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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
April 19, 2015
Third Sunday of Easter

PRELUDE  

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: Alleluia! Christ is risen.
People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
People: Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

Leader: Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his;
People: We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Leader: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.

People: For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  

– Psalm 100, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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OUR GREAT GOD

Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown.
Your boundless love unfailing, in grace and mercy shown.
Bright seraphim in endless flight around your glorious throne.
They raise their voices day and night in praise to you alone.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!


Lord, we are weak and frail, helpless in the storm.
Surround us with your angels, hold us in your arms.
Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm.
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee before our Sovereign God.

CHORUS

Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird;
Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth;
Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
Sing praises to the living God, who rules them by His word.

CHORUS


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RISING SUN

 Praise Him all you sinners
Sing oh sing you weary
Oh praise Him all you children of God

We lift high His glory
Shown throughout our stories
We praise Him as the children of God

CHORUS
Our Great Redeemer
Glorious Savior
Your name is higher than the rising sun
Light of the morning
You shine forever
Your name is higher than the rising sun
Your name is higher than the rising sun

Praise His name forever
Speak it loud and clear now
Oh praise Him all you children of God

CHORUS

Hallelujah name above all
Simply to speak Your name is praise
Hallelujah I will always forever
We lift your name in praise


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

— Psalm 130:3-4, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer. We confess that it is still all too easy for us to  sacrifice our convictions for convenience, your standards for status, your principles for promotion, your absolutes for our ambition, our souls for shallow and unsatisfying success. How easily we are seduced by power, prestige, pleasure, or possessions - seduced into violating our integrity or harming our fellowship with you. From earth’s fullest bliss we turn to you again, unfulfilled. Forgive us our half-hearted devotion and our double-minded spirit. In the name of him who refused to save himself we pray. 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 - KYRIE ELEISON

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on us. 
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on us. 
REPEAT


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BAPTISM

PRESENTATION AND VOWS

Caleb Peter Stiller & Samuel Gregory Stiller

PARENTS
Minister: Parents, you stand before us having brought your children to receive the sacrament of baptism. I ask you, therefore, before God and Christ’s church to reject evil, to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, and to confess the faith of the church. Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?
Parents: We renounce them.
Minister: Who is your Lord and Savior?
Parents: Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
Minister: Do your promise to instruct Caleb and Samuel in the truth of God’s word, in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for them, to teach them to pray; and to train them in Christ’s way by example, through worship, and in the nurture of the church?
Parents: We do, and we ask God to help us.
 
LIBERTI CHURCH
Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support this family by teaching the gospel of God’s love, 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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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: 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.

BAPTISM

PASSING THE PEACE


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING
Acts 3:11-21, NRSV

11While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s Portico, utterly astonished. 12When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, 21who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Sermon Series: Practice Resurrection
Sermon Title: Repentance
Speaker: Jared Ayers


REFLECTIONS

Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ... willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.  
 — Martin Luther, his 95 Theses


To repent is to come to your senses. It is not so much something you do as something that happens. True repentance spends less time looking at the past and saying “I’m sorry,” than to the future and saying “Wow!”
 — Frederich Buechner, from Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC


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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 by his glorious resurrection overcame the power of sin and gave us new life. 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: By your power you raised Jesus from death to life. Through his victory over the grave we are set free from the bonds of sin and the fear of death to share the glorious freedom of the children of God. In his rising to life you promise eternal life to all who believe in him. We praise you that as we break bread in faith, we shall know the risen Christ among us.


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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: Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, 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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JESUS PAID IT ALL

I hear the Savior say,
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power, and Thine alone
Can change the lepers spots,
and melt the heart of stone

CHORUS
Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow


And when before the throne,
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save,
my lips shall still repeat

CHORUS

O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.

CHORUS


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: We thank you, O Father, that through Word and Sacrament you have given us your Son, who is the true bread from heaven and food of eternal life. So strengthen us in your service that our daily living may show our thanks, through 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 

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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BENEDICTION

Minister: May you be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

— Adapted from Colossians 1:11-12

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Go out now, in the hope of the resurrected Lord Jesus, to love and serve the world.
People: Thanks be to God!


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ANNOUNCEMENTS

WOMEN'S RETREAT 2015
The women's retreat is a fun and relaxing weekend away where we connect more intimately with God and each other - you don't want to miss it! We'll be heading to Ocean City, NJ again from May 15 - 17, where Julie Van Til will be speaking to us on the topic of "Rhythms of Life - Rhythms of the Sabbath." If you plan on attending, please register by April 22, and consider giving toward the scholarship fund. To learn more and sign up, visit libertichurch.org/womensretreat.
 
CURT THOMPSON SEMINAR
2200 Arch Counseling Services, one of Liberti’s ministry partners, is hosting psychiatrist Dr. Curt Thompson for a day-long seminar on April 24 at the First Baptist Building. The topic for the day will be “Anatomy of the Soul: Renew You Mind, Change Your Brain.” This is an educational opportunity for clinicians, social workers, lay-leaders, and anyone interested in the relationship between neurobiology and the biblical narrative. Registration is $35, or $10 for grad students. For more information, and to register, please visit http://bit.ly/curtthompson.

IN COVENANT CLASS
The first step in becoming a member at Liberti Church is to attend an in-covenant class, an informal time to meet with church leaders to discuss Liberti's mission and vision. If you attend Liberti and are considering becoming a member, we'd love to have you join us at our next in-covenant class, which will be held after church on April 26, 2015. For more information, and to sign up, email administrator@liberti.org.

BETHESDA PROJECT GARDEN CLEAN UP
One of our mercy partners, the Bethesda Project, serves the city by providing permanent housing for men in recovery at their Sanctuary House (20th & Christian). On Saturday, May 2, we’ll be there from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM working in their garden. Join us as we pull weeds, prune, plant, lay mulch, and more. Lunch will be served. Please email Krista Dedrick Lai (kristadedrick@gmail.com) for more info at to sign up.

PRAYER REQUESTS
This week, please pray alongside us for…
Our Church — For many to receive the hope of the Resurrection of Christ and new life with Jesus.
Our City — For the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who meet our city’s physical needs.
Our World — For a just and peaceful resolution to all political disputes, especially tensions  between China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, and those in North Korea who suffer from malnutrition and starvation.

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