Introit: "Great day the righteous marching ... God's gonna build up peace on earth" [African-American spiritual, high-energy]
Call to Worship:
Where can I go from your spirit, O God?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
Even if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there also.
Let us sing praises, for the Holy One is with us;
God is in our midst today.
Opening Prayer (unison):
Holy God who was and is ever present, be with us now as we gather together seeking to live out the message of Christ in our community. Guide us as we work together to realize your vision of the beloved community here on earth, trusting in your life-giving Spirit and in your most holy and Redeeming Son, Jesus Christ, as we enter into this time of worship. Amen.
Hymn: "God is Here!" (v. 1 & 4)
Choral Call to Prayer: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"
In her invitation, Sarah G. said, "I'd like to invite you in that loving space to take refuge."
Prayer of Confession (unison):
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 and mind and strength; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your holy name. Amen. (PCUSA)
The Gloria, Passing of the Peace
Baptism of Thomas William [surname redacted], infant son of Keri and Trevor, and baby brother of Reid
I wished I'd brought a camera 'cause the parents were holding the kids and the older sister kept reaching for her baby brother like she just loved him so much and it was really charming.
Anthem: "for I shall build a new creation/Jerusalem" [I often have difficulty making out all the words when a choir sings, so I'm not sure if the words changed in different verses or if I just couldn't clearly make them out]
Sermon: "Seeking the Kingdom"
Sarah G. talked about "apocalyptic street evangelism" and how it frightens her but she has to admit that it can be seen as having a Biblical basis. Obviously she went on to argue that she didn't think this was what the Bible was getting at in stuff like Luke, and she talked about the Isaiah passage and about radical relationship, and connected this to baptism though I forget how.
Hymn: "There's a Spirit in the Air" (v. 1, 3, 4)
Prayers of the People, Offering
Hymn: "Blest Be the Tie that Binds" (v. 1, 3, 4)
Benediction: "Day by Day, Dear God"
Day by day, Dear God, of you three things I pray: To see you more clearly, Love you more dearly, follow you more nearly, Day by day.
[Sarah G. was joking about how we were apparently anti-verse2 today.]
There was a potluck after service (as I think there was at CAUMC as well), though it looked to me like Coffee Hour plus lasagna. I wasn't very hungry, though, so it was fine.
Sarah G., Matt, Alex, Rachel, and I were all sitting at one table.
Conversation at one point included: Avalon, Testify, I Swear (by the sun and the moon and the stars)
re: that last song, I said: "I love that song."
Rachel: "We can't be friends anymore".
me: "See if I give you a shoulder rub again."
Rachel: "You will."
me: "Yeah, you're right."
Someone asked us what we were talking about, and Rachel said, "We're having a lover's spat." And then to me, "I hope you don't mind." I said I'd spent four years at a very queer women's college so no it was fine. I worried that sounded like I was straight, but in conversation later I mentioned I was bi, so that was fine.