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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
July 20, 2014
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost  

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
People: Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

Leader: Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
People: Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

Leader: Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
People: Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.
Leader: Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.
People: Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

— From Psalm 119

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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HOW GREAT THOU ART

O Lord my God!
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works
Thy hands have made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout
the universe displayed.

CHORUS
Then sings my soul,
my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,

my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!


And when I think that God,
His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross,
my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
to take away my sin.

CHORUS

 When Christ shall come
with shout of acclamation
And take me home,
what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
in humble adoration
And there proclaim,
my God how great Thou art!

 CHORUS


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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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ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD & KING

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam
thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
ye clouds that sail in Heav’n along
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice
ye lights of evening, find a voice
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
and worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
and praise the Spirit, three in One
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


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CALL TO CONFESSION
 
Leader: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God.   

— Based on 1 John 1:8-9, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
People: Loving Lord Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save the lost, who invites the weary and the overburdened to rest, and who heals the hurting: we confess that we have lost our way. Forgive our wayward and willful disobedience. Lead us back to you. Forgive us for every thought, word, or deed that has brought hurt to others, harmed ourselves, or dishonored your name. Heal the pain we have caused. Grace us with your Holy Spirit and lead us once again in the way that leads to life. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON
Leader: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

 —John 3:16, NRSV

 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
Parents may take their children to children’s ministry at this time.


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THE WORD OF GOD
 

SCRIPTURE READING

Exodus 20:1-2, 12 NRSV

1Then God spoke all these words: 2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SERMON
Sermon series: Finding Freedom — The 10 Commandments
Sermon title: The Freedom of Authority
Speaker: Jared Ayers


REFLECTIONS PAGE

Nothing is quite as ontologically revealing as our belly button…By noting that we are creatures, creations of mothers and fathers, the Decalogue tells us that we have life as a gift. We are begotten, not manufactured. Someone even changed our diapers, our first hint of what grace must be like. No wonder some of us despise our parents, for they are a visible, ever-present reminder that we were created, that the significance of our lives is not exclusively self-derived.

Gratitude is thus the faithful response to the discovery that we are creatures. We have not been created to stand alone, but rather to need one another. Nurtured within someone’s womb, the most dependent of all creatures at birth and the least adept at fending for ourselves for the longest time, our attachments to our parents remind us that life is gift rather than possession. Each of us has been parented. No matter how old we become, no matter how many children we ourselves may have, we never get over being children of God and our parents.

— Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, from The Truth about God: The 10 Commandments and Christian Life


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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

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Minister: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Minister: Lift up your hearts!
People: We lift them up to the Lord!

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
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:
People: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. 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.
Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.

People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


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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!

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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WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS
 
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

CHORUS
Oh the wonderful cross, Oh the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
Oh the wonderful cross, Oh the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless your name

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

CHORUS

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Gracious God, we thank you for the love that brings us food from heaven, gives us the life of your dear Son, and assures us that we belong to the company of all his faithful people in heaven and on earth. Grant that, strengthened by this fellowship and by the power of his Holy Spirit, we may continue his work in the world, until we come to the glory of your eternal kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ, your Son, 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

ALL MUST BE WELL
 
Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor; all is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us;
Perfect is the grace that sealed us;
Strong the hand stretched out to shield us;
All must be well.

Though we pass through tribulation, all will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation; all is well.
Happy still in God confiding,
Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
Steadfast through the Spirit’s guiding,
All must be well.

We expect a bright tomorrow; all will be well;
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, all is well.
On our Father’s love relying, Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying, All must be well.

On our Father’s love relying, Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying, All must be well.


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BENEDICTION

Minister: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come. God be your comfort, your strength; God be your hope and support; God be your light and your way; and the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life, remain with you now and forever.
People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People: Thanks be to God!


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ANNOUNCEMENTS

SUMMER AT LIBERTI
Summer 2014 is in full swing at Liberti Church! For the latest info on upcoming events, and to sign up, click here.

ALL CHURCH PICNIC
Please join us on Saturday, August 16 at 3:00 PM in West Fairmount Park for a picnic with both our Center City and Main Line campuses!  If your last name starts with A-M, please bring a side dish, and N-Z, please bring a dessert. For detailed directions and parking information, and to sign up, click here.

FIRST BAPTIST BUILDING UPDATE
Liberti Church’s members have voted to affirm our elder board’s decision to purchase and renovate the First Baptist Church building. We are thrilled to be moving forward with this opportunity, and invite you to join us in this exciting process! For more details, our story, and how you can get involved, please visit the building page of our website.

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