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Acts of the Apostles: The Church Between the Times (June 14, 2020)

Acts of the Apostles
1. Acts of the Apostles: As the Father Sent Me, So I Send You (May 31, Pentecost, 2020)
2. Acts of the Apostles: The Spirit Blows Westward (June 7, 2020)
3. Acts of the Apostles: The Church Between the Times (June 14, 2020)
4. Acts of the Apostles: Faithful Obscurity (June 21, 2020)
5. Acts of the Apostles: And Samaria (June 28, 2020)
6. Acts of the Apostles: Practice & Product (July 5, 2020)
7. Acts of the Apostles: A Healing at the Beautiful Gate
8. Acts of the Apostles: The Believers Pray (August 2, 2020)
9. The Parish Gathering | Acts of the Apostles: The Believers Share (August 9, 2020)
10. Acts of the Apostles: The Parish in the Commons (August 16, 2020)
11. Acts of the Apostles: Lift Up Your Hearts (August 23, 2020)
12. This New Life: Good News for the Disgraced (September 6, 2020)
13. This New Life: Good News for the Ashamed (September 13, 2020)
14. This New Life: Good News for the Wayward (September 20, 2020)
15. This New Life: Good News for the Scattered (September 27, 2020)

Please participate in the following liturgy, reading aloud all the parts in bold italics.

Call to Worship:

from Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Prayers of the People

A Liturgy for a Time of Widespread Suffering
(adapted from Every Moment Holy)

Christ Our King,
Our world is overtaken by unexpected calamity,
and by a host of attending fears,
worries, and insecurities. 

We witness suffering, confusion, and hardship multiplied around us,
and we find
ourselves swept up in these same anxieties
troubles, dismayed by so many uncertainties. 

Now we turn to you, O God,
in this season of our common distress.

Be merciful, O Christ,
to those who suffer,
to those who worry,
to those who grieve,
those who are threatened
or harmed in any
way by this upheaval.
Let your holy compassions
be active throughout the world even now—
tending the afflicted, comforting the brokenhearted,
and bringing hope to
many who are hopeless. 

Take a moment to lift up your prayers for the suffering.

Use even these hardships to woo our hearts
nearer to you, O God.

Indeed, O Father, may these days of disquiet become a catalyst
for conviction and repentance,
for the tendering of our affections,
for the stirring of our sympathies,
for the refining of our love.

We are your people, who are called by you,
We need not be troubled or alarmed.

Inhabit now your church, O Spirit of the Risen Christ.
Unite and equip your people for the work before them.

Father, empower your children to live as your children.
In times of distress let us respond,
not as those
who would instinctively entrench for our own self-preservation,
but rather as those who —in imitation
of their Lord—
would move in humble obedience toward
the needs and hurts of their neighborhoods and communities.

Take a moment to lift up your prayers for the Church.

You were not ashamed to share in our sufferings, Jesus.
Let us now be willing to share in yours,
as your visible witnesses in this broken world.

Hear now these words, you children of God, and be greatly encouraged:
The Lord’s throne in heaven is yet occupied,
his rule is eternal, and his good purposes on earth will be forever accomplished.
So we need never be swayed by the brief and passing panics of this age.

You are the King of the Ages, O Christ,
and history is held in your Father’s hands.

We, your people, know the good and glorious end of this story. Our heavenly hope is secure.
In this time of widespread suffering then, let us rest afresh in the surpassing peace of that vision,
that your whole church on earth might be
liberated to love more generously and sacrificially.

Now labor in and through us, O Lord,
extending and
multiplying the many expressions of your mercy.

Song: Great are You Lord

You give life, You are love
  You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
   Every heart that is broken
   Great are You, Lord

It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
   We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
   So we pour out our praise to You only

And all the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
   Great are You, Lord

Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:1-5

The New Heaven and the New Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’

And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Acts of the Apostles: The Church Between the Times

Song: Come to the Altar

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
   Jesus is calling

Have you come to the end of yourself?
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
   Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
  The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
  The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today, there’s no reason to wait
  Jesus is calling

Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes, a new life is born
  Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
  The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
  The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Oh what a Savior
Isn’t He wonderful?
   Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him
For He is Lord of all
   Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen

Scripture Reading: Acts 1:6-11

The Ascension of Jesus

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Practice: Don’t Just Stand There

Confession & Assurance

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;

that we may delight in Your will,
and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your Name.

Silent confession (space to confess our sins and wait in God’s presence).

The Lord has already shown you mercy.
The Lord has already had compassion on you.
Jesus strengthens our weak knees
When we still have a long way to go.

Be free!
We are forgiven.
Laugh out loud!
We are forgiven.
Love God with everything!
We are loved.

Silent assurance (space to receive God’s merciful love and say “thank you” in response)

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Is the Father with us?
He is.
Is Christ among us?
He is.
Is the Spirit here?
He is.

This is our God.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We are his people.
We are redeemed.

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Sacrament of Desire

Now, in union, O Lord with the faithful at every altar of Your Church,
I present to You my soul and body
with the earnest prayer that I will remain united to you.
And since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
I pray that you would come to me spiritually.
I unite myself to you, and embrace you with my soul’s affection.
Let nothing separate me from you,
that I may live and die in Your love.


Song: The One I Love

Oh, you of little faith,
  Why do you let the wind
  and the waves distract you?
Oh, you of little faith,
  Don’t you know that when you’ve
  Fallen I’ll be there to catch you?

And when all your world is gone
And you cannot sing your song
  I will help you carry on
  The one I love

Oh, you of little faith,
Oh, how quickly and how
   Often you have forgotten.
Oh, you of little faith
Aren’t you tired of all the wars
   And battles you have fought in?

And when all your world is gone
And you cannot sing your song,
  I will help you carry on,
  The one I love.

Oh, you of little faith,
  Why do you let the wind
  And the waves distract you?

Community Life

The Cross of Christ

All our problems,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All our difficulties,
We send to the cross of Christ!
All the devil’s works,
We send to the cross of Christ!
And all our hopes,
We set on the Risen Christ!

Blessing & Sending

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

3 Good Minutes

What “next step” do you feel Jesus asking you to take in your apprenticeship to him?

Parish Text Updates