God has welcomed us into his household, despite – in fact, because of – our weaknesses and needs, and he invites us even in our not-yet-perfected condition to extend that same welcome to others, promising that as we do so, we will welcome God himself.

Margaret Kim Peterson, from Keeping House:
The Litany of Everyday Life

In our world full of strangers, estranged from their own past, culture and country, from their neighbors, friends and family, from their deepest self and their God, we witness a painful search for a hospitable place where life can be lived without fear and where community can be found. Although many, we might say even most, strangers in this world become easily the victim of fearful hostility, it is possible… for Christians to offer an open and hospitable space where strangers cast off their strangeness and become our fellow human beings.

—Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out


Gathering Before God
February 24, 2019
7th Sunday of Epiphany
Center City Campus

Opening Sentences

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

Hail To The Lord’s Anointed

Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son! 
Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
His reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression,  to set the captive free, 
To take away transgression, and rule in equity.


He comes with comfort speedy  to those who suffer wrong, 
To help the poor and needy, and for the weak is strong.
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light, 
Whose souls, condemned and dying, are precious in His sight.


He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth, 
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers spring in His path to birth. 
Kings shall fall down before Him and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him, His praise all people sing;


The tide of time shall never His covenant remove. 
His Name shall stand forever, that Name to us is Love. 


© 2012, 2015 © Drink Your Tea Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)
CCLI Song # 7013162 -- CCLI License # 3040322


Greeting & Preparation

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

Call to Worship 

Leader: Praise the LORD!
People: Praise the LORD, O my soul!

Leader: I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
People: Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Leader: The LORD watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow;
People: Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
People: Praise the LORD, O my soul.

—from Psalm 146

Prayer of Invocation


Come Ye Disconsolate

Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish, 
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel. 
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; 
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, light of the straying, 
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure! 
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying, 
"Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure."

Here see the bread of life, see waters flowing 
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above. 
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing 
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove. 
Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish.

© Public Domain
CCLI Song # 213047 -- CCLI License # 3040322


And Can It Be

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain!
For me who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be That
Thou, my God, should die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so Infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!


Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
 I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.


No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own


© 1994 Scott Roley Music
CCLI Song # 5021581 -- CCLI License # 3040322



Presentation and Vows

Ronan Arnold Cascarano


Minister:  Parents, you stand before us having brought your child to receive the sacrament of baptism.
I ask you, therefore, before God and Christ’s church to reject evil, to profess your faith in Christ
Jesus, and to confess the faith of the church. Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your
life and in the world?
Parents:     We renounce them.

Minister:    Who is your Lord and Savior?
Parents:    Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

Minister:     Do you promise to instruct Ronan in the truth of God’s word, in the way of salvation through
Jesus Christ; to pray for him, to teach him to pray; and to train him 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.

Liberti Church

Minister:  Do you promise to love, encourage, and support this family by teaching the gospel of God’s love,
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

Minister:  The Lord be with you.
People:   And also with you.

Minister:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People:   It is right to give our thanks and praise. 


Passing the Peace 


The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
Deuteronomy 10:12-22, NRSV

12So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. 14Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, 15yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. 16Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. 17For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, 18who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. 19You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. 21He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. 22Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.

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

Sermon Series: It Takes Practice
Sermon Title: Hospitality
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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: With joy we praise you, gracious God… 
we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim
the glory of your name, saying:                                       

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister: You are holy, O God of majesty… So, 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:  Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit…As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

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.  


Psalm 130

From the depths of woe I raise to Thee 
The voice of lamentation; 
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me 
And hear my supplication; 
If Thou iniquities dost mark, 
Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,

O who shall stand before Thee? (Who shall stand before Thee?) 

To wash away the crimson stain, 
Grace, grace alone availeth; 
Our works, alas! Are all in vain; 
In much the best life faileth; 
No man can glory in Thy sight, 
All must alike confess Thy might,

And live alone by mercy (Live alone by mercy) 


Therefore my trust is in the Lord, 
And not in mine own merit; 
On Him my soul shall rest, His word 
Upholds my fainting spirit; 
His promised mercy is my fort, 
My comfort and my sweet support;

I wait for it with patience(Wait for it with patience) 


What though I wait the live-long night, 
And til the dawn appeareth, 
My heart still trusteth in His might; 
It doubteth not nor feareth; 
Do thus, O ye of Israels seed, 
Ye of the Spirit born indeed;

And wait til God appeareth(Wait til God appeareth) 

Though great our sins and sore our woes 
His grace much more aboundeth; 
His helping love no limit knows, 
Our upmost need it soundeth. 
Our Shepherd good and true is He, 
Who will at last His Israel free

From all their sin and sorrow(All their sin and sorrow) 


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


Isaiah 43

When you pass through the waters,I will be with you.
And the waves, they shall not, overcome you
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name, you are mine

For I am the Lord Your God
I am the Lord Your God
I am the Lord Your God
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior


Chorus 2:
For I am the Lord (Do not fear)
I am the Lord  (Do not fear)  
I am the Lord

When you walk, through the fire, I will be with you.
And the Flames, they shall not, not consume you
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name, you are mine


Minister: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
People: Amen

—2 Corinthians 13:13, NRSV


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