Worship Service

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost (July 12, 2020)

Service for the Worship of God

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“Adagio” from Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 56
—Alexandre Guilmant (1837–1911)

Mrs. Noelle Castin

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us worship God!

Preparing to Hear God’s Word

Call to Worship
Jerry and Carol Stalun

God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
We gather to root ourselves in sacred story and grow in faith.
God’s teachings are our heritage; they bring joy to our searching hearts.
We gather in God’s presence to offer our thanks and praise!

Hymn 459
Word of God Incarnate


(1) O Word of God incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky:
we praise you for the radiance
that from the hallowed page,
a lantern to our footsteps,
shines on from age to age.

(2) The church from you, dear Savior,
received this gift divine;
and still that light is lifted
on all the earth to shine.
It is the chart and compass
that, all life’s voyage through,
amid the rocks and quicksands
still guides, O Christ, to you.

(3) O make your church, dear Savior,
a lamp of purest gold
to bear before the nations
your true light, as of old;
O teach your wandering pilgrims
by this our path to trace,
till, clouds and storms thus ended,
we see you face to face.

Prayer of Confession
Rev. Ann Herlin

God the sower, we confess that we do not always live as people who obey your word. Sometimes, we are like rocky ground. We welcome your word when life is simple, but as soon as we face a challenge, we forget your word and our faith withers. Sometimes, we are a thicket of thorns. We clamor for more and step over the needy. Your word is choked out of our hearts. Forgive us, Lord, and make us good soil. Weed out our resistance and water us with your grace, that your word will grow within us and we might bear fruit for the sake of your kingdom. Hear now the prayers we bring to you in silence …

Assurance of Pardon
Dr. Robert R. Laha

God’s Word to Us


“Jesu, joy of our desiring” from Cantata 147
—J. S. Bach (1685–1750)
Sung by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Text by Robert Bridges (1844–1930)

Scripture Lessons
Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

Psalm 119:105–112
Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

Time with Children
The Courtney Family

Dr. Robert R. Laha

“Sower, Seeds, and Soils”

Our Response to God

Affirmation of Faith
Adapted from A Declaration of Faith, 1977
Mrs. Noelle Castin

We are persuaded God is at work here and now when people deal fairly with each other and labor to change customs and structures that enslave and oppress human beings.

We believe God sends us to work with others to correct the growing disparity between rich and poor, and to achieve fair legislation justly administered and enforced. We are charged to root out prejudice and racism from our hearts and institutions. We are commissioned to stand with women and men of all ages, races, and classes as they struggle for dignity and respect and the chance to exercise power for the common good. We must be willing to make such amends as we can for centuries of injustice which the church condoned.

Invitation to Discipleship
Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

Presentation of Our Tithes and Offerings

Commissioning of New Stephen Minister
Jerry Stalun

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer
Rev. Ann Herlin

    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; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Hymn 79
Light Dawns on a Weary World


(1) Light dawns on a weary world
When eyes begin to see all people’s dignity.
Light dawns on a weary world:
The promised day to justice comes.

The trees shall clap their hands;
The dry lands, gush with springs;
The hills and mountains shall break forth with singing!
We shall go out in joy,
And be led forth in peace,
As all the world in wonder echoes shalom.

(2) Love grows in a weary world
When hungry hearts find bread
And children’s dreams are fed.
Love grows in a weary world;
The promised feast of plenty comes.

(3) Hope blooms in a weary world
When creatures, once forlorn, find wilderness reborn.
Hope blooms in a weary world:
The promised green of Eden comes.

Charge and Benediction
Dr. Robert R. Laha

Response 600

—African-American Traditional

Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Want to add to our virtual “amen” video? Go to


—Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (1823–1881)

To learn more about today’s choir and organ music, click here for detailed notes from Dr. Steven Seigart.