Worship at Home for Sunday September 27 2020

Video Opening

“I Will Sing of Your Love, Love, Love” by Christopher Grundy.

© 2018 Christopher Grundy, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given congregations to play recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.

Moment of Silence

Opening Prayer

God, who calls us to journey together in faith and love we offer up our worship and praise to you this day. You love us and give to us the ultimate gift of love in our Savior Jesus. May we love one another as you have loved us. Help us to share this love with the world. Amen.

Passing of the Peace (Smile and wave to those around you.)

Children’s Message Water from a Rock

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Readings

Exodus 17:1-7

1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?" 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." 5 The Lord said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"

1 John 4:7-21

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sermon: God Loves Us, Let Us Love One Another

These first few paragraphs are based on a sample sermon by the Rev. Dave Sigmund 3 Great Loves Ambassador, United Church of Christ. I am sharing his words with you because they give a brief history of the 3 Great Loves movement of the United Church of Christ.

Today I’d like to share with you more about 3 Great Loves. Sharing a key scriptural and theological underpinning for 3 Great Loves. And then encourage us to reflect on what it means for us all to be “Ambassadors” of God’s love.

You might be wondering, what is this whole UCC 3 Great Loves thing?

Beginning at our national gathering, General Synod, in the summer of 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, 3 Great Loves was kicked off. And 3 Great Loves is our denomination wide initiative of how we live out our Purpose, Vision and Mission, as adopted in the fall of 2016, as the United Church of Christ.

As the United Church of Christ: Our Purpose is to Love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. Our Vision is that we are United in Christ's love and seek to make a just world for all. And our Mission is that United in the Spirit and inspired by God's grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.

3 Great Loves is us, collectively, as a united church, putting “hands and feet” to our Purpose, Vision, and Mission. Living out God’s love, living out our purpose, vision, and mission, transforming the world, and making a just world for all through the lens of 3 Great Loves: Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation.

So, in these years since Baltimore and in the coming years we are collecting, lifting up, and highlighting stories of our local churches such as St. Peter’s UCC and UCC affiliates, like the Every Child’s Hope and Emmaus Homes; and sharing stories of how we all are living out God’s love in missional, measurable, and meaningful ways in our communities across the country.

How good it is to share the love of God who loves us! We are sharing that love as a denomination, conference, UCC affiliates and at St. Peter’s UCC. Even when the world seems in trouble or we are lost in a desert, God love us! We are called by God to love one another. Love not in a sentimental sending of valentine’s day cards, but rather the hard work of love as in living in community, seeing a need and caring for the other person.

Living in God’s love can be a difficult journey especially in years like this one but look at the Hebrew people in the desert. They were following a God who loved them. They were being led to a strange new land. God’s love seemed distant. The people were feeling parched, but what did God do? God brought forth water from a rock.

God loves us and will give us what we need for the journey. God gave to us the ultimate gift of love when Jesus loved us enough to die for us so that we may have new life in him. We then live out that love in our own lives. A real love that does not wither just because we find ourselves in a desert.

Our congregation is sharing God’s love today! We have prayer shawls to share with our neighbors who need a hug. We have an Upper Room store that give clothes to those in need. We showed love to children through the Back to School Fair. Our youth showed love of creation by weeding around the church and recycling. We have a lovely garden in front of the church. We will show our love of neighbor through the CROP walk on Sunday, October 11.

We need love more than ever. This summer a woman who had children’s clothes to share brought them to St. Peter’s, because she did a search about places in our community that help people. St. Peter’s was one of her results. Helping people is love! Let us share God’s love by committing ourselves to God’s church at St. Peter’s UCC. Let us continue to share the love today and always. Amen.

Prayer:
Loving God, love is what it is all about. We express our love for you today and everyday in our prayers, words and actions. We give you thanks for the great love that you have for each and everyone of us. May we be inspired to share that love with one another, our church, our community and the world. Forgive us when we doubt your love for us. Forgive us when we fail to love each other as we should. Grant us the loving grace that you offer to the world. There are many places that feel bereft of love. May we be the loving presence to those who need it most.

Let us take a moment to lift ourselves and others in prayer. We pray for those on our prayer list. Let us read through the names on our prayer list and imagine that God is surrounding them and us with healing love and strength.

Silent Prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer list:

Simon, Howard, Julia, Ahna, Mike, Josh, Priscilla, Duane, Janet, Grandpa David, Dorothy, Jacob, Jenny, Ann, Dale, Gayle, Don, Cheryl, Dustin, Pat, Student with eating disorder, Tate, Patricia, Roland, Aryanna, Amanda, Virginia, Matthew, Tom, Naomi, Vic, Jennelle, Charlie, James, Rick, Christy, Reagan, Kim, Lee, Kevin, Gaylynn, Liz’s sister in law, Naomi, Nathan, Jason, Cheryl, Daniel, Betty, Dax, Carter, Laurie’s mom, Jock, Nancy, Pat, Malachi and Karen, Carolyn, Ellen, Shirley, Mary, Karen, Paul, Hal, Richard, Crystal, Edie, Paula, Jim, Truett, Brett and Danielle, Judy, Laura F, Shirley, Butch, Joyce., Macie, Michel, Dorothy L, family of child who donated a heart to Truett, Corey, Lauren, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Bernice, Mike, Gary S., Linda, Pat, Gary, Dave, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Breana, Dean, Corey, Jeff, Nancy, Terry, Bev, Edgar, Angie, Mark, Mystick who has been missing as requested by Aunt Laura, Mamie, Art, special prayers for Dave Mayberry, Anna.

Special prayers:

  • Gasconade R-2 Students, Teachers and Staff
  • Those affected by Covid-19.
  • Those affected by Hurricane Sally and the wildfires out west.
  • First responders in our community.

Goodwill/Offering

During this month of our Three Great Loves stewardship campaign, please take time to consider how you through St. Peter’s UCC can share God’s Love.

  • Give thanks for all God’s care for us.
  • Share what you have whatever it is, it is enough.
  • Donate via PayPal on our website or write a check.

Prayer of Dedication and Commitment

Adapted from one written by Rev. Susan Blain.

If you are grateful to God for this new day, and want to say thanks,

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for a kindness given or received this week, and want to say thanks,

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for this community, and want to say thanks,

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for a prayer heard and want to say thanks,

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for the gift of amazing grace, and want to say thanks,

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for Neighbors and want to share your thanks and love

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for Children and want to share your thanks and love,

Share the love!

If you are grateful to God for Creation and want to share your thanks and love,

Share the love! For we are truly thankful for God’s love! Amen.

Benediction May the love of God surround you today and every day. Amen.

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