GATHERING BEFORE GOD
October 19, 2014
Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost
GREETING AND PREPARATION
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you!
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Give the king your justice, O God,
People: that he may rule your people righteously and the poor with justice.
Leader: In his time will righteousness flourish;
People: there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.
Leader: He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
People: Come, let us worship God.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
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 joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
For the church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.
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.
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: Father in heaven, each week we celebrate how you have raised Jesus from the dead. You have brought life to our dying and decaying world. You have begun to heal everything that is broken. You have begun to heal us. We confess that we forget that you are inviting us to share in your victory. We focus instead on our failures and the failures of others. Because of this, we live as a despairing, cynical and critical people. Forgive us for forgetting this is your victory. Forgive us for trying to overcome by our own power. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
WORDS OF PARDON
Leader: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, NRSV
SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION
Holy God. Holy and mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
Holy God. Holy and mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us.
PASSING THE PEACE
IN COVENANT MEMBERSHIP
STORIES OF GOD’S WORK & VOWS
Minister: Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?
Candidate: I renounce them.
Minister: Who is your Lord and Savior?
Candidate: Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
Minister: Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church, and through a life of worship, community, and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world? Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.
Minister: Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders, to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation, and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?
Candidate: I do.
Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching them the gospel, 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.
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: Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith, and welcome them into the church family. May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. Amen.
PASSING THE PEACE
THE WORD OF GOD
John 20:11-21, NRSV
11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a] into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you O Christ!
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Sermon series: The Story of Everything (Apostles' Creed)
Sermon title: The Victory
Speaker: Jared Ayers
Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that- pierced-died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door...
Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
- John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter”
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
All my life long I had panted
for a drink from some cool spring
That I hoped would quench the
burning of the thirst I felt within
Hallelujah! He has found me,
the One my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings,
through his blood I now am saved.
Feeding on the filth around me,
‘till my strength was almost gone
Longed my soul for something better,
only still to hunger on.
Poor I was and sought for riches,
something that would satisfy
But the dust I gathered ‘round me
only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Well of water ever springing,
Bread of Life so rich and free
Untold wealth that never faileth,
my Redeemer is to me.
People: Gracious Lord, we give you thanks for calling us out of the darkness and into your glorious light. When we remember the price you paid; the death of your only Son, we can only wonder and marvel at the greatness of your love.
We give our lives to you Lord, and pray that through your Spirit you would teach us how to live according to your will. Send us out now to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of your mercy. We pray this in Jesus' name. 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
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.
SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD
THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION
The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.
Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
’Til, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blessed,
And the great church victorious
Shall be the church at rest.
Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee.
Minister: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Minister: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God!
FOR THE CITY INITIATIVE
We’re excited to have launched For The City this fall - our church’s initiative to pray, serve, and give to raise funds to restore the First Baptist building in Center City that our church recently purchased. To learn more, and sign up to pray, serve, and give, simply visit libertichurch.org/forthecity.
Are you new to Liberti and want to learn more about how you can connect to worship, community and mercy? Please join us in Room 202 (next to the dining hall) immediately after service to meet a couple of members of our staff as they share briefly about the church and answer any questions you may have.
SMALL FRY HARVEST PARTY
One of our ministry partners, Small Fry, is hosting a harvest party at the Marion Anderson Rec. Center (17th & Fitzwater) on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 12:00 - 2:00 PM for the kids they serve. It will include crafts, costumes, snacks, and a movie. They are in need of volunteers to help make this happen. Email Alissa McLaughlin (alissa@rm-events) to sign up.
COMMUNITY HALLOWEEN PARTY
You are invited to join us for a community Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 31 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Hawthorne Park (12th & Catharine). There will be a DJ, candy, food, games, and costumes, so please come join the fun! If you are interested in volunteering to help with the event, please contact Vito Baldini (firstname.lastname@example.org).
COFFEE HOUR FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
The Liberti Network is hosting a coffee hour for medical professionals on Sunday, October 26 at 4:30 PM at the home of Michael and Anna Kwon (444 Fairmount Ave., Apt. C, Philadelphia). This time will be used to dream and pray about how the Liberti Network could be more involved in medical short term missions. For more information, or to rsvp, please email email@example.com.