A Service of Worship for Sunday, August 9, 2020 —
Old First Church, Philadelphia, PA
the Rev. Michael Caine, pastor; Holly Phares, music director; William Lowden, organist
…no matter who you are, or
where you are on life’s journey,
you are welcome here…
Prelude All Glory to God Johann Pachelbel
Be still and breathe deeply of the Spirit who gather us with our friend Jesus to worship and serve God.
Words of Gathering ( adapted from John van de Laar’s “Sacredise”)
One: The worst storms, Jesus, are the ones our own fear blows up…
Many: When we grow afraid of losing our position or power;
when we become suspicious of the intentions or power of others;
when we refuse to acknowledge your authority because it is beyond all our understanding and control…
One: Yet, it’s in the storm that we find our capacity to love.
In letting go of our weak claims to power and opening ourselves to your reign…
Many: Then and there, we discover a new way of seeing ourselves – as called and useful and beloved.
And we begin to recognize the other, whoever they may be, as dignified and
precious and beloved too…
One: Here in the storm, Jesus, we need you. We are not afraid to say that.
Many: And we need each other, and the love you show us, to hold us together and to share.
For that kind of love leads us through sacrifice and self-giving to peace and calm…if only we will loose our hold on fear.
Confession (adapted from Thom Sherman’s “Lectionary Liturgies”)
In truth, God of silence and God of seas, we are more adept at making waves than calming storms. We find it easier to push people out of the boat, rather than make room for more. And our lives are so often such a whirlwind, that amidst all our “Sturm und Drang” (storm and stress). We never notice your presence. Or hear the sheer silence singing its eternal shalom to us.
Have mercy on us, God of patience. Give us the words to ask for your help.
Grab hold of us to keep us from drowning in our oceans of temptations and delusions. Fill our hearts with the love of Jesus, who is nearer to us than we dare to imagine.
Silence — In the silence, we may continue with our personal confessions
Passing the Peace
— share a recent experience or insight that leads you to pass on God’s peace —
A Time with the Children Iris & Ian Kaib
The Scripture Matthew 13: 22-33
Oh Savior Let Me Walk with You
Singers: Richard Kalwaic, Holly Phares, Adam Sherr, Sarah Sherr, Beth Walker
O Savior, let me walk with you in earthly paths of service true:
Tell me your secret, help me bear the strain of toil, the threat of care.
Teach me your patience; let me be in closer, dearer company.
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong, in trust that triumphs over wrong.
In hope that sends a shining ray far down the future’s broadening way, in peace that only you can give, with you, O Savior, let me live.
The Sermon When You Can’t Walk on Water
There is a tradition that “the Word is not preached until the responses of the congregation has been heard. Preaching is always a conversation; a sermon talk-back just makes the conversation more explicit. Now is a time for questions, corrections, comments, additions…
Affirmation of Faith — adapted from the Belhar Confession of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
We believe that Jesus is Lord.
To the one and only God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be the honor and glory forever and ever.
Offertory Adagio John Stanley
Prayers of the People
The Prayer of our Savior (using sins, debts or trespasses)
- Lunch with the Pastor: Special Guest Steve Wilhite
- Midday Meeting Zoom Bingo, Friday @ 1 pm
- Bethany’s Invitation to Fast on Tuesday, Aug.11 for $600
- Out Vote Training – Mon., Aug. 17 @ 7 pm (or postcard writing for Mike K.)
- Michael’s working on Children’s Ministry 2.0
- We’re figuring out how to post past services, password protected
- The office is closed Mondays in August
Blessings and Benediction — Jackie Williams
Postlude Voluntary Lucien Southard