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Sunday, September 6th

Winter Park Presbyterian Church
https://winterparkpresbyterian.org/
 
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Liturgy for Home Worship
 

We Assemble in God's Name
Gathering Prayer

Creator of Dewdrops, Weaver of Our Very Breath,
We come to you expectant, some with wiggly children still in pajamas, some holding our coffee at the kitchen table, all of us missing the community that usually comes with Sunday morning worship.
But wherever we are, whatever fills our hearts this day, we come, knowing that You promise to be near us, to fill us with Your Presence, always. We bring our pains and our joys, our longings and our gifts, to share this time with You. Be near us, Holy One, thank you that You always are. Amen.

Call to Worship                                       based on Romans 14, CEB and NRSV
 
One:   God has created each of us, and loves each one.
Let us, therefore, no longer pass judgment on one another,
but decide to never put a stumbling block in the way of anyone.

All:      The Lord Jesus has made it clear to me that God considers all foods fit to eat.  But if you think some foods are unfit to eat, then for you they are not fit.

One:   If you are hurting anyone by what you eat, by the choices you make,
you are no longer walking in love.
 
All:      God’s kingdom isn’t about eating and drinking.  It is about pleasing God, about living in peace, and about true happiness.
 
One:   All this comes from the Holy Spirit.
If you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be respected by people. 
 
All:      Let us try to live at peace and help each other have a strong faith.
Together let us worship God!


Hymn #649 "Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound"
 
Hymn #649 "Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound"

Call to Confession                
         
Today’s confession is from the 2017 Montreat Middle School Conference.
 
It is hard to have hope nowadays. It is easy to be disillusioned when we see the problems in this world are so big. It is hard to begin to change. But God, who created the universe out of nothing, and continues creating in the midst of this chaotic world, understands us when we come with a sincere heart, so let us share our struggles with God as we say together:
 
Prayer of Confession

God of Beginnings, we know the world is suffering and we do not know where to begin
To do the work. We know so many of your children are victims of violence and injustice, 
But we are afraid to speak up for fear of being rejected. We are afraid of new beginnings,
And we don't like the unknown. God of Hope, we confess that our hope is weak sometimes.
We know you call us to be your hands and feet, but we like having comfortable lives.
We don't want to get in trouble, even if it is good trouble.
Forgive us, O God of Mercy, and strengthen our hope so we know you are with us
Every step of the way as we walk in this world with you. Amen.
 
Assurance of Pardon

Goodness is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death.
We are forgiven, we are forgiven
Through God who loves us.

"Glory Be to the Father"
Sharon Moore, Organ

We Hear God's Word

Prayer of Illumination

Wise and Patient God, silence in us now anything that is not you. Help us to hear what you have to say to us today, and give us the courage to live in your truth. Amen.

 

Rachel Telling Exodus 12:1-14

Reading

Exodus 12:1-14 (NRSV)

1The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

 

Sermon:        "Journeys to Redemption"

Sermon:        "Journeys to Redemption"

We Respond to God
Hymn #30  "O God, in a Mysterious Way"
Hymn #30 "O God, in a Mysterious Way"

Prayer of Common Concerns

God who heard the cries of your children in Egypt.

God who made ways out of no way:  who made a way out of Moses' fear, who made a way out of the reluctance of the people, who made a way out of Pharaoh's intransigence, who made a way through the sea and the wilderness:

Make way in our hearts, in our lives, in our world.

We pray that you make a way where we are reluctant and fearful.

We pray that you make a way where we think only of ourselves.

We pray that you make a way where oppression and injustice rule.

We pray that you make a way where people need to be fed and nourished and equipped to journey into the redemption and salvation that you give.

Loving God, we thank you that in Christ we meet you at the table where we - with all your children - are loved and held.

Loving God,  we pray for our world amidst all the conflict and turmoil.  We pray for justice and peace for all.  We pray that each of your children might grow and live in hope.

We pray for our leaders as they seek to make good and just and thoughtful decisions in a complicated world.

God of Grace, we thank you for all those who serve others through their careers and their callings.

God of Mercy, sustain those who are struggling now for whatever reason.

God of Might, empower those who need faith, courage, and strength to answer your callings in their lives and be about the work to which you are calling them.

God of Mystery and Majesty, still those of us who are too busy to note your beauty and wisdom around us - give us pause and eyes to see you work and ears to hear your voice.

We pray that we all have the grace and faith to follow Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, as Christ calls us to rise and follow.  We pray together as Christ taught us saying:   
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;
forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Statement of Faith:               The Brief Statement of Faith (Sections 1,3,5)

In life and in death we belong to God.
Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in God,
whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
In sovereign love God created the world good
and makes everyone equally in God’s image
male and female, of every race and people,
to live as one community.
But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator.
Ignoring God’s commandments,
we violate the image of God in others and ourselves,
accept lies as truth,
exploit neighbor and nature,
and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.
We deserve God’s condemnation.
Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
In everlasting love,
the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people
to bless all families of the earth.
Hearing their cry,
God delivered the children of Israel
from the house of bondage.
Loving us still,
God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant.
Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
God is faithful still.
 

With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

"I've Got Peace Like a River"

American Spiritual
arr. - Sharon Elery Rogers

Ed Beck, Susan Crenshaw, Paulla Dixon, Rachel Doll, Jeanne Etheridge, Sharon D. Moore, and Jim Sinclair - handbells

Offering
Call for Offering

We come together bringing our gifts to God.
Some of our gifts, we offer proudly with open hands;
some we bring and try to sneak them in,
not sure they are good enough to give.
They are.
All of them.
All of our gifts are needed and cherished by God.



Take a moment to consider the ways in the week ahead that you might:
Bring hope to God's children.
Reach out to someone who may be ignored or overlooked.
Use your gifts of creativity, music, education, art, writing, making, or building to make the world of others a better place.
Witness to Jesus Christ - Especially to someone who needs to hear it this day.

Also, consider as you are able donating to support the continuing ministry of our church:  
https://winterparkpresbyterian.org/donate/
 

Prayer of Dedication

Giving and Loving God,
We bring our gifts to You, thankful for all You have given to us.
Use our gifts, our resources and the ways that we connect with one another,
to bring justice and peace to all of Your children.
Give us courage to freely share our gifts with others each day.
In Your Son’s holy name we pray, amen.
 



The Doxology (consider standing and singing while the track below is played)

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen.
 
The Doxology
"Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow"
2017 Recording of the WPPC Children's Choir
Chimes and Voice

Benediction

Disciples of our Risen Lord,

In Egypt, God called up the Hebrew people to rise and follow.  God fed them, loved them, and gave them the courage to undertake a journey of faith and redemption.  In Jerusalem, God gathered disciples around the table.  Jesus blessed and broke bread and gave it to the disciples.  God fed those disciples, loved them, and gave them the grace to undertake a journey of faith and redemption.  Our God still calls.  Our God still loves.  Our God still feeds.  Our God still sends us out today.

And now, may the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit be with you this day and forevermore.


Postlude:  "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"
God Be With You Till We Meet Again
Click Image for Video

The Peace

The Peace of Christ Be with You!

And Also with You!
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4501 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403

Contact Us by Email:

Emile: emile@winterparkpres.org
Rachel:  rachel@winterparkpres.org
Aaron: aaron@winterparkpres.org
Sharon:  sharon@winterparkpres.org
Dorothy: dorothy@winterparkpres.org
Ruth: ruth@winterparkpres.org

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