Monday, June 20, 2011

The Way We Worship Together: June 19, 2011

Thank you to the wonderful Hope Spicer for this week's photos! This is also posted at

For an explanation behind the red drapes, read here.

Welcome to a weekly overview of Union Center Christian Church's Sunday  morning service.  You’ll not only read a list of the songs we led following the Call To Worship, but also the readings and prayers from our pattern of worship (aka, the liturgy).

For the next several weeks, we'll be enjoying artwork from
 a Union Center artist friend, Laurel Rudd.
You can find links to the set lists of this church and many other churches each week in the Worship Blog Carnival at theworshipcommunity.comYou can learn about some of the songs we sing at Union Center each week in advance of the Sunday service by reading the Getting Ready For Sunday”  post each Thursday.

Happy Father's Day!
Words of Greeting & Passing the Peace
Pastor Sal welcomed us as those gathered by God and then recognized all the men in the congregation, starting with great-grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers and then all men as part of the imago dei. He then prayed a blessing over the men and invited us to greet each other.

Call to Worship
After Pastor Sal led us in the call to worship, he invited all the Shepherdstown-aged students to come to the front for the first part of the service.

Pastor Sal:  We have gathered here to honor the One who created us.
All:  The One who gave us life..
Pastor Sal:  The One who sustains our lives each day.
All:  The One who is our constant companion.
Pastor Sal: The One who loves us more than a father and mother.
All:  The One who is worthy of our praise and of our service all the days of our lives. Alleluia!

Song: Refuge In You, written by Brenton Brown, Pete Jones and Bob Stratton. 

Song: Spin, written by Lincoln Brewster. One way of showing hospitality to our Shepherdstown students is to enjoy together the songs they sing each Sunday.  This is one of those songs and it's not one you can sing sitting down!  Listen to the song on YouTube. (by the way, I'm thinking it might be good for us to have more worship songs with physical activity attached to the lyrics!) 
gonna JUMP UP...
Drama: Respect

Children's Message
Pastor Joshua sat with the children and led them in a brief teaching about what the word "authority" means and how God blesses us when we respect authority.

As part of this talk, Pastor Joshua read us the story Our Home Is Like a Little Church by Lindsey Blair and Bobby Gilles of Sojourn Church in Louisville, KY.  This is a simple, but meaningful, way to teach children (and us adults, too!) the truth that the home is a “little church” where the father teaches his family God’s commands and leads them to worship the one true God. 

Once again, kids said the darndest things!  Both Pastor Joshua and the parents were courageous to let these kids share unscripted their thoughts and questions with all of us!  

closing their time with a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY shout-out!

Words of Confession 
Mallory led us after the children returned to their seats in a time to hear God's Word and respond with a prayer letting Him know we’re sorry for the things we’ve done. 

Mallory: And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah:

All:  "This is what the LORD Almighty said: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'

Mallory: But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They  made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.

All:  'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations where they were strangers.'
Please pray with me,
Father, we are sorry that we so often do not listen to you, like many of our ancestors. Forgive us for following our own selfish ways. Help us to hear you and follow hard after You and You alone. Amen.

Song: Unfailing Love,  written by Ed Cash, Cary Pierce and Chris Tomlin. God as our Heavenly Father demonstrates protection and love.  Listen to the song on YouTube.

Words of Assurance
Kier led us in this prayer of gratitude:
Jesus, we love You and need You.
You are our saving King.
You are Holy and awesome and 
The God of everything.
Be our refuge and shelter
And keep us safe beneath Your wing.
Father, thank you that your unfailing love has covered us.

Song: You're Worthy of My Praise,  written by David Ruis. .

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Giving
The appropriate response to our Creator and Redeemer is to give from all we have - heart, soul, mind, strength, gifts and resources.  Jessica led us in our offertory prayer.

Combined Choir:  This Is My Father's World / He's Got the Whole World In His Hands (composed by Joel Raney)
A special choir of people ages 7ish to 65ish sang this good and lovely hymn plus spiritual, describing the sovereignty of a good Father God in both stanza and simple chorus.  Listen to a Fernando Ortega version on YouTube.

Pastor Josh took some more time to continue unpacking the theme of recognizing the image of God in authority.  He got some help describing authority from a few kids in our congregation. 

He encouraged us that God designed and affirms authority.  Even though we've often experienced abuses of authority, we go against God's design when we live with a poor disposition to those in authority over us.  

SongFather, I Adore You,  written by Terrye Coelho. 

Life at the Center, Benediction & Sending
Pastor Sal shared some important ministry updates and then invited A. and some of our Elevate and Shepherdstown students to pray over her as she returns to the field.

We were then all sent out blessed to be a blessing.

For the weeks of Rated E and Pentecost, we'll be putting together a special mosaic.
  Thank you, Laurel Rudd, for designing this project for us!

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