First United Methodist Church of Schenectady
Human Relations Day
January 15th, 2023
Photo by Amanda Taylor
It may help to center yourself into worship by lighting a candle, as a symbol of God’s presence with you during the time of worship. You may also want to pay attention to lighting, the position of your body, and the availability of distractions.
“Beloved God, form us into beloved community.”
“Give Me Jesus” African-American Spiritual, Arranged by Anna Laura Page
Call to Worship
One: It’s coming: the Kindom of God is coming!
Many: Let your Reign, O God, be acknowledged among all people. We stand on the threshold of truth.
We are perched on the branches of justice.
One: Across the horizon we see the outline of peace and harmony.
Many: With privilege comes responsibility,
With responsibility comes accountability, With accountability comes honesty,
With honesty comes faithfulness.
All: God of Creation and history, equip us to live faithfully in your Kindom!
Hymn #378: “Amazing Grace”
Unison Prayer, from “Inward Journey” by Howard Thurman
Our Father, fresh from the world with the smell of life upon us, we make an act of prayer in the silence of this place. Our minds are troubled because the anxieties of our hearts are deep and searching. We are stifled by the odor of death which envelopes the earth because in so many places brother fights against brother. The panic of fear, the torture of insecurity, the ache of hunger – all have fed and rekindled ancient hatreds and long-forgotten memories of old struggles when the world was young and Thy children were but dimly aware of Thy Presence in the midst. For all this we seek forgiveness. There is no one of us without guilt, and before Thee we confess our sins: we are proud and arrogant; we are selfish and greedy; we have harbored in our hearts and minds much that makes for bitterness, hatred, and revenge.
While we wait in Thy Presence, search our spirits and grant to our minds the guidance and the wisdom that will teach us the way to take, without which there can be no peace and no confidence anywhere. Teach us how to put at the disposal of Thy Purposes of Peace the fruits of our industry, the products of our minds, the vast wealth of our land, and the resources of our spirit. Grant unto us the courage to follow the illumination of this hour to the end that we shall not lead death to any man’s door, but rather may we strengthen the hands of all in high places and in common tasks who seek to build a friendly world of friendly men, beneath a friendly sky. This is the simple desire of our hearts which we share with Thee in quiet confidence. Amen.
Photo by Mary Ann Marshall
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father (Creator)
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Listening and Reflecting
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:1-10
Mission Moment: “Street Soldiers” with Maura Furey
Poem: “Meditations of the Heart” by Howard Thurman
Hymn #533: We Shall Overcome
Time with Young People
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Sermon: “Foolish and Wise”
Offertory: “Freedom Summer” by the Staples Singers
A Time to Consider Offering
Photo by Larry McArthur
If you wish, you are welcome to use this time to make a donation to the church online, or to put a check in the mail.
The time of offering is not only about our financial gifts to the church, it is about offering our lives to God and the building of the kindom. This is a time for reflection: What is being asked of us? What is being given to us? What are we able to offer? What do we need?