Our Gatherings

Dear Family of Faith,

As always, it will be a privilege this Sunday to join in worship with the communion of saints in our congregation and further afield.   

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September 27, 2020

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Presbyterian Church of Greene County, Bloomfield, IN




Pastoral Greeting, Rev. Hana Elliott


Call to Worship (from Psalm 78:1-4 re-worship.blogspot.com)

Leader: People of God, open your ears! Come and celebrate the story of our God,

People: a story of compassion and mercy, of redemption and love;

Leader: a story passed down from generation to generation, so that God's people never forget the wonderful things our God has done!

People: Let's praise God together!


Hymn: "Fairest Lord Jesus"                                                                            (tune: CRUSADER'S HYMN)

                        Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,

                   O Thou of God and Christ the Son:

                   Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,

                   Thou my soul's glory, joy and crown.


                   Beautiful Savior! Ford of all the nations!

                   Son of God and Son of Man!

                   glory and honor, praise adoration,

                   Now and forevermore be Thine!


Call to Confession (Thom Shuman, lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com)

All too often, we tell God we will do better, and be better, and then just go on living the same way we always have.

Let this be the moment, when we tell our God of our failures and faithlessness, so we can go forth to work in that kingdom of grace and hope. Let us pray.


Confession: (worshipofferings.blogspot.ca)

Leader: God of Living Water, you call us to come and drink.

People: So why do we sit here and complain that there is not enough water?

Leader: You call us to strike the rocks of our world and let your Living Water flow.

People: But we do not trust enough that the spring is there. We want to find the water on our own, using our own wisdom.

Leader: You call us to share the Water of Life with the world around us.

People: But we believe that the water is limited, not abundant and so we are tempted to save it for ourselves.

Leader: For all the times we turn away from your Water, for all the times we sully the Water by misusing it, for all the times we let others go thirsty instead of offering a drink,

People: Forgive us we pray.

(Time of silent prayer)


Pardon (worshipofferings.blogspot.ca)

The Water of Life flows with abundance to fill us with hope, to cleanse us of our guilt, to float us to a new life. Washed in the Living Water, we are forgiven and set free to live abundant life. Thanks and praise to God. Amen.


Passing of the Peace: (Colossians 3:15)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your heats. To this peace we were called as members of a single body. Peace be with you. And also with you.


Prayer for Illumination: (from Joanna Harader, spaciousfaith.com)

Author God, We come to hear the stories of other people in another world long ago. We come to hear the stories that are also about us today in this place.

God, give us ears to listen, eyes to see, hearts to accept. Amen.


First Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-13

1Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

5Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.


Second Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:23-32

23Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and sid, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?"

24Butt Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you be what authority I do these things: 25The baptism of John−where was it from? From heaven or from men?"

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' 26But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet." 27So they answered Jesus and said, "We do not know."

And He said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

28"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' 29He answered and siad. 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. 30Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?"

They said to Him, "The first."

Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32Fro John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterwared relent and believe him.


Sermon: "Because God Said So"


Reception of New Member:

Clerk: On behalf of the session, I present Karen Ruggles, who has been received into the membership of this congregation by transfer from Trinity Lutheran Church in Linton.


In baptism you were claimed by God, marked as Christ's own forever, and joined into his body by the Holy Spirit. You come to us then, not as a stranger, but as a friend in Christ and member of the household of God. We rejoice that you now desire to join with this congregation in the worship and mission of the church.

Hear these words from scripture: There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

As members of the body of Christ, let us reaffirm the faith into which we were baptized:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.


Karen, we have professed our faith as one body. Will you be a faithful member of this congregation, share in its worship and mission through your prayers and gifts, your study and service, and so fulfill your calling to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? I will, with God's help.


(All are invited to raise their hands in a gesture of blessing).

Holy God, thank you for calling us to be your people and joining us to Christ's body, the church. We praise you for leading Karen to this congregation. Empower us by your Spirit, that we might love one another as Christ loved us, honoring him in all that we say and do, giving our lives in service to others, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


Call to Offering: (Romans 12:1)

Present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.


Prayer of Dedication:

Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: our selves, our time, and our possessions. Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love; through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.



  Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

    Praise God all creature here below,

      Praise God above ye heavenly host,

        Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!


Prayer of Thanksgiving & Intercession

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.


Hymn: "Jesus Calls Us O'er the Tumult"                                                                                (tune: GALILEE)

                   Jesus calls us o'er the tumult of our life's wild, restless sea;

                   Day by day I hear Him saying, "Christian, com and follow me."


                   In our joys and in our sorrows, days of toil and hours of ease,

                   Still He calls in cares and pleasures, "Christian, love me more than these."


                   Jesus calls us: by Thy mercies, Savior, may we hear Thy call,

                   Give our hearts to Thine obedience, serve and love Thee best of all.


Charge & Blessing: (re-worship.blogspot.com)

As you leave this place, remember−the Spirit of God is already at work within you, giving you both the desire and the strength to do what pleases God. So go from here with joy to love and serve God and one another.

And may the blessing of God, the love of Jesus Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit be among you and within you. Amen.


Choral Response: "Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing"                                       (tune: SICILIAN MARINERS

            Lord, dismiss us with Thy blessing, fill our hearts with joy and peace;

              Let us each, Thy love possessing, triumph in redeeming grace.

                O refresh us, O refresh us, traveling through this wilderness.