Order of Service for Sunday, June 28, 2020

Order of Service for Sunday, June 28, 2020

A Service of Worship for Sunday, June 28, 2020 — 

Old First Church, Philadelphia, PA


the Rev. Michael Caine, pastor; the Rev. Dr. Bob Robinson, preacher;

Holly Phares, music director; William Lowden, organist




Prelude                 Christ You Are My Friend

                                              Gert van Hoef


Silence                                                          Abraham failed the test.

For Sodom and Gemorrah he argued

       but when it came to his sons

        no protest crossed his lips…

…The angel had to call him twice.

      Abraham’s eyes were red, his voice hoarse.

       He wept like a man pardoned,

But God never spoke to him again.

                           — Rabbi Rachel Barenblat


Words of Gathering — a poem by Madeleine L’Engle

O my father, am I really to go with you?

And help you with the sacrifice to the Lord?

You’ve never taken me before, and I’ve always wanted to go.


Why do you weep, Mother? We won’t be long.

I’m growing up, now, and it is right that I go with Father.


Father, where is the lamb for the sacrifice?


All: Father, what are you doing? Father —

Father, how can the Lord want me? I am only a child.

How can you worship a Lord who wants your child?


Father, there is terrible laughter in the air like thunder.

You are not my father. I am afraid of you.

I will close my eyes. This rock is hard and cold against my bones.

This rock is. . .


Father. I heard thunder again.

You are untying the ropes which cut my skin.

You are laughing and crying, and the ram in the bush

is waiting with frightened eyes.

He does not understand, either.



God of the saints, God of the sinners, we all must confess:

We would be saint-like – holy, good, patient, right, loving.

But we end up feeling more like sinners – full of failures of morality, selfish, mean.

Perhaps, you appreciate us simply as human – beloved, but flawed,  trying and failing, following but misunderstanding, and only by grace succeeding.

In all of this, forgive the wrong that we have done, and bless the good we have accomplished.

Keep on loving us, and helping us, and remaking us more and more into the image of Christ, 

in whose name we pray. Amen.


Silence — for personal confession 



The God of Abraham Praise

Singers: Esther Bernard, Trixie Steiner-Rose, Suzanne Cole, Meg Bigelow, Blossom Gica, Max Staley, Adam Sherr, Richard Kalwaic


The God of Abraham praise, all praises to God’s name,

Who was and is and is to be, for-e’er the same!

The one eternal God, before what now appears; 

the First, the Last: beyond all thought through timeless years!


God has eternal life implanted in the soul; 

God’s love shall be our strength and stay, while ages roll. 

All praise the living God! Extol that hallowed name,

who was, and is, and ever shall be still the same!


The Passing of the Peace  — do you have a sentence or promise of God’s peace to share? 

A Time with the Children                              National Camera Day                                

The Scripture                                                          Genesis 22: 1-14

The Sermon                                                        Finding the Center                                                


Affirmation of Faith  — adapted from the Belhar Confession of the World Communion of Reformed Churches  

 We believe that the unity of the church can be established only in freedom and not under constraint; and that the variety of spiritual gifts, opportunities, backgrounds, and convictions, as well as the various languages and cultures, are, by virtue of our reconciliation in Christ, opportunities for mutual service and enrichment, within the one visible people of God. We believe that true faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition for membership in this church. 


Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer (using sins, debts or trespasses as you wish)


The Offering 

           Offertory                 Reflections of the Heart 

                                                                 Meredith Mier

                                                           Anna Sherr, piano                



Community Life

  1. Children’s Bible Storytime
  2. Lunch with the Pastor 
  3. Adult Bible Study
  4. Prayer Group
  5. Shawl Ministry Team
  6. WISE Training


Benediction — Maxwell Staley


Postlude                    The God of Abraham Praise

                                                                arr. Gail Smith