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Reflections

The Spirit is the strange, personal presence of the living God himself, leading, guiding, warning, rebuking, grieving over our failings, and celebrating our small steps toward [God’s future].

—N.T. Wright, from Simply Christian

Come, Holy Spirit, who ever One
Are with the Father and the Son,
It is the hour, our souls possess
With your full flood of holiness.

Let flesh, and heart, and lips and mind,
Sound forth our witness to humankind;
And love light up our mortal frame,
Till others catch the living flame.

Grant this, O Father, ever One
With Christ, your sole begotten Son
And Holy Spirit we are,
Reigning and blest forevermore.

—Ambrose of Milan


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Gathering Before God
October 28, 2018
 23rd 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



Shout For Joy

Chorus:
Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth
Worship the Lord with gladness
Come before Him with joyful songs
And know that the Lord is good


It is He who has made us
And we are His
We are His people
The sheep of His pasture

Chorus

Enter His gates with thanks
And His courts with praise
Give thanks to the Lord
And praise His Holy name

Chorus

For the Lord is a good Lord
And His love endures
His faithfulness continues
Throughout all generations


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Greeting & Preparation

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

Call to Worship 

Leader: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people 
People: and kindle in us the fire of your love. 

Leader: All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God and fellow-heirs with Christ.
People: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people. 

Leader: Renew the face of your creation, Lord, pouring on us the gift of your Spirit,
People: and kindle in us the fire of your love. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people, and kindle in us the
fire of your love. 

—based on Psalm 104 & Romans 8

Prayer of Invocation


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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.

Authors, Mary Elizabeth Byrne and Eleanor Henrietta Hull


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This Is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and around me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world
The birds their carols raise.
The morning light the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass,I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world,
O let me ne’er forget:
That thought the wrong seems oft’ so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And the earth and heaven be one.


© 1901 Public Domain


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Call to Confession

Leader: God says to us: 
A new heart will I give you, 
and a new spirit I will put within you; 
and I will remove from your body your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 

—Ezekiel 36:26

Prayer of Confession


People: Almighty God,
to you all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hid.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name,
through Christ, our Lord- Amen.

Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: God says to us: I will put my Spirit within you;
and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
In the name of Christ, you are forgiven! 

—from Ezekiel 36:27-28

Song of Response- Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father
Glory be to the Son
Glory be to the Spirit Three in One
As it was in the beginning
It will be forever
Amen, Amen, Amen


Passing the Peace & Announcements


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The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
John 14:15-27, NRSV

15”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

18”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

25”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

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

Sermon

Sermon Series: Encountering Jesus
Sermon Title: The Two Advocates
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… 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!
(2x)

Minister:   Most righteous God…  Together, we proclaim the mystery faith.    

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(2x)
                                                      

Minister:   Send your Holy Spirit upon us… Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 


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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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What Wondrous Love Is This

What wondrous love is this O my soul O my soul
What wondrous love is this O my soul
What wondrous love is this That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul for my soul
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul

When I was sinking down Sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down Beneath God's righteous frown
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul


To God and to the Lamb I will sing I will sing
To God and to the Lamb I will sing
To God and to the Lamb Who is the Great I Am
While millions join the theme I will sing I will sing
While millions join the theme I will sing


And when from death I'm free I'll sing on I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free I'll sing and joyful be
And thro' eternity I'll sing on I'll sing on
And thro' eternity I'll sing on


2011 ©  We Are Younger We Are Faster Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)


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Prayers of the People 

Minister: Lord, 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 sow His love
Where there is injury we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak His peace
To the people 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's sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace

Chorus


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Benediction

Minister: Grace be with you! 
People: Amen.

Dismissal

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

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