Due to the uncertainty surrounding the course and intensity of Hurricane Irma, Grace Presbyterian Church will not have services on Sunday morning, September 10, 2017.
For those who don’t want to let the Sunday pass, perhaps the following loosely-stitched collection of music and readings may offer an opportunity for contemplation or even a little bit of worship as the morning passes, before the storm makes its way to Gainesville.
Preparation for Worship:
Everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being: You have made us for yourself, so that our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Give us purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will, no weakness keep us from doing it; that in your light we may see light clearly, and in your service find perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
A prelude, from Bach.
Call to Worship: Praise the Lord! Sing God’s praise in the assembly of the faithful, for the Lord takes pleasure in the people. Let the faithful sing for joy! Let us worship God!
Opening hymn (bonus: from Wales, the home of this hymn! Watch out at the end…)
Gloria Patri (and you supply the singing!)
Prayer for Illumination: Awaken our hearts and minds to your Word, O God. Give us understanding, so that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, we are able to do all that you command for love’s sake. Gathered in Christ’s name, gathered around the Word, we pray. Amen.
Responsive Reading: Psalm 149 (why not read responsively?)
Old Testament Reading: Exodus 12:1-14
Gospel Reading: Mattthew 18:15-20
Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Affirmation of Faith (adapted from the Confession of Belhar, the newest addition to the PC(USA) Book of Confessions:
We believe that Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another.
We believe that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways: in that we love one another; that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that true faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition for membership of this church.
We believe that this unity can be established only in freedom and not under constraint; that the variety of spiritual gifts, opportunities, backgrounds, convictions, as well as the various languages and cultures, are by virtue of the reconciliation in Christ, opportunities for mutual service and enrichment within the one visible people of God.
Prayers. (I think you can figure out who and what to pray for, but be sure to include those recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and those who have been, are being, and will be struck by Hurricane Irma…)
An offertory. (Not the usual kind.)
May the peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
Note: with a few exceptions this is more or less the planned order of service. Printed texts are from the Book of Common Worship and Feasting on the Word Worship Companion, Year A. It’s no substitute for being together, but maybe on this morning it’s better than nothing.