Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship: Psalm 105:3b-6a
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham
LET US WORSHIP GOD
Hymn: “O Worship the King All Glorious Above,” 41
Prayer of the Day
Prayer of Confession
Holy God, we keep forgetting that how you do things is not how we do things. You gift us with your abundance, but we keep expecting to have to pay you back. We cannot afford your lavish gifts. Forgive us for presuming that we had to. Open our ears to hear your ever-speaking voice, inviting us back into relationship with you.
Assurance of Pardon
Prayer for Illumination
Holy Spirit, our counsel, you speak comfort and consolation to us without ceasing. Open our ears to hear what you are saying now to the church through these ancient words. Amen.
Time for Children, Jenny Newman
Epistle Reading: Romans 4:13-25
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already[a] as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 Therefore his faith[b] “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Hebrew Reading: Genesis 22:1-13
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.
9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill[a] his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Sermon: “The Last Conversation,” Ruling Elder Kate Davoli
Hymn: “The God of Abraham Praise,” 49
Affirmation of Faith: from Brief Statement of Faith
We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba, Father. In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God’s image [….] In everlasting love, the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people to bless all families of the earth. Hearing their cry, God delivered the children of Israel from the house of bondage. Loving us still, God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant. Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child, like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home, God is faithful still.
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.
Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” 39
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 Ruling Elder Kate Davoli and Peter Gilmore for being part of the service this week!
* Worship and Connection Survey: We would like to know how you’re doing! If you’ve not done so already, please fill out our Worship and Connection Survey (click here!)
* Adult Education Opportunity—Statement on White Supremacy: On Sunday, August 16, at 10 am, the Justice Core Team will be holding a Zoom educational hour on First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh’s Statement Against White Supremacy. Join us, ask questions, and offer your comments. Immediately following this educational event, join us for worship live-streamed at 11 am. Contact the church office for the link or look for it in the weekly worship email.
* 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.
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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