Order of Service, Sunday, August 9, 2020

Order of Service, Sunday, August 9, 2020

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      

          William Lowden


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                            


Sermon Talk-back 

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.             


The Offering 

      Offertory                        Adagio                   John Stanley



Prayers of the People

      The Prayer of our Savior (using sins, debts or trespasses) 


Community Life

  1. Lunch with the Pastor:  Special Guest Steve Wilhite
  2. Midday Meeting Zoom Bingo, Friday @ 1 pm
  3. Bethany’s Invitation to Fast on Tuesday, Aug.11 for $600
  4. Out Vote Training – Mon., Aug. 17 @ 7 pm (or postcard writing for Mike K.)
  5. Michael’s working on Children’s Ministry 2.0
  6. We’re figuring out how to post past services, password protected
  7. The office is closed Mondays in August


Blessings and Benediction —   Jackie Williams


Postlude                              Voluntary                          Lucien Southard