July 26, 2020: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome and Announcements

Audio: Welcome and Announcements, Call to Worship

Call to Worship: II Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and then turn from their wicked ways
Then God will hear from heaven, and will forgive our sin and heal our land.

Hymn: “In an Age of Twisted Values,” 345

Video: “In an Age of Twisted Values”
Hymnal page: "In an Age of Twisted Values," 345

Prayer of the Day

Audio: Prayer of the Day and Prayer of Confession

Prayer of Confession

O God, we live in trying times. Our land is bitterly divided. Our inability to perceive reality from the same perspective leads to vastly different convictions about how we should address the pandemic and engage our social ills. We lament that this impasse means that more innocent people will suffer, losing their health, their jobs, their homes. We confess that we want to run and hide from it all, retreating into our security and comfort, taking care of our own. Forgive us when we succumb to the ever-present temptation to be selfish and forget our neighbors. Save us from cynicism and despair. Help us to see what it is we can do and be in the present moment to be instruments of your peace, grace, and kindness. In Christ we pray. AMEN.

Assurance of Pardon and Commitment to Pass the Peace

Video: Assurance of Pardon and Commitment to Pass the Peace

Prayer for Illumination

Audio: Prayer for Illumination

O God, reveal Your truth to us as we listen to Your Word. AMEN.

Time for Children, Jenny Newman

Video: Time for Children

Hebrew Reading: Judges 11:29-40

Audio: Scripture Reading

29 Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh. He passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt offering.” 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them; and the Lord gave them into his hand. 33 He inflicted a massive defeat on them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty towns, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.

34 Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no son or daughter except her. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.” 36 She said to him, “My father, if you have opened your mouth to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the Lord has given you vengeance against your enemies, the Ammonites.” 37 And she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: Grant me two months, so that I may go and wander[a] on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, my companions and I.” 38 “Go,” he said and sent her away for two months. So she departed, she and her companions, and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. 39 At the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to the vow he had made. She had never slept with a man. So there arose an Israelite custom that 40 for four days every year the daughters of Israel would go out to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

Sermon: “Jephthah, Our President, and the Sacrifice of Our Children,” Rev. Vincent Kolb

Video: Sermon

Hymn: “O God of Every Nation,” 756

Video: “O God of Every Nation”
Hymnal page: "O God of Every Nation," 756

Affirmation of Faith: Confession of 1967

Audio: Affirmation of Faith, Pastoral Prayer, and Lord’s Prayer

The Bible is to be interpreted in the light of its witness to God’s work of reconciliation in Christ. The Scriptures, given under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are nevertheless the words of men and women, conditioned by the language, thought forms, and literary fashions of the places and times at which they were written. They reflect views of life, history, and the cosmos which were then current. The church, therefore, has an obligation to approach the Scriptures with literary and historical understanding. As God has spoken God’s word in diverse cultural situations, the church is confident that God will continue to speak through the Scriptures in a changing world and in every form of human culture.

Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer, 2019 Vatican Update

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;
do not let us fall into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.

Closing Anthem: “Miserere Mei,” Gregorio Allegri

Video: “Miserere Mei”

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness

Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
According to the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences.

Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness: and cleanse me from my sin.

Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
For I acknowledge my faults: and my sin is ever before me.

Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Against Thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified in Thy sentence and blameless in Thy judgement

Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
The sacrifice to God is a troubled spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt Thou not despise.

Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
O be favourable and gracious unto Sion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem

Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.
Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and oblations: then shall they offer young bullocks upon Thine altar.

Psalm 51


Video: Benediction


We are an open and affirming community of faith in Jesus Christ. At home in an urban neighborhood of many faiths, we acknowledge that we are not alone on the path to understanding God. In worship, study, and fellowship, we celebrate our Presbyterian roots and find joy in our diversity. We strive for the grace to love one another as we seek deeper understanding of life in the Spirit, working for justice and serving as stewards of God’s wondrous creation.

We are a More Light congregation: “Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the Church a true community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians is the full participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry, and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).”

Inclusive Language: Words matter. Jesus Christ, the living Word, reached out to all people to bring all people into God’s fold. The kingdom of God includes all types of people; therefore our language should reflect the inclusivity and equality among the people of God. To the end, when possible, we seek to eliminate the inherent bias of the English language towards the masculine gender without altering passages that reflect the historical situation of ancient patriarchal culture, out of which the Bible originated.

* The Session has closed the building until further notice to observe the governmental restrictions of social distancing.

* Many thanks to Heather Vallone and Dante McDonald for being part of the service this week and to Kirk Howe for taping the sermon!

Dante McDonald and Heather Vallone
Image: Dante McDonald and Heather Vallone

* The Earth Care Committee will be meeting Sunday, July 26, at 1 pm. Contact Keith Gillogly for more information and/or the Zoom link.

* Rev. Kolb will be on vacation July 27-August 3. In the event of a pastoral emergency, please contact Rev. Myra Kazanjian.

* Want to join Pastor Vincent’s Bible study of the lectionary texts at 11 am on Wednesdays? Contact the office to get on the email list for connection to the Zoom meeting.

* There will not be official Bible study while Vincent is on vacation, but Amy will host the Zoom meeting for anyone who wants to have virtual social time

* Zoom confused? Set up a call with Amy, and we’ll work through it together.

* It’s not the same as the thrill of putting the envelope in the plate, but you can still pay on your pledges either through eGive (click here!) or by mailing your check to the church. We continue to need your support in this challenging time!

* Resources for families are on Jenny’s Children and Youth blog (click here!)

* The Sixth Church Mouse Returns! For congregants who would like to participate in an email form of prayers of the people, please contact sixthchurchmouse@gmail.com to be added to the list. You can submit prayer requests to the same email address by Thursdays at 5 pm to be included in an email sent each Friday. Please remember that confidentiality still applies; we want this to be a safe place for both participants and those we love.

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