This was a difficult Sunday. In the depth of my very being, I couldn’t ignore the tragic mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. on Wed. night. As I sat working on my sermon on Sat. night, I stared at the screen – at the words that I had already written before Wed. night. And I couldn’t continue. So late on Sat. night, I rewrote everything – my sermon and our worship service. So instead of just posting my sermon this week, I’m including the rest of our worship as well – liturgy, hymns, prayers. (For the sake of length, the sermon will be in a separate post.)
GATHERING IN GOD’S WORD
Letting God In – During this time, we invite you to prepare your heart and your mind for worship. We want you to be able to use this quiet time to settle your thoughts, set aside any distractions that may be troubling you, and focus your whole self on God. Open your heart, your mind, and your spirit, and let God into your life.
Centering Prayer: Open up our lives, Expansive God!
As you breathe in, pray, “Open up our lives.”
As you breathe out, pray, “Expansive God!”
* Gathering Hymn #2271 (Sing the Faith) – Come! Come! Everybody Worship (refrain only twice through)
* Opening Praise
One: With pure hearts, clear heads, and steady hands,
Many: We come, Holy God, to worship.
One: In gentleness, holiness, and honest love,
Many: We come, Holy Christ, to worship.
One: Immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy,
Many: Having nothing,
One: Having it all,
Many: We come, Holy Spirit, to worship.
ALL: We come. We come. We come!
* Opening Hymn #294 (NCH) – There’s a Spirit in the Air
* Joining in Prayer (prayer written by Patrick Marshall)
One: In the covenant of baptism, we are called to renounce evil and its power in the world. And that is very easy to do in theory. But in weeks like this, we are confronted with specifics; with the reality of evil and its power in the world. So we confess the brokenness of this world and of our own lives, and accordingly:
ALL: We renounce the evil of violence and the false belief that it can ever be used to truly solve our problems. We renounce the evil of racism and the false belief that some people are superior to others because of the color of their skin. We renounce the evil of sexism and the false belief that some people are superior to others because of their gender. We renounce the evil of greed and unjust systems that exploit the poor and the false belief that our material worth defines our self-worth. We renounce the evil of addiction and the false belief that any thing can truly satisfy us. And we ask forgiveness for the ways that we have participated, wittingly or unwittingly, in these evils. Lord, heal our world, our nation, and our lives of the evils that plague us, and help us to continue renouncing them, not just with our words, but with our lives. (Please take a moment for personal confession and reflection.)
In the name of Christ, we pray.
* God’s Promise of Grace
Passing of the Peace
* Song of Peace: Let There Be Peace on Earth (back of the NCH)
HEARING GOD’S WORD
Gospel reading – Luke 11:29-36
New Testament reading – 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Sermon: Livin’ Large!
Hymn – They Met to Read the Bible (insert)
Prayers of the People
Sharing our lives in prayer
Sung response (printed on bulletin)
Pastoral Prayer (put out by the PCUSA): God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, God who has brought us thus far on our way, only you know why someone would enter into your house of worship and open fire on your children. Only you know why hate would run so deep that it would cause one of your creations to kill others you have formed. In our confusion over this senseless act, we appeal to you for understanding and courage to continue to fight for justice. We pray right now for the families of those who lost lives at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, and ask that you would wrap your loving arms around them and the entire community. Likewise, we pray for an end to the continued racial unrest and violence that permeates the United States and the world, and ask you to guide us to work earnestly for change. … (specific congregational prayers were used after this)
Lord’s Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD
* Hymn of Response #370 (NCH) – What Gift Can We Bring? (verse 4)
* Prayer of Dedication
* Hymn – Canticle of the Turning (insert)
BEING SENT OUT IN GOD’S WORD
* Charge & Benediction
* Sending Hymn #570 (NCH) – We Shall Overcome (verse 1)
* indicates please rise in body or spirit as you are able