August 29, 2021

Prelude:    Like The First Bird (Calvary)
 Arioso (Sinfonia to Cantata No. 156)  J. S. Bach (Reading)

Call to Worship         BOW 449
L: Trust in the Lord and do good.
P: May the Lord give strength to the people!
L: O taste and see that the Lord is good!
P: God is our refuge and strength.

Opening Prayer         UMH 401       
Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. Here is the citadel of all my desiring, where my hopes are born, and all the deep resolutions of my spirit take wings. In this center, my fears are nourished, and all my hates are nurtured. Here my loves are cherished, and all the deep hungers of my spirit are honored without quivering and without shock. In my heart, above all else, let love and integrity envelop me until my love is perfected, and the last vestige of my desiring is no longer in conflict with thy Spirit. Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. Amen.

Confession     BOW 488
We confess that the circle of love is repeatedly broken because of our sin of exclusion. We create separate circles: the inner circle and the outer circle, the circle of power and the circle of despair, the circle of privilege and the circle of deprivation.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us.
We confess that the circle of love is broken whenever there is alienation, whenever there is misunderstanding, whenever there is insensitivity or a hardening of the heart.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us.
We confess that the circle of love is broken whenever we cannot see eye to eye, whenever we cannot link hand to hand, whenever we cannot live heart to heart and affirm our differences.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us.
Through God’s grace we are forgiven, by the mercy of our Creator, through the love of the Christ, and in the power of the Spirit. Let us rejoice and be glad!
Glory to God! Amen.

Hymn             Great is thy Faithfulness                     UMH 140
1. Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be. Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
2. Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
3. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

First Reading – James 1:17-27
17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. 19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. 22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. 26If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

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

Offertory:                  Hiding In Thee (Calvary)
How Can I Keep from Singing, Lowry
Morgan & Connor Flannery & grandfather, Larry Kitterman (Reading)

Offertory Prayer       WSL 114
Here, Lord, we put our love into practice. These gifts offer come from your love for us. Now, let them express our love for you, as they reach our to others with your love for them. 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 – Ephesians 6:10-20
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 7in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ 8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” 21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Message                                                                      Pastor Mandy

Hymn                                     Lord, I Want to be a Christian            UMH  402
1. Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart; I want to be a Christian in my heart. (in my heart) In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart) Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart. (in my heart)
2. Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart; Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart. (in my heart) In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart) Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart. (in my heart)
3. Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart; Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. (in my heart) In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart) Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. (in my heart)
4. Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart; Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart. (in my heart) In my heart, (in my heart) in my heart, (in my heart) Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart. (in my heart)                                                         

Benediction                            BOW 567
Grant, O Lord, that what has been said with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and that what we believe in our hearts we may practice in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Postlude:   Hornpipe From Water Music (Calvary)
Morning Bells, Peele (Reading)

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