone are holy; You alone are worthy;
You are filled with splendor and with awesome wonder.
For ousins You suffered, died and ressurected,
granting us salvation, giving us eternal life.
† Call to Worship
L: As we gather here today,
P: Our hearts united, we humbly pray.
L: Seeking purpose, grace, and light,
P: We lift our spirits, beyond our sight.
L: Embracing roles, unique and diverse,
P: Together we worship, our faith we rehearse.
L: Let our voices blend, let our souls take flight,
P: In this sacred moment, our spirits ignite.
† Opening Hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” UMH 140
A Reading from the Epistles Romans 12:1-8 NRSV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God–what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
The word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God!
Call to Confession (Inspired by Psalm 138):
Gathered in the presence of the Almighty, let us bring our hearts before Lord, with humility and awe. We are invited to lay bare our souls, for the Lord is gracious and near to those who call upon Him.
Prayer of Confession
O Gracious God, as the psalmist David wrote, “I confess before you with all my heart; before the gods, I sing your praise.” Yet, we admit that we have not always sung praises in alignment with our actions. Our thoughts, our deeds, and our intentions have often veered from the path of righteousness. We have allowed doubts to cloud our trust, and at times, we have failed to extend the love You shower upon us to those around us. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
Assurance of Pardon
Take comfort, for just as the psalmist declared, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” Know that the Lord’s love is unending, and His purpose is to reconcile and renew. Through Christ, our sins are forgiven, and our hearts are set right.
We embrace this truth with gratitude in our hearts. Through Christ, we are made whole, forgiven, and forever held in the embrace of the Lord’s unending love. Amen.
Passing of the Peace
Sharing Joys and Concerns
Pastoral Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Choral Response
I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet
and anytime that I don’t know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon You.
A Reading from the Gospel Matthew 16:13-20 NRSV
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the proph-ets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disci-ples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
The Gospel of our Lord. Praise be to You, O Christ.
Sermon “Renewed Hearts on the Rock of Faith” Rev. Levon D. Sutton, Pastor
Invitation to Offering
Offertory “Come Away with Me” Horman, arr.BSM
Come away with me to a quiet place,
Apart from the world with its frantic pace,
To pray, reflect, and seek God’s grace.
Come away with me. Come away.
Come and pray with me on a gentle sea,
On top of a hill in the Galilee,
In gardens like Gethsemane.
Come away with me. Come away.
Come away with me to a quiet place,
To God’s loving arms waiting to embrace
All those who come in hope of grace.
Come away with me. Come away.
Offering Prayer
Generous God, we come before you with hearts full of gratitude. You are the source of all that we have and all that we are. We thank you for the blessings you have poured into our lives — the provision, the opportunities, and the relationships that enrich our days. Bless these gifts and guide their use for the upliftment of those in need, the advancement of your purposes, and the spreading of your love throughout the world. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Closing Hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers” UMH 575 1 & 3-4

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