Sunday, August 4, 2013 -- 11:15 am
Holy Communion and Circle Sunday
A Centering Thought
“The one great preacher in history is the church, and the first business of the individual preacher is to enable the church to preach.”
~P. T Forsyth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Pastor and Theologian
Call to Worship
One: Come to us even now, O Lord of Life.
All: And fill this place with your presence!
One: As a family, we are learning to love one another even we don’t like one another.
All: As a body, we are exercising godly patience in the midst of our gorgeous diversity.
One: As a hospital, we are dispensing divine healing by words that soothe and deeds that mend.
All: As a republic, we are embodying sacred truth that sets us all free.
All: O Lord of Life, help us to be the church TODAY! Not tomorrow! But rather TODAY!! With the “fierce urgency of now,” we are Your church TODAY!!!
Hymn of Praise: “O Happy Day”
Verse 1: O happy day that fixed my choice on Thee, my Savior and my God! Well may this glowing heart rejoice and tell its raptures all abroad.
Refrain: Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away! He taught me how to watch and pray and live rejoicing every day; happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away!
Verse 2: O happy bond that seals my vows, to God who merits all my love! Let cheerful anthems fill this house, while to that sacred shrine I move.
Prayers of the People
Monthly Leadership Team Emphasis: Congregational Care Team
Koinonia: A Care-Full Community (Koinonia is the New Testament word for “fellowship.”)
Offering: We give with open-handed generosity because when we give, we are most like God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving: We thank you, Lord, for these gifts. Amen.
Our Congregational Vision
All: The Open Church is a sacred place where those who are hurting, confused, and in need can find healing and hope, regardless of color, culture, or creed.
One: It is a wide place where “Abraham’s family” – Christians, Jews, and Muslims – can dialogue with Buddhists and Bahá’is and where Hindus can dialogue with Humanists.
All: The Open Church is a joyful place where children, seniors, migrant workers, people experiencing homelessness, and scholars eagerly learn from and teach one another.
One: It is a safe place where varied ethnicities and capabilities, genders and sexual identities, social and economic groups gather in peace to break bread at Christ’s Communion Table, as we break down stereotypes.
All: As sacred siblings born to our Heavenly Father who is Divine Mother of us all, we practice radically inclusive love that proclaims and builds up the “kin-dom of God.”
Song of Preparation -- Mrs. Chanda Hill and Ms. Zsai Hill
Sermon – Membership Circles Proclamation – “Let the Church Say, ‘Amen!’”
Images of the Church: Church as “Family,” “Body,” “Hospital,” and “Republic”
Invitation to Discipleship and Membership
*The Invitation to Discipleship and Membership takes diverse forms at The Open Church. Feel free to present yourself to our community during this time. You also may acknowledge your desire for commitment to God and membership in our congregation to any of our ministerial leaders during the fellowship hour after the worship service.
Departing Song: “Victory in Jesus”
Verse 1: I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory, how He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me; I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning; then I repented of my sins and won the victory.
Refrain: O victory in Jesus, my Savior forever! He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ‘ere I knew Him, andall my love is due Him; He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
Verse 2: I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing, how He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see. And then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit.” And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory.