Sunday, September 03 2023




10:15 A.M.


† Stand as you are able

Organ Prelude


Welcome and Announcements     Rev. Levon Sutton, Pastor


Choral Introit     “Lord, We Come to Ask Your Blessing”     Landes

Lord, we come to ask your blessing

On the love that makes us one;

Here, as Christians, to acknowledge

You are Lord, and You alone.


Lord, we come to ask your blessing

In the presence of our friends:

Grant us joy that blesses others,

Grant us love that never ends.


† Call to Worship

L: Gathered in this holy space, we come with hearts open wide.

P: We embrace the light of Divine love.

L: As we journey together in faith,

P: We find strength in community’s embrace.

L: Let our spirits be renewed,

P: And our souls be filled with grace.

L: With gratitude, we lift our voices,

P: In this sacred time and sacred space.


† Opening Hymn     “Together We Serve”     TFWS 2175 (1; 3-4)

Together we serve, united by love,
inviting God’s world to the glorious feast.
We work and we pray through sorrow and joy,
extending your love to the last and the least.


We welcome the scarred, the wealthy, the poor,
the busy, the lonely, and all who need care.
We offer a home to those who will come,
our hands quick to help, our hearts ready to dare


Together, by grace, we witness and work,
remembering Jesus, in whom we grow strong.
Together we serve in Spirit and truth,
remembering love is the strength of our song.


A Reading from the Epistles     Romans 12:9-21     NRSV

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God!


Call to Confession

Guided by the Spirit, let us humbly examine our lives as we bare our souls before the Lord:

Prayer of Confession

Loving and Merciful God. We recognize the path of harmony that stretches before us. Yet, we confess that we have faltered and strayed. Instead of embracing our fellow beings, we have chosen wrongdoing. Rather than opening our hearts, we have allowed them to close. In place of embracing strangers, we have sought comfort in familiar circles. Speak to us in whispers of grace and hope, until the day we can replace curses for enemies with blessings of friendship. Gently polish away the rough edges of our pride, until we shine with the honor that comes from humility. At that moment, our stumbling blocks shall transform into stepping stones, leading us in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, our guide, our redeemer, who shows us the path of selflessness and life.

Pause in reflective silence

Assurance of Pardon

Through our love for others, we catch a glimpse of God’s boundless love for us. In extending forgiveness to others, we rediscover the depths of God’s forgiveness for us. Beloved friends, embrace this good news!

We are children of God, called to be agents of change, called to embody compassion, called to live anew. Thanks be to God for the gift of forgiveness.



Passing of the Peace


Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral 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


† Gospel Lesson     Matthew 16:21-28     NRSV

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

The Gospel of our Lord.  Praise be to You, O Christ.


Sermon     “Deny, Take Up, Follow: The Radical Call of Discipleship”     Rev. Levon D. Sutton, Pastor


Invitation to Offering


Offertory     “Canticle of Prayer”     Routledge

We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

For all who ask receive, and all who seek find; and to those who knock it will be opened.


Offering Prayer

As we reflect on Christ’s call to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him, let our offerings be a tangible expression of our willingness to let go of worldly attachments and embrace the transformative journey of discipleship. May these gifts represent our commitment to follow Christ’s selfless example and invest in His eternal kingdom. Amen.

Holy Communion UMH 9

Lord’s Prayer


† Closing Hymn     “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”  UMH 133


† Benediction

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Go forth in peace. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.



† Choral Benediction     “Go Ye, Go Ye into the World”     Sleeth

Go ye, go ye into the world, and make disciples of all the nations,

Go ye, go ye into the world, and I will be with you there.

Go ye now and tell the story to all believers. Go ye now, and I will be with you there.


Ringing the Bicentennial Bell



Organ Postlude



Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on September 1, 2023

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Comments are closed.

close window