The Prelude hymns sounded familiar, but I couldn't place them. The rest of the hymns weren't familiar to me, and I wasn't particularly taken with them.
Call to Worship
[One] God shows no partiality. Any person who reveres God and does what is right is acceptable to God.
[All] This is the Good News of peace proclaimed through Jesus Christ, who is Savior of all.
(Acts 10:34-36, "The Inclusive Bible" adapted)
Opening Prayer (unison)
Glory be to you, O God, whom we worship in awe and wonder. You are the author of all beginnings and all that is pronounced "good." In you both day and night have purpose, both calm and storm have meaning. Open the eyes of our imagination, that we may be ready to receive your gifts and discern your activity in our midst. In the name of Jesus, in whose baptism we too are baptized. Amen.
("The Worship Sourcebook")
Hymn: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell"
Choral Call to Prayer
Prayer of Confession (unison)
Creator of all worlds, we confess to sporadic beliefs and inconsistent faithfulness. Before the mystery of the universe our minds cannot grasp a God who embraces infinity. In the face of natural disasters and cruel inhumanity we doubt that love reigns. Between our own actions and the best we know we see a wide gap that we cannot bridge. O God, reclaim us and help us to reclaim our baptism; we need your healing, forgiving, transforming Spirit. Amen.
("The Worship Sourcebook")
Words of Assurance
Passing of the Peace of Christ
Time With Our Young People
Karl talked about an interview he saw with David Garrard before the game last night, commented that he has a deep and quiet faith, reminded the children that all sorts of people have a deep and quiet faith.
The Scripture Readings were Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17, and Alex got conscripted to read. After service, Liz complimented him on his reading. I had actually been really underwhelmed by his reading. I am at peace with the fact that I am a heinous bitca, though.
Sermon "Baptized To Be A Blessing"
Karl opened with a question (as a get-us-thinking, not as an interactive): What do we want most for the people we love, and really for all people? He said that his answer is that he wants them to be happy, healthy, and holy (this last one defined as in tune with, in harmony with, God, which I liked). And that he wants them to live in a world where that is basically guaranteed ("a good life lived well").
He talked about the Suffering Servant in Isaiah and how it's been variously interpreted, and focused on the idea that we are called to be the Suffering Servant, quoting poet Dan Berrigan at length -- e.g., "suffers and dies for the truth" and "belongs to God"
Affirmation of Faith: same as last week's
Hymn: "We Yearn, O Christ, for Wholeness"
Prayers of the People and The Prayer of Christ
Prayer of Dedication (unison)
Blessed are you, God of all creation: through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and for the service of your New Community. Amen.
("The Worship Sourcebook," adapted)
Hymn: "Children of God"
Response: "Joy to the World!" (v. 1)
Over Coffee Hour, someone (Jill's dad?) was chatting with Alex, and the topic of the predominance of liberals in academia came up, and the guy said it makes sense because "liberal" by definition means openness to different ideas. I protested that that wasn't my experience with liberal academia -- that my experience was a hardline assumption that everyone was left of center and if you weren't you were evil or stupid and we could make jokes about and take potshots at you.