Order of Service, Sunday, July 19, 2020

Order of Service, Sunday, July 19, 2020

A Service of Worship for Sunday, July 19, 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                                                                                                         Sweet, Sweet Spirit

                                                                                                                               Doris Akers



Have you ever found yourself in a limbo of your own making”?

When have you found God in “unexpected places”?


Words of Gathering

From the moment you open your eyes each morning,

until you close them at night, God is with you.

There is no one like you, our God!

In times when you are surrounded with struggles,

in all the surprising places you find hope, Jesus is with you.

There is no one like you, Jesus, our Savior!

When you feel orphaned by the world or in history,

But you remember you belong to faith’s family,

The Spirit is with you.

There is no one like you, Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Advocate!



Insolently we insist we’re right and 

reject you, God, as out of touch or irrelevant.  

When we obey those desires that control us; 

When we live for ourselves, 

ignoring both the gifts and the needs of those around us; 

When we think we do not need to share love, hope, peace… 

How often we’ve joined that league of hooligans and troublemakers 

who insist on doing things their own way.

Yet, you have chosen us as your children, God-who-stands-with-us, 

forgiving us and making us inheritors with Jesus of your grace and joy.  

So lead us by the Spirit, that we might follow Jesus Christ, 

our Lord and Savior, into creation which groans for love and healing.


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                                         Theo Vogan                                 

The Scripture                                                                 Genesis 28: 10-22


The Sermon                                            For the Place Where You Are Is Holy Ground           

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 the unity of the church must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity, and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted. 


The Offering 

      Offertory                                                  We Are

                                                                              Dr. Ysaye Barnwell (used with permission)

                                                                             UU General Assembly 2020 Virtual Choir



The Blessing and Sending of the Prayer Shawls

                                                                                   Clark Dingman

                                                                                   Mark and Ellie Steiner

Prayers of the People

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


Community Life

  1. Lunch with the Pastor 
  2. Adult Bible Study
  3. Prayer Group
  4. Shawl Ministry Team
  5. Voter Engagement 


Blessings and Benediction — Tony Merlo


Postlude                                                                                                    Old Hundredth 

                                                                                                                            J.C. Bach