Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
& Communion Sunday
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” – Leo Buscaglia
The beginning of the prelude is a call to silence to enter into the spirit of prayer and community.
PRELUDE “A Fairy Tale” – S. Conrady
CALL TO A JOYFUL WORSHIP
We climb up through Scripture so we can see God’s Presence.
We climb down in prayer so we can meet God’s love.
We ask for forgiveness, so we can entertain God’s forgiveness.
We come out in offering so we can give ourselves to others in repentance and joy.
Seeking God, call us from where we wander or hide, and choose us to welcome you and turn our lives upside down. Amen.
-from Maren C. Tirabassi & Joan Jordan Grant, An Improbable Gift of Blessing
OPENING HYMN “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
We gather in this sacred place to worship you O God.
Bless our gathering of faith and lead us in new ways.
Open our hearts that we might invite you to dwell within us.
Heal us, lest we use our limitations as an excuse for inaction and ignore your command to love one another.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Merciful God, we humbly confess our sins to you and ask your mercy. We have not loved you with a pure heart, nor loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have fallen short and have not sought justice, loved kindness, or walked humbly with you, our God. Have mercy on us, O God, in your loving-kindness. In your great compassion, cleanse us from our sins.
A moment of silence for personal reflection
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
God loves the world too much to let your sin define you and be the final word. God forgives us and makes all things new. Thanks be to God.
SPECIAL MUSIC “Little Waltz for Little Odin” – S. Conrady
SCRIPTURE READING Matthew 22:34-40
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
MORNING REFLECTION “What Is Love?”
COMMUNION HYMN “We Remember You”
CHORAL CALL TO PRAYER “Hear our prayer” – D. Whelpton
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
A moment of personal 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 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
Your gifts to the church matter now more than ever! We encourage people to continue to make an offering by mailing to the church. Your generosity in this time makes a big difference.
The commandment to love one another is inclusive and ongoing, our charge to love does not stop at these walls, nor after the service is over, but keeps moving ever outward to the community, the nation and world.
Bless the offerings we bring to you today, Dear God, that through them we may share your love with the whole world.
Bless us, too, to do your will and to do your work. Amen.
-Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott
CLOSING HYMN “The Gift Of Love”
Dear God, remind us of your love for us, empower us to love each other, and draw us into a community of love and respect. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
POSTLUDE “Lift Every Voice” – S. Conrady
Music Notes: Our special music, written by Stephan, is for his 2-year-old grandson who loves to dance. The music is just as busy as most toddlers, containing three different rhythms and twenty-one different chords in two minutes.
Our hymns are always chosen by our pastor, and Gary made some very special choices for today, his last Sunday with us as interim minister. Therefore, we have some special recordings of the songs to share.