The Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
OUTDOOR WORSHIP SERVICE
North Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
New Hartford, Connecticut
FOR YOUR REFLECTION
The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may
do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
-Albert Camus (1913-1960). French philosopher, author and journalist
The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.
-of Irish origin, traced back to the 1539 Collection of proverbs by R. Taverner
The Lord’s My Shepherd (Brother James’ Air) Arr. Larry Shackley
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
THE PEACE OF CHRIST
It is normally our custom when we gather to extend the Peace of Christ to one another. Since we are continuing to honor the need to keep physically distant, let us resist the temptation to offer a hug or a handshake, but extend greetings with a simple sign of peace.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
How good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! Draw us now, O God into the community you intend for us and all your people. Help us to listen and understand the good words You have for us and that we have for one another. May we receive the gift of discernment in order to recognize what is righteous and noble. As we contemplate the phrases of the prayer that Jesus taught us, inspire us in our meditations to especially this day to be kept from temptation and evil.
#804 Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart Tune: MARION
Romans 12: 16-21
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Ephesians 6: 10-16
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
1 Peter 5.8:
Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
Matthew 15: 19
For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.
The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
18 Those who believe in [Christ] are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
HYMN OF PREPARATION
#372 O For A World Tune: AZMON
“Deliver Us from Evil”
The Rev Marcia Lynn Cox
Seven Sundays ago I had the privilege of considering the matter of prayer: what its purposes are, whether or not God grants us all of our needs and desires, how it changes us and what we might rightly ask. In order to consider that last question, I turned to the The Lord’s Prayer, the prayer according to the gospels of Matthew and Luke that Jesus taught, the prayer we say together at every worship service.
So I thought it would be good this summer to reflect on the things that Jesus told us to ask for in that prayer. Four weeks ago we considered the phrase, “On earth as it is heaven,” and imagined what it would be like to bring heaven to earth. On the two weeks following, I examined the sentence, “Forgive us our sins (trespasses, debts) as we forgive those who sin against us,” offering some thoughts about the need for us to be both forgiven and forgiving. Then two weeks ago, on a communion Sunday, I thought it would be particularly fitting to contemplate the petition, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Last Sunday, I considered the matter of temptation and today I will complete this summer series by meditating on the petition, “Deliver us from evil.”
QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION:
-What is Evil? Can we agree on a definition of the thoughts and actions that are evil?
-Does it come from the outside or is it within us?
If it comes from the outside, we succumb to it because we give into temptation; if it comes from within, it is somehow part of our natures.
-What should be our response to it?
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace Sebastian Temple, Arr. Jane Holstein
PASTORAL PRAYER AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
Gracious and Loving God, source of all that is noble, just and good, we thank you for your endless love and your teachings that inspire us to reflect those qualities in the world. We confess that we are sometimes tempted to reflect the forces of meanness that may reside deep inside us or that are found all around us. Create in us clean hearts and renew right spirits within us.
Teach us kindness but also gratitude: for the basic blessings of food, shelter, loved ones and companions with whom to share our life journeys, for meaningful work and the rights afforded us as citizens of this nation.
We continue to give thanks for: all of the medical professionals, public servants and all of those have jobs that make our lives easier, and even endanger their lives during this time. We are especially mindful of those who are suffering from this virus and those who have contracted it while attending to them.
We pray for healing everywhere, not only for ourselves but for all who suffer… -from violence and injustice,
poverty and prejudice.
and lack of belonging or purpose, -from diseases of the body, mind and spirit, and those who love and care for them.
We are mindful of all who are:
-facing death and those who minister to them,
-and are grieving the loss of loved ones and people who served the community and the common good.
Some prayers are too deep for words or too private to share and so we hold them up to you in the silence of our hearts….….
All these things we offer, using the words of the prayer that Jesus taught us,
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.
#722 Lord Speak to Me That I May Speak Tune: CANONBURY
OUR COMMON COMMISSION
Let us now forth into the world in peace.
Being of good courage.
Holding fast to that which is good.
Rendering to no one evil for evil.
Strengthening the fainthearted.
Supporting the weak.
Helping the afflicted.
Honoring all persons.
Loving and serving the Lord,
And rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
May God who knows that we are set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright:
Grant us such strength and protection,
to support us in all danger,
and carry us through all temptations;
through the love and courage of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
[Martin Luther, the German Litany, Third Collect, [Die Gebete Luthers, #5, adapted]
Jubilation G.F. Handel
As you leave, you may place your pledges and offerings in the offering plate on the outdoor chancel table. Thank you for your generosity.
NORTH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
United Church of Christ
17 Church Street North
New Hartford, Connecticut 06057
The Rev. Marcia Lynn Cox, Designated Pastor
THANK YOU to everyone who worked to make the Tag Sale a success.
LOOKING AHEAD: Rev. Marcia will be on vacation for the next three weeks from Monday, August 17 through Labor Day weekend (September 8). Since she is not leaving Connecticut, she will be available for serious emergencies. No plans have been made to engage guest preachers, so members are encouraged to visit the websites of sister churches for video worship services or the experience previous online services on our church website that they may not have viewed. The Church Council has VERY cautiously and tentatively planned for us to return to the sanctuary on Sunday, September 13, where we will be honoring CDC guidelines by wearing masks and observing physical distancing. More information will be available as the time approaches.