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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
February 22, 2015
First Sunday of Lent 

PRELUDE  

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
People: But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

Leader: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
People: My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

— Psalm 130:3-6, NIV  

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. 

CHORUS
It is well, it is well, through the storms I am held
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,  
And has shed His own blood for my soul.

CHORUS

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

CHORUS 2
It is well, it is well, through the storms 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.

TRADITIONAL CHORUS
It is well, (it is well), with my soul, 
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


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JUST AS I AM

Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee 
Oh Lamb of God, I come. I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
Oh Lamb of God, I come. I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
Oh Lamb of God, I come. I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
yeah, all I need, in Thee to find,
Oh Lamb of God, I come. I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome pardon, cleanse relieve;
because Thy promise I believe,
Oh Lamb of God, I come. I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
has broken ev'ry barrier down;
now, to be Thine, yea, thine alone,
Oh Lamb of God, I come. I come.


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

—Psalm 51:17, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Righteous Father, we who own more than we use, proclaim more than we experience, and request more than we need, come asking your forgiveness. We seek your salvation, then act like we save ourselves. We beg your forgiveness, then repeat our errors. We experience your grace, then act defeated. We rely on your power, but only in hard times. We have become confused and misguided.  

Forgive our every defection. Bring us to an unbroken commitment and a steady trust, through Jesus Christ, who is the way of hope, the truth of God, and the life of love, now and always. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION 

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.  

— From Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7, NRSV 


SONG OF RESPONSE - GLORIA PATRI   

Glory be to the Father, Glory be to the Son
Glory be to the Spirit Three in One
As it was in the beginning it will be forever. Amen. 
Amen. Amen.
(REPEAT)     


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IN COVENANT MEMBERSHIP


STORIES OF GOD’S WORK & VOWS

CANDIDATES

Minister: Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?
Candidate: I renounce them.

Minister: Who is your Lord and Savior?
Candidate: Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

Minister: Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church, and through a life of worship, community, and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world?
Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.

Minister: Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders, to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation, and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?
Candidate: I do.


LIBERTI CHURCH

Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching them the gospel, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?
People: We do.


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BAPTISM
(Center City Campus Only)

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Minister:The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Minister: We give you thanks, O holy and gracious God, for the gift of water. In the beginning of creation your Spirit moved over the waters. In the waters of the flood you destroyed evil. You led the children of Israel through the sea into the freedom of the promised land. In the river Jordan, John baptized our Lord and your Spirit anointed him. By his death and resurrection Jesus Christ, the Living Water, frees us from sin and death and opens the way to life everlasting. We thank you, O God, for the gift of baptism. In this water you confirm to us that we are buried with Christ in his death, raised to share in his resurrection, and are being renewed by the Holy Spirit.         Pour out on us your Holy Spirit, so that Asia here baptized may be washed clean and receive new life. To you be all honor and glory, dominion and power, now and forever, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BAPTISM


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CONFESSION OF FAITH — THE APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us affirm our faith together in the words of the Apostles’ creed: Do you believe in God the Father?

People: We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

Minister: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Minister: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People: 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

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Minister: Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith, and welcome them into the church family. May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. Amen. 

PASSING THE PEACE 


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 19:16-30 NRSV  

16Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” 21Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” 27Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, O Christ. 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SERMON
Sermon Series: The One: the story of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew
Sermon Title: The Young Professional
Speaker: Jared Ayers 


REFLECTIONS  

Intellectual fashions are fickle, and the idea of inevitable secularization has fallen out of favor with many scholars and journalists. Still, its most basic tenet — that material progress will slowly erode religious fervor — appears unassailable...The pattern...is hard to miss: when God and Mammon collide, Mammon usually wins. 

— Alan Wolfe, from “And the Winner Is,”
in the March 2008 edition of The Atlantic

Dear God, 
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands 
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love. Amen.  

— Henri Nouwen, from With Open Hands 


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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: With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us — even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole  creation to proclaim the glory of your 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: You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, in whom you have revealed yourself, our light and our salvation. Baptized in Jordan’s waters, Jesus took his place with sinners, and your voice proclaimed him your Beloved. Your Spirit anointed him to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to captives, to restore sight to the blind, to free the oppressed.


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Minister: He lived among us in power and grace, touching broken lives with your healing peace. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection, you gave birth to your church and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. 

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

Minister: Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

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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HUNGRY

Hungry I come to you
For I know You satisfy.
I am empty, but I know
Your love does not run dry.

So I wait for You
So I wait for You

CHORUS
I’m falling on my knees Offering all of me.
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for.

Broken I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary, but I know
Your touch restores my life.

CHORUS


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Fill us, good Lord, with your Spirit of love; and as you have fed us with the one bread of heaven, so make us one in heart and mind, in 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  

10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2 


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May God, who gives us a new vision of life through the cross, enlighten our understanding, inflame our affections, and enable us to walk the way of the cross. And may the love of God — the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit — surround us as we seek to discern that love. 
People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

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


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ANNOUNCEMENTS
 

LENT AT LIBERTI CHURCH
This Lent, we will be praying alongside one another through our Lent Prayerbook, a resource that we have developed to help us grow closer to Christ this season. The prayerbook is available as an e-book and PDF, and can be downloaded at libertichurch.org/lent-and-easter.


EASTER OUTREACH 2015
This year, we’re partnering with over 20 other churches throughout the region to distribute 3,000 Easter dinners to neighbors and build three wells in South Sudan. To do this, we're hoping to raise $75,000. This week is a matching grant week! Every dollar given will be matched, up to $5,000, so if you haven’t already given, now’s a great time to do so! For more information on serving, giving, and more, please visit easteroutreach.org.

2200 ARCH COUNSELING SERVICES SUPPORT GROUPS
Liberti Church partners with 2200 Arch Counseling Services to offer holistic Christian counseling in the greater Philadelphia area. This winter, Arch is launching three new groups:
"Relationships: Pursuing Intimacy, Authenticity and Growth in Community," "Anxiety & Stress Management," and “Emotional Living: An Art Therapy Group.” Groups will consist of 10 weekly sessions, and will cost $40 per session, plus materials fee (if applicable). For further details and enrollment information, please go to 2200archcounseling.org, email counseling@2200archcs.org, or call 267-322-6797.



PRAYER REQUESTS 

This week, please pray alongside us for… 

Our Church — For our community to embody the sacrifice that Jesus made during this Lenton season.

Our City — For the minority populations in our city.

Our World — For a renewal of the spirit of the church, amid an increasingly secular and materialistic societies in Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

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