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The First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell

326 Bloomfield Avenue

Caldwell, NJ 07006

973-228-0310

www.firstprescaldwell.org

 

September 20, 2020

 Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

REFLECTION

"One way (to worship) is to do things for God that he needs to have done—run errands for him, carry messages for him, fight on his side, feed his lambs, and so on.  The other way is to do things for God that you need to do—sing songs for him, create beautiful things for him, give things up for him, tell him what's on your mind and in your heart, in general rejoice in him and make a fool of yourself for him the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the one they love. A Quaker Meeting, a Pontifical High Mass, the Family Service at First Presbyterian, a Holy Roller Happening—unless there is an element of joy and foolishness in the proceedings, the time would be better spent doing something useful."  - Frederick Buechner

 

PRELUDE                             

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus!               

arr. William Bolcolm

                 

WORDS OF WELCOME 

 

CALL TO WORSHIP & OPENING PRAYER  

 

OPENING HYMN No. 157        

“I Danced in the Morning”                       

LORD OF THE DANCE

 

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

REFRAIN:  Dance, then, wherever you may be;
                     I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
                               And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
                             And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he. 

 

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,
But they would not dance and they would not follow me;
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;
                   They came to me and the dance went on.  REFRAIN

 

I danced on the sabbath when I cured the lame,
The holy people said it was a shame;
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high;
                      And they left me there on a cross to die.  REFRAIN

I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the dance and I still go on.  REFRAIN
They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.   REFRAIN

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION (In Unison)

Forgive us, Lord, for trying to make into what we expect and can handle. To be honest, we want a faith that we control. You came in Jesus to show us that you share our lives, our joys, and sorrows. Yet, once in church, we are retrained in expressing joy and careful about lifting our sorrows. We do not want emotion or your Spirit to take us into places that we do not control. Remind us that faith is not what we direct, but what we receive through the Spirit.  Tell us again that it is your grace that makes us whole. Open us to allowing you to laugh with us and weep with us In Jesus name. Amen

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Anyone who is in Christ is of the New Creation. The old life is finished, gone.

Behold, new life has begun.  Brothers and Sisters, believe the good news:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

 

HYMN No. 750                        

“Goodness is Stronger than Evil”          

GOODNESS IS STRONGER

 

Goodness is stronger than evil: love is stronger than hate;

Light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death.

Victory is ours; victory is ours

Through God who loves us.

Victory is ours; victory is ours

Through God who loves us.

 

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE        

African Dream Academy – Lydia Spinelli

 

MINUTE FOR MISSION            

The Deacon’s Golf Outing

 

SPECIAL MUSIC                               

“Order My Steps”       

Glenn Burleigh, arr. Jack Schrader 

Chancel Choir

                                          

EPISTLE LESSON                              

Romans 3:21-26

 

GOSPEL READING                          

Matthew 11:16-19

 

SERMON        

“Fantasy Faith League: Evangelical/Sectarian Recruits”   

Rev. William Schram

 

SPECIAL MUSIC   

Sonata No. 10, Op. 14, No. 2 in G-Major (Mvt. II, Andante)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

Katie Kreil, Piano

 

PASTORAL PRAYER & THE LORD’S PRAYER

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.

 

HYMN No. 645, St. 3 & 4    

“Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above                

 MIT FREUDEN ZART

The Lord is never far away, but, through all grief distressing,

An everpresent help and stay, our peace and joy and blessing,

As with a mother’s tender hand God gently leads the chosen band:

To God all praise and glory!

 

Thus all my toilsome way along I sing aloud thy praises,

That all may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises.

Be joyful in the Lord, my heart; both soul and body, take your part:

To God all praise and glory!

     

BENEDICTION

 

POSTLUDE                                   

“A Joyous Recessional”                                 

Matthew H. Corl

 

WORSHIP PARTICIPANTS

Rev. William Schram

Rev. Barbara Piercy

Noel Piercy

Michael Hardenberg, Cantor

The Chancel Choir & Friends

Katie Kreil, Piano

Ray Liptak & Rob Thiemann, AV Engineers