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REFLECTIONS

Our hearts have room for only one all-embracing devotion, and we can only cleave to one Lord.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


As any half-awake materialist well knows- that which you hold holds you.
- Tom Robbins


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
July 31st, 2016
11th Sunday after Pentecost
Center City Campus


OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:     Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
 — Psalm 124:8


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.

Public Domain. Music by Conrad Kocherq. Lyrics by Folliott Pierpoint. 1864.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.

People:     Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.

Leader:     Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?

People:     For you alone are holy, All nations will come and worship before you.

—Revelation 15:3-4, NIV


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

Music and lyrics by Fernando Ortega and Mac Powell, 1997

 


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SONG OF CONFESSION 


THY MERCY MY GOD

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, 
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue; 
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, 
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here; 
Sin would reduce me to utter despair; 
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive, 
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart, 
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart; 
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground, 
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own, 
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son; 
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine. 
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

Lyrics by John Stocker
Music by Sandra McCracken
©2001 Same Old Dress Music (ASCAP).


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
 —Hebrews 10:21-22, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: O God, you have shown us the way of life through your Son, Jesus Christ. We confess with shame our slowness to learn of him, our failure to follow him, and our reluctance to bear the cross. Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. We confess the poverty of our worship, our neglect of fellowship and of the means of grace, our hesitating witness for Christ, our evasion of responsibilities in our service, our imperfect stewardship of your gifts. Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON  

Leader: The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.
—Psalm 145:13-14, 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 & ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 6:19-24 NRSV 

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

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

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Greatest Sermon Ever
Sermon Title: God & Money
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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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 catholic1 church,  the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,  and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


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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: 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:

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: 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.


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Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith. 

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

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!

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 I COME

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come; Jesus I come.
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my wanting and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
 
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress into jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
 
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward forever on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Lyrics by William Sleeper


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PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord in your mercy,
People: Hear our 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.

Words by Dallan Forgaill, translated by Mary E. Byrne, 1905.


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BENEDICTION

Minister: God has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. —from Micah 6:8, NIV

People:    Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Lets us go forth in the name of Christ.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

 


 

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