Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So, it is how we use our life that determines what kind of people we are. ~ Cesar Chavez
PRELUDE “Praise Our God Above” – Confucian Temple Chant, arr. S. Conrady
If you have a candle, let us light our candles together to remind ourselves that there is light in the darkness and that we can share that light with one another in our own times of darkness and we can share that light of love with the world.
A moment of silence
OPENING HYMN Bunessan Tune
A sower went out to sow… are we the soil, waiting to catch the seed?
A sower went out to sow… are we the seed, bursting with potential?
A sower went out to sow… are we the sowers, called to spread God’s gifts?
God of soil, of seed, of sowers, in this time of worship, praying, and listening open our hearts and minds to the possibilities in our stories, our experiences, in our lives.
Help us to find our place in the stories of life;
And then to live our part with our whole being.
-Rev.Gordy Waldie, United Church of Canada
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
We confess that we often feel overwhelmed by life itself. We take actions that discredit our faith in Jesus and the message of his grace.
Deliver us from our doubts, O merciful God. Amen.
A moment of silence for personal reflection
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Beloved, our God brings us new life, forgives, and redeems us. Take hold of His grace, forgiveness, and live your life guided in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God.
TIME FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
ANTHEM “Sois le Semilla” (Be the Seed) – Cesáreo Gabaráin
1 Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
2 You who answer prayer,
to you all people will come.
3 When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave our transgressions.
4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
MORNING REFLECTION “You are the Seed”
HYMN “Christ for the World, We Sing” No. 295
- Christ for the world we sing; the world to Christ we bring with loving zeal:
the poor and them that mourn, the faint and overborne,
sin-sick and sorrow worn, whom Christ doth heal.
- Christ for the world we sing; the world to Christ we bring with joyful song:
the newborn souls whose days, reclaimed from error’s ways,
inspired with hope and praise, to Christ belong.
CHORAL CALL TO PRAYER “Hear our prayer” – D. Whelpton
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
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 Thy daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
CHORAL RESPONSE TO PRAYER “Thou will keep Him” – Scottish Psalter, 1615
Sharing Of Our Gifts
This offering is our statement of faith, O God. We give because we believe this congregation is important, our ministry changes lives for the better, and we are part of something much larger than ourselves. Use our time, talents, and treasures in ways that exceed our grandest vision of your church. Amen.
Holy God, my life is always in your hands.
Use me to do your will and to reflect your reality on earth.
As long as I live let my life count for good.
Guide me to grow in faith and strength, and to live
the abundant life that comes from your grace. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN “This Is My Father’s World” No.485
- This is my Father’s world; And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas– His hand the wonders wrought.
- This is my Father’s world; The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.
- This is my Father’s world: Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world; Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king; let the heavens ring. God reigns; let the earth be glad.
POSTLUDE “Praise Our God Above” – Confucian Temple Chant, arr. S. Conrady
Music Notes: This Sunday’s anthem “Be the Seed” was translated for the UMC hymnal by translated by Raquel Gutiérrez-Achon and Skinner Chávez-Melo:
You are the seed that will grow a new sprout; you’re a star that will shine in the night; you are the yeast and a small grain of salt, a beacon to glow in the dark. . . .
Go, my friends, go to the world, proclaiming love to all, messengers of my forgiving peace, eternal love. Be, my friends, a loyal witness, from the dead I arose; “Lo, I’ll be with you forever, till the end of the world.”
Our prelude/postlude music is an arrangement of a hymn in our own hymnal that Stephan liked as he flipped through the pages. The hymnal only shares the the melody “so I harmonized the old Chinese melody in a Irish renaissance manner…it’s global and timeless.”