Worship Service

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost (August 30, 2020)

Service for the Worship of God

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“Song Without Words” from Second Suite in F minor
—Gustav Holst (1874–1934), transcribed by Les Deutsch (b. 1955)

Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

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

Preparing to Hear God’s Word

Call to Worship
The Siirila Family

From whirlwind and burning bush,
in still of night and in sheer silence—
God calls the faithful to sacred work.
Beckoning us to turn aside,
inviting us to stand on holy ground—
God welcomes the faithful into sacred space.
Come, God is calling.
Let us worship the Lord!

HYMN 405
Praise God for This Holy Ground

1. Praise God for this holy ground.
place and people, sight and sound.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God’s goodness is eternal.

2. Praise God in whose word we find
food for body, soul, and mind.

3. Praise God who through Christ makes known
all are loved and called God’s own.

4. Praise God’s Spirit who befriends,
raises, humbles, breaks, and mends.

5. Though praise ends, praise is begun
where God’s will is gladly done.

Prayer of Confession
Rev. Ann Herlin

Compassionate God, who hears the cries of the oppressed, you call us to resist evil and hold fast to what is good, to take up the cross and commit our lives to the cause of love. But we are afraid to confront powers that privilege some and diminish others; we do not want to lose the security we enjoy. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear your voice, our eyes to look upon neighbors in need, and our hearts to respond with compassion, that we might follow the way of Christ. Hear now the prayers we bring to you in silence …

Assurance of Pardon
Dr. Robert R. Laha

God’s Word to Us


“The Call” from Five Mystical Songs
—Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), arr. Steven Seigart (b. 1990)
Sung by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Text by George Herbert (1593–1633)

Mike Rowan, baritone solo

Scripture Lesson
Mrs. Mary Pratt Perry

Matthew 16:21–28

Time with Children
The Brewer Family

Dr. Robert R. Laha
“To Take Up a Cross”

Our Response to God

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

God sent Jesus to proclaim release to those who are bound, to announce that God’s promised kingdom is at hand, to urge everyone to repent and believe the good news. The Lord is moving toward the time when the glorious liberty of the children of God will be manifest throughout the whole creation. We testify that God is at work here and now when people obey Christ’s commission to witness to him, when they spread the good news by their words and embody it in their lives.

Invitation to Discipleship
Rev. Katherine A. Stanford

Presentation of Our Tithes and Offerings

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 372
O for a World

1. O for a world where everyone respects each other’s ways,
where love is lived and all is done with justice and with praise.

2. O for a world where goods are shared and misery relieved,
where truth is spoken, children spared, equality achieved.

3. We welcome one world family and struggle with each choice
that opens us to unity and gives our vision voice.

4. The poor are rich; the weak are strong; the foolish ones are wise.
Tell all who mourn: outcasts belong, who perishes will rise.

5. O for a world preparing for God’s glorious reign of peace,
where time and tears will be no more, and all but love will cease.

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


“Intermezzo” from First Suite in E-flat
—Gustav Holst, transcribed by Luigi Mengoni (b. 1970)

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