We begin and prepare for worship by centering ourselves, remembering the waters of baptism.
In baptism, we are joined to Christ and made members of one body, a people seeking to live faithfully into God’s purpose for us and for all creation.
PRELUDE Now Thank We All Our God
*CALL TO WORSHIP From Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
The Holy One of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
*HYMN 712 As Those of Old Their Firstfruits Brought
*INVITATION TO CONFESSION
Precious and boundless Creator, we come to you fearlessly, armed with the knowledge that relief from our burdens is not a privilege to be earned but an indiscriminate blessing. Emboldened by the teachings of Christ, we recognize that all people—no matter their individual guilts, shortcomings, or obstacles—are worthy of this blessing. In full assurance of faith, we embrace this most basic of human rights. Let us pray.
*PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Holy God, in Christ Jesus you show us how to share freely and fully with others all the resources which come to us from you. We confess our deep tendency to keep for ourselves more than we really need, and to overestimate how much we need. Help us to experience more often the surprising truth that when we share with others what seems preciously scarce to us, we find that everyone has more of what they really need. And give us greater courage and commitment in following more faithfully the way of boundless self-giving embodied in your Beloved, Anointed One. Amen.
HYMN 437 You Are the Lord
(Sung once by cantor;
congregation joins second time.)
*ASSURANCE OF GRACE+
“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents, and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.”
Believe the Good News of the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ we are loved and befriended by God.
*PASSING OF THE PEACE
Since we have been reconciled to God, let us also be reconciled to one another.
The peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.
(The congregation is invited to exchange signs of peace.)
HYMN 693 The Gift of Love, verse 3
Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.
SCRIPTURE READING ***
For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us, thanks be to God.
SERMON – Meredith Cox
*HYMN 36 For the Fruit of All Creation
PRAYERS OF SUPPLICATION AND INTERCESSION
O God, in your lovingkindness,
Hear our prayer.
OFFERING Every Valley Should Be Exalted
There are three ways to give:
- Through the offering plate.
- Through the “Give-lify” app.
- By clicking the “donate” button on woodlandnash.org.
*DOXOLOGY [LAAST UNS ERFREUEN]
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low.
Praise God, in Jesus fully known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
through Jesus Christ
you richly bless us with all that we need,
bread from the earth and the bread of heaven,
which gives life to the world.
Grant us one thing more:
grateful hearts to sing your praise,
in this world and the world to come.
We give thanks to you in all things, O God, as we pray, saying:
Our Father-Mother, 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 sins, as we forgive the sins of others; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
*HYMN 367 Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
POSTLUDE Praise to the Lord
*Please rise in body or in spirit.
+ “There is More to You Than Yesterday” – Morgan Harper Nichols
The Session of the Church:
Class of 2019: Mark Taylor, Brett Withers
Class of 2020: Alan Stephenson, Tom Eldridge
Class of 2021: Greg Gardner, Rachel Harley
Melinda Sanders, Moderator
We thank those who served in and prepared for worship today:
Meredith Cox, Preacher
Bill Maul, Music Director
Scott Sauers, Special Music
Liturgist, Elizabeth Welliver