Worship Service

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost (October 18, 2020)

Service for the Worship of God

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Prelude in A minor, BWV 543/i
—J.S. Bach (1685–1750)

Dr. Robert R. Laha

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

Preparing to Hear God’s Word

Call to Worship
Laurie Best, Michael Montano, and Jesse Montano

Come, let us exalt the Almighty and worship God,
for the Lord our God is holy.
Look! The Lord draws near; come into God’s presence.
Let us behold the glory of our God.

HYMN 307
God of Grace and God of Glory

(1) God of grace and God of glory, on thy people pour thy power;
crown thine ancient church’s story; bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.

(2) Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days, for the living of these days.

(3) Cure thy children’s warring madness; bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.

(4) Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore.
Let the gift of thy salvation be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore, serving thee whom we adore.

Prayer of Confession
Rev. Ann Herlin

Living Lord, in you we live and move and have our being. You call us to give all we are and all that we have in service to your kingdom. But we hold tightly to our treasure, afraid we will not have enough for ourselves, and hold back our talents, afraid these gifts will not be enough. God, unclench our fists and help us to give fully and freely so that, in all things, we might serve and glorify you. Hear now the prayers we bring to you in silence …

Assurance of Pardon
Dr. Robert R. Laha

God’s Word to Us


Take my life and let it be
—Scott Perkins (b. 1980)
Sung by the Meeting House Virtual Choir
Text by Frances Havergal (1836–1879)

Scripture Lesson
Mrs. Mary Pratt Perry

Matthew 22:15–22

Time with Children
The Cavender Family

Dr. Robert R. Laha

“God and Caesar”

Our Response to God

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

Throughout history the church has struggled to be faithful to God in political situations: under persecution, or as an established arm of the state, or in separation from it. God rules over both political and religious institutions. We must confuse neither with the kingdom of God. We must not equate the Christian faith with any nation’s way of life or with opposition to the ideologies of other nations. We hold Christians are to be law-abiding citizens unless the state commands them to disobey God, or claims authority that belongs only to God. We must not allow governments to impose Christian faith by legislation, nor should we demand undue advantage for the church. The church must be free to speak to civil authorities, neither claiming expert knowledge it does not have, nor remaining silent when God’s Word is clear.

Invitation to Discipleship
Rev. Ann Herlin

Presentation of Our Tithes and Offerings

Moment for Stewardship
Ellen Fitzpatrick

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 711
Lord of All Good

(1) Lord of all good, our gifts we bring to you;
use them your holy purpose to fulfill,
tokens of love and pledges brought anew,
that our whole life is offered to your will.

(2) We give our minds to understand your ways;
hands, eyes, and voice to serve your great design;
heart with the flame of your own love ablaze,
till for your glory all our powers combine.

(3) Father, whose bounty all creation shows;
Christ, by whose willing sacrifice we live;
Spirit, from whom all life in fullness flows;
to you with grateful hearts ourselves we give.

Charge and Benediction
Dr. Robert R. Laha

Choral Response

An Irish Blessing
—James Moore (b. 1951)
Performed by the Meeting House Virtual Choir


—Jean Langlais (1907–1991)

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