You will find that the service has been broke up into 3 links, each link is posted at the beginning of the service portion it covers.
Scripture for Preparation
“You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And
The Welcome, News and Announcements
The Call to Worship
Leader: God’s Spirit helps us to let go and refreshes us again and again.
People: The God of hope empowers us to be light and life.
Leader: God’s deep love moves us to forgive.
People: The God of hope empowers us to be light and life.
Leader: Come, let us worship God whose love forgives, renews, and heals
Hymn #358 “Help Us Accept Each Other”
Prayer of Confession
God of patience and forgiveness, we come before you in a time of confession. Cleanse our hearts we pray, O God, for we seek to be one with your holy presence. We confess the times when we have felt rejected and it hurts. As a result, we strike back, hurting those close to us, whoever is most unfortunate to be nearby. Sometimes, as a result of abandonment issues, we go on the attack. We want to seek vengeance rather than seek peace and reconciliation. Help us to once again walk in the gentleness of your Spirit and embrace even that which is difficult to embrace. Amen.
The Hebrew Scripture Reading
Ruth 1 Barbara Melvin
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
6 Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. 10 They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13 would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” 14 Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
17 Where you die, I will die—
there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me,
and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!”
18 When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20 She said to them,
“Call me no longer Naomi,[a]
call me Mara,[b]
for the Almighty[c] has dealt bitterly with me.
21 I went away full,
but the Lord has brought me back empty;
why call me Naomi
when the Lord has dealt harshly with[d] me,
and the Almighty[e] has brought calamity upon me?”
22 So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Hymn #579 “Glory Be to the Father”
We Proclaim God’s Word
The New Testament Lesson
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple[a] of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
New Revised Standard Version
Prayer of Illumination
Assurance of Forgiveness
My friends: hear the good news: Our God weeps with us in sorrow, and rejoices with us in joy. God journeys with us in the deepest valley of our lives, and supports us through all our troubles. God sees our sincere hearts and smiles at our desire for renewal. The God of hope empowers us to be light and life. We go forth in the light of God, in the light of hope, forgiveness, and renewal. God’s way is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. Please pray with me…
Sermon “The Pain is a Part of the Love, So Embrace It”
Organ Music for Meditation
We Respond to God’s Word
Let us position ourselves to be givers of light and life. Let us give of our light and light through Christ, Amen.
Please hum along or speak The Doxology
The Prayer of Dedication
God of our ancestors, whose laws are timeless and whose ways empower the church, we bring to you the results of our labors. We recognize all our moments and days as precious gifts from you, and dedicate ourselves anew to fulfilling your purposes. We do this concerning all you entrust to us, not just through the portion we here return. Bless all that the church seeks to accomplish in Christ’s name. Amen.
The Joys and Concerns
The People’s Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer
…Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your 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 yours is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen
We Go Forth in God’s Name
The Charge and Benediction
Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
The Sending Hymn “Go Now In Peace”
Sharing the Prayer Force
The next meeting of the Prayer Force is Thursday, September 24 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
A search for unity Silent prayer before deciding — Silent prayer prior to deciding is encouraged to allow deciders to let go of their own thoughts and make room for God’s ways.
A search for unity — When making decisions, seek unity. When there is disagreement, step back and have more prayer, believing God may be leading all to other options.
Prayerful gatherings do not take longer. This is because time-consuming requirements such as reading reports and minutes are fulfilled beforehand. This more prayerful standard creates a higher bar for collaboration and action.
We never truly know what God wants, but our experience is that churches that intentionally invite God into their meetings end up with a subtle but profound spiritual revival.
* Graham Standish is executive director of Samaritan Counseling, Guidance, Consulting in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and directs their Caring for Clergy and Congregations program. He is the author of several books on spirituality and congregational transformation, with a new one, “.… And the Church Actually Changed,” due this month (ngrahamstandish.org).
Psalms and Prayers for Congregational Participation by B. Davie Hostetter, 1982
The hymns for today are from The Presbyterian Hymnal, Westminster Press, 1990
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