Opening Ourselves to Worship
Call to Worship (People’s response in bold.)
Leader: People of God, let us gather to worship and praise God’s name.
People: I give thanks to you, O God, with my whole heart. I will glorify your name forever!
Leader: For great is your steadfast love for me.
People: You have delivered my soul from the depths.
Leader: God says, “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.”
Opening Hymn: “God of Grace, and God of Glory”
Invitation to Confession
Trusting in God’s mercy, let us acknowledge to ourselves and each other those ways we fall short from what God intends for us, all of which God already knows.
Prayer of Confession
Abba, Father, where we are in bondage to sin, set us free. Forgive us for all that we have done and left undone. Restore us as your children and joint heirs with Christ, for you are our hope and our salvation. Lead us in the way everlasting. Amen.
Assurance of Forgiveness
My fellow children of God, do not fear, for our God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. God’s hand shall lead us and hold us fast. So be reconciled with God and at peace with one another. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
People: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven! Glory to God! Amen
Hearing God’s Word
Prayer for Illumination
Spirit of life, we do not know how to pray as we ought. Meet us in words written, in words spoken; intercede for us with sighs too deep for words, until we shine with the hope that is hidden in our hearts, for we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Epistle Lesson: Romans 8:26-39
The Children’s Time to Lead Us
Gospel Lesson: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Leader: This is the Word of God for the People of God. People: Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Rev. Lorrin Radzik
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic** church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Transforming Our Lives & the World
Prayers of the People
Holy God, we do not know how to pray as we ought, but Jesus invites us into the life he shares with you. Holy God, we keep coming, because we want to live. Receive us now in our frailty, our complacency, our desire.
We pray for your church all over the world, that we would be seed and yeast where life has grown barren and heavy. May the life we discover in you bind us to each other and to the world you love, for no need is beyond the strength of your call, and no child of yours is expendable.
Merciful God, give us wisdom and courage beyond our imagining. We pray for friends and strangers in the grip of addiction. Make us able companions for each other, and bless us with hope that bears fruit.
We pray for unsettled economies and those whose needs are overlooked in the choices of the powerful. May we, who know so much privilege, bear our responsibilities with open hearts and open hands.
We pray for all who stand at the thresholds of life: for your children who are soon to be born and your children who are soon to go home.
We give thanks for new faces to love, ideas to ponder, work to do - and we marvel at the sturdy friendships and persistent memories that sustain us when the way is hard. May each be a reminder of your love and your provision.
We thank you for the gift of song - for notes that speak when words fail and choirs that practice at the end of long days. Give strength to leaders who call forth the best from us and invite us to breathe together.
Holy One, keep calling us into the world - your world - as seed and yeast and treasure. Equip each of us for the challenges we will face until we learn to worship in the most unlikely places, for you are the source of our song and the well from which we pray, wherever we are planted. By the power of your Spirit, we make our prayer with resurrection hope, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Our Father, 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Invitation to Generosity
Offertory: Come Ye Thankful People Come
Prayer of Dedication
Holy One, receive these offerings as you receive our lives. Gather our false starts and uncertain efforts, our generosity and our reluctance. Enliven us with your breath and make your purposes known, that our lives might show forth your glory, for we pray in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Spirit. Amen.
Closing Hymn: Forth in Thy Name, O Lord”
Thank you for joining us in worship today.
Today’s worship is compiled and adapted from Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Year A, Volume 2, Proper 12.
Rev. Lorrin Radzik, Senior Pastor, Rockport UMC
Father David Radzik, Rector, St. Thomas Church, Berea
Music recorded by Susan Shick, Director of Music and Organist at Rockport UMC and the General Board of Discipleship
Permission to print and podcast/stream the music (not in public domain) is obtained from CCLI with license #20417540