The Service of Worship of the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses in Trumansburg, Nov. 22, 2020

The Prelude

For Reflection                                                            

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4

The Welcome, News and Announcements                                 

The Introit   

The Call to Worship                                           Polly Gutelius                                                                                                                        

Leader:      A journey of many miles begins with a single step.

People:      Guide us and support us in our journey, O God.

Leader:       I was happy when they said to me, “Let us go up to the house of the

Lord!”

People:      Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that God may teach us God’s ways.

Leader:       God’s ways are not our ways; God’s ways are not of our making.

People:      God’s ways are peace, love, and joy, removing fear from our lives.

Leader:       God has called us to God’s Holy Mountain, to learn the ways of peace, love, and joy.

People:      Thanks be to God!

Leader:       Let us be Church.  Let us worship God!

The Unison Prayer of Confession                                      Polly Gutelius                                             

Creator of the Universe, preserve us from our own presumption. Do not let us close into ourselves but open us continually into You. Let us be more in love with You than with our notions of You. Let us stop claiming to know everything so that we may understand something. Increase in us, kindness. Make us people who care and who take care, who venerate the truth and recognize each other. Draw us with an irresistible beauty! We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn # 36, “For The Fruit of All Creation” (Please listen, hum, or recite but do not sing)

For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God.

For the gifts to every nation, thanks be to God.

For the plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping,

Future needs in earth’s safe keeping, thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labor, God’s will is done.

In the help we give our neighbor, God’s will is done.

In our world-wide task of caring for the hungry and despairing, In the harvests we are sharing, God’s will is done.

The Hebrew Scripture Reading     A Psalm of Thanksgiving      Polly Gutelius

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

The New Testament Lessons                                                 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6-7 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.  8-11 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,

He throws caution to the winds,
    giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
    never run out, never wear out.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

12-15 Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, His gift. No language can praise it enough!

 The Message

The Hymn #450, “Be Thou My Vision,” (Please listen, hum, or recite but do not sing) Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; naught be all else to me, save that thou art– thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord; thou and thou only, first in my heart, high King of heaven, my Treasure thou art.

We Proclaim God’s Word

Prayer of Illumination                                                                                      

Sermon    “What If?”   

The Music for Meditation

We Respond to God’s Word

The Unison Call to the Offertory

Bring now a portion of the abundance God has committed to your care as an offering of thanksgiving. God rewards our faithfulness with further opportunities and responsibilities, with deeper fulfillment and joy. Let all around bring gifts to God, who is to be feared and honored. Amen.

The Offertory Anthem          

**The Doxology

**The Prayer of Dedication 

The Joys and Concerns 

The Silent, Intercessory 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 thine is the kingdom, 

    and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen

We Go Forth in God’s Name

**The Charge and Benediction

**The Sending Hymn “Go Now in Peace” 

Go now in peace. Never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know He will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others so all the world can see.
God will be there watching from above.
Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

**Postlude

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Attributions

Call to Worship reprinted from Celebrating Justice & Liberation; Linda McKiernan-Allen; Chalice Press, C. 2003; Prayer of Confession adapted and reprinted from Prayers for a Thousand Years; Rabia Terri Harris; Book edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon; HarperSanFrancisco, C. 1999; Unison Prayer of Dedication reprinted from Fresh Winds of the Spirit, Book 2 by Lavon Bayler

Many thanks to our Liturgist, Polly Gutelius.

     

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