Sunday September 17 2023



SEPTEMBER 17, 2023

10:15 A.M.

* Stand as you are able

Organ Prelude


Welcome and Announcements      Rev. Levon D. Sutton, Pastor


Choral Introit     “ Lord, We Come to Ask Your Blessings ”     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: People of God, open your eyes! Look around! The presence of our Lord Jesus Christ is here among us and within us.

P: We gather, humbled by God’s grace, forgiven, renewed, and free in God’s embrace. We come, united, hearts open wide, to worship our Savior, in whom we confide.

L: God’s salvation is close at hand—nearer than you know.

P: In Christ’s boundless love, we find our way, in His mercy, we’re renewed each day. His salvation, a gift so divine, in His presence, we are forever entwined.

L: So open your hearts and minds to the Spirit,

P: Our souls awakened, our spirits inspired, in the Holy Spirit’s presence, we’re always desired. With open hearts and minds, we receive God’s embrace, guided by the Lord’s wisdom, seeking God’s grace.

L: Let us worship God together!

P: Together we stand, a community of faith, in worship and praise, we celebrate. With gratitude in our hearts, we raise our voice, to the Triune God, our souls rejoice.

*Opening Hymn     “Love Lifted Me”     Author: James Rowe, Composer: Howard E. Smith

I was sinking deep in sin,
Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within,
Sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me
Now safe am I.

REFRAIN: Love lifted me,
Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me;
Love lifted me,
Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.

All my heart to Him I give,
Ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live,
Ever His praises sing.
Love so mighty and so true
Merits my soul’s best songs;
Faithful, loving service, too,
To Him belongs. [REFRAIN]

Souls in danger, look above,
Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love
Out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea,
Billows His will obey;
He your Savior wants to be
Be saved today. [REFRAIN]

Old Testament Lesson    Exodus 14:19-31   NRSV

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

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


Psalter             Psalm 103:1-18           UMH 824

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

And that is within me,

bless God’s holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all God’s benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all you diseases,

who redeems you life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good as long as you live

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


Response: The Lord, who works vindication

And justice for all who are opressed,

has made known God’s ways to Moses,

God’s acts to the people of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

The Lord will not always chide,

nor harbor anger for ever.

The Lord does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth;

So great is the Lord’s steadfast love toward the faithful;

as far as the east is from the west,

so far does the Lord remove our tranfessions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to the faithful.

For the Lord knows our frame,

and remembers that we are dust.


Response: As for mortals, their days are like grass;

they flourish like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the Lord

is from everlasting to everlasting upon the faithful,

and the righteousness of the Lord to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.


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 lay all my cares upon You.


*Gospel Lesson           Matthew 18:21-35     NRSV

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

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


Sermon  “Forgiveness: The Heartbeat of Christian Living”   Rev. Levon D. Sutton, Pastor


Invitation to Offering


Offertory     “Chief of Sinners”     Lawson

Chief of sinners though I be,

Christ is all-in-all to me;

All my wants to Him are known,

All my sorrows are His own.

Christ sustains me in my pain;

Grants me hope to live again.

O the heights of Jesus’ love!

Higher than the heavens above,

Deeper than the depths of sea,

lasting through eternity.

Love that found me, wondrous thought,

Found me when I sought Him not.

Holy Savior, Shepherd, Lord,

Gently lead me by Your word.

When my wayward heart would stray,

Keep me in the narrow way;

Grace in time of need supply

While I live and when I die.

Offering Prayer

Gracious God, As we give our offerings today, we offer not only our resources but also our hearts. Bless these gifts and use them for your work in the world. May they bring comfort to the afflicted, hope to the discouraged, and healing to the broken. Thank you for the privilege of giving. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

*Closing Hymn     “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah”     UMH 127

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more;
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield;
be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell’s destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever give to thee.


As you have been forgiven, now go into a world that needs your forgiving, healing touch.

We go in faith into the world bringing peace and hope to others, sharing Gods love with everyone we meet.

May the grace and love of our Lord empower us to be instruments of forgiveness and agents of healing in the world. Amen.


*Choral Benediction

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 15, 2023

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