July 4, 2021

Prelude:  Theme from “Finlandia”, Jean sibelius

Call to Worship         Abingdon       
L: When winds tear into our vessels,
P: God’s grace will be our guide.
L: When insecurities mount up within our souls,
P: God’s strength will be our guide.
L: When hardships weaken our resolve,
P: God’s mercy will be our guide.
L: When insults rip and slander stains,
P: God’s courage will be our guide.
L: When vulnerability saps our faith,
P: God’s presence will be our guide.

Opening Prayer                          WSL 203                    Becca Williams
God of all nations, we thank you for the life and history of our country, for its vast beauty, its wilderness, and wealth of forest, mine, and sea. We praise you for its people, the people whose ancestors have been here for thousands of years, and those who have just arrived. We thank you for the variety of our traditions and our cultures, the riches of our spiritual and religious heritage, the strength of our democratic institutions. We pray for our nation, for our citizens, residents, and governments that working together we may face the future with confident hope and faith in your purpose for our world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Confession                            Abingdon                            Pastor Mandy
Holy Creator, we have refused to give our neighbors the honor they deserve. We have rejected others, as Jesus was rejected before us. Status drives us. Gossip lures us. Reputations gain more traction than the entirety of the person in front of us. We choose chaos over kindness, and disconnection over spiritual bonds. May our hearts repent, returning to your voice. May our souls reconnect, returning to our neighbor. May our minds renew, returning to the ones you created us to be. May your grace abound. Amen.

Words of Assurance
Shame lives within us no more. God’s grace is sufficient for all. May the power of Christ dwell in our souls, elevate our spirits, and nudge us to grow in our relationships. Amen.

Hymn             This is My Song                      UMH 437      
1. This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
2. My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine; but other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. O hear my song, thou God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine.
3. This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms: Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done. Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him, and hearts united learn to live as one. O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations; myself I give thee; let thy will be done.

First Reading – Psalm 71:1-11                                  Becca Williams
1In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. 3Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. 5For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. 6Upon you I have learned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you. 7I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long. 9Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. 10For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together. 11They say, “Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver.”

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Choir Offertory:  The Battle Hymn of the Republic, USA camp meeting tune, 19th cent

Offertory Prayer       Abingdon
Despite the sufferings and challenges on our journeys, your power transcends human weakness. We celebrate your generosity by sharing treasures, talents, and time along our way. No matter where we travel or which hardships we face, we sing your name in every corner of the earth. With our songs of praise, we share our gifts with your creation. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

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 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, forever. Amen.

Second Reading – Psalm 71:12-24
12O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! 13Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me be covered with scorn and disgrace. 14But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. 15My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day long, though their number is past my knowledge. 16I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God, I will praise your righteousness, yours alone. 17O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 18So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. Your power 19and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? 20You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. 21You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again. 22I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued. 24All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help, for those who tried to do me harm have been put to shame, and disgraced.

Message                                                                      Pastor Mandy

Hymn      O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing    UMH 57     v1 , 3 & 7
1. O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!
3.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; ’tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’tis life, and health, and peace.
7.
In Christ, your head, you then shall know, shall feel your sins forgiven; anticipate your heaven below, and own that love is heaven.

Benediction                WSL 202
Like fireworks against a night sky, may your love for us, O God, explode within us, that our lives would burst forth with the flame of your Holy Spirit and shower the earth with celebrations of the freedom we find in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Postlude:  Sortie on :National Hymn, Warren/Smith

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.