PASTORAL PRAYER

God of compassion and mercy, we gather before you on this first Sabbath of a new month.  As we stand before Christ’s Table, we are reminded of the extent of your love for us; we are reminded how you continues to give and give and give again to your sons and daughters through your Spirit.  We give thanks for your presence among us this day and whenever we call upon your name in our need.  As you abide with us, so you call the church of your Son to abide with others in their need through deeds of compassion, love, and justice.  When our biases cause us to hesitate in our responding, touch our ears, hearts, and minds, and speak the words, “Be opened,” to our spirit.  Change our hearts, O God, make us ever true.  Change our hearts, O God, may we be like you. (“Change My Heart O God”  CCLI#991857)

     On this Labor Day weekend, we give thanks for those who stood up and spoke out for safe working conditions and fair wages for employees.  We give thanks for our employment at our current job or vocation.  We are grateful in our retirement for benefits received while working.  We pray for stability in our fragile economy and for an end to a terrible virus made worse by our inability to cooperate with our neighbors.     Finally we lift our world that is in dire need of healing and wholeness.  Every day there seems to be more disasters, more devastation and more death.  So many people are displaced and in dire need of help.  We are overwhelmed.  As September 11th rolls around, we feel also the shadow of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist’s attacks looming over us and we are taken back to that day.  Now as then we turn to the heavens, from whence our help comes, and we sing the prayer that cries out from our being.  “Our Father, who art in heaven.

Sunday Church Service Weekly Bulletin

PRELUDE

                                                                              

RINGING OF THE BELL

CENTERING THOUGHT

Hymns, like the ones we will use in our service today, have fallen out of favor over the years.  They are no longer considered “politically correct” for use in worship, but all songs have a context.  Early Methodists experienced persecution from clergy, press, and people in the community. This was often a response to the Anglican Church’s disenchantment with Wesley’s reformational efforts and some doctrinal differences of Methodism. Reports from this time detail riots, mob attacks, stonings, clubbings, intentional tramplings by livestock, vandalized homes and meeting houses, and verbal attacks in sermons and print articles against Methodist preachers and their audiences. It was in the midst of these turbulent times, yet times of growth, that Charles Wesley wrote his hymn, “Soldiers of Christ, Arise.”

Textually, this hymn is a lyrical call for Christians to resist evil forces, part of the work of sanctification and a commitment to the baptismal vows of the church.   For more information, do an internet search on this hymn.

*PROCESSIONAL HYMN: “Soldiers of Christ Arise”  Public Domain

1 Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
strong in the strength which God supplies thro’ his eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in his mighty pow’r,
who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

2 Stand then in his great might, with all his strength endued;
And take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God.
From strength to strength go on, Wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down, And win the well-fought day;

3.  That, having all things done, and with your conflicts past,

Ye may o’er-come through Christ alone, And stand complete at last.

To God, the Father, Son, And Spirit ever blest,

The One in three, the Three in One Be endless praise addressed!

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL TO WORSHIP   (Psalm 84, Good News Translation & “As the Deer”, CCLI# 991857, selected and adapted)

Liturgist:   Happy are those whose strength comes from the Lord.

People:    As we journey in the Lord’s way, we will see the God of gods. 

Liturgist:  The Lord is our protector and glorious king.

People:    He blesses us with kindness and honor. 

Liturgist:  The Lord alone is our strength and shield.

People:    To you, O Lord, our spirits yield.

Liturgist:  The Lord alone is our heart’s desire,

People:    and we gather in his name to worship this day.

OPENING PRAYER

Happy are those who live in the house of the Lord, ever singing his praises.  Lord, you are our strength and shield, and as we gather for worship, we place our trust in you.  It is your promise that as God provides for the birds of the air, so also God will equip us with what we need to do God’s will in these uncertain days.  Uphold us in faith and help us to stand firm in the midst of chaos that we may offer truth, hope, and love to those looking for direction.  Amen.  

MUSICAL MEDITATION

THE READING OF SCRIPTURE

Epistle Reading:  Ephesians 6:10 -20  

SERMON 

SHARING OF OUR JOYS AND CONCERNS                   

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE ANDTHE LORD’S PRAYER

OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME.  THY KINGDOM COME.  THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.  GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.  AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FOR-GIVE OUR DEBTORS.  AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.  FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY,

FOREVER.  AMEN.

INTRODUCTION TO THE OFFERING          – –

*PRAISE RESPONSE: “Forward through the Ages”  No 377 (NCH) Public Domain

1 Forward through the ages, In unbroken line,
Move the faithful spirits At the call divine.
Gifts in diff’ring measure, Hearts of one accord,

Manifold the service, One the sure reward;

Refrain:
Forward through the ages, In unbroken line,
Move the faithful spirits At the call divine.

*PRAYER OF DEDICATION

Lord, at the call divine, we have gathered for worship this morning.  Together, with hearts of one accord, we offer our gifts of differing measure for service in your name.  Bless us and our gifts, that God’s dominion may grow wider and that God’s reign of love and peace may prevail over all the earth.  Amen.

*HYMN: “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”  No 613 (Chalice)

COMMISSIONING AND BENEDICTION

*THE RINGING OF THE CHIMES

*POSTLUDE

Collecting For The Ritenour Co- Care Food Pantry

Calvary UCC,  2501 Hartland, serving our nieghbors since 1929, invites you to join us in:
Collecting for our Ritenour Co-Care food Pantry.  Nonperishable items can be dropped off Tuesday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  If you would like to donate food you can drop it off at the our church at the time listed or you can take to the place below. The link to the food pantry is blow.
For more information about Calvary UCC, call the church office at 429-7464.