"Then I acknowledge my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and you forgave the guilt of my sin." (Psalm 32:5, NRSV)
The Prelude included "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
We actually started promptly at 10:30 (though plenty of people came in late -- I'm kind of impressed that people were still coming in almost forty-five minutes later, that they didn't just declare it a wash at that point).
Call to Worship
[One] Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
[All] Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
[One] Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
[All] and sustain in me a willing spirit.
(from Psalm 51, NRSV)
Opening Prayer (unison)
Ever-sustaining God, Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are but did not sin. Give us grace to direct our lives in obedience to your Spirit, so that as you know our weakness, so may we know your power to save; in Jesus our Savior we pray. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayer)
Hymn: "Beneath the Cross of Jesus"
I was thrown by this, 'cause I don't expect songs like this at my progressive churches. (Not that I was personally affronted, just that I was surprised given where I was.)
Choral Call to Prayer
Prayer of Confession (unison)
Merciful God, we humbly confess our sins and ask your mercy. We have not loved you with a pure heart, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, nor have learned to love ourselves as you love us. We have not done justice, loved kindness, or walked with you in faithful humility.
Have mercy on us. In your great compassion, cleanse us from sin. Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Do not cast us from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from us. Restore us to the joy of your salvation and sustain us with your all-sufficient Spirit. We pray this in the name of Jesus, the Saving One. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Passing of the Peace of Christ
Time With Our Young People
Karl said that God led Jesus into the desert to be tempted -- like, "Before you go any further, there are some things inside you need to look at." Since Bible Study, I am familiar with Karl's interpretation of the story of the temptation of Jesus as symbolic of internal temptations we all face. I'm still attached to the idea I'm used to of Jesus=God (complete with all the omnipotence and omniscience I attribute to my God), so this kind of stuff still makes me somewhat uncomfortable.
Scripture Reading Genesis 3:1-24
Hearing this reading (which surely I have heard/read before), I was struck by a number of things:
+ "your woman"
+ "greatly increase your pain in childbirth" -- which implies that the Original Plan included some pain in childbirth
+ "winged sphinxes with ever-turning swords" -- Yeah, that's what I wrote down. I was definitely envisioning seraphim when I heard it, so now I'm not sure which part of my brain was broken.
Scripture Reading Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11
Sermon "Why Christian?"
Karl opened by talked about Genesis and I was blah. Then he talked about how for Paul, Jesus is Christ, full of glory but not so much able to get close and touch. He said the Jesus who gets tempted feels much more human and approachable to him. I did not resonate with that. Jesus' passing those tests with flying colors? Doesn't make him feel human and accessible to me.  Try "Jesus wept" or Jesus at Gethsemane when his disciples fall asleep.
I started spacing out. I came back for the ending: Don't hold yourself up to standards you don't understand.
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostle's Creed
Hymn: "O God, How Have We Wandered"
Prayers of Concern and Celebration
The Prayer of Christ (ecumenical version, in unison)
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
Focus on Mission
Sarah D. talked about Lent coming so early this year and how her experience has been that that has gotten people thinking about it more. (I haven't seen this, but all the people I hang out with either aren't church people any time of the year, or they're engaged any time of the year.) She talked about mindfulness and CHPC and how she's been in this church for 16 years and how there's so much more diversity of age now than there was then.
Prayer of Dedication
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 kingdom. Amen.
(The Worship Sourcebook)
Installation of Elders and Deacons
They really take this seriously. It's basically voting in nominated representatives, and both parties (the elected and the electors) take various vows.
Hymn: "Before Your Cross, O Jesus"
Response: "O Holy Spirit, Root of Life" (v. 3) "O Holy Wisdom, Soaring Power, encompass us with wings unfurled, and carry us, encircling all, above, below, and through the world."
Adult Ed Session #1 on The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (Marcus Borg and N. T. Wright).
Randy (and many others) found the first chapter difficult going ("hermeneutic" and other new words). Whereas I'd already watched 7 sessions of Living the Questions and read Borg's Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time so I was like, *yawn* at the old hat.
There was some talk about why the question of the historical Jesus is important. We didn't really do justice to the question -- I know I for one hadn't come prepared to debate that question, even though the issue of the historical Jesus has long been important to me. The issue of what was Jesus' central message was raised, though in retrospect I feel like we didn't get far enough in to the import of that question. Oh, and Katherine mentioned the common experience of family stories where you find yourself hearing a story and thinking, "I was there when that happened -- and it didn't happen like that." I said I would totally be That Girl who would correct people if I thought they were telling an inaccurate version of a story.
At the end, Sarah G. said we wouldn't be doing the whole book (boo! I thought, but did not say) and asked which parts we were particularly interested in.
Katherine and Naila registered discontent with our doing the Apostle's Creed in worship these past couple weeks. I was surprised it had taken that long for anyone to register a complaint about it. (The hymnal actually has updated more-inclusive or whatever versions of the Apostle's Creed on the pages following, but we've been doing the "real" version.) Sarah G. suggested maybe the creed/s would be a good Adult ed session. I almost mentioned Creed (even though my only encounter with it was mildly exploding with rage at how "Christian" and "Catholic" are not in fact interchangeable terms when I saw the book at Jan's [that March 2005 trip]) except that I couldn't remember the author's name.