Worship Order for
(quotes Psalm 18:1-3)
"I love you, O LORD, my strength."
So begins the 18th
Psalm. In personal terms, this prayer of faith continues, affirming
that "The LORD is
my rock in whom I take refuge,
the horn of my salvation,
In these words,
do you hear some of the lyrics of your own song of praise? If so,
let us also, "call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be
If you are able,
please stand and together let us lift our voices in praise.
song of praise begins and ends with your love, O Lord. Like bookends
to every good work on our part, it is your compassion behind and
before us which helps us to stand. Without your love first and
foremost, our words and actions become hollow and have little
meaning and impact. Therefore, in these beginning moments of
worship, we open the book of our lives that you might write your
name upon our title page, and underline what is most important for
us. Forgive the scribblings of sin that draw our attention from you,
and turn our eyes instead toward what you are doing in the lives of
others, that our hearts and hands may join with yours. And when our
time together this morning reaches the final page, send us forth
with the awareness that what we do in this world is an open book
that others may read and be drawn to you. This we pray in the name
of the One who first loved us. Amen.
and Renewing Baptismal Vows
I marvel at
the story of how two tiny girls came into this world, each so
small they could fit into the palm of their father. And over the
years they grew into women of faith, who stepped into the waters
of baptism during this month not all that long ago. (refers
to once "premie" twins being recognized this day) The
story of the others who stand before us this morning are just as
much a marvel. Once upon a time these men of faith were but babes
in their motherís arms, can you imagine? And here they are
today, just a few years (in the larger course of things it really
has been but a blink of the eyes) down the road from when they
chose to take that significant step of faith during this month,
confessing their faith and either being baptized or transferring
their letter from another congregation.
how or when, we are thankful that God brought you into our
fellowship. You are important to us. In your own way you add spice
to our fellowship, you help us to become more organized, you open
our ears to what we would not have heard if not for you, opening
your very home to those in need has extended the outreach of our
church, you provide wisdom as someone to whom we know we can
always turn. Thank you each just for being you.
sisters, let me extend the opportunity just now to renew the vows
you once made, that today might be, for you, a fresh beginning to
another year of faith. Here goes.
Do you still believe that Jesus is
Godís Son. Do you still trust him as your Savior and Lord?
If so, say, "I do."
Will you turn away from all sin
and endeavor by Godís grace - today! - to freely live
according to the example and teachings of Jesus? If so, say,
Will you continue to be loyal to
the church, upholding these people through your prayers and
your presence, your substance and your service? If so, say,
Each of you received a letter which included a pledge form, an
opportunity to respond with some vows specific to you, involving
your time and talents, as well as your substance. If you have felt
moved to pledge in this way, I invite you to place it in the
basket on the worship table, then return to where you were
sitting, while we sing
Lord Jesus" #117.
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
Jesus said, "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear
much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I
have loved you; abide in my love" (John
15:8-9)... Letís glorify God through our tithes and other
offerings. Will the ushers come forward to serve.
simple as those words sound, O Lord, greater truth can hardly be
spoken. With these offerings we simply seek to abide in that love.
May it bear fruit in the work of your church. Amen.