March 14, 2018 4th Sunday in Lent
Carol and Alex Brown, Liturgists
Carol Ann West, Pianist
Rev. Melissa Upchurch, Pastor
ASSEMBLING IN GOD’S NAME
* CALL TO WORSHIP
One:O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever.
All:Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those God redeemed from trouble.
One:God gathers us from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
All:Let us thank the Lord for God’s steadfast love, for God’s wonderful works to humankind.
* OPENING PRAYER
* HYMNRed Hymnal #391There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit
CALL TO CONFESSION
UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION
O God, you have set before us our greed, our hatred of self and others, and our apathy. You have also shown us the injustice and tyrannies of our public life. We have succumbed to paralyzing anxiety in response to injustice.
We have resisted the prompting of your Spirit who nudges us out of self-absorption. Forgive us, Lord. Empower us by your Spirit to be attentive and discerning partners in healing your creation. Amen.
* ASSURANCE OF PARDON
One:God’s healing mercy abounds! God’s grace goes before us, after us, and through us — sometimes even unbeknownst to us. Friends, hear the good of the gospel: We are forgiven and restored to right paths of justice and shalom.
All:Thanks be to God; Amen.
* GLORIA PATRI
Glory be to the Father, and to the son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.
* PASSING THE PEACE
HEARING AND RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Old Testament:Numbers 21:4-9
One:The Word of God for the People of God!
All:Thanks be to God!
TIME WITH YOUNG DISCIPLES
MESSAGERev. Melissa Upchurch
* AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (fr. A Declaration of Faith – PC USA 1977)
We believe Christ gives us and demands of us personal lives that are centered in God and open to God’s reality and rule. Christ teaches us to put obedience to God above the interests of self, family, race, or nation; to offer God joyously our money, ability, and time. It is part of our daily discipline to observe a day of worship and rest, setting aside our own working to enjoy God’s work, celebrating with sisters and brothers the Lord’s goodness. We need constantly to search out God’s way in Scripture, not expecting detailed directions for every decision, but relying on the Word to tell us who God is, to press God’s present claim on us, and to assure us of God’s grace and comfort. We are charged to pray for ourselves and others with gratitude, boldness, and
persistence, confident that God hears and answers our prayers in ways best for us all. Life in God’s presence issues in life for others, for if we do not love sisters and brothers whom we see, we cannot love God whom we do not see.
* HYMNPurple Hymnal #792There Is a Balm in Gilead
SHARING JOYS AND CONCERNS
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
SHARING THE GIFTS OF GOD
*DOXOLOGY (ca. 1500s)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
* PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Gracious God, accept the gifts we offer today with our hopes that they reflect the offering of our lives as dedicated to you and your service in this church, in our community, in our nation, and in our world. Amen.
GOING FORTH IN GOD’S NAME
* HYMNPurple Hymnal #384Soon and Very Soon