With wine at hand, the good man concerns himself, not with getting drunk, but with drinking in all the natural delectabilities of wine: taste, color, bouquet; its manifold graces; the way it complements food and enhances conversation; and its sovereign power to turn evenings into occasions, to lift eating beyond nourishment to conviviality, and to bring the race, for a few hours at least, to that happy state where men are wise and women are beautiful, and even one's children begin to look promising... God gave us wine to make us gracious and keep us sane.

—Robert Farrar Capon, from The Supper of the Lamb:
A Culinary Reflection

In a forthright kitchen wonder— the response to nothing more urgent than a friend’s social embarrassment— Jesus changes water to delicious wine at a wedding in Cana, a town near Nazareth. Despite the symbolic meanings deduced by two millennia of commentators, it seems unlikely that John would describe such a homely feat unless he had been present and convinced of its actual and inexplicable occurrence. If not, why invent— for the inaugural sign of Jesus’ great career— a miraculous solution to a mere social oversight?

—Reynolds Price, from The Three Gospels

When Christ, as a sign of His power,
clearly changed the water into wine
All the crowd rejoiced, for they considered the taste marvelous.
Now we all partake of the banquet in the church
For Christ’s blood is changed into wine
And we drink it with holy joy,
Praising the great bridegroom,
For he is the true bridegroom, the Son of Mary,
The Word before all time who took the form of a servant,
He who has in wisdom created all things.

—Romanus Melodus, “Kontakion on the Marriage at Cana”


Gathering Before God
September 9, 2018
17th 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

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. 

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. 
Music and lyrics by Sandra McCracken, 2015.


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


By Faith 

By faith we see the hand of God
In the light of creations grand design
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness
Who walk by faith and not by sight

By faith our fathers roamed the earth
With the power of His promise in their hearts
Of a holy city built by Gods own hand
A place where peace and justice reign

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him, our souls reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
Well walk by faith and not by sight

By faith the prophets saw a day
When the longed for Messiah would appear
With the power to break
The chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave

By faith the church was called to go
In the power of the spirit to the lost
To deliver captives and to preach good news
In every corner of the earth

By faith this mountain shall be moved
And the power of the gospel shall prevail
For we know in Christ all things are possible
For all who call upon His name


 © 2009 Thankyou Music.  CCLI # 5469291
Words & Music: Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townsend


Psalm 62 My Soul Finds Rest

My soul finds rest in God alone,
My rock and my salvation.
A fortress strong against my foes,
And I will not be shaken.

Though lips may bless and hearts may curse
And lies like arrows pierce me
I'll fix my heart on righteousness
I'll look to Him who hears me

O praise Him hallelujah,
My Delight and my Reward!
Everlasting never failing,
My Redeemer my God.

Find rest my soul in God alone,
Amid the world's temptations.
When evil seeks to take a hold,
I'll cling to my salvation.
Though riches come and riches go

Don't set your heart upon them
The fields of hope in which I sow
Are harvested in Heaven


I'll set my gaze on God alone,
And trust in Him completely.
With every day pour out my soul,
And He will prove His mercy.
Though life is but a fleeting breath.
A sigh too deep to measure.
My King has crushed the curse of death,
And I am His forever.


Call to Confession

Leader:     The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; 
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

—Psalm 51:17

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:      In Christ, God washes us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanses us from our sin-
you are forgiven! 

—from Psalm 51:2

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


The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
John 2:1-11, NRSV

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

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

Sermon Series:        Encountering Jesus
Sermon Title:           Jesus at a Party
Speaker:                  Jared Ayers


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.

                 (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


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


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


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.



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.


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. 


O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus

The deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness o—ver me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above! 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
 Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
’Tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
’Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee! 

Words by Samuel Trevor Francis.
Music by Welsh Melody (adapt. Thomas John Williams)


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.


Sending into God’s World


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.

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.


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


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



Minister:      The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the power of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.

People:      Amen.

—Galatians 6:18


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