You can watch today’s service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time.
OPENING PRAYER LITANY: PSALM 1
Pastor: Happy are those who do not follow the paths of sinners
Peoples: but who instead delight in the law of the Lord
Pastor: and live God’s word with all that they do.
Peoples: The faithful are like trees planted by streams of water,
Pastor: trees which bear fruit; trees whose leaves do not wither.
Peoples: The Lord watches over the way of the righteous.
Pastor: The Lord is always with us.
Peoples: The Lord is our sun, our water, our soil,
Pastor: and in God’s grace, our roots grow strong
Peoples: and spread love throughout the earth. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God delivers us from paths of death and keeps our feet from stumbling. Let us confess all that keeps us from walking in the way of the Lord.
I invite you to join with me in our unison prayer of confession, followed by a time either for silent personal confession.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Holy God, we make so many mistakes. We speak, and words of poison come from our mouths. We sow division, break others down and seek to dominate rather than dialogue. Forgive us, God. Tame our tongues of fire. Guide us in our speech, so our words can bless and build up. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you need to confess this week?
ASSURANCE OF PARDON (James 5: 15-16)
The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven, redeemed and restored to God’s path of righteousness. Amen.
PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. May we approach your Word today, Holy God, with the reverence and respect it deserves. Let us be intentional in our listening and focused in our minds as we hear your Word read and proclaimed today. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
Who is “the last of all” in our society today?
What could it mean to be “servant to all”?
How do we welcome children?
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “Welcome the Children,” here.
HYMN AS THE DEER
music and lyrics by Martin Nystrom, 1984
© 1984 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351
As the deer pants for the water
So my soul longeth after you
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship you
You alone are my strength, my shield
To you alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship you
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Blessed, praised, honored, exalted, respected, adored and glorified be the name of our Holy God. Words alone cannot adequately express our praise and thanksgiving, Holy One. May the words we pray honestly reflect the desire and devotion of our hearts and guide us to a strong and right relationship with you. In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayers.
We pray for health and healing in the midst of our continuing crisis. Strengthen medical professionals who have spent all of their reserves of endurance. Encourage them when death prevails despite their heroic efforts. Grant them courage and confidence in the face of never-ending trials. Show us all signs of your healing grace.
As our nation marks 20 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, we pray for a collective moment of pause. Help us stop what we are doing, Holy God. Help us set aside the stress and strain of the everyday to honor the lives that were lost, the families devastated, the first responders who ran toward danger to help and save. May the memory of this terrible and tragic day make us ever more motivated to work for peace across our world. Help us to build cultural, global and interfaith bridges, pathways and partnerships of mutual care and understanding. Merciful God, as we remember the pain of this tragic day, fill us with your peace that passes all understanding, fill us with the hope that your kingdom will come and your will be done
Compassionate God, bind up the wounds of the suffering among us. Provide help and hope for families facing eviction. Provide safety and security for refugees and asylum seekers. Provide justice for peoples and nations long oppressed. Provide liberation for the dehumanized as well as for those who cooperate with dehumanizing practices. Free us all, Holy God, by faith.
God of life, the burdens we carry are heavy and the road forward feels dreary and endless. Turn our eyes to where your skies are full of promise, tune our hearts to your brave love, fill our souls with moral courage so we can find our purpose and our path in you. United as a family of faith and as the Body of Christ, we lift these prayers up to you, God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Finally, hear us pray the prayer Christ taught us, saying,…
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
MORNING OFFERING (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
We have more to offer than we recognize or realize. God has given us abundant gifts. Let us faithfully respond to our generous God by presenting our tithes and offerings.
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street) or dropping them off in the mail slot. Alternatively, if you visit peoples presbyterian dot org, you’ll find a donate button at the top of the page that will link you directly to a secure page where you could make a donation online. We appreciate the generosity of the Peoples family as we live out our faith in MISSION and ministry.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Holy God, take these gifts and bless them for good use to your glory. May these tokens of our gratitude be of service in blessing the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing and sheltering those struggling to survive. Use these gifts to further Christ’s mission and ministry in a hurting world. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from A Brief Statement of Faith)
The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed,
claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.
In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
HYMN The Church of Christ in Every Age
lyrics by Fred Pratt Green, 1969
music by William Knapp, 1738
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351 and ONELICENSE # 738214-A
beset by change but Spirit-led,
must claim and test its heritage,
and keep on rising from the dead.
and never live before they die.
3 Then let the servant church arise,
a caring church that longs to be
a partner in Christ’s sacrifice,
and clothed in Christ’s humanity.
and feed the starving multitude.
5 We have no mission but to serve
in full obedience to our Lord,
to care for all, without reserve,
and spread his liberating word.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.