Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Welcome and Announcements                                               

Invitation to Worship                                                                             

Loving God, Creator of all seasons
and of this autumn day,
We come to worship you.
We have learned that being in your presence,
we are safe,
for with God there is always
love, compassion, and forgiveness.
As summer sheds her sheen of warmth,
as the long days give way to longer nights,
we give thanks for the daily invitation
to shed all that smothers and stifles
human flourishing.
We humbly enter this time of worship
with open minds and hearts
so we might hear what needs to go from our lives
so our praise of God will be more rich and full.

Opening Prayer                        

                                                 

Song of Praise                                                                                           

God, Whose Living Knows No Ending
By Robert L. Edwards
Tune of NETTLETON

God, whose giving knows no ending,
From your rich and endless store:
Nature’s wonder, Jesus’ wisdom,
Costly cross, grave’s shattered door,
Gifted by You, we turn to You,
Off’ring up ourselves in praise;
Thankful song shall rise forever,
Gracious donor of our days.

Skills and time are ours for pressing
Toward the goals of Christ, Your Son:
All at peace in health and freedom,
Races joined, the Church made one.
Now direct our daily labor,
Lest we strive for self alone;
Born with talents, make us servants
Fit to answer at Your throne.

Treasure, too, You have entrusted,
Gain through pow’rs Your grace conferred;
Ours to use for home and kindred,
And to spread the gospel word.
Open wide our hands in sharing,
As we heed Christ’s ageless call,
Healing, teaching, and reclaiming,
Serving You by loving all.

Jeremiah 31:7-13                                                                                  
Common English Bible

The Lord proclaims:
Sing joyfully for the people of Jacob;
    shout for the leading nation.
Raise your voices with praise and call out:
    “The Lord has saved his people,
    the remaining few in Israel!”

I’m going to bring them back from the north;
    I will gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the disabled,
    expectant mothers and those in labor;
        a great throng will return here.
With tears of joy they will come;
    while they pray, I will bring them back.
I will lead them by quiet streams
    and on smooth paths so they don’t stumble.
I will be Israel’s father,
    Ephraim will be my oldest child.

Listen to the Lord’s word, you nations,
    and announce it to the distant islands:
The one who scattered Israel will gather them
    and keep them safe, as a shepherd his flock.
The Lord will rescue the people of Jacob
    and deliver them from the power of those stronger than they are.
They will come shouting for joy on the hills of Zion,
    jubilant over the Lord’s gifts:
        grain, wine, oil, flocks, and herds.
Their lives will be like a lush garden;
    they will grieve no more.
Then the young women will dance for joy;
    the young and old men will join in.
I will turn their mourning into laughter
    and their sadness into joy;
        I will comfort them.

Song of Praise


Here in this place new light is streaming
By Marty Haugen
Tune of GATHER US IN

Here in this place, new light is streaming.
Now is the darkness vanished away,
See in this space our fears and our dreamings,
Brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in the lost and forsaken,
Gather us in the blind and the lame;
Call to us now and we shall awaken,
We shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young, our lives are a myst’ry,
We are the old who yearn for your face,
We have been sung throughout all of history,
Called to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in, the rich and the haughty,
Gather us in, the proud and the strong;
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly,
Give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we will take the wine and the water,
Here we will take the bread of new birth,
Here you shall call your sons and your daughters,
Call us anew to be salt for the earth.
Give us to drink the wine of compassion,
Give us to eat the bread that is you;
Nourish us well and teach us to fashion,
Lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Not in the dark of buildings confining,
Not in some heaven, light years away,
But here in this place the new light is shining,
Now is the Kingdom, now is the day.
Gather us in and hold us forever,
Gather us in and make us your own;
Gather us in, all peoples together,
Fire of love in our flesh and our bones.
Fire of love in our flesh and our bones.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Choral Anthem

Kyrie Eleison
Arr. By Tim Sharp

Hebrews 6:13-20                                                                  
Common English Bible

When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater. He said, I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants. So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience. People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument. When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us, since he became a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Reflection on the Scriptures                                                      
Dr. Jeffrey Vickery


Hymn of Response                                            

I Am Walking A Path of Peace
Words by Janet Bauman Tissandier
Tune of I AM WALKING A PATH OF PEACE

I am walking a path of peace, I am walking a path of peace,
I am walking a path of peace, lead me home,
lead me home.
I am walking a path of love…,
I am walking a path of grace…,
I am walking a path of hope…,
I am walking a path of joy…,
I am walking a path with heart…,
I am home.


Prayer of Sending                                                                              

Let us learn from the trees letting go of their leaves:
for all that we cling to,
our stories, our prayers, our convictions,
give us the courage to let go.
Give us the courage to open ourselves
in this season of falling leaves.
Help us to open our hands,
our minds and our hearts,
trusting that in letting go
new beginnings are nurtured
and the ground beneath us whispers
‘Thank you’.

Closing Song                                                                    

Blessed Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements.  The Sending Out was written by Fiona van Wissen in Autumn, published in Wild Goose Publications, copyright 2021 Ruth Burgess, and used with permission. Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. 

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Welcome and Announcements

Prelude

On the Blueridge
By Joseph Martin
Played by Tonya Vickery

Invitation to Worship

We come here today not because we are clever
but because God welcomes the slow learners.
We come here not because we are wise,
but because God loves us in spite of our folly.
We come knowing that the greatest persons will be found
among those who humbly serve like Jesus did, and that the brightest ideas and the deepest truth will come
from those who see themselves as little children in Christ’s school.
O Lord, open up our mind and our hearts
and enable our lives to declare your praise.

Opening Prayer

Song of Praise


Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven
Words by Christopher Wordsworth
Tune of ODE TO JOY

Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to heav’n and voices raise;
sing to God a hymn of gladness, sing to God a hymn of praise:
Jesus on the cross a victim for the world’s salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, now is risen from the dead.

Christ is risen, we are risen! shed upon us heav’nly grace,
rain and dew and gleams of glory from the brightness of Your face,
that we, with our hearts in heaven, hear on earth may fruitful be,
and by angel hands be gathered, and be Yours eternally.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory to the God of joy;
alleluia to the Savior, who came death’s bonds to destroy;
alleluia to the Spirit, Fount of love and sanctity;
Alleluia! Alleluia! To the Triune Majesty.

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Common English Bible

Let my whole being bless the Lord!
Lord my God, how fantastic you are!
You are clothed in glory and grandeur!
You wear light like a robe;
you open the skies like a curtain.
You build your lofty house on the waters;
you make the clouds your chariot,
going around on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers;
you make fire and flame your ministers.
You established the earth on its foundations
so that it will never ever fall.
You covered it with the watery deep like a piece of clothing;
the waters were higher than the mountains!
But at your rebuke they ran away;
they fled in fear at the sound of your thunder.
They flowed over the mountains,
streaming down the valleys
to the place you established for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross
so they’ll never again cover the earth.

Lord, you have done so many things!
You made them all so wisely!
The earth is full of your creations!

Let my whole being bless the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Song of Praise


Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works
By Joseph Renville
Tune of LACQUIPARLE

Many and great, O God, are your works, maker of earth and sky.
Your hands have set the heavens with stars;
your fingers spread the mountains and plains.
Lo, at your word the waters were formed; deep seas obey your voice.

Grant unto us communion with you, O star-abiding One.
Come unto us and dwell with us;
with you are found the gifts of life.
Bless us with life that has no end, eternal life with you

New Testament Readings
Ephesians 4:4-6
You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.

1 Peter 2:2-5
Like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the word. Nourished by it, you will grow into salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Celebration of the Baptism of Wren Doppke

Prayer of Thanksgiving


Choral Anthem

In a Lowly Manger
Words by Zebulon M. Heighben

In a lowly manger born, humble life begun in scorn;
under Joseph’s watchful eye, Jesus grew as you and I;
knew the suff’rings of the weak, knew the patience of the meek,
hungered as but poor folk can; this is he. Behold the man!

Visiting the lone and lost, steadying the tempest-tossed,
giving of himself in love, calling minds above.
Sinners gladly hear his call; publicans before him fall,
for in his new life began; this is he. Behold the man!

Then, to rescue you and me, Jesus died upon the tree.
See in him God’s love revealed; by his passion we are healed.
Now he lives in glory bright, lives again in pow’r and might;
come and take the path he trod, son of Mary, Son of God. 


Hebrews 6:1-12
Common English Bible

So let’s press on to maturity, by moving on from the basics about Christ’s word. Let’s not lay a foundation of turning away from dead works, of faith in God, of teaching about ritual ways to wash with water, laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment—all over again. We’re going to press on, if God allows it.

Because it’s impossible to restore people to changed hearts and lives who turn away once they have seen the light, tasted the heavenly gift, become partners with the Holy Spirit, and tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age. They are crucifying God’s Son all over again and exposing him to public shame. The ground receives a blessing from God when it drinks up the rain that regularly comes and falls on it and yields a useful crop for those people for whom it is being farmed. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it’s useless and close to being cursed. It ends up being burned.

But we are convinced of better things in your case, brothers and sisters, even though we are talking this way—things that go together with salvation. God isn’t unjust so that he forgets your efforts and the love you have shown for his name’s sake when you served and continue to serve God’s holy people. But we desperately want each of you to show the same effort to make your hope sure until the end. This is so you won’t be lazy but follow the example of the ones who inherit the promises through faith and patience.

Reflection on the Scriptures
Rev. Tonya Vickery


Hymn of Response

Christ Be My Leader
Words by Timothy Dudley-Smith
Tune of SLANE

Christ be my leader by night as by day;
safe through the darkness, for he is the way.
Gladly I follow, my future his care,
darkness is daylight when Jesus is there.

Christ be my teacher in age as in youth,
drifting or doubting, for he is the truth.
Grant me to trust him; though sifting as sand,
doubt cannot daunt me; in Jesus I stand.

Christ be my Savior in calm as in strife;
death cannot hold me, for he is the life.
Nor darkness, nor doubting, nor sin and its stain
can touch my salvation: with Jesus I reign.

Prayer of Sending

Friends, go from this place knowing
that we serve the One who laid the earth’s foundations,
who set is measurements,
who laid its cornerstone
all while the morning stars sang together and
all the heavenly beings shouted for joy!
Upon this wisdom, this power, this strength,
go and live the Way of Jesus recognizing that this is God’s world!

Closing Song

Blessed Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way;
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements. The Invitation to Worship was written by Bruce Prewer and was used with permission. Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved.

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Welcome and Announcements                                              

Piano Prelude                                                                                       

For the Beauty of the Earth
Performed by Aidan Stiens

Invitation to Worship                                                                           

Where does it hurt?
We gather this morning with listening hearts
            to hear the voices of our children. 
What do you hope? 
We gather this morning with listening hearts
            to hear the hopes of children and
            to nurture the hope within each of us. 
How can we help? 
We gather this morning with listening hearts
            to hear how we can help
                        in partnership with those who are hurting,
                        as ones who are hoping. 
Who are you and why are you here? 
We gather this morning as God’s people to worship God,
            in confidence that God hears our hurts and hopes
                        before they are even on our lips,                                                   
            and calls us, as God’s partners, to help
                        with a passion for justice and hearts full of love. 
Come, let us worship God on this Children’s Sabbath day.

Prayer                                                                                         

Opening Song                                                                              

Do Not Turn Away the Children
By Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Tune of BEACH SPRING

“Do not turn away the children;  
let them come to me instead. 
For to them belongs the kingdom.  
Make them welcome!” Christ, you said. 

As we hear your words of blessing  
that you spoke when they drew near, 
Help us hear your love addressing  
needs of children everwhere. 

Do not turn your back on children  
who know violence, pain and war. 
Give them justice, food and welcome,  
make their homes and lives secure. 

“Do not turn away the children;  
let them come to me instead. 

For to them belongs the kingdom.  
Make them welcome!” Christ, you said. 

Do not hurry past the children  
longing for God’s love this day; 

For to them belongs the kingdom;  
give them time, don’t turn away. 

“Do not turn away the children;  
let them come to me instead. 
For to them belongs the kingdom.  
Make them welcome!” Christ, you said. 

Psalm 22:1-6                                                                                          
Common English Bible

My God! My God,
    why have you left me all alone?
    Why are you so far from saving me—
        so far from my anguished groans?
My God, I cry out during the day,
    but you don’t answer;
    even at nighttime I don’t stop.
You are the holy one, enthroned.
You are Israel’s praise.
Our ancestors trusted you—
    they trusted you and you rescued them;
    they cried out to you and they were saved;
    they trusted you and they were not ashamed.

Silent prayer for the children of America

Song of Hope                                                                                           

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
By Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Tune of FRIENDSHIP

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, 
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? 
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share? 
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? 
Christ the Saviour is our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Do our friends despise, forsake us? Are we tempted to despair? 
Jesus’ strength will shield our weakness, and we’ll find new courage there. 

Prayer for the Children of Cullowhee Baptist

Choose a name or two or three for whom to pray:

George, Millie, Lucy, Ansley, Camden, Forrest, Mary, Moses, Lucy, Aiden, Addie, Carmen, Wren, Alizabeth, Carolina, Spencer, Aidan, Dillan, Lyvia, Reason, Sawyer, Benjamin, Alicia, Stone, Addie, Anna, Zoey, and Matthew

Silent Prayer

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Choral Anthem

I Want Jesus to Walk With Me
Arr. Tom Shelton

Talk about a child that do love Jesus, Here’s one. Here’s one.
Talk about a child that do love Jesus, Here’s one. Here’s one.
Ever since I heard the Gospel story, I been walkin’ up the road to glory.
Talk about a child that do love Jesus, Here’s one.

I want Jesus to walk with me. I want Jesus to walk with me.
All along my pilgrim journey, I want Jesus to walk with me.
I want Jesus to walk with me. I want Jesus to walk with me.
All along my pilgrim journey, I want Jesus to walk with me.
Here’s one.

Hebrews 4:12-16                                                                  
Common English Bible

God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer.

Also, let’s hold on to the confession since we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, who is Jesus, God’s Son; because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin.

Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.

Amos 5:10-15

They hate the one who judges at the city gate,
       and they reject the one who speaks the truth.
Truly, because you crush the weak,
        and because you tax their grain,
    you have built houses of carved stone,
        but you won’t live in them;
    you have planted pleasant vineyards,
        but you won’t drink their wine.
I know how many are your crimes,
        and how numerous are your sins—
    afflicting the righteous,
        taking money on the side,
        turning away the poor who seek help.
Seek good and not evil,
        that you may live;
    and so the Lord, the God of heavenly forces,
        will be with you just as you have said.
Hate evil, love good,
        and establish justice at the city gate.

Reflection on the Scriptures         
Dr. Jeffrey Vickery

Hymn of Response                                                                                       

Called as Partners in Christ’s Service
Words by Jane Parker Huber
Tune of BEECHER

Called as partners in Christ’s service, called to ministries of grace, 
we respond with deep commitment fresh new lines of faith to trace. 
May we learn the art of sharing, side by side and friend with friend, 
equal partners in our caring to fulfill God’s chosen end. 

Christ’s example, Christ’s inspiring, Christ’s clear call to work and worth, 
let us follow, never faltering, reconciling folk on earth. 
Men and women, richer, poorer, all God’s people, young and old, 
blending human skills together gracious gifts from God untold. 

Thus new patterns for Christ’s mission, in a small or global sense, 
help us bear each other’s burdens, breaking down each wall or fence.  
Words of comfort, words of vision, words of challenge, said with care, 
bring new power and strength for action, make us colleagues, free and fair. 

So God grant us for tomorrow ways to order human life 
that surround each person’s sorrow with a calm that conquers strife. 
Make us partners in our living, our compassion to increase, 
messengers of faith, thus giving hope and confidence and peace. 

Prayer of Sending                                                                            

O God, help us to recover our hope for our children’s sake. 
Help us to recover our courage for our children’s sake. 
Help us to recover our discipline for our children’s sake. 
Help us to recover our ability to work together for our children’s sake. 
Help us to recover our values for our children’s sake. 
Help us to recover a spirit of sacrifice for our children’s sake. 
Help us to recover our faith in You for our children’s sake. 
Amen. 

Closing Song                                                                    

Blessed Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements.  The flowers on the altar table today are provided by Phoebe Hooper in memory of her daughter, Janice Holt. The Invitation to Worship comes from the Children’s Defense website. The Sending Out comes from Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children, by Marian Wright Edelman. Both were used with permission.  Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. 

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Welcome and Announcements                                                 

Invitation to Worship                                                                  

Today we come to gather around God’s table 
with all the peoples of the world and proclaim,
We belong to God!
Even though we speak different languages, 
practice different customs, 
and observe different traditions,
We are one family in Christ!
For there is one Name above all names, 
on which our faith relies
and in which we baptize.
We are one in the Spirit!
Come, let us unite our voices and hearts in worship of God.

Opening Prayer of Praise                                                          

Opening Song                                                                                   

How Majestic is Your Name
Words by M.W. Smith

O, Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth.
O Lord, we praise your name. O Lord, we magnify your name.
Prince of Peace. Mighty God. O Lord God Almighty.

Psalm 8                                                                                                   
Common English Bible

Pastor Vando, from our sister church in Brazil, Reading Psalm 8 in Portuguese

Lord, our Lord, how majestic
    is your name throughout the earth!
    You made your glory higher than heaven!
From the mouths of nursing babies
    you have laid a strong foundation
    because of your foes,
    in order to stop vengeful enemies.
When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
    that you set firmly in place—
        what are human beings
            that you think about them;
        what are human beings
            that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
    crowning them with glory and grandeur.
You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
    putting everything under their feet—
        all sheep and all cattle,
        the wild animals too,
        the birds in the sky,
        the fish of the ocean,
        everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!


Song of Praise
                                      

Creating God, Your Fingers Trace
Words by Jeffery W. Rowthorn
Tune of O WALY WALY

Creating God, your fingers trace
The bold designs of farthest space;
Let sun and moon and stars and light
And what lies hidden praise your might.

Sustaining God, your hands uphold
Earth’s myst’ries known or yet untold;
Let water’s fragile blend with air,
Enabling life, proclaim your care.

Redeeming God, your arms embrace
All now despised for creed or race;
Let peace, descending like a dove,
Make known on earth your healing love.

Indwelling God, your gospel claims
One fam’ly with a myriad names;
Let ev’ry life be touched by grace
Until we praise you face to face.

Pastoral Prayer

Choral Anthem

Bread of the World
Words by John Abdenour
Arr. Dennis Eliot

Bread of the world, in mercy broken,
Wine of the soul, in mercy shed,
By Whom the words of life were spoken,
And in Whose death our sins are dead.

Look on the heart by sorrow broken,
Look on the tears by sinners shed;
And be Thy feast to us the token,
That by Thy grace our souls are fed!

Sit at this place, dear Lord and Father,
fill up the cup and break the bread;
O let us feel your loving power,
O let us hear the words you said:

“This is my blood and body broken,
refresh your spirit, make it whole;
remember me with food, the token:
bread of the world, wine of the soul.
Bread of the world, wine of the soul, bread of the world.

Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:1, 10-12                                                                         
NRSV

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.  He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs…

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it…

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
  in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”


Reflection on the Scriptures                                                     
Rev. Tonya Vickery

Invitation to Communion

Prayer of Confession

Almighty God, author of mercy and grace:  
You call us to one table,  
but we have pursued our own course.  
You show us the abundance of all creation,  
but in our greed, and in our envy, the world goes without.  
You offer us the bread of life itself,  
but in our pride, and in our arrogance, the world goes hungry.  
You bring us to the waters of peace and justice,  
but in our violence, and in our discord, the world goes thirsty.  
And now we are famished and thirsty, too.  
Have mercy on us.  
Forgive us, again.  
Transform us.  

-silent prayer and meditation- 

Words of Assurance of Forgiveness 

Friends, we have been created and chosen by the Author of all life. We have been forgiven by the abundance of God’s grace, and we have been transformed by the love of God. Go in peace and sin no more. Amen 

Celebration of Communion

Here at Cullowhee Baptist we invite everyone to celebrate communion with us. This morning the deacons will serve you the bread and the cup while you are seated. The bread is gluten free and the cup is filled with grape juice.

Hymn of Response

For Everyone Born
By Shirley Erena Murray

For everyone born, a place at the table,
for everyone born, clean water and bread,
a shelter, a space, a safe place for growing,
for everyone born, a star overhead,

Refrain: and God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace:
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice and joy!

For woman and man, a place at the table,
revising the roles, deciding the share,
with wisdom and grace, dividing the power,
for woman and man, a system that’s fair,
Refrain

For gay and for straight, a place at the table,
a covenant shared, a welcoming space,
a rainbow of race and gender and colour,
for gay and for straight, the chalice of grace,
Refrain

For young and for old, a place at the table,
a voice to be heard, a part in the song,
the hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled,
for young and for old, the right to belong,
Refrain

For just and unjust, a place at the table,
abuser, abused, with need to forgive,
in anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy,
for just and unjust, a new way to live,
Refrain

For everyone born, a place at the table,
to live without fear, and simply to be,
to work, to speak out, to witness and worship,
for everyone born, the right to be free,
Refrain

Prayer of Sending                                                                      

You have been fed from the table of God.
Go now, into all the world.
With courage, share the love of God.
With the strength of God, remain faithful in all things.
You are blessed with the grace of God.
Amen.

Closing Song                                                                    

Blessed Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements.  Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. 

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Welcome and Announcements                                                   

Call to Worship                                                                               

The world belongs to God,
The earth and all its people,
How good it is, how wonderful,
To live together in unity,
Love and faith come together,
Justice and peace join hands,
If we were to keep silent
The stones would shout aloud.
Open our lips, O God,
And our mouths shall proclaim your praise.

Opening Prayer of Praise                                                         

Opening Song                                            

Guide Me, O My Great Redeemer
Words by William Williams
Tune of CWM RHONDDA

Guide me, O my great Redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty; hold me with your 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, where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield, ever be my strength and shield.

When I reach the River Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell’s destruction, land me safe on heaven’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you, I will ever sing to you.

Psalm 48:1-11                                                                                        
Common English Bible

In the city belonging to our God,
    the Lord is great and so worthy of praise!
His holy mountain is a beautiful summit,
    the joy of the whole world.
    Mount Zion, in the far north,
    is the city of the great king.
God is in its fortifications,
    revealing himself as a place of safety.

Look: the kings assembled themselves,
    advancing all together—
    when they saw it, they were stunned;
    they panicked and ran away frightened.
Trembling took hold of them right there—
    like a woman giving birth,
    or like the east wind when it smashes
    the ships of Tarshish.
Just like we had heard,
    now we’ve seen it for ourselves
    in the city of the Lord of heavenly forces,
    in the city of our God.
        May God make it secure forever! Selah

We dwell on your faithful love, God,
    in your temple.
Your praise, God, just like your reputation,
    extends to the far corners of the earth.
        Your strong hand is filled with righteousness.
Let Mount Zion be glad;
    let the towns of Judah rejoice
        because of your acts of justice!

Song of Praise                                                           

God Of Creation, All-Powerful
Words by Margaret Clarkson
Tune of SLANE

God of creation, all-pow’rful, all-wise,
Lord of the universe rich with surprise,
Maker, Sustainer, and Ruler of all,
we are your children–you hear when we call.

God of the ages, through time’s troubled years
you are the One in whom history coheres;
nations and empires your purpose fulfill,
moving in freedom, yet working your will.

God of redemption, who wrought our rebirth,
called out your church from the ends of the earth,
still you are Savior–put darkness to flight;
overcome sin by salvation’s pure light!

God of your people, your Word still stands fast–
do for us now as you’ve done in the past!
Yours is the Kingdom–your triumph we claim,
challenging evil in Jesus’ strong name.

God of our now, all our trust is in you,
Covenant-God, ever faithful and true;
Sovereign Creator, Redeemer and Lord,
now and forever your name be adored!

Prayer of Confession

Wonderful God who fills the heavens and the earth,
thank you for the wonders of your creation;
for the beautiful mountains that surround us:
for Richland Balsam, the tallest peak around standing at 6,410 feet,
for Waterrock Knob from where we can see Maggie Valley, the Great Smokies, and crowning peaks of the Plott Balsams; and for Black Balsam, where we have hiked through hoarfrost, summer rains, and blowing winds; for Sheep Back Mountain, Rockyface, Big Ridge, and Cowee Bald;
for Judaculla Ridge, Ellicott Rock, and Sam Knob.

God, these mountains should remind us of your enduring love and your steadfast presence among us. These mountains speak of your glory, your strength, and your staying power.

Surrounded by the certainty of your abiding presence,
we confess that we have things out of place.
We have put our trust in mortals, in princes;
we have put our trust in our own self-sufficiency;
we have put our trust in material prosperity.
Lord, have mercy: Lord, have mercy.

We have forgotten who we are,
living as if the whole earth belonged to us, instead of you,
neglecting our role as stewards of your creation
and appreciative servants of your glory.
Christ, have mercy: Christ, have mercy.

We have neglected the beauty around us,
preferring the “comforts” of climate-controlled settings,
leading us to ignore the beauty of creation that points us directly to you
Lord, have mercy: Lord, have mercy.

Silent prayer

Abide With Me
Tune of EVENTIDE
Aiden Stiens, Pianist

The Creator God forgives us time and time again.
Come, now, let us live as forgiven people,
depending upon all that God provides,
open to the life of the Spirit in us and in others,
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Choral Anthem

Isaiah the Prophet
Words by Joy F. Patterson

Isaiah the prophet has written of old
how God’s earthly kingdom shall come.
Instead of the thorn tree the fir tree shall grow;
the wolf shall lie down with the lamb.

The mountains and hills shall break forth into song,
the peoples be led forth in peace;
for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God
as the waters cover the seas.

Yet nations still prey on the meek of the world,
and conflict turns parent from child.
Your peoples despoil all the sweetness of earth,
and the briar and thorn tree grow wild.

Lord, hasten to bring in your kingdom on earth,
when no one shall hurt or destroy;
when wisdom and justice shall reign in the land,
and your people shall go forth in joy.

Isaiah 65:17-25                                                               
Common English Bible

Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:
    past events won’t be remembered;
    they won’t come to mind.
Be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I’m creating,
    because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy
    and her people as a source of gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad about my people.
    No one will ever hear the sound of weeping or crying in it again.
No more will babies live only a few days,
    or the old fail to live out their days.
The one who dies at a hundred will be like a young person,
    and the one falling short of a hundred will seem cursed.
They will build houses and live in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They won’t build for others to live in,
    nor plant for others to eat.
Like the days of a tree will be the days of my people;
    my chosen will make full use of their handiwork.
They won’t labor in vain,
    nor bear children to a world of horrors,
    because they will be people blessed by the Lord,
    they along with their descendants.
Before they call, I will answer;
    while they are still speaking, I will hear.
Wolf and lamb will graze together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    but the snake—its food will be dust.
They won’t hurt or destroy at any place on my holy mountain,
    says the Lord.

Reflection on the Scriptures                                               
Dr. Jeffrey Vickery

Song of Response                                    

Restless Weaver
Words by O. I. Cricket Harrison
Tune of HOLY MANNA

Restless Weaver, ever spinning threads of justice and peace;
dreaming patterns of creation where all creatures find a home;
gathering up life’s varied fibers, every texture, every hue;
grant us your creative vision. With us weave your world anew.

Where earth’s fragile web is raveling help us mend each broken strand.
Bless our urgent, bold endeavors cleaning water, air, and land.
Through the Spirit’s inspiration offering health where there once was pain.
Strengthen us to be the stewards of your world knit whole again.

When our violent lust for power ends in lives abused and torn,
from compassion’s study fabric fashion hope and trust reborn.
Where injustice rules as tyrant, give us courage, God to dare.
Live our dreams of transformation, make our lives incarnate prayer.

Restless Weaver, still conceiving new life now and yet to be
binding all of your vast creation into one living tapestry,
you have called us to be weavers. Let your love guide all we do.
With your Reign of Peace our patter, we will weave your world anew.

Prayer of Sending                                                                         

Go now, and embrace the hope to which God has called us.
Recognize Christ in friend and stranger,
and as Christ has been gracious to you,
so be gracious to those in need.

And may God give you a place of rest on rich pasture;
May Christ Jesus be the shepherd king who binds your wounds;
And may the Ho ly Spirit give you wisdom
        and reveal to you the fullness of the one who fills all in all.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
        In the name of Christ. Amen.

Closing Song                                                                    

Blessed Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements.   

The call to worship is based on Psalm 24, 133, 85, 51, and Luke 19. The sending was written by Nathan Nettelton and was published on LaughingBird.net ©2002. Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. 

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Invitation to Worship                                                                  

In the balance of day and night,
of light and dark,
we celebrate God’s gifts of autumn.
In ripening and falling,
and the turning of the seasons,
we celebrate God’s gifts of autumn.
In crisp apples and orange pumpkins,
and the harvests of nuts and grain,
we celebrate God’s gifts of autumn.
In the light fading into cool darkening evenings,
in green leaves turning to gold and brown.
we celebrate God’s gifts of autumn.
In new beginnings, plans and timetables,
in a fresh start in a new season,
we celebrate God’s gifts of autumn.
In the balance of growth and letting go,
in the fading and in the fruitfulness,
we celebrate God’s gifts of autumn.

Opening Prayer of Praise                                                          

Opening Song          

 From All That Dwell below the Skies
Words by Isaac Watts
Tune of DUKE STREET

From all that dwell below the skies
let the Creator’s praise arise:
Let the Redeemer’s name be sung
through every land, in every tongue.

Eternal are your mercies, God;
your truth stands ever high and broad:
Your praise shall sound from shore to shore
till suns shall rise and set no more.

Psalm 19:1-6                                                                                          
Common English Bible

Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
    the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
One day gushes the news to the next,
    and one night informs another what needs to be known.
Of course, there’s no speech, no words—
        their voices can’t be heard—
    but their sound extends throughout the world;
        their words reach the ends of the earth.

God has made a tent in heaven for the sun.
The sun is like a groom
    coming out of his honeymoon suite;
    like a warrior, it thrills at running its course.
It rises in one end of the sky;
    its circuit is complete at the other.
        Nothing escapes its heat.

Psalm 78:1-8                                                                                          
Common English Bible

Listen, my people, to my teaching;
    tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a proverb.
    I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
        ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
        ones that our ancestors told us.
We won’t hide them from their descendants;
    we’ll tell the next generation
    all about the praise due the Lord and his strength—
    the wondrous works God has done.
He established a law for Jacob
    and set up Instruction for Israel,
        ordering our ancestors
        to teach them to their children.
This is so that the next generation
    and children not yet born will know these things,
        and so they can rise up and tell their children
    to put their hope in God—
        never forgetting God’s deeds,
        but keeping God’s commandments—
    and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
    a rebellious, stubborn generation,
        a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
        and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.


Song of Praise                                           

When Morning Gilds the Skies
Words by Joseph Barnby
trans. Edward Caswall
Tune of LAUDES DOMINI

When morning gilds the skies, my heart awaking cries,
may Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, one purpose I declare:
may Jesus Christ be praised!

New strength comes night or day when from the heart we say,
may Jesus Christ be praised!
Let sin and evil fear, when this sweet chant they hear:
may Jesus Christ be praised!

Discordant humankind, in this your concord find,
may Jesus Christ be praised!
Let all the earth around ring joyous with the sound:
may Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine,
may Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this the eternal song, through all the ages long:
may Jesus Christ be praised!

Prayer of Confession

God of creation, we praise you for the wonders of your world;
for the beauty of earth, sky and sea,
and for the repeated rhythms of cycles and seasons,
for the interdependence of all living things,
and for

(Name the wonders of God as you feel led.)

God of Creation, we are awed by the greatness of your world,
we are humbled that you entrust it to our care,
and we admit we have failed you.
We have sullied the beauty you have made,
We have disrupted the cycles of earth and climate,
We have broken our connection with your world.
Forgive us for

(Name the ways we destroyed and continue to destroy the world as you feel led.)

God who inhabits the beauty and vulnerability of the world,
forgive us;
and in your generous love
help us to work with you
for the renewal of the earth.
Amen.

Choral Anthem

Can You Count The Stars?
Words by Robert J Powell

Mark 5:19-20                                                                
Common English Bible

. . . . 19“Go home to your own people and tell them what the Lord has done for you and how he has shown you mercy.” 20The man went away and began to proclaim in the Ten Cities all that Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed.

Reflection on the Scriptures                                              
Rev. Tonya Vickery

Song of Response         

God You Spin the Whirling Planets
Words by Jane Parker Huber & Franz Hayden
Tune of AUSTRIAN HYMN

God You spin the whirling planets Fill the seas and spread the plain
Mold the mountains fashion blossoms Call forth sunshine wind and rain
We created in your image Would a true reflection be
Of Your justice grace and mercy And the truth that makes us free

You have called us to be faithful In our life and ministry
We respond in grateful worship Joined in one community
When we blur Your gracious image Focus us and make us whole
Healed and strengthened as Your people We move onward toward Your goal

God Your will is still creating Calling us to life made new
Now reveal to us fresh vistas Where there’s work to dare and do
Keep us clear of all distortion Fashion us with loving care
Thus new creatures in Your image We’ll proclaim Christ everywhere


Prayer of Sending                                                                   

Go now, and embrace the hope to which God has called us.
Recognize Christ in friend and stranger,
and as Christ has been gracious to you,
so be gracious to those in need.

And may God give you a place of rest on rich pasture;
May Christ Jesus be the shepherd king who binds your wounds;
And may the Holy Spirit give you wisdom
        and reveal to you the fullness of the one who fills all in all.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
        In the name of Christ. Amen

Closing Song                                                                    


Blessed Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS

Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements. The call to worship and prayers are based on the writings of Jan Berry, Fiona Johansen, and James Hart Brumm, published in Autumn: Liturgical resources for August, September and October, Wild Goose Publications, © 2021. The sending was written by Nathan Nettelton and was published on LaughingBird.net ©2002. Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved.

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Call to Worship

In the darkest valley,
at the banquet table;
in the hard work of life,
at the moments of ease;
in our day-to-day reality,
at times set aside–
like this time, now–
for worship, for listening, for paying attention;
with every step we take:
goodness and mercy follow us;
our cups overflow.

Opening Song                                                                                     

Come and Find the Quiet Center
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune by BEACH SPRING

Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.

Silence is a friend who claims us,
cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us,
knows our being, touches base,
making space within our thinking,
lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we’re shrinking,
finding scope for faith begun.

In the Spirit let us travel,
open to each other’s pain,
let our loves and fears unravel,
celebrate the space we gain:
there’s a place for deepest dreaming,
there’s a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit’s lively scheming
there is always room to spare!

Opening Prayer

Psalm 23                                                                                   
Common English Bible

The Lord is my shepherd.
I lack nothing.
He lets me rest in grassy meadows;
he leads me to restful waters;
he keeps me alive.
He guides me in proper paths
for the sake of his good name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
they protect me.

You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.

Song of Praise                                                                   

Savior, Like a Shepard Lead Us
Words by Dorothy A. Thrupp
Tune BRADBURY

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
much we need your tender care;
in your pleasant pastures feed us,
for our use your folds prepare.
Chorus: Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have bought us, yours we are;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have bought us, yours we are.

We are yours, in love befriend us,
be the guardian of our way;
keep your flock, from sin defend us,
seek us when we go astray.
Chorus

Let us always seek your favor;
let us always do your will;
Jesus Christ, our only Savior,
with your love our spirits fill.
Chorus

Prayer for Others

Choral Anthem                                                                       

All is Summer
Harmonization and 2nd verse by Susan Matsui
Tune SHAKER VISION SONG

High o’er the billows we are wafted along,
Angel wing carry us;
Not one ripple to break on our song,
All is peace before us.
All is concert, all is summer,
while to heaven we are going;
But in the desert we’re leaving behind,
The wint’ry winds are blowing.

Come, let us journey now as children of light,
In the Lord’s righteousness,
Shadows fall away, Virtue is bright,
Justice, truth before us.
All illumined, when the light shines,
Makes the darkness fade unknowing;
Wake now, O Sleeper and rise from the dead
for Christ, His light, is showing.

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Common English Bible

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.

Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things…..

When Jesus and his disciples had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret, anchored the boat, and came ashore. People immediately recognized Jesus and ran around that whole region bringing sick people on their mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went—villages, cities, or farming communities—they would place the sick in the marketplaces and beg him to allow them to touch even the hem of his clothing. Everyone who touched him was healed

Reflection on the Scriptures
Rev. Jeffrey Vickery

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you, God for constant love. Please help our church family grow deeper and deeper in your love. Amen.

Song of Response                                              

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation
Words by J. M. Neale
Tune REGENT SQUARE

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of our God, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
Holy Zion’s help forever,
and our confidence alone.

To this temple, where we call you,
come, O God of Hosts, today!
With your constant, loving kindness
hear your people as they pray.
Give your fullest benediction:
grace to follow Christ the Way.

Here renew your servants’ vision,
that by faith they may attain
peace and hope, renewed compassion,
strength to comfort those in pain,
Tears and grief transformed to gladness
in your everlasting reign.

Sending Out                                                                                   

In the pastures of life that hold meeting places with love,
may your feet know the way to find them.
By the still waters of the running stream,
may your hands shape a cup and drink deep from it.
In the valley of death’s shadow that ever threatens,
may your sense of life find the way through.
At the banqueting table set before your enemies,
may your cup be full and overrunning.
Like the anointing oil that runs down your head,
may the blessing that is you
spill into the world with eternal promise.
In the way a shepherd’s staff guides
those lame from fear,
may trust be your protective companion on the way.
Through each day’s living as it unfolds,
may goodness & mercy make way into every moment.
At the doorway to the house of the Lord of life,
may you recognise your home and your hearth.


Closing Song                                                                              

Blest Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS (Nägeli)

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements

The Call to Worship was written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith. https://spaciousfaith.com/

The Sending Out was written by Roddy Hamilton and posted on Mucky Paws. www.nkchurch.org.uk.

Permission to print words and include recordings of the music obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors. 

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Welcome and Announcements

Opening Words                                                                              
Psalm 24:1

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.

Call to Worship

From the dawn of creation,
            God has called us by name.
From before we are born,
            we are loved as God’s own.
In the moments of joy,
            we are given God’s presence.
In the seasons of struggle,
            God lavishes us with grace.
Now, in this moment of worship,
            we are brought together as God’s people.
Here in this sacred space,
            we are marked with God’s Spirit.
Let us lift our heads and open our hearts.
            God is the ruler of glory.
Come, let us worship.

Opening Song                                                                                     

All Are Welcome
Words by Marty Haugen
Tune by TWO OAKS

Let us build a house where love can dwell
And all can safely live
A place where saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive
Built of hopes and dreams and visions
Rock of faith and vault of grace
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions

Chorus: All are welcome, all are welcome
All are welcome in this place

Let us build a house where prophets speak
And words are strong and true
Where all God’s children dare to seek
To dream God’s reign anew
Here the cross shall stand as witness
And a symbol of God’s grace
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus
Chorus

Let us build a house where love is found
In water, wine and wheat
A banquet hall on holy ground
Where peace and justice meet
Here the love of God, through Jesus
Is revealed in time and space
As we share in Christ the feast that frees us
Chorus

Opening Prayer

God, you always welcome us as your beloved children. We humbly come before you now to praise you, to thank you, to recognize you as our God, and to bring you honor and glory. May our worship of you this morning show you our love. Amen.

Song of Praise                                                                   

Shine, Jesus, Shine
Words by Graham Kendrick
Tune of SHINE JESUS SHINE

Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus: Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Maker’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze; set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow; flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word, Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence
From the shadows into your radiance
By the blood I may enter your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me, shine on me
Chorus

As we gaze on your kingly brightness
So our faces display your likeness
Ever changing from glory to glory
Mirrored here may our lives tell your story
Shine on me, shine on me
Chorus

Psalm 85:8-13                                                                                   
Common English Bible

Let me hear what the Lord God says,
    because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.
    Don’t let them return to foolish ways.
God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him
    so that his glory can live in our land.
Faithful love and truth have met;|
   righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth springs up from the ground;
    righteousness gazes down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord gives what is good,
    and our land yields its produce.
Righteousness walks before God,
    making a road for his steps.

Prayer for Others

Choral Anthem                                                                       

Dona Nobis Pacem
arr. Hal Hopson

(Grant us peace.)

Ephesians 1:3-14                                                                New Revised Standard Version

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Reflection on the Scriptures
Rev. Tonya Vickery

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you, God for constant love. Please help our church family grow deeper and deeper in your love. Amen.

Song of Response                                              

O God in Heaven
Words by Elena G. Maquiso
Tune of NADA TE TURBE adaptation

O God in heaven, grant to your children
mercy and blessing, songs never ceasing.
Grace to invite us, peace to unite us
O God in heaven, author of love.

Jesus Redeemer, help us remember
your pain and passion, your resurrection.
Your call to follow, your love tomorrow
Jesus Redeemer, savior and friend.

Spirit unending, give us your blessing;
strength for the weary, help for the needy,
Hope for the scornful, peace for the mournful
Spirit unending, comfort and guide.

Sending Out                                                                                   

Now may you know
that you are God’s beloved,
sealed in the Spirit,
and claimed as God’s own
so that you may serve God and your neighbor.
Amen.


Closing Song                                                                              

Blest Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS (Nägeli)

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

When we are called to part, it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements

The Call to Worship and Sending Out come from “July 11,” Seasons of the Spirit: SeasonsFusion Pentecost 1 2021. Copyright © Wood Lake Publishing Inc. 2020. 

Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors.

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Welcome and Announcements                                                     

Litany of Praise

For rest and relaxation, switching off phones and e-mail,
the release from the demands of diaries and calendars,
the blissful luxury of solitude.
God who rests with us,
for holiday joys, we praise you.

For travel and exploration, adventuring to new places,
discovering beauty and strangeness,
exploring new food and ways of life.
God who travels with us,
for holiday joys, we praise you.

For play and leisure, games on beach or field, delighting in fun
and laughter, sharing time with friends.
God who plays with us,
for holiday joys, we praise you.

For making and creating, forming shapes in clay, wood or stone, splashing colour with paint or thread,
words or music echoing in our souls.
God who creates with us,
for holiday joys, we praise you.

Prayer of Adoration

Gathering Song                                                                               

Just As I Am
Words by Charlotte Elliott
Tune of WOODWORTH

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that your blood was shed for me,
and that you called inviting me,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, you will receive,
will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because your promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, your love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
now to be yours and yours alone,
O lamb of God, I come, I come!

Psalm 123

To you enthroned in heaven, I turn my eyes,
    our eyes are toward the Lord our God
    awaiting God’s mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Have mercy
    because we’ve had more than enough disrespect.
    Long enough have we endured
    the mocking of those with security,
    the disrespect of the proud.

Song of Praise                                                                                           

Lord of Creation, to You Be All Praise!
Words by Jack Copley Winslow
Tune of SLANE

Lord of creation, to you be all praise!
Most mighty your working, most wondrous your ways!
Your glory and might are beyond us to tell,
and yet in the heart of the humble you dwell.

Lord of all power, I give you my will,
in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfill.
Your bondage is freedom, your service is song;
and, held in your keeping, my weakness is strong.

Lord of all wisdom, I give you my mind,
rich truth that surpasses man’s knowledge to find.
What eye has not seen and what ear has not heard
is taught by your Spirit and shines from your Word.

Lord of all bounty, I give you my heart;
I praise and adore you for all you impart;
your love to inspire me, your counsel to guide,
your presence to cheer me, whatever betide.

Lord of all being, I give you my all;
if ever I disown you, I stumble and fall;
but, sworn in glad service your word to obey,
I walk in your freedom to the end of the way.

Prayer for Others

We thank you for journeying with us, Christ Jesus, and for setting an example of resilience in times of trial. Travelling this road is not easy. We admit we’d rather play it safe than risk rejection as your disciples. Grant us the strength to be resilient, unfaltering, and determined to become the people you have called us to be. We dream of being leaders with heart and humility, strength and tenacity, servants not tyrants, following you and emulating your leadership. Yet let us also be content with whatever hardships we bear for your sake, Jesus; for, as Paul reminds us, when we admit our weakness, we discover your strength.
Change our hearts and lives, O God, we pray.
When the world’s leaders fail to act justly, give them wisdom and courage.
Change our hearts and lives, O God, we pray.
When the church falters in its efforts on your behalf, renew our spirits and our determination.
Change our hearts and lives, O God, we pray.
When we second-guess our ability to do your will, restore our sense of purpose.
Change our hearts and lives, O God, we pray.
When our plans run aground, and our offers of help are refused.
Send us back on the road, Lord Jesus, for your sake.
Help us, transform us, and hear us as we lift to you these prayers for encouragement, consolation, and thanks: (name prayer requests silent or aloud as the Spirit leads)…  We offer our prayers to the one rejected by his hometown, but welcomed by sinners like us, praying for mercy and grace, Amen.

Choral Anthem

Prayer of Hildegard
Words by Barbara Wallace

Fire of the Spirit, life of the lives of creatures,
Spiral of sanctity, bond of all natures;
Glow of charity, lights of clarity,
Taste of sweetness to sinners, be with us and hear us.

Composer of all things, light of all the risen,
Key of salvation, release from the dark prison:
Hope in disquietness, breath of consciousness,
Joy in glory, our Savior, be with us and hear us.

Mark 6:1-13                                                                                        
Common English Bible

Jesus left that place and came to his hometown. His disciples followed him. On the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were surprised. “Where did this man get all this? What’s this wisdom he’s been given? What about the powerful acts accomplished through him? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t he Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were repulsed by him and fell into sin.

Jesus said to them, “Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns, among their relatives, and in their own households.” He was unable to do any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was appalled by their disbelief.

Then Jesus traveled through the surrounding villages teaching.

He called for the Twelve and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a walking stick—no bread, no bags, and no money in their belts. He told them to wear sandals but not to put on two shirts. He said, “Whatever house you enter, remain there until you leave that place. If a place doesn’t welcome you or listen to you, as you leave, shake the dust off your feet as a witness against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should change their hearts and lives. They cast out many demons, and they anointed many sick people with olive oil and healed them.

Reflection on the Gospel
Dr. Jeffrey Vickery

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you, God for constant love. Please help our church family grow deeper and deeper in your love. Amen.

Song of Response                                                                                 

God Moves in a Mysterious Way
Words by William Cowper
Tune of ST ANNE

God moves in a mysterious way
Great wonders to perform.
God plants deep footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

God’s purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Sending Out                                                                                      

May long summer days
speak to you of God’s enduring light.
May bright summer flowers
speak to you of God’s unending beauty.
May fresh summer fruits
speak to you of God’s continuing kindness.
May warm summer nights
speak to you of God’s enfolding comfort.
May early summer dawns
speak to you of God’s renewing hope.

Closing Song                                                                             

Blest Be the Tie
Words by John Fawcett
Tune of DENNIS (Nägeli)

Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love. 
The fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.

When we are called to part, 
it gives us inward pain; 
but we shall still be joined in heart, 
and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives 
our courage by the way; 
while each in expectation lives 
and waits to see the day.

Acknowledgements

The Litany of Praise was written by Jan Berry and the Sending Out by Simon Taylor, both published in Summer: Liturgical Resources for May, June, and July, edited by Right Burgess, Wild Good Publications, the publishing arm of the Iona Community.  © 2020

The Prayer for Others comes from the worship outline for July 4, 2021 in Seasons of the Spirit™ SeasonsFusion Pentecost 1 2021 Copyright © Wood Lake Publishing Inc. 2020.

Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors.

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Welcome and Announcements 

Choral Song of Praise 

Fill My Life, Oh Lord My God 
Words By Robert J. Powell 

Fill my life, O Lord my God, fill my life with praise,  
That my whole being may proclaim Thy love and thy ways.  
Praise in my going out, O Lord, and in my coming in;  
Praise in each duty and each deed, now let my praise begin.  

So, O Lord, from even me shall thou receive the glory due,  
And so shall I on earth begin the song for ever new.  
Fill my life, O Lord, my God, fill my life with praise;  
That my whole being may proclaim Thy love and thy ways.  
O fill my life with praise! 

Opening Words of Praise 

God of all,  
we praise you that you have created us 
as your embodied daughters and sons, 
gay, straight, trans or bi. 
We give you thanks for holy loving and tender care. 
God of all,  
give us courage and pride 
to celebrate today. 

God of all,  
we praise you for this valley, 
welcoming diverse communities 
of races, nations, abilities, and sexualities. 
We give you thanks for multicultural living, 
transcending barriers and embracing diversity. 
God of all, 
give us courage and pride 
to affirm one another. 

God of all, 
we grieve for the hurt and rejection 
which have wounded so many of us 
in family, community, or church. 
We ask for strength in facing the silencing and abuse 
which deny our dignity and humanity. 
God of all, 
give us courage and pride 
to resist prejudice today. 

God of all, 
we praise you for the richness of our faith, 
affirming difference and diversity, 
and acknowledging that of you in every living being. 
We give you thanks for the glory of humanity 
and the sense of worth of every individual. 
God of all, 
give us courage and pride 
to celebrate today. 

Prayer of Adoration

 Song of Praise                                                   

Come Christians, Join to Sing 
Words by Christian H. Bateman 
Tune of MADRID (Carr) 

Come, Christians, join to sing: Alleluia! Amen! 
Loud praise to Christ we bring: Alleluia! Amen! 
Let all, with heart and voice, before God’s throne rejoice; 
Praise is God’s gracious choice. Alleluia! Amen! 

Come, lift your hearts on high, Alleluia! Amen! 
Let praises fill the sky, Alleluia! Amen! 
Christ is our guide and friend on whom we can depend: 
God’s love shall never end. Alleluia! Amen! 

Praise yet our Christ again, Alleluia! Amen! 
Life shall not end the strain; Alleluia! Amen! 
On heaven’s blissful shore, God’s goodness we’ll adore, 
Singing forevermore, Alleluia! Amen! 

Mark 5:21-43
Common English Bible 

Jesus crossed the lake again, and on the other side a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, came forward. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feetand pleaded with him, “My daughter is about to die. Please, come and place your hands on her so that she can be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. 

A swarm of people were following Jesus, crowding in on him. A woman was there who had been bleeding for twelve years.She had suffered a lot under the care of many doctors, and had spent everything she had without getting any better. In fact, she had gotten worse.  

Because she had heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. She was thinking, If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed.Her bleeding stopped immediately, and she sensed in her body that her illness had been healed. 

At that very moment, Jesus recognized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 

His disciples said to him, “Don’t you see the crowd pressing against you? Yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”But Jesus looked around carefully to see who had done it. 

The woman, full of fear and trembling, came forward. Knowing what had happened to her, she fell down in front of Jesus and told him the whole truth. He responded, “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, healed from your disease.” 

While Jesus was still speaking with her, messengers came from the synagogue leader’s house, saying to Jairus, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the teacher any longer?” 

But Jesus overheard their report and said to the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid; just keep trusting.”He didn’t allow anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and John, James’ brother. They came to the synagogue leader’s house, and he saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “What’s all this commotion and crying about? The child isn’t dead. She’s only sleeping.” They laughed at him, but he threw them all out. Then, taking the child’s parents and his disciples with him, he went to the room where the child was. Taking her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Young woman, get up.”Suddenly the young woman got up and began to walk around. She was 12 years old. They were shocked! He gave them strict orders that no one should know what had happened. Then he told them to give her something to eat. 

Reflection on the Gospel 
RevTonya Vickery 

There’s not a week that goes by without some kind of local or global tragedy or crisis. The pandemic has been an ongoing crisis that has currently let up for us as far as hospitalization and such, but continues to rage for others. The magnitude of the loss of life here in just the United States is sometimes had for me to believe. I heard this week that we used to think that if 70% of the globe were to be vaccinated, then we could get this pandemic under control. Now, however, as we learn more, that vaccination percentage is more like 80-85% of the global community. Most of us, if not all of us here this morning have had both doses of the vaccine. But only 38% of the residents of our county have the full vaccination. And we have an efficient and easily accessed vaccination center right among, but 60% still need to be fully vaccinated. This ongoing crisis continues to create loss for everyone.

Another crisis on our minds this week is the collapse of the condo tower in Florida. The heartbreak and grief of that community. Seven members of Jewish synagogue unaccounted for. What their service last night must have been like. The heartbreak of a young boy, just 15, who lived through such an event, but lost his mama. We have seen an outpouring of care there in Surfside. We have watched hundreds of rescue workers putting their life on the line hoping to save others. We have seen people pull together to share the weight of the load of such loss.

All of us have lived through tragedies and crisis in our families or as a community. Dreams and hopes lost to tragedy. Visions and desires lost to crises. You all have been there at some point in time.

Last Sunday Jeffrey asked us to think on to whom we turn we are in crisis? I want to add the questions, does the crisis separate you from community, or does it draw you closer? I honestly believe that it is better or “easier” to go through a crisis with others than alone and by yourself. However, not everyone knows how to ask for help. Not everyone feels comfortable seeking community when they are in crisis.  The shame of failure can get in the way—like we expect life to be perfect. Sometimes we are just too lost or too weak to seek companionship from others.

When crisis hits you, to whom do you turn?  Does a crisis separate you from community? Or does it draw you closer?

Reflecting on the gospel story, when Jairus collapsed to his knees to beg for help from a traveling teacher I bet people were surprised. His daughter was deathly ill. Surely the community would have known. They would have felt fear and grief with him. But I doubt they ever thought they would see Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, down on his knees, pleading with his whole body for a stranger to do something. Jairus was a religious leader; someone with authority in the community. People looked up to him. People would have come to him for help. He would have been used to others begging, but not himself.

But there is nothing he can do to help his daughter. So he humbles himself in front of others. He lays aside his pride. He interrupts Jesus’ travels and implores repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live” (Mark 5:22-23).

Sometimes we are surprised to realize once again that Jesus welcomes disruptions. Jesus changes plans and follows Jairus. How refreshing. Programs and itineraries do not rule Jesus’ life. He isn’t keeping tally of all the miles he travels. He doesn’t have a goal set for how many place he needs to visit or how many people’s lives he needs to change before his life is cut short. No. What redirects Jesus’ attention is people. When Jesus encounters Jairus he changes course and follows.

Jesus is never on a one track only mission. So don’t you ever think Jesus doesn’t have time for you. Even as Jesus is following Jairus, he is interrupted again. With a crowd following, Jesus stops for a woman in need of healing. Jesus delays the trip to Jairus’ home. He lingers along the roadside. He searches for the person who touched his robe. He pauses his purpose-filled journey to meet with the woman face to face. He stops so he can be fully present to her.

That day Jesus reveals to us something more important than God’s ability to heal. Jesus shows us that God is always available. Yes God is on a mission, but that purpose is never more important than our lives. (As if our lives are not God’s purpose.) I love this phrase, “We are never a distraction to God.” You know what it is like to have someone interrupt your day, interrupt the song you are listening to or playing on the piano, interrupt the stream of thought in your mind that you are desperately trying to catch on paper, interrupt your conversation with an important person. But we are NEVER a distraction or an interruption to God. On this day centuries ago, Jesus shows us the nature of God as an abiding ever present love that wanders through the world, awaiting our redirection. 

What a blessing to know that we don’t interrupt God, and that our presence however we are on whatever day is never a bother to our loving Creator.

Once we get a hold of that in our hearts, minds, and souls, let’s move that thought along a little bit more beyond just ourselves receiving God’s attention. God’s attention is upon others just as God’s attention is upon us. Yes, equally. We cannot overlook this as we relate to others. Whether we like them or not, God’s attention is upon them as well. If we are God’s children, serving God in this world, being God’s hands and feet, eyes and ears, voice and love, then this means we are to allow for others to interrupt and redirect. It requires us to have the same compassion for one another as Jesus has for us.

The word “compassion” means to “suffer together with.” It doesn’t come from the word “compass” meaning we should direct our lives toward “compassion.” But that is a good way to think of it.  No, “compassion” comes from some really old Latin. The root word is “pati” which means “suffer.” And I imagine the “com” part means “with.” Compassion is not pity or feeling sorry for someone, it means you are suffering with someone. It describes that feeling we have when we see another’s pain or suffering and we are motivated to act.

Our culture emphasizes the act of finding answers. We solve problems. We ask questions. Thus we remove doubt. We are big on knowing who, what, where, when, and WHY.  And we want to know now. We see this played out with the collapse of the condo. We all keep asking, how did this happen? Why did that tower fall? As we listen to the story of the problem or the crisis, notice how we are trained to listen for answers. One reporter asked a family that was 15 feet away from the collapsed area of the condo, why did you make?  Who, what, where, when, and WHY. 

Jesus invites us to follow a different path, the path of compassion. Compassion isn’t an answer to the question or the crisis. Compassion is a response. Compassion is what we are called to “do.”  Do compassion.

Jesus listened and responded to others out of his intimacy with God, out of his participation in the Jewish covenant community, and out of his knowledge of the Jewish scriptures and law.

Like Jesus, we have a relationship with God. It is from that center that we listen and respond to others Like Jesus participated in the Jewish covenant community, we participate in the church, the body of Christ. And it is from this center too that we listen and respond to one another. Just as Jesus knew the Jewish scriptures and laws, we read, study, and learn from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. And it is from this center too that we listen and respond to one another.

Every human being is living in a relationship with God, for that’s what it means to alive. God is the source of all life. As Christians, we want our lives to be illuminated by faith in God through Jesus Christ, illuminated by faith in God’s loving presence and faith in God’s constant availability to guide and bless us.

We have been gifted and blessed to know that the best response to any crisis is faith.  We would fool ourselves to believe that faith will enable us to qualify for the Olympics, or be spared from the falling tower, or beat the cancer, or keep us from being riddled by Alzheimer’s. Or that faith will make us triumph over all evil, or enable us to fight off the sorrow and grief that threatens our resolve.

The faith I’m talking about, is not the faith of pop religious culture. It is a faith that insists that no matter what, we will believe that

God “made everything [and that everything] is made for love

and the love that made everything is the same love that sustains everything,

and will do so forever.” (Julian of Norwich)

Faith gives us eyes to see, enables us to stare at suffering with clear eyes of faith, and we do not despair. God made everything. And everything has been made for love. And the Love that made everything is the same love that sustains everything. And will do so forever.

Staring clear eyed at suffering, we do not despair. Our hope is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Take a deep, deep breath and slowly exhale. Our story is not to be one of great success and awesomeness in the eyes of the world. Our story is to be about following the path of Jesus. Not just allowing, but welcoming people and their needs to distract and change our goals. Embodying the compassion of Christ to everyone we have met, meet, and will meet.

May Christ be glorified in our lives together as the church.

Prayer of Thanksgiving 
Thank you, God for constant love. Please help our church family grow deeper and deeper in your love. Amen.  

Song of Response

O Christ, The Healer 
Words by Fred Pratt Green 
Tune of DUKE STREET 

O Christ, the healer, we have come 
To pray for health, to plead for friends. 
How can we fail to be restored, 
When reached by love that never ends? 

From ev’ry ailment flesh endures 
Our bodies clamor to be freed; 
Yet in our hearts we would confess 
That wholeness is our deepest need. 

How strong, O Lord, are our desires, 
How weak our knowledge of ourselves! 
Release in us those healing truths 
Unconscious pride resists or shelves. 

In conflicts that destroy our health 
We recognize the world’s disease; 
Our common life declares our ills: 
Is there no cure, O Christ, for these? 

Grant that we all, made one in faith, 
In your community may find  
The wholeness that, enriching us, 
Shall reach the whole of humankind. 

Psalm 130
Common English Bible 

I cry out to you from the depths, Lord— 
my Lord, listen to my voice! 
    Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy! 
If you kept track of sins, Lord — 
    my Lord, who would stand a chance? 
But forgiveness is with you— 
    that’s why you are honored. 

I hope, Lord. 
My whole being hopes, 
    and I wait for God’s promise. 
My whole being waits for my Lord — 
    more than the night watch waits for morning; 
    yes, more than the night watch waits for morning! 

Prayer for Others 

Loving God, we give you thanks for every goodness in our lives, for your presence within and around us, for the freedoms we share, and for the opportunities that lie before us. We offer now our prayers for ourselves and our world.  
O God, hear our prayer,  
and let our cry come unto you.  

We pray for an end to violence in our homes, in our communities, and between the nations of beloved Earth. Let us remember___________
(you may call out names of places in the world where there is violence).  
O God, hear our prayer,  
and let our cry come unto you.  

We pray for all those who are struggling to resist evil and promote justice, those whom we know about and those who struggle on silently without our knowledge. Let us remember_________
(pray in silence or aloud as the Spirit moves).  
O God, hear our prayer,  
and let our cry come unto you.  

We pray for those suffering in mind, body, or spirit; for those who mourn, and those who are facing death.  
Let us remember____________
(pray in silence or aloud as the Spirit moves).  
O God, hear our prayer,  
and let our cry come unto you.  

We pray for our planet Earth and for all those who are acting on its behalf. May their actions be fruitful in bringing healing and wholeness to your whole creation. Let us remember_________
(pray in silence or aloud as the Spirit moves).  
O God, hear our prayer,  
and let our cry come unto you.  

We offer to you all the prayers of our hearts, O God.  
In Christ’s name, we pray.  
Amen 

Song of Petition                                                 

Stand By Me 
Words and music by Charles Tindley 
Tune of STAND BY ME  

When the storms of life are raging, stand by me; [Repeat] 
When the world is tossing me like a ship upon the sea 
Thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me. 

In the midst of tribulation, stand by me [Repeat] 
When the hosts of hell assail, & my strength begins to fail, 
Thou who never lost a battle, stand by me. 

In the midst of faults and failures, stand by me. [Repeat] 
When I do the best I can, and my friends misunderstand, 
Thou who knowest all about me, stand by me. 

In the midst of persecution, stand by me [Repeat] 
When my foes in battle array undertake to stop by way, 
Thou who saved Paul and Silas, stand by me. 

When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me [Repeat] 
When my life becomes a burden, and I’m nearing chilly Jordan, 
O thou Lily of the Valley, stand by me. 

Sending Out  

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, 
In the name of Christ. Amen. 

 
Closing Song DENNIS (Nägeli) 

Blest Be the Tie 
Words by John Fawcett   
 

Blest be the tie that binds  
our hearts in Christian love.  
The fellowship of kindred minds  
is like to that above. 

When we are called to part,  
it gives us inward pain;  
but we shall still be joined in heart,  
and hope to meet again. 

This glorious hope revives  
our courage by the way;  
while each in expectation lives  
and waits to see the day. 

Acknowledgements 

The Opening Prayer of Praise was written by Jan Berry printed in Summer, ed. Ruth Burgess. Wild Goose Publications, © 2020.  The Prayer for Others comes from the Seasons of the Spirit™ SeasonsFusion Pentecost 1 2021. Copyright © Wood Lake Publishing Inc. 2020. 

Permission to print the words and lead lines to the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-724755. All rights reserved. All writings have been used by permission from the posting sites or authors. 

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