The congregation is invited to stand, as able, at those times marked with an *
Bold print, the community speaks as one.
+, the faithful may remember their baptism in Christ with the ancient prayer sign of the cross.
Someone is casting out demons in Jesus’ name who isn’t part of Jesus’ own circle, and the disciples want him stopped. They appeal to Jesus, as Joshua did to Moses about the elders who prophesied without official authorization. Like Moses, Jesus refuses to see this as a threat. Jesus welcomes good being done in his name, even when it is not under his control. The circle we form around Jesus’ word must be able to value good being done in ways we wouldn’t do it, by people we can’t keep tabs on.
Worship Note: All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, wherever the “+” appears within the liturgy. The sign of the cross, as explained and demonstrated in the 2018 edition of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship, is an ancient silent form of prayer which dates to the early 1st century church. A typical pattern for making the sign of the cross involves holding your thumb and first two fingers together (as a sign of the Trinity) and touching your forehead, lower chest, and both shoulders.
PRELUDE: Cwm Rhondda- music by John Hughes (1907); setting by P.F. Tillen (2018)
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
As a matter of hospitality, we invite everyone to fill out information in the red fellowship pad found on each pew at the center aisle and pass it down so everyone may be greeted by name during the passing of the peace. Written announcements can be found at the back of the bulletin.
*CALL TO WORSHIP & PRAYER OF THE DAY (John 17:7)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Alleluia. Your word, O Lord, is truth;
sanctify us in the truth. Alleluia.
Generous God, your Son gave his life that we might come to peace with you. Give us a share of your Spirit, and in all we do empower us to bear the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
*GATHERING HYMN # 307 God of Grace and God of Glory
PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION
Blessed be the + holy Trinity,
the one who fashions us,
the one who heals us,
the one who reforms us again and again.
Let us confess our sin, calling for God’s transforming power.
Silence for reflection and self-examination.
Source of all life,
we confess that we have not allowed
your grace to set us free.
We fear that we are not good enough.
We hear your word of love freely given to us,
yet we expect others to earn it.
We turn the church inward,
rather than moving it outward.
Forgive us. Stir us.
Reform us to be a church powered by love,
willing to speak for what is right,
act for what is just,
and seek the healing of your whole creation.
God hears our cry and sends the Spirit to change us
and to empower our lives in the world.
Our sins are forgiven,
+ God’s love is unconditional,
and we are raised up as God’s people
who will always be made new,
in the name of Jesus Christ.
Since God has embraced us in, with and through our Risen Lord, Jesus the Christ, let us then forgive and embrace one another in the love and peace of God. The Peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
OFFERING OF MUSIC: Blessed Are the Ones That Endureth Temptation- text adapted from James 1:12; music by John Stainer (1901)
Blessed are the ones that endureth temptation, for when they are tried, they shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those that love him.
ALL SING # 487 These Treasured Children (verse 1 & 4)
SUNG PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION # 461 As Dew Falls Gently at Dawn (verse 1)
FIRST READING: Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
What constitutes legitimate need and legitimate leadership is the focus of this reading. God provides manna in the wilderness, yet the people crave meat. What is truly needful? God bestows the spirit on seventy elders, yet two men not designated as leaders prophesy in the power of God’s spirit. What constitutes real leadership?
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
PSALM 19, sung by the choir:
The Heavens Declare- William Billings (1794)
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth God’s handiwork. One day telleth another, and one night doth certify another. For there is neither speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their sound is gone out to all lands. The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Mark 9:38-50
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus teaches his disciples about ministry that involves service and sacrifice. His disciples are slow to realize that these words apply to them as well as to others.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Freed by God in Christ to live and love and serve, we pray for the church, those in need, and all of God’s beloved creation.
A brief silence.
Gracious God, you gather together people of faith in every time and every place to be the risen body of Christ in the world. Enliven the church to nourish its members, to love the earth, and to serve its neighbors. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Creative God, you weave together the fabric of the universe. Forests and fields bear the banner of your abundance. Give us wisdom and discernment to be good stewards of our resources. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Sovereign God, you bless people with intelligence and compassion. Inspire citizens to raise up good leaders who seek peace and reconciliation among nations and who long to repair the world. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Loving God, you house the homeless, free the captive, and heal the sick. Make our hands your hands in service to strangers and friends. (We pray especially for…) Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Welcoming God, you have given us to each other in this congregation. Make us glad to receive those you send to us and ready to receive their unique gifts and perspectives. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
In every time and place you raise up witnesses who testify to your love and tender mercy. We remember with thanksgiving all who made your word known in the world. From the Presbyterian Calendar of Commemorations, we remember this week: Romanus* the Melodist (d. c. 540); Juana Inés de la Cruz* (1648– 1695); Gérard of Brogne* (c. 895– 959); Francis of Assisi (c. 1181– 1226); Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878– 1969); Billy Sunday (1863– 1935); and William Tyndale* (c. 1494– 1536). Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Into your wide embrace, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your boundless mercy through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who taught us to pray:
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 forgive 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.
INVITATION TO DISCIPLESHIP & STEWARDSHIP (Psalm 19:14)
In the words of the Psalmist, “Let our words and thoughts be acceptable to God, for the Lord is our rock and our redeemer.”
Let us therefore offer ourselves in service to those God loves.
Let us offer our sacrifices to build community,
bring peace, and be a blessing
to those in need throughout the world. Amen.
OFFERTORY: September Song- Kurt Weill (from Knickerbocker Holiday- 1938)
*HYMN OF PRAISE # 647 Give Thanks
*PRAYER OF DEDICATION
God of life, you give us these gifts, these resources of our life and our labor. Take them, offered in great thanksgiving, and use them to set a table of grace and welcome, build a house of peace and hospitality, and extend a hand and heart to heal the whole creation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Light. Amen.
*SENDING HYMN # 432 How Clear is Our Vocation, Lord
NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the Sundays and Seasons (Year B), Glory to God Hymnal on-line, and the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018). Commemoration of Saints is from the 2018 Book of Common Worship, pg 1145.
MUSIC CONTRIBUTORS: The Chancel Choir
From the Presbyterian Calendar of Commemorations:
Romanus the Melodist (d. c. 540) - Born to a Jewish family in Syria, Romanus served as a deacon and sacristan at Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. He is said to have composed more than 1,000 hymns or kontakia celebrating various festivals of the ecclesiastical year, the lives of the saints and other sacred subjects, some 60 to 80 of which survive and are still used in the Greek Orthodox Church.
Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648– 1695) - (English: Sister Joan Agnes of the Cross), born near Mexico City, illegitimate daughter of a Spanish captain and a native Mexican woman. Self-taught scholar and student of scientific thought, philosopher, composer, playwright, and poet of the Baroque school. She chose to become a nun so that she could study as she wished since she wanted “to have no fixed occupation which might curtail my freedom to study.”
Gérard of Brogne (c. 895– 959) - Priest, monk, abbot, and reformer, founder of the monastery of Brogne, Belgium.
Francis of Assisi (c. 1181– 1226) - Italian Catholic friar, deacon, reformer, and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis, and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he is designated Patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it is customary for Catholic, Anglican, and other churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of October 4.
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878– 1969) - American pastor, writer, and preacher; Fosdick was one of the most prominent liberal ministers of the early 20th century. Although a Baptist, he was called to serve as pastor, in New York City, at First Presbyterian Church in Manhattan’s West Village, and then at the historic, inter-denominational Riverside Church in Morningside Heights, Manhattan. Outspokenly critical of racism and injustice, Fosdick advocated scientific thinking in the context of Christian belief, rejecting creationism and fundamentalism. He is instrumental in the development of the AA movement. Author of the hymn God of Grace and God of Glory.
Billy Sunday (1863– 1935) - American athlete who, after being a popular outfielder in baseball’s National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century. Converting to evangelical Christianity in the 1880s, Sunday left baseball for the Christian ministry. During the early 20th century, he became the nation’s most famous evangelist with his colloquial sermons and fiery delivery. Sunday was a strong supporter of Prohibition, and his preaching likely played a significant role in the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919.
William Tyndale (c. 1494– 1536) - English scholar and leading figure in the Protestant Reformation; known for his translation of the Bible into English, the first to bring the entire text of the Bible to English speakers. For his opposition of King Henry VIII’s annulment to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, as well as for the “heretic” act of making God’s word available to common people, Tyndale was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake.
Presbyterian Church (USA). Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Publishing, 2018.