August 16, 2020: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Video: entirety of the Worship service

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship: Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” 275, vs. 1, 3-4

Hymnal page: 275, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"

Prayer of the Day

Prayer of Confession

O God, we confess to being overcome with a sense of futility. We have sacrificed our social connections, our safety, our children’s schooling, our attendance at birthdays and anniversaries and funerals-for seemingly nothing. When we think of those who refuse to wear masks and social distance, their behavior makes us choke with rage. We feel little joy in our daily tasks. We feel helpless before forces we cannot control and every day is filled with new uncertainty. Too often, the pressures of our day to day existence bring out the worst in us. We are irritable, resentful, and lethargic. O God, restore us and save us. Resurrect us from the quagmire we find ourselves in. Help us to make a new beginning today, assured that our past failures are over and done with. Help us to reach out and help others, for in helping others, we find help for ourselves. This we pray in the name of Jesus. AMEN. 

Silent Confession

Kyrie: S1

Hymnal snippet: Kyrie

Assurance of Pardon

Gloria: S2, sing twice

Hymnal snippet: Gloria

Commitment to Pass the Peace

Prayer for Illumination

O God, we have set aside our distractions to be present to You. Teach us in this moment, we pray. AMEN.

Hebrew Reading: Psalm 77

I cry aloud to God,
    aloud to God, that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
    in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
    my soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and I moan;
    I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah

You keep my eyelids from closing;
    I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
    and remember the years of long ago.
I commune[a] with my heart in the night;
    I meditate and search my spirit:[b]
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
    and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
    Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

10 And I say, “It is my grief
    that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
11 I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
    I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all your work,
    and muse on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
    you have displayed your might among the peoples.
15 With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 When the waters saw you, O God,
    when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
    the very deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
    the skies thundered;
    your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
    your lightnings lit up the world;
    the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
    your path, through the mighty waters;
    yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Sermon: “Falling Down and Getting Up,” Rev. Vincent Kolb

Hymn: “By Gracious Powers,” 818

Hymnal page: "By Gracious Powers," 818

Affirmation of Faith: Brief Statement of Faith

In life and in death we belong to God. We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts and calling all to repent and believe the gospel. We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor. In a broken and fearful world, the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, and to work with others for justice, freedom and peace. We rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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.


Amen: S6

Hymnal snippet: Amen

Time for Children, Jenny Newman

Video: Time for Children


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 Patty Halverson, Kirk Howe, and Paul Nicolaysen for being part of the service this week!

* Adult Education Opportunity—Statement on White Supremacy: On Sunday, August 23, at 10 am, the Justice Core Team will be continuing a discussion of First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh’s Statement Against White Supremacy. Join us on Zoom, 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 [email protected] 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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