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REFLECTIONS

Grace, she takes the blame, she covers the shame,
Removes the stain, it could be her name
It’s also a thought that changed the world.
And when she walks on the street you can hear the strings;
Grace finds goodness in everything.
What once was hurt, what once was friction,
What left a mark no longer stings,
Because grace makes beauty out of ugly things.
Grace finds beauty in everything.

— Bono, “Grace,” From the album, All That
You Can’t Leave Behind
, by U2

The farther I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the Beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and power games of the world… When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.

― Henri Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son

Ask but his grace, and lo, tis given!
Ask, and he turns your hell to heaven:
Though sin and sorrow wound my soul,
Jesus, thy balm will make it whole.

— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), from For All the Saints


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
October 22nd, 2017
20th 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

ARISE MY SOUL ARISE

Arise, my soul, arise, 
shake off your guilty fears; 
The bleeding sacrifice, in my behalf appears; 
Before the throne my Surety stands, 
Before the throne my Surety stands, 
My name is written on His hands.

CHORUS
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise. 
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise. 
Shake off your guilty fears and rise

He ever lives above, for me to intercede; 
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead; 
His blood atoned for every race, 
His blood atoned for every race, 
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

CHORUS

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary; 
They pour effectual prayers;  they strongly plead for me: 
"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry, 
"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry, 
"Nor let that ransomed sinner die!" 

CHORUS

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear; 
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear
With confidence I now draw nigh, 
With confidence I now draw nigh, 
And "Father, Abba, Father," cry. 

CHORUS

Charles Wesley, 1742 Public Domain.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Praise the Lord, for God is great indeed! Let us sing praises for God's glorious works. 

People: We give glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Lord, who makes and sustains all things. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: We give glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Lord! 

—Based on Psalm 104:1-9

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2

Words and Music by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, 2011.
© 2011 Shout! Publishing.


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ON JORDAN’S STORMY BANKS

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

All o’er those wide extended plains,
Shines one eternal day;
There God the Son forever reigns,
And scatters night away.

CHORUS
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land,
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land.


No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

CHORUS

When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?

CHORUS

Words: Samuel Stennett. Music: Christopher Miner. 1997 Christopher Miner Music.


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MEMBERSHIP & BAPTISM

PRESENTATION AND VOWS

CANDIDATES

PARENTS & CANDIDATES

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 instruct your child in the truth of God’s word, in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for your child, to teach your child to pray; and to train your child in Christ’s way by example, through worship, and in the nurture of the church?

Parents:    We do, and we ask God to help us.


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LIBERTI CHURCH

Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support this family 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 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)

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

BAPTISM

Julia Grace Kleinschmidt and Remy Zheng-Yi Lai

PASSING THE PEACE 


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THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 15:1-2, 11-32, NRSV

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 


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31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

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

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title:The Prodigal Father
Speaker: Matt Nault

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!


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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
(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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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

2015 Drink Your Tea Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) and joshmooreownsthismusic (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) 


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PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

MinisterLord, in your mercy,

People: hear our prayer.

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

INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE

CHORUS
Lord, Make us instruments of your peace, 
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace, 
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace. 

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release, 
We will be his instruments of peace

CHORUS

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief, 
We will be your instruments of peace.

1993 Expressions of Praise Music, Maranatha Music


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BENEDICTION

Minister: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! 

—Revelation 7:12

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People: Thanks be to God!

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