All that we read in Holy Scripture for our instruction and salvation demands and attentive ear.

—Augustine of Hippo

The Scriptures function as the script of the worshipping community, the story that narrates the identity of the people of God, the constitution of this baptismal city, and the fuel of the Christian imagination.

James K.A. Smith, from Desiring the Kingdom:
Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation

I can’t understand why you missionaries present the Bible to us in India as a book of religion. It is not a book of religion–and anyway we have plenty of books of religion in India. We don’t need any more! I find in your Bible a unique interpretation of universal history, the history of the whole of creation and the history of the human race. And therefore a unique interpretation of the human person as a responsible actor in history. That is unique. There is nothing else in the whole religious literature of the world to put alongside it.

—Hindu religious scholar to Lesslie Newbigin,
from A Walk Through the Bible

Bible-reading is an essential part of the Christian life because Christian life is a listening life. Christians are people who expect to be spoken to by God… [and] the Bible is the territory in which Christians expect to hear God speaking.

—Rowan Williams, Being Christian


Gathering Before God
February 10, 2018
5th 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: May God be gracious to us, bless us, and make his face shine upon us;
People: Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

Leader:  May your way be known upon earth, saving power among all nations. 
People: Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

—based on Psalm 67

Prayer of Invocation


God Of Mercy God Of Grace

God of mercy, God of grace,
show the brightness of your face.
Shine upon us, Savior, shine;
fill your church with light divine;
and your saving health extend
unto earth's remotest end.

Let the people praise you, Lord;
be by all that live adored.
Let the nations shout and sing
glory to their gracious King;
at your feet their tribute pay,
and your holy will obey.

Let the people praise you, Lord;
earth shall then its fruits afford.
Unto us your blessing give,
we to your devoted live,
all below and all above,
one in joy and light and love.

© Public Domain
CCLI Song # 2095589 -- CCLI License # 3040322


The Church’s One Foundation

The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
 Of peace forevermore;
’Til, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blessed,
 And the great church victorious
Shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee. 

© Music by Samuel S. Wesley, 1864. Lyrics by Samuel J. Stone, 1866.


In Covenant Membership

Stories Of God’s Work & Vows


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. 

Liberti Church

Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters 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.


Confessions 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


Ordination and Installation of Elders and Deacons


Elder: Barb Delp

Deacons:  Gretchen Wendel, Manoela Santos, Whitney Buchmann, Joshua Parris, Donna Lee, & Shelby McDowell

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.


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.


Candidates For The Office Of Deacons:

Minister: As deacons, will you faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully manifest Christ’s love and care,
gather and distribute the offerings of God’s people, visit and comfort the distressed, minister
to the poor and needy, and strive to advance God’s reign of justice and peace?

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

Candidates 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.





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

People: We do.

Minister: Do you promise to respect them 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 them, 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



The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
Deuteronomy 5:1-21, NRSV

Moses convened all Israel, and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances that I am addressing to you today; you shall learn them and observe them diligently. 2The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3Not with our ancestors did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. 4The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the fire. 5(At that time I was standing between the Lord and you to declare to you the words of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:

6I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 7you shall have no other gods before me. 8You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, 10but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. 11You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. 12Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. 15Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day. 16Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 17You shall not murder. 18Neither shall you commit adultery. 19Neither shall you steal. 20Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor. 21Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

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

Sermon Series: It Takes Practice
Sermon Title: Scripture
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… 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:  Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit…Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your Kingdom.

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. 


I Need Thee Every Hour

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; 
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford. 
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby; 
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee, O I need Thee; 
O I need Thee every hour; 
I need you Lord, O bless me now, 
My Savior, I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain; 
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain 
I need Thee every hour, teach me Thy will; 
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill


I need Thee every hour, most Holy One; 
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son


I need Thee every hour, 
I need Thee every hour, 
I need Thee every hour, 
I need Thee every hour.


Music by Robert Lowry. Lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872.


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


Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name 

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand 

When darkness seems to hide His face, 
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale, 
my anchor holds within the veil 


His oath, His covenant, His blood 
Support me in the whelming flood 
When all around my soul gives way, 
He then is all my hope and stay 


When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone, 
Faultless to stand before the throne 


Music & lyrics by Isaac Wardell, 2012.



Minister: The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face shine upon you 
and be gracious to you; 
the Lord turn his face toward you 
and give you peace. 

—based on Numbers 6:24-26, NIV

People: Amen


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