A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin and sermon.

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

GATHERING SONG           “On Eagle’s Wings”           red book # 787

GREETING

KYRIE                                                             red book page 184 (set 8)

CANTICLE OF PRAISE                                            red book page 187

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

PROVERBS 3:27-35

JAMES 2:1-13

LUKE 10:25-37

SERMON                                                                        Peggy Flannary

Back in August Linda Nietman presented DOWN. Stewardship begins at creation, where God first comes to us. From the beginning humanity is not an owner, but a steward of what God has created. We are first receivers, not givers. God’s loves comes down to us in Jesus Christ. God loves us so much he sent Jesus to dies to bring us salvation and new life. Stewardship begins with God coming down to us in love and sharing some of what is God’s with us.
In September Patricia Klatt talked about looking IN and realizing all of the gifts that God has blessed us with and has entrusted in our care: time, talents, treasure and so much more.
Today I am continue with OUT. Looking OUT to see the many ways that God is calling us to love our neighbors both near and far. When we share the abundance that God has entrusted to our care with our neighbor, we not only love our neighbor, but we also love God. We are called to be good stewards of God’s justice. Our faith calls us to share a common vision to uphold human dignity and to love, walk alongside and serve people, particularly those who are facing poverty
Jesus also calls us to think more globally when we think of neighbors. Today we read the parable of the Good Samaritan. When robbers attacked a Jewish man and left him half dead, a priest and a Levite each went out of their way to avoid helping the injured man. Finally, a Samaritan stopped to help, going so far as to pay an innkeeper two days’ wages to care for the man until he recovered. Back then Jews and Samaritans were enemies, so when Jesus said a Samaritan stopped to render aid to an injured Jew was even more astonishing to the crowd listening to the parable.
God’s justice reminds us we are to look for those most in need and share the abundance that God has entrusted to our care. God calls us to reach across boundary lines, setting aside our differences, to live lives of love.
Injustice takes many forms. It’s not limited to war time atrocities committed in some far off land that we sometimes see on the news or read about. For those who may not have been direct survivors of oppression, it can be hard to imagine what it might be like to be oppressed or impoverished.
Consider the following manifestations of injustice.
• Bullying
• Cultural and ethnic prejudice
• Religious persecution
• Homelessness
• Underpaid or not employed
• Lack of affordable housing
• Insufficient access to quality education
• Food insecurity
• Unsafe communities
• False imprisonment
• Inadequate legal representation
• Inferior or unaffordable medical care
I am sure you can think of other that I have not mentioned.
Stewardship invites us to look in 3 different directions: Down, In and Out. We began by looking at how God has come down to us. We then look to discover all that God has entrusted into our care. We end by looking out to understand the needs of our neighbors. We form a cross with our lives, through or faith. We are marked with the cross forever. It is something for us to always think about as we make decisions in our lives.
Stewardship transforms God’s commandment to “love our neighbors as ourselves” from a religious expression to a way of life. It is not just about what is given to the congregation, but about how generous we are with all that God has entrusted to our care both inside and outside of the church walls and in our homes. Finally, let us join together in looking OUT to share God’s love with everyone!

HYMN of the DAY           “Lead Me, Guide Me”           red book # 768

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY ANTHEM           “What Shall I Bring To The Lord?”

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS           “Lamb of God”

Also, “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, red book # 708, red book # 471

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG           “The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve”           red book # 551

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE           “Hymn Improvisation”           Tom Baker

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