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Reflections

The garden of creation
Was Adam’s glad employ;
The garden of redemption
Is Jesus’ right and joy.
The grains of wheat there planted
Will bear much fruit this day,
The sunlight of the morning
Will chase the night away.

The new creation wakens
Before his skillful hand;
The thorns and thistles vanish
At Jesus’ royal command.
The tree of life has blossomed,
The flaming sword is stilled;
The gardener has triumphed
Just as his father willed.

—N.T. Wright, from Easter Oratorio


This day brings a message of joy: it is the day of the Lord’s resurrection when, with himself, he raised up the race of Adam. Born for the sake of human beings, he rose from the dead with them. On this day paradise is opened by the risen one, Adam is restored to life and Eve is consoled. On this day the divine call is heard, the kingdom is prepared, we are saved and Christ is adored.

—Hesychius of Jerusalem


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Gathering Before God
November 4, 2018
 24th Sunday after Pentecost
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

—Psalm 124:8

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 (2x)


Music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse. Chorus by Jack Schrader, 1989. 


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship

Leader: The Lord is my light and my salvation; 
the Lord is the strength of my life. 
People: The Lord is my light and my salvation;
the Lord is the strength of my life. 

Leader: The light shines in the darkness, 
and the darkness has not overcome it.
People: The Lord is the strength of my life.

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. 
People: The Lord is my light and my salvation; 
the Lord is the strength of my life. 

—from Psalm 27 & John 1


Prayer of Invocation


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Who You Say I Am

Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me?
I was lost, but He brought me in
His love for me
Oh, His love for me

Chorus:
Who the Son sets free
Oh, is free indeed
I'm a child of God, Yes I am
In my Father's house
There's a place for me
I'm a child of God, Yes I am

Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes, He died for me

I am chosen, not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me, not against me
I am who You say I am
I am who You say I am


Chorus

Songwriters: Ben Fielding / Reuben Morgan
Who You Say I Am lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group


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It Is Well (With My Soul)

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, You have 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 has shed His own blood for my soul

Chorus

My sin, oh the bliss 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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Ordination and Installation of an Elder

Presentation  

Elder: Don Overton

Minister:  Do you confess together with us and the church throughout the ages your faith
in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Candidate: Yes, truly, with all my heart. 

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). 


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Candidate:
Minister: Do you believe in your heart that you are called by Christ’s church,
and therefore by God, to this office?
Candidate: Yes, truly, with all my heart.

Minister: Do you believe the books of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God
and the perfect doctrine of salvation, rejecting all contrary beliefs?
Candidate: Yes, truly, with all my heart.

Minister: Will you be diligent in your study of Holy Scripture and in your use of the means of
grace? Will you pray for God’s people and lead them by your own example in
faithful service and holy living?
Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.

Minister: Will you accept the church’s order and governance,
submitting to ecclesiastical discipline should you become delinquent in either life
or doctrine?
Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.

Minister: Will you be loyal to the witness and work of the Reformed Church in America,
using all your abilities to further its Christian mission here and throughout the
world?
Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.


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Candidate For the office of Elder:

Minister: As an elder, will you faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully study God’s Word, oversee the household of faith, encourage spiritual growth, maintain loving discipline, and provide for the proclamation of the gospel and the celebration of the sacraments?

Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.

Ordination

Installation

Congregation:

Minister: Members of Liberti Church, please rise to affirm your covenant with Don whom God has given us. Beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ, do you receive in the name of the Lord, Don as duly elected and ordained servants of Christ?
People: We do.

Minister: Do you promise to respect him for the sake of the offices for which they have been chosen and ordained?
People: We do.

Minister: Do you promise to encourage and pray for him, to labor together in obedience to the gospel for the unity, purity, and peace of the church, the welfare of the whole world, and the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ?
People: We do.

Minister: Beloved people of God, receive these deacons and elders as Christ’s own servants. Support them in love, that their work may bear fruit. In the name and by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I declare that these brothers and sisters are duly installed deacons and elders in this church.
People: Thanks be to God.

Passing the Peace


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The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
John 20.1-18, NRSV

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look 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.


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

Sermon

Sermon Series: Encountering Jesus
Sermon Title: The First Christian
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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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 of the 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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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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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

Come Thou Fount

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
 call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise His mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor,
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for Thy courts above.


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Benediction

Leader: Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ,  to whom be the glory forever and ever. 

People: Amen.

Dismissal

Minister: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 
People: Thanks be to God!


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