Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

SWEETWATER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

July 26, 2020 17th Sunday in Ordinary time

Good morning and welcome to the worship of Sweetwater Presbyterian Church! Let us come into the presence of the Lord!

This is the 17th Sunday in ordinary time as we continue through our church year remembering the presence of our God with us at all times.

Prelude

Gathering Words:
Leader:
This is the day the Lord has made
People: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Leader:
May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
People: And also with you

We are so glad we are able to gather together as the people of God. If you are not currently a member of a congregation, we hope you enjoy worshipping with us by means of the internet and would love to have you join with us. Contact information can be found on our webpage.

Sunday School has always been an important program at Sweetwater! Don’t let yourselves get out of the Sunday School habit! Pick up the educational materials in Fellowship Hall and take that time on Sunday mornings when you would normally be at the church and work on these lessons. There are lessons for all age children, youth and adults!

Session will meet this afternoon at 4pm. Please be in prayer for them as they gather together.

Today we have placed a rose on our table to honor the birth of
Hunter Cade Bruner, born July 16th at 5:41 pm. Hunter was 7lbs 1oz and 19 3/4 inches long! Josh and Sydney Bruner are the proud parents and Pam and Lewis Bruner are the even prouder grandparents!! God’s blessings on this new life!

Silent Reflection

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, Philippians 3:13

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Let us take a moment to prepare our hearts and minds to come before our God in worship.


*Call to Worship
Leader: A new day has dawned, God’s gift us us; the fruits of the land are ours to enjoy.
People: We are a new creation in Jesus Christ; the old has passed away, the new has come.
Leader: This is a day to celebrate God’s love which has freed us from slavery and pushes forward to a new place.
People: The glad cries of deliverance surround us; shouts of joy arise from our hearts.
Leader: Let all who are faithful offer up prayers; may all who are in Christ give thanks.
People: We will be glad and join the dance of life; with the uprights of heart,w e rejoice and sing.
*HYMN I Danced in the Morning
*OPENING PRAYER Welcoming God, we have gathered together so that you may teach us the way we should go. In our times of distress and need, you have provided. When we have stubbornly followed our own plans, you have curbed our impulses. From our days of confusion and aimless wandering, you have rescues us and restored us to our true identity. Meet us now as we worship together to shape us into a righteous, reconciling people. Amen.


Old Testament Lesson: Numbers 14:1-4
CALL TO CONFESSION
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sin, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In humility and in faith, let us confess our sin to God and to one another…..

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Merciful God, you brought us out of the land of captivity, out of the house of slavery. Forgive us when we willingly return to that slavery, making important those things and those activities that enslave us and pull us away from you. Forgive us when we consider ourselves so important that we do not rest and enjoy your presence, defining ourselves by what we do rather than simply by your love. Forgive us when we think so little of ourselves that we dare not sit with ourselves, exposed, without the cloak of productivity. (moment of silent confession). Forgive us through Christ, who redeems us from the brokenness of slavery that we might enjoy your presence, creation and community. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON
We are assured that God forgives our sin.
Leader: Hear and believe the good news of the gospel
People: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

And now let us sing as we celebrate what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

CHORAL RESPONSE:
To God Be the Glory V1

CHRISTIAN GREETINGS
Freedom from slavery means the peace of knowing that we can truly be who we are without worry or living with the expectations others have placed on us or we have put upon ourselves. Know the peace given by the freedom in Christ that you share with all the people at Sweetwater.
Call each other this week and to let everyone know you are thinking of them!

And now let us gather the children:

CHILDREN’S MOMENT

Children’s Sermon

(You need a non-see through bag with a cookie in it.)
Hello! I want to start with a little guessing game…what do you think I have inside this bag??
Do you think it’s…a puppy?
Maybe a pillow?

Why not? Of course, a pillow or a puppy would be way to big for this bag.
How about a book? Or a flower? They would fit.
Well, what if I told you that this bag had a cookie inside? Would you believe me?
How could you know for sure? Well, I guess I could prove it to you. Why don’t I take it out of the bag?
(
Remove cookie from bag).
Okay, here it is! You can see it…looks like a cookie, right? You could touch it if you wanted to, and see that it feels like a cookie. You could smell it. You can even take a bite and taste that it is definitely a cookie!
But what if I didn’t take it out of the bag? You would have to trust me, and believe that it was a cookie even if you couldn’t see it. You’d have to have faith that I was saying the truth.
This is what faith is all about - believing people when you can’t see what they are saying is true.
The Bible talks about faith. The Bible says that faith is being confident and assured of things we hope for, but cannot see. Having faith means that we believe even if we cannot be one hundred percent sure.
Can you see God? Faith means we still know He is there and that He does wonderful things for us.
You know me, and you know I tell the truth, you might not have much difficulty believing there was a cookie in the bag.
We know that God is worthy of our trust. He has already proven it, because every promise of the Bible came true! That’s a pretty amazing thing to put our faith in.
Will you say a prayer with me to thank God for His faithfulness?
Dear God,
Thank you for being worthy of our trust
Thank you for all you have done
And for all you promise to do
Help us to have faith
And to believe in your Word
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!


*HYMN:
We Gather Together

Take a moment to think about those who need your prayer


CONCERNS AND CELEBRATIONS
With all the faithful, O God, we gather to pray to the one who is our hiding place in times of trouble, who surrounds us with glad cries of deliverance and for those great gifts we thank you.
We pray for all who hunger - whether they hunger for something missing in their lives or hunger for wealth and power or hunger for a simple meal. Show those who are looking for something they do not have that your son is the answer to what they need and that only he can meet their deepest need. Feed the poor from the abundance of your good creation.
We pray for your church in this time of trial - this COVID that is surrounded by the unknown; by fear and uncertainty; by worry and saddness; by loneliness and new challenges. Give us your peace when fear threatens our trust in you and challenge us to live our lives knowing you are present and active in all that is going on.
We lift up those we care about…
For our own needs we now pray.… O God, be with us as your church and be with all churches struggling to be faithful to you.
Be with Dixon Presbyterian Church Kings Mountain and Lowell Presbyterian Church.
Lord God, instruct us in the way we should go and let your steadfast love surround us always as we pray together the prayer you have taught us: Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name…..

GOSPEL LESSON: John 5:1-8
This is the word of the Lord: Thanks be to God

SERMON “
Where Do You Want To Go?

APOSTLE’S CREED AND GLORIA PATRI

MINUTE FOR MISSION

Mission is the work of the church and we can still continue in our mission even though we are not together face to face. Mission is who we are and God still calls us into that mission.
If you know of a need we as the church could help with, let us know.

We filled up the tub for CCM! Thank you all. Susan Flowers delivered it to CCM for us - but you know what that means! The tub is now empty again so let’s start filling it back up! Bring your canned goods and place them in the tub under the awning of the educational building.

This is our Pennies for Progress Sunday and I hope you are continuing to set aside your ‘pennies’ or whatever change you may have for this offering. When we are together and we gather what you have collected, I would ask to help Don out if you would either roll it into coin wrappers or exchange your coins for bills or checks.

PRESENTATION OF TITHES AND OFFERINGS
As God so freely offers us the gift of life in Jesus Christ, let us respond with gratitude, offering our lives to God. Let us give generously and with joy and God receives our offering.

DOXOLOGY AND PRAYER OF DEDICATION
We give you thanks and praise, O God, for the free and abundant gift of grace you have given us in Jesus Christ. Let the simple gifts of our lives be a sign of our unending gratitude for your undying love; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Closing Hymn:
He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought!

*CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
Leader: Beloved, forget what lies behind and move forward to what lies ahead.
People: We press on toward the goal for the prize of our heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

May the love of the Creator, who rescues us from slavery, the grace of the Savior, who redeems us from brokenness, and the peace of the spirit, who moves us into freedom, surround you, uphold you and sustain you now and forevermore.

May the love of the Creator, who rescues us from slavery, the grace of the Savior, who redeems us from brokenness, and the peace of the spirit, who moves us into freedom, surround you, uphold you and sustain you now and forevermore. Alleluia! Amen!


Choral Benediction Song of Hope