Sermons and Bulletins


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

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

 

Gathering Song        “All Creatures, Worship God Most High!”       red book # 835

Thanksgiving for Baptism

GREETING

KYRIE                                           red book p. 203 (set 10)

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

GENESIS 50:15-21

“Bless the Lord, My Soul”

ROMANS 14:1-12

MATTHEW 18:21-35

SERMON                                              Pastor Chris Halverson

Dear Siblings in Christ,

This shall be the final letter I, Paul, write to you all.

I blush, just thinking of how to sum it all up.

I guess, if I had to sum it all up, it would be with the single word—reconciliation.

 

In Rome, the divisions between Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian came out most fully at mealtime.

The Traditionalist Jewish Christians—I will call them the Weak—refused to eat Meat, because it had been sacrificed to Idols.

The Liberated Gentile Christians—I will call them the Strong—went ahead and ate this meat, assured that if there is only one God, then the Idols are nothing.

 

These divisions may sound silly to you today—but I assure you these were issues that could make or break the Christian community in Rome—or anywhere else. Issues of Traditionalism and Liberty at tension in community—that’s nothing new, nor I would add, something old.

The revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed of God

-turns everything upside down,

-it shakes the whole world and reshapes the universe.

Every division is fractured, every signal of separation is split!

…But then what?

How do we all live together after this earthquake-level shift?

This spiritual flood that transforms the landscape of life, forever?

 

You Traditionalist, you Weak Ones!

Everything you held dear, every way of measuring things—just doesn’t work any more. You lack the vision to value this new world in which you live!

Your ongoing judgment is an attempt to take away God’s job—is it not written, “Judgment is mine says the LORD”?

You need to go back to the font of faith—recommit to trusting God… that even in the strange new world we find ourselves, God continues to act

yes—even here—God is faithful…trust God, even when it feels like up is down and left is right.

Even in the chaos of the world as it now is, trust that God has not abandoned you—in fact, God goes ahead of you, crossing every boundary you’ve decided is the mark in the sand; decided it is the place you will not cross.

If Christ can cross the boundary of death—I assure you he can cross any barrier you try to put up to uphold your understanding of morality and mortality.

Those things that your fellow Christians are doing that seem out of bounds—look at them carefully, try, really try, to see how they are honoring and giving thanks to God in a new way.

Accept that they are honoring God differently, and how they are living is a matter between them and God.

 

Now… you better wipe that smile off your face, you so called Liberated Ones—you “Strong” Ones!

Sure, you’ve figured out how to ride the chaos of this time period, of all these changes.

In fact, you got it right! You are living faithfully in this new world—you’ve read the Spirit’s calling more faithfully than the Traditionalists, you trust God in the midst of all these things…

You’ve got it right… so don’t make fools of yourself!

Don’t despise the Traditionalists!

Don’t live in this new way in such a way that their consciences can’t handle it.

Make sure you do things with a good intention, and don’t leave room for people to mimic you in a way that makes a mockery out of your new and faithful way of being Christian.

You need to know, when I discovered Christian Liberty it was the best thing I’d ever known, if you make it Libertine you debase the most excellent of things!

Do you hear me? Being right in such a way that you ruin someone else’s ability to trust God is always wrong!

If your liberation means you no longer love your fellow Christian—then it isn’t really liberation!

 

To you both, both weak and strong alike—I say by way of prayer: “May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another as Christ Jesus would wish it, so with one voice you might Glorify God!”

 

Glorify God; be an offering to God!

Be an offering to God, by the way you share with one another and with those in need.

Be an offering to God, by living your whole life as little Christs.

Be an offering to God, by being reconciled to one another, and in so doing break open the whole world, that it might be knit together again—that the discordant chords sung about the earth might hear your sweet song and become the mightiest melody to ever exist!

 

I sing out to God on your behalf, “bring them pardon and peace. Reconcile them all, O’ Lord.”

The Church, the Body of Christ

-when its divisions end…

-when Christians come together in love…

-when you say “The Peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.” And mean it…

That reminds the world of what God has done in Jesus… that is, the ultimate victory of Christ over the power of Sin, Death, and the Devil—its there, in your midst!

It is what makes Jesus known as Christ!

Reconciliation within Christian community, reveals that Jesus is the Anointed One!

 

Cling always to Christ Jesus revealed to us by God the All-wise, to whom be the glory forever, through that same Jesus Christ. Amen.

HYMN of the DAY           “Our Father, We Have Wandered”          red book # 606

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY ANTHEM            “Goodness Is Stronger than Evil”          red book # 721

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS            “Lamb of God”

Also, red book # 801, red book # 544

POST COMMUNION SONG          “O Lord, Now Let Your Servant”       red book # 313

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG              “Go, My Children, with My Blessing”             red book # 543

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin.

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

 

Thanksgiving for Baptism

 

Gathering Song           “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven”         red book # 865

GREETING

KYRIE                                                          red book p. 203 (set 10)

CANTICLE OF PRAISE                                        red book p. 204 (set 10)

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

EZEKIEL 33:7-11

PSALM

ROMANS 13:8-14

MATTHEW 18:15-20

SERMON                                                  Pastor Chris Halverson

HYMN of the DAY            “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”          red book # 656

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY ANTHEM              “Thuma Mina”            red book #809

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

 

 

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS              “Lamb of God”

Also, blue book # 748, red book # 470

POST COMMUNION SONG          “O Lord, Now Let Your Servant”         red book # 313

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG              “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”           red book # 836

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

 

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

Gathering Song           “For the Beauty of the Earth”         red book # 879

GREETING

KYRIE                                               red book # 157

CANTICLE OF PRAISE                                red book # 167

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

JEREMIAH 15:15-21

PSALM 26:1-8

ROMANS 12:9-21

MATTHEW 16:21-28

SERMON                                                       Pastor Chris Halverson

Dear Siblings in Christ,

It is worth reflecting on what I’ve said up until now, before we move on to a new subject:

Remember, we are infected and used by that parasite Sin.

Remember, that we are saved by that unstoppable love and promise of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

Remember, that we continue to try and clog up God’s mercy, and yet God continues all the more to hold us in the mysterious works of His grace.

 

I remind you of this, because it speaks to the seriousness of our actions, and also, the gentle / power of God’s actions.

Just as the cultural and religious practices I wrote to you of can muddy the clear love of God for all people

—our actions may also show it forth more clearly… a mirror can be scuffed or shiny—what it is reflecting doesn’t change.

We’re all made in the image of God, reflecting God’s love

—I hope we as a community might be as reflective of that love as possible.

 

Some might jump out of their seats at this statement—they might ask, is that Paul I hear? Because, you see, I often get a bad rap.

There is a whole genre of screed—a whole way of talking about me—that I find hurtful, and for that matter, only works if you’ve not actually read what I’ve written.

There are people who point out that I never knew the Christ before the resurrection. This is clearly true, but what follows is less so.

They then go on to say, okay, maybe Paul’s fine at talking about what Christ has done for us on the cross and in the empty tomb—that he’s saved us.

But, they add, he never knew the Jesus who Mary and Peter and Matthew, and all the Disciples, knew. So, they say with smug satisfaction, he never knew Jesus, his teachings, or his commands, and therefore his witness is invalid and untrue. He doesn’t get to tell people about Christ.

And to be fair to them, the Creeds of the Church that followed several centuries after me, did focus on death and resurrection, seemingly without a focus on Jesus’ teachings.

“Born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate”—skips 30 crucial years, right?

That said, if we take seriously our confession “Jesus is our Lord” it seems obvious that we ought to ask, what does my Lord require?

 

-I will admit I am one who was late born, I did not have the opportunity to know Jesus before the resurrection, but I would add that the same can be said of you, yet Jesus still speaks in his Church today!

-I would add, that if you see Christ’s death and resurrection as a small thing, you may need to take time to consider them again.

-I would add, that if you don’t see the freedom won by Christ for us as having ethical implications for your life, you need to look more deeply in your heart and more squarely at your neighbor’s needs.

-Finally, it is worth stating that I did spend time with the disciples. Some even suggest the church that produced the Gospel of Matthew was my home congregation—which would explain all the fixation on strained community life in that Gospel—after all, wherever I go, it seems Christian Community gets all stirred up!

 

But perhaps I need no other defense of my Apostleship and my knowledge of Jesus’ teachings, save my own words to the Romans, and to you today

—if you are feeling ambitious, read Matthew 5-7 and Romans 12-15 together… it will be eye opening.

All I’m saying today, is the same thing Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount, my words earnestly expound upon Jesus’ Beatitudes—those blessings he called forth on that majestic mountain!

My words just happen to be pointed to a particular congregation. I’m just helping them, and you, reflect God’s love together!

 

This deep love from God, which you all reflect… I hope it is genuine. I hope it is as real as the love we see between siblings or best friends or lovers.

I hope you take yourselves seriously. You bear the image of God—don’t sell yourself short, and don’t let anyone else sell you out either.

I hope you consider regularly how you can shine that light, which is already there, to the whole world!

I hope you consider how you can honor that image in others, remind them of how beloved they are, no matter who they are!

Remind them through hospitality, charity, patience, prayer, and hope—through all these, God’s love might be reflected to the whole world.

 

What I’m calling you to is hard thing for all of us, whether we’re beginners in belief or have trusted God for a good long time, yet it helps people see what God is doing in Christ Jesus our Lord!

You will be persecuted, in those situations do not curse those who persecute you, but bless them—as Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my name’s sake.”

You will come across folk in all kinds of moods, rejoice with the joyous, cry with the mourners. Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Live together in harmony, don’t be haughty, know the limits of your wisdom and make your home with the lowly—after all didn’t Jesus says, “blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Do not repay evil with evil—that just makes more evil, our Lord did instruct us, “if you are struck, turn the other cheek.”

Live peacefully with everyone, for Jesus said, “blessed are the peacemakers.”

Love not only each other, not only the stranger, but even those who hate you and spitefully misuse you.

Love as completely as God loves—for in so doing God’s love, mercy, and grace are known to all.

Live with the assumption that the goal of life is the redemption of all of us—after all, evil isn’t to be destroyed, it is to be redeemed!

HYMN of the DAY               “Lift High the Cross”             red book # 660

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY                 “A New Commandment”                 blue book # 664

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

 

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS                   “Lamb of God”

Also, blue book # 748, blue book # 699

Sending

BLESSING

SENDING SONG                  “Jesus, Still Lead On”             red book # 624

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin.

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

 

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

Gathering Song            “The Church’s One Foundation”           red book # 654

GREETING

KYRIE                                                                      red book # 157

CANTICLE OF PRAISE                                          red book # 167

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

ISAIAH 51:-6

PSALM 138

ROMANS 12:1-8

MATTHEW 16:13-20

SERMON                                                    Pastor Chris Halverson

HYMN of the DAY              “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”           red book # 597

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY          “Take My Life, That I May Be”         red book # 685

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

 

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS             “Lamb of God”

Also, red book # 804, red book # 576

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG                “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing”           red book # 547

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

 

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

Gathering Song           “All People That on Earth Do Dwell”          red book # 883

GREETING

KYRIE                                           red book # 157

HYMN OF PRAISE      “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”       red book # 858, verse 1

PRAYER of the DAY

HYMN           “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”           red book # 858, verse 2

Word

ISAIAH 56:1, 6-8

PSALM            “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”           red book # 858, verse 3

ROMANS 11:1-2a, 29-32

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION       “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”     red book # 858, verse 4

MATTHEW 15:10-28

SERMON                                               Pastor Chris Halverson

Dear Siblings in Christ,

For three chapters in my letter to the Romans, I struggled, twisted and turned, tried to articulate and express what God was doing with his people.

I struggled so mightily because the whole thing, God’s merciful acts for us, is so mysterious and unexpected.

I struggled as well, because I was writing to a mixed community—both Jew and Gentile; one that had experienced turmoil on account of the persecution and expulsion of the Jews in Rome… for 3 years the community had been solely gentile, the Emperor had removed all the Jews from the city, including the Christian Jews in that congregation—and by the time they returned the dynamics there had shifted, relations strained.

I struggled, because that question weighed so heavily upon my soul—what of my own kinspeople? What of the people from whom Jesus Christ came, whom God adopted, made a relationship with, gave the commandments to, who rightly worshipped God and held tightly to God’s promises. What, I asked, is God doing in relationship to his people? Who are his people? How does God’s mercy and God’s majesty play out?

 

I struggled with it, and still do.

But this I know. I know that at least I, Paul, embraced God’s law without the Spirit, and in so doing condemned what God was doing through Jesus Christ.

I persecuted the early church; I witnessed and aided the stoning of Saint Stephen; I called cursed that which God had blessed—truly I had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. And I did so because I clung to holy words “cursed is the one who hangs upon a tree” so tightly that I squeezed the holiness right out of them. I couldn’t see Jesus holding out his loving arms to all people from that cursed tree!

 

And I worried that my people had done something similar, that some of

Our cultural practices,

The boundary markers created to keep our communities safe,

Emblems of Identity held dear so the dominant culture couldn’t crush the covenant God made with us…

That these things had become a stumbling block.

That these same fences keeping corruption out, were now keeping God’s mercy confined,

Keeping those who desperately needed the salvation of Jesus, from receiving it.

 

And it is hard to talk about these things these days, because my words are sometimes used as ammunition by anti-Semites to injure my people—the Jews.

In fact, I think the only honest way to hear my words is to apply them to your congregation or synod or denomination or tradition.

The only honest way to hear my words about my people is to sincerely assess your own cultural practices, your own boundary markers, your own emblems of identity, your own fences, your own fanaticisms.

How have they held back God’s work—the reconciliation of the whole world?

How have they stifled the Spirit and called cursed those things which God has blessed?

 

For example:

I have heard that 300 years after my death Christianity tied itself to Rome—that being Roman and being Christian became part of a single cultural package—and then Rome fell and nearly took the faith down with it.

I have heard of Christian churches that lock their doors during the service, because they are afraid of their neighbors—they literally fence off those seeking the freedom of Christ.

I’ve even heard of some Christians that so associate their faith with a meeting of people in a building that they forget that being a Christian is a lifetime of ongoing repentance, everywhere, not just for an hour on Sunday.

 

I encourage you to think of the fanatics, fences, emblems of identity, boundary markers, and cultural practices of your faith that might be getting in the way of Christ.

(Pause)

Those things—are, at the end of the day, all human attempt to Resurrect Jesus, and to incarnate God. They are works of humans, that are for not.

After all, you must know that God already came in the flesh of Jesus, and death has already been overcome by Christ—the resurrection, the incarnation, they are God’s to do, not yours!

These things are already done. All we can do is trust it to be true—trust that God’s got this.

All we can do is get out of the way and watch God at work in the lives of people with whom we wouldn’t expect God to act—listen to the good news that God has acted for us and not against us—for all of us, against no one! God’s merciful reach is bigger than our boldest imagination!

God is always merciful.

It’s all a gift, a calling, a promise, and it is all irrevocable.

God is faithful and God’s promises are unbreakable.

How this all come together—it ultimately a great mystery—the mysterious works of God—and even as it is a struggle to speak of it, or grasp it in our minds or hearts, or express it ourselves, it is so marvelous!

A+A

HYMN of the DAY           “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”          red book # 742

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY                      “Gather Us In”                 red book # 532

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

 

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS           “Lamb of God”

Also, red book # 798, red book # 886

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG             “All Creatures, Worship God Most High!”            red book # 835

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

 

CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS

Gathering Song               “Shout to the Lord”           red book # 821

GREETING

KYRIE                                                                        red book # 157

CANTICLE OF PRAISE                                            red book # 167

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

1 KINGS 19:9-18

PSALM 85:8-13

ROMANS 10:5-15

MATTHEW 14:22-33

SERMON                                                         Pastor Chris Halverson

Be Not Afraid

(Disclaimer, I preached with barely an outline on Sunday, so this is somewhat of a recreation of what I preached on Sunday)

 

There is a famous quote out there that you must preach with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. I go back and forth on that one, and often lean away from it—with the fast paced nature of the News, and how ephemera it all is, everyone has latched onto a story as the most important thing—only to turn to something new the next day—to tie scripture to such ephemerae can minimize God’s Word. All that to say, that’s not the foot from which I lead—but this week, the news, the week we’ve had—it is enough to shake you to your core.

 

Here at St. Stephen and in South Plainfield, Pastor Charles Mingle—who had been Pastor here for 26 years—died, leaving this congregation, and frankly the whole town in shock.

Not only that, North Korea and the United States have been playing a horrifying game of Nuclear “Chicken.” It’s enough to put anyone on edge…

And then, yesterday down in Charlottesville, Virginia, Nazis and Confederates—White Supremacists gathered to show their strength. Counter-protestors, including clergy I know, went down to show that the Nazi’s message of hate does not represent us… that there is a better message for the world… and soon enough the clergy there were attacked, and then one of the white supremacists drove a car into a pack of the counter-protestors, killing a woman and hospitalizing another 19 people.

To all of this—I have but one message “Be Not Afraid.”

This is a message from God we find throughout scripture… From Genesis, where God makes a covenant with Abraham to the book of Revelation where God gives assurance to the persecuted early church—Be Not Afraid.

 

Prayer

 

Did you know that if a conflict was to re-erupt on the Korean Peninsula 100,000 people would die in the first 15 minutes? Or that finding and securing North Korea’s Weapons of Mass destruction would require 200,000 troops occupying that country? Or that in the event of a nuclear exchange at least 10 million would die?

Were told this is the price of being a nuclear power—of real-politik—of being a super-power.

We’re telling a story that 100,000 people are chits, 200,000 people poker chips in a giant game, that 10 million people are the price to pay for the great game.

It’s a scary story—inevitably it makes you ask—what about me? How un-important am I? What am I worth, if 10 million are expendable?

But to this, Jesus tells a different story—“Be Not Afraid.”

He comes to Peter, out there on his boat—in the midst of tumultuous waves and fear, he doesn’t abandon Peter. He comes to him, because he cares of him, he cares for Peter. And that’s Jesus’ story—the Christian story—it’s the meaning of the incarnation and the salvation we find in Christ. God shows up, in human flesh—shows up for us—more than that—dies for us—that we might have life.

God cares that much for us, for we are beloved children of God, we are made in God’s image.

That means 10 million dead—it is marring the very face of God. 200,000 in harm’s way—endangering the image of God—100,000 Beloved Children of God killed.

 

Or—Think of Pastor Mingle—one man—yet infinitely precious in God’s sight. God would have died for him alone.

So many praises and accolades were laid at his feet at the funeral, but it was Charlie’s son, Phillip, who summed it up best—none of those things mattered, what mattered was God’s grace, that God entered into a relationship with him, simply because God chose to—God loved him… that alone mattered.

And in the face of 100,000, 200,000, 10 million dead as acceptable losses, it is worth knowing God does not lose a single one, but loves every one!

Be not afraid, for you are made in the image of God and beloved of God.

 

Be not afraid, as well, of you neighbor.

These people who marched in Virginia—they did so for the sake of white supremacy—some even explicitly states they were there to make America a White, Christian, Nation.

They saw their calling to sew division—to separate peoples, even by force.

And it must be stated there is nothing Christian about such actions—instead there is only sin in it.

 

(As a side note, I get asked why Muslims don’t condemn ISIS, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda. I often point them to instances where violent representatives of Islam DO condemn these extreme and violent people… to which they say “Well, why don’t they stop the terrorists?”

Well, I can respond today—how did you stop these White Supremacists down in Virginia? Running people over with cars, no matter the ideology, is an act of terror. How did we Christian stop these people acting in our name?)

 

To these awful acts and evil ideology—people like Bishop Bill Gohl of the Delaware Maryland Synod and Rev. Lura Groen who went down to Virginia and protested against white supremacy—respond no! There is no division—there is no room for hate, love your neighbor.

Paul writes of making no distinction—that No One who believes will be put to shame… that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved… sometimes we get caught up on believing and calling—but Paul’s point was that his own scriptures could not be used as a sword to divide, but instead a call to unity, a reminder that it is all about God’s grace—it is never ours to divide.

There is no division, no distinction—not on race, not on gender, not on any particular part of who you are, save that God loves you—that God is gracious!

Within Christianity there can be no division, only love of neighbor.

Be not afraid of your neighbor.

 

And you see, all of these things in Virginia were happening while I was with my cousin Harley and his daughter Kaitlyn playing tourist in New York—We were riding this water taxi to the Statue of Liberty while I was getting these updates from my friends who were down there via social media—Bill and Lura—and it seemed like things were getting worse and worse, inching toward violence. Coke bottles filled with concrete thrown at clergy while they prayed, people beat with brass knuckles and sticks.

I felt disconnected, kinda alone even as I was surrounded by all those people in the City.

I felt kinda like Elijah, who cried to God “I, I alone remain.”

He believed his whole country had committed apostasy and worshipped the false god Ba’al.

To this God responds, “Be Not Afraid, you are not alone… there are 7,000 who refuse to bend the knee, who maintain faithfulness… you are not alone.”

 

There on that boat, isolated, seeing these pictures of 1,000 of Nazis with torches marching—I got to feel despair, “What can I do?” Who can stand against violent men on the march?”

Then we reached our destination—Lady Liberty—engraved on her plaque:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

Lamp lifted for the sake of neighbor…

Be not afraid, you are not alone. There has always been a section of America’s soul seeking to do the right thing. There have always been people open handed and loving—holding out a massive torch to shine a light for those in need—shining a light of liberty and liberation.

A light that drowns out all those false lights, those fake suns, tiki torches eclipsed by a true light.

 

Be not afraid—you are not alone.

Be not afraid—of your neighbor.

Be not afraid—you are made in the image of God.

 

Be not afraid!

Amen and alleluia.

 

HYMN of the DAY              “How Can I Keep From Singing”          red book # 763

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY                     “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS                           “Lamb of God”

Also, red book # 485, red book # 483

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG                    “Here I Am, Lord”               red book # 574

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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