September 6, 2020: Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome and Announcements

Audio: Welcome and Announcements and Call to Worship

Call to Worship

Listen! The Lord calls out to us, offering life!
Teach, lead, turn us to your ways, O God.                            
Walk in the paths of God’s commandments
with delight.                                                                               
Teach, lead, turn us to your ways, O God.
With our whole heart,                                                             
we will turn to you and live!

Hymn: “Spirit, Open My Heart,” 692

Video: “Spirit, Open My Heart”
Hymnal page: 692, "Spirit, Open My Heart"

Prayer of the Day

Audio: Prayer of the Day, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Moment for Gaza and Beirut, and Prayer for Illumination

Prayer of Confession

From evil, even when it masquerades as good, Merciful God, deliver us. From selfishness and vain desires, Merciful God, deliver us. From irresponsible behaviors, quarreling, and jealousy, Merciful God, deliver us. From hurtful disagreements and irreconcilable differences, Merciful God, deliver us. Turn us away from the death sin inflicts. Lead us into the abundant life Christ brings. Forgive us, we pray, and teach us to forgive, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Moment for Gaza and Beirut, Peter Gilmore

Prayer for Illumination

Awaken our hearts and minds to your Word, O God. Give us understanding so that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, we are able to do all that you command for love’s sake. Gathered in Christ’s name, gathered around the Word, we pray. Amen.

Time for Children, Jenny Newman

Video: Time for Children

Epistle Reading: Romans 12:1-9

Audio: Scripture Reading

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 

Sermon: “Reform the Police, Reform Ourselves,” Erin Angeli

Video: Sermon

Hymn: “This Is My Song,” 340

Video: “This Is My Song”
Hymnal page: 340, "This Is My Song"

Affirmation of Faith: The Iona Community

Audio: Affirmation of Faith

We believe that God is present in the darkness before dawn; in the waiting and uncertainty where fear and courage join hands, where conflict and caring link arms, and where the sun rises over barbed wire. We believe in a with-us God, Who sits down in our midst to share our humanity. We affirm a faith that takes us beyond the safe place into action, into vulnerability. and into the streets. We commit ourselves to work for change that puts us on the line; to bear responsibility, to take risks, to live powerfully and face humiliation; to stand with those on the edge; to choose life and be used by the Spirit for God’s new community of hope. Amen

The Lord’s Supper

Video: Communion

Pastoral Prayer

Audio: Pastoral Prayer and The Lord’s 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.

Anthem: “Through Every Age Eternal God,” Alice Parker

Video: “Through Every Age Eternal God”

Through every age eternal God, You are our rest, our safe abode.
High was thy throne ere heaven was made, Or earth thy humble footstool laid.

Long hadst thou reigned ere time began, Or dust was fashioned into man;
And long thy Kingdom shall endure, When earth and time shall be no more.

Forever shall thy throne endure; Thy promise stands forever sure,
And everlasting holiness Becomes the dwelling of thy grace.

Psalm 90, Isaac Watts


Audio: 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 Gail Luley, Erin Angeli, and Peter Gilmore for being part of the service this week!

Image: Gail Luley
Peter Gilmore
Image: Peter Gilmore

* 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 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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