Worship @ The Open Church
Sunday, July 21, 2013 -- 11:15 am
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
A Centering Thought
“In our particular society, it is the narrowed and narrowing view of life that often wins.”
~Alice Walker, Poet
Call to Worship
One: Let Mount Zion rejoice and the villages of Judah be glad!
All: We will rejoice, but our hearts are heavy.
One: Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors!
All: We will be lifted, but our hearts are heavy.
One: Sing to the Lord a new song for our God is good!
All: Yes, we will sing, but how can we sing our songs in a strange land?
One: O Merciful God, we cry to you. Guide us in your path of righteousness. Hold us, all your children, with your powerful hand! Amen.
Morning Hymn: “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”
Verse 1: Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, Pilgrim through this barren land.I am weak, but Thou art mighty; Hold me with Thy powerful hand. Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, Feed me till I want no more; Feed me till I want no more.
Verse 2: Open now the crystal fountain, Whence the healing stream doth flow; Let the fire and cloudy pillar Lead me all my journey through. Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer, Be Thou still my Strength and Shield; Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
Wisdom from the Scriptures
Prayers of the People
Contemplative Music: “Strange Fruit”
Guest Saxophonist: Brian Robertson
One: A sound is heard in Ramah, the sound of bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted, for they are dead.
All: We pray for the families of children who have been slain by gun violence.
One: A sound is heard in every city. Communities are weeping generationally for their children. Children like Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin who go out to get candy and never again return to the sweetness of home life.
All: As people of God, we weep for the lives of all children who instead of enjoying the sweetness of innocence become victims of hate, victims of war, and victims of violence.
Response: “O, Lord, Have Mercy”
Koinonia: A Care-Full Community (Koinonia is the New Testament word for “fellowship.”)
Monthly Leadership Team Emphasis: Prayer, Worship, and Evangelism Team
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.
Song of Preparation
Psalmist: Karen Simmons Beathea
• Pastoral Reflections on Restorative Justice – Brad Braxton
• Responses from the Dream Keepers – Kendra Ausby and Scott Tinsley-Hall
• Congregational Dialogue – Facilitator, Lorece Edwards, Chair, Social Justice Team
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.
One: We have heard the good news! We have been challenged! So now, let us rise up and interrupt these rushing waters of violence that leave children wounded and paralyzed. Let us rise up and demand abolishment of laws that are rooted in militarism, fueled by capitalism, and justified by racism.
All: We will rise up against laws rooted in evil that have no concern for life, nor
any concern for Your love. We will rise up until justice rolls on like a river
and righteousness like a never failing stream.
One: O, Lord, we commit ourselves to seeing all children the way that You see them.
No matter their age or race, they are precious gifts made in Your image, created
with transformative purpose and beauty.
All: And for that cause, we pledge to be hedges of protection for their lives. We
pledge to stand against anything that threatens their potential or promise.
One: Almighty God, we know there is work to be done. Here we are; send us!
All: We embody the spirit of Ubuntu, “I am because we are, and because we are,
I am.” Therefore, we will lock arms and witness the birth of the next great
generation. We will struggle until we all are, indeed, free at last.
Purpose Pledge: We live on purpose. We love on purpose. We lift on purpose.
Departing Song: “I Woke Up This Morning”
I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom…hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah.
The Open Church