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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 23, 2014
Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost  

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you. 
People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
People: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor.

Leader: For everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
People: Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.

Leader: In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
People: Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

 – From I Chronicles 29

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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IT IS WELL

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well, it is well;
through the storm I am held;
It is well, it is well with my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

It is well, it is well;
through the storm I am held;
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well, it is well;
God has won, Christ prevailed;
It is well, it is well with my soul.


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul It is well,
it is well with my soul. 


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BE THOU MY VISION

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

 — Isaiah 55:6-7 NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Father, we come to you now confessing that our deepest problem is that we do not believe you love us. We think ourselves unworthy of your love — not believing the sacrifice of Christ has made us lovely in your sight. Because we do not receive the love you freely offer us, we seek it out in other places. We have wandered far from home in search of love.

So we come back to you now. Do not just receive us, but delight in us. We ask this solely on the basis of what Christ has done for us. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. 

 — Psalm 103:11-13

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION  

Holy God. Holy and mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us. 
(Repeat)

Holy God. Holy and mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us. 

PASSING THE PEACE


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING   

Revelation 21:1-5a, NRSV   

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Minister: This is the word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God!

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION 

SERMON
Sermon series: The Story of Everything (Apostles' Creed)
Sermon title: The End
Speaker: Mike Harder


REFLECTIONS 

If it is true that God is going to transform this present world, and renew our whole selves, bodies included, then what we do in the present time with our bodies, and with our world, matters...How God will take our prayer, our art, our love, our writing, our political action, our music, our honesty, our daily work, our pastoral care, our teaching, our whole selves - how God will take this and weave its various strands into the glorious tapestry of his new creation, we can at present have no idea. That he will do so is part of the truth of the resurrection, and perhaps one of the most comforting parts of all.  

 — NT Wright

The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.   

— Woody Allen


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APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


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 THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING  

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord. 

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord. 

Minister: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying: 

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest! 
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest! 

Minister: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


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Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
        Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

Minister: Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 

 Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One.  

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.         
People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION        

Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. 

Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


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PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers: 

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen.

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.


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FOREVER REIGN

You are good, You are good, When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love, On display for all to see
You are light, You are light, When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope, You have covered all my sin  

 You are peace, You are peace, When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true, Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy, You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life, In You death has lost its sting 

CHORUS
Oh, I'm running to Your arms,
I'm running to Your arms.
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
 
 

You are more, You are more, Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord, All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here, In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God, Of all else I'm letting go.


CHORUS

BRIDGE
My heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus

CHORUS 


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Loving God, we thank you that you have fed us in this sacrament, united us with Christ, and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in your eternal kingdom. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     
People: Our Father in heaven,
              hallowed be your name,
              your kingdom come,
              your will be done,
              on earth as it is in heaven.         
              Give us today our daily bread.
              Forgive us our sins
              as we forgive those who sin
              against us.
              Save us from the time of trial,
              and deliver us from evil.
              For the kingdom, the power,
              and the glory are yours, now
              and forever. Amen.


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SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING     

DOXOLOGY 

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here below
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen, Amen.
Amen, Amen.
(Repeat)


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country, where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord! 
People: Thanks be to God!


PRAYER REQUESTS 

This week, please pray alongside us for....

Our Church — For God's love to be shown to all of our homeless friends and neighbors at the Emmanuel Thanksgiving Breakfast.

Our City — For the other churches in our neighborhoods. 

Our World — For those living in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

EMMANUEL HOMELESS MINISTRY THANKSGIVING
Join our homeless friends and neighbors for a Thanksgiving breakfast! Volunteers are needed at various times on 11/26 and 11/27 to help prep, set up, cook, serve, and clean up. For more details, please email Caroline Credille at  emmanuelministryliberti@gmail.com.

CITYTEAM TOY DRIVE
This Christmas, we’re once again partnering with Cityteam to collect toys for the families they serve in Chester and Delaware counties. You can pick up the wish list of a child in the lobby today or next Sunday, 11/30. Please bring the unwrapped toys back to church on 11/30 or 12/7. Please buy at least two presents (a minimum of $50).
 Email Barb Delp (bdelp@americanbible.org) for more info or for wish lists.

BAPTISM SUNDAY
Are you interested in having your child baptized on Sunday, December 7? If so, please check out what we believe about baptism at libertichurch.org/baptism and email our administrator at administrator@liberti.org to sign-up or to follow-up with a pastor to learn more! 


MAIN LINE CAMPUS - WE’RE MOVING (TEMPORARILY)!
For the first two Sundays in December - 12/7 and 12/14 - our Main Line service will be held in the Chapel here at Rosemont College. Coffee hour will still begin at 10:15, and will take place in the Main Building directly across from the Chapel. Kids classes will take place in the lounge below the Chapel (nursery) and the meeting room in the nearby Kaul Hall (pre-school - 5th grade), and parents can drop their kids off before the service begins at 11:00. We look forward to returning to the Rotwitt Theater on 12/21. 

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