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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
June 7, 2015
Second Sunday After Pentecost

PRELUDE  

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.
People: For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.

Leader: God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
People: Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.   

— Psalm 47:1-2, 5-6, NRSV 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.


For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;

Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine.
To our race so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in Heaven.
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.


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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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COME YE SINNERS

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, 
weak and wounded, sick and sore;

Jesus ready stands to save you,
full of pity, love and power.

REFRAIN
I will arise and go to Jesus.
He will embrace me in His arms!

In the arms of my dear Savior,
oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome!
God’s free bounty glorify:
True belief and true repentance—
every grace that brings you nigh.


REFRAIN

Let not conscience make you linger,
nor of fitness fondly dream.
All the fitness He requireth
is to feel your need of Him.


REFRAIN

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
lost and ruined by the fall!
If you tarry till you’re better,
you will never come at all.


REFRAIN


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 

— 1 John 1:5, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Lord, you have called us to worship you. We gather gladly!

As we praise you, though, our own inadequacy reminds us of how we have broken our relationship with you. Because we have sinned against you, even our worship fails to be what it could. We often treat it as a show. 

We simply go through motions, failing to recognize that you want to engage us deeply. Renew us, we pray, according to your steadfast love. Remind us of your covenant faithfulness and have mercy on us in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION 

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  

 — Romans 8:1, NIV

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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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING

Psalm 113, NRSV  

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
    praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time on and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,

who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust,
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

to make them sit with princes,
    with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

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: Praise
Speaker: Jared Ayers


REFLECTIONS 

All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise-lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game-praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars…The humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least…praise almost seems to be inner health made audible…I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.   

 — C.S. Lewis, from Reflections on the Psalms


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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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WE WILL FEAST IN THE HOUSE OF ZION

CHORUS
We will feast in the house of Zion 
We will sing with our hearts restored 
He has done great things, we will say together 
We will feast and weep no more 

We will not be burned by the fire 
He is the LORD our God 
We are not consumed, by the flood 
Upheld, protected, gathered up

CHORUS

In the dark of night, before the dawn 
My soul, be not afraid 
For the promised morning, oh how long? 
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

CHORUS

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed 
You are the Faithful one 
And from the garden to the grave 
Bind us together, bring shalom.

CHORUS


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others in the name 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 

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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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. Amen.

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/summerfor more information.  

WHEN HELPING HURTS DISCIPLESHIP GROUP 
When we begin to engage poverty on the ground level, it can be draining and take a toll on a person. We may have questions like: Where do I begin? Or, am I even making a difference? Does it even matter? This summer, Vito Baldini will be leading a study of When Helping Hurts, and together we’ll begin to answer these questions as we think about how Liberti Church can better serve the Philadelphia region. This group will meet at the First Baptist Church Building at 7:00 PM on Tuesday nights, beginning on June 9. Head tolibertichurch.org/summer for more information and to sign up.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
Join us on Sunday, June 14 at 6:00 PM here at the First Baptist Church Building for our annual congregational meeting. 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. Free parking will be available.

PRAYER REQUESTS
This week, please pray alongside us for…
 
Our Church — For our Emmanuel Homeless Ministry, which works hard to create robust community amongst our homeless neighbors.
Our City — For those who have been victim to crime, that they might know justice and peace.
Our World For land and educational reform, economic justice, and access to medical care for people of all colors and ethnicities in Nambia, South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

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