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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
August 3, 2014
Eighth Sunday After Pentecost  

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     We will give you thanks,             
                       for you have answered us.

People:     You have become our salvation.

Leader:     The stone the builders rejected             
                       has become the foundation.

People:     The Lord has done this,             
                       and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Leader:     O Lord save us!             
                       O Lord grant us success!

People:     Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Leader:     The Lord is God.             
                       He has made his light shine upon us.

People:     Give thanks to the Lord.             
                       His love endures forever.

— From Psalm 118


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 PSALM 126

Our mouths, they were filled, filled with laughter.
Our tongues, they were loosed, loosed with joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS
Although we are weeping, Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom, For the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry; Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping, Will go out with songs of joy!


The nations will say “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS x2


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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.

CHORUS
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.

CHORUS x2


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HOW GREAT THOU ART

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

CHORUS
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!


And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

CHORUS

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art!

CHORUS


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CALL TO CONFESSION
 
Leader:      The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,             
                        and saves the crushed in spirit.

— Psalm 34:18 NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
People:      Father, when we consider your vision for us as sexual beings, we are filled with grief. 
                   We have abused our sexuality in many ways. Some of us use sex to escape from the
                   pain and stress of our present reality. Others of us use sex as a weapon. Most of us
                   measure our worth by our ability to attract others sexually. Our sexual wounds run
                   deep and dark. Overcome our brokenness through your love. Heal us at our very
                   core. Remake us into a community of people that celebrates and honors our
                   sexuality. We pray this is Jesus’ name, Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON
Leader:      If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,             
                        O Lord, who could stand?         
                   But with you there is forgiveness;             
                        therefore you are feared.    

— Psalm 130:3-4

 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


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THE WORD OF GOD
 

SCRIPTURE READING

Exodus 20:1-2, 14, NRSV

1Then God spoke all these words: 2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

14You shall not commit adultery.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SERMON
Sermon series: Finding Freedom: The 10 Commandments
Sermon title: The Freedom of Sex
Speaker: Mike Harder


REFLECTIONS

Intimacy is the mutual mingling of souls who are taking each other into themselves to ever increasing depths.
— Dallas Willard

27You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.  
 — Matthew 5:27-30 NRSV

I am not advocating a return to the days of hiding... sexuality, but I am noting that the power and charge of sex are maintained when there is some sacredness to it, when it is not on tap all the time.   
 — Naomi Wolf, from “The Porn Myth,” in New York Magazine

In the Name of God, I, _____ take you, _____,
to be my husband/wife,
to have and to hold from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
until we are parted by death.
This is my solemn vow.
 — Marriage vow from The Book of Common Prayer


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THE 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 catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


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 THE LORD’S TABLE

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Minister: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Minister: Lift up your hearts!
People: We lift them up to the Lord!

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
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:
People: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. 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.

People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


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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!

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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 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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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. God of
                   unfailing love, in your holy mysteries you have graciously fed us with the body and
                   blood of your dear Son. We pray that we and all who faithfully receive him may grow
                   together in the communion of the body of Christ and finally attain to the glory of the
                   resurrection, through 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

 IT IS WELL

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

CHORUS
It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

CHORUS

My sin, o, the joy of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

CHORUS

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

CHORUS


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BENEDICTION

Minister:     May God, the Lord, bless us with all heavenly benediction and make us pure and
                   holy in His sight. May the riches of His glory abound in us. May He instruct us with
                   the word of truth, inform us with the Gospel of salvation, and enrich us with His love                    through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

People:      Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:     Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People:      Thanks be to God!


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ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALL CHURCH PICNIC
Please join us on Saturday, August 16 at 3:00 PM in West Fairmount Park for a picnic with both our Center City and Main Line campuses! Bring a picnic blanket and a friend! Additionally, if your last name starts with A-M, please bring a side dish, and N-Z, please bring a dessert. For detailed directions and parking information, and to sign up, click here.

2200 ARCH COUNSELING SUPPORT GROUPS
One of our ministry partners, 2200 Arch Counseling Services, is launching support groups this fall. Learn how to face varying life challenges such as anxiety, addictions, sexual abuse recovery or caring for a loved one struggling from a mental illness. Learn tools how to prevent lashing out or decrease impulsivity by joining the Emotion Regulation Skills group. Many people have benefited from support groups knowing that they are not alone in their suffering. All sessions will consist of 10 weekly group sessions at $40 per session per individual. Spots are limited to 10. For further details and enrollment information, please click here or email  counseling@2200archcs.org.  

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