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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
June 14, 2015
Third Sunday After Pentecost

PRELUDE  

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Let us call to mind the reason for our hope:
People: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Leader: They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
People: I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Leader: The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
People: it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

— From Lamentations 3:21-26, NIV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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WONDERFUL, MERCIFUL SAVIOR

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend!
Who would have thought that a Lamb could
rescue the souls of men, Oh You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way, oh we've hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace our
hearts always hunger for, oh our hearts always hunger for

Almighty infinite Father
Faithfully loving your own
Here in our weakness you find us
falling before Your Throne, oh we're falling before Your throne.


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BEAUTIFUL

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say You’re Beautiful

I see your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
Its all proclaiming who you are You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home

You’re Beautiful When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing You’re Beautiful


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O THE DEEP, DEEP LOVE OF JESUS

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
’Tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
’Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee!


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: We know that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. Let us in freedom confess the wrong we have done.

—Based on Romans 8:39

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Almighty God, so many of King David’s psalms show a heart out of tune, sighing, crying, and breaking with sorrow, yet still clinging to faith in you. So too, O Lord, are our hearts.

In Jesus Christ, you have given us what we need most: his cross makes our forgiveness possible,
 and his Spirit tunes our hearts again to sing your praises. Humbly we beg your pardon for our sins. Eagerly we plead your help to enthrone in our hearts David’s Son: Christ Jesus, King of the universe, our Savior and Lord. And with King David we declare our trust in your unfailing love. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION 

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

— Psalm 32:5, 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

PASSING THE PEACE


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING

Psalm 69:1-16, NRSV     

1Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. 2I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.

4More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; many are those who would destroy me, my enemies who accuse me falsely. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

6Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me, O Lord God of hosts; do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me, O God of Israel. 7It is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face. 8I have become a stranger to my kindred, an alien to my mother’s children.

9It is zeal for your house that has consumed me; the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. 10When I humbled my soul with fasting, they insulted me for doing so. 11When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.

13But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help. 14rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15Do not let the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the Pit close its mouth over me.

16Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Sermon Series: Reversed Thunder: Learning to Pray from the Psalms
Sermon Title: Lament
Speaker: Jared Ayers 


REFLECTIONS

Ah, my dear angry Lord,
Since thou dost love, yet strike;
Cast down, yet help afford;
Sure I will do the like.

I will complain, yet praise;
I will bewail, approve;
And all my sour-sweet days
I will lament and love.   
— George Herbert, “Bitter-Sweet”

Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.

 — Frederick Buechner, from Secrets in the Dark


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NICENE CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from
 heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. 

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. 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: 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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GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS
 
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

CHORUS
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided —
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

CHORUS

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

CHORUS


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Creator God, we thank you for your presence with your life-giving Word and Holy Spirit, that we and your entire church are called out and made whole through this supper. Grant that everyone who has shared the communion of the body and blood of your Son may be united in him. And may we all remain faithful in love and hope until we feast joyfully with Christ at the coming of the kingdom.

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 

I HAVE DECIDED

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

—1 Thessalonians 5:23, NRSV

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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NEW HERE?
Welcome, and thanks for joining us! We'd love for you to fill out one of our welcome cards (available at the welcome tables and online), so that we can help you better connect at Liberti.

SUMMER AT LIBERTI
We’ll be continuing our ministry this summer through a variety of different discipleship groups and community activities both in Center City and on the Main Line. There will be many opportunities to stay connected, and if you’re new here, plenty of chances to get plugged in and meet people! Check out libertichurch.org/summer for more information. 

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
Join us today after the service for our annual congregational meeting, which will be held in Lawrence Hall. During this time, we will hear about all that God has done through Liberti this past year and learn more about what’s in store for the next year. We will also review the proposed budget for 2015-16.

NEW TO LIBERTI BRUNCH
Are you new to Liberti or interested in church membership? Join us on Sunday, 6/28 for a (free!) brunch. You’ll be able to meet church leaders, hear about Liberti Church’s mission and vision, ask questions, and meet others who are new to Liberti. For more information, and to sign up, email administrator@liberti.org.

PRAYER REQUESTS
This week, please pray alongside us for…
 
Our Church — For today’s congregational meeting, that we may be grateful for God’s provision this past year, and that he may continue to work through Liberti in the year to come.
Our City — For the many people traveling to and from this region during the summer months, that they may have safe travels. 
Our World — For those in Angola and Mozambique, especially for those who have been affected by civil war, and those who have been maimed by landmines.

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