Worship – July 26th – Distance

Welcome to Shepherd of the Hill’s online worship! We are thankful that you have come to this corner of the internet for some of God’s Word and time for reflection and worship. As you engage the below worship service, you are encouraged to quiet the world around you. Turn off or silence your phone. Find a quiet spot in your house or outdoors.

The service is approximately 30 minutes in length if you follow all the pieces. Songs have been contributed by our Worship Team and our traditional service pianist. Our lectors have recorded the readings. Pastor Adam has recorded a sermon for viewing. There is also liturgy (litanies, prayers, calls to worship) contained in the service. If you are worshiping with someone, please share the reading of these pieces with them.

Opening Prayer – Based on Romans 8:26-34
God,
Your extravagant love has called us together
across distances, great and small.

Long before we even knew You,
You already knew us,
and had chosen us to be part of Your own family—
sisters and brothers with our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
What amazing love You have shown toward us!

And so we come before You with praise and thanksgiving,
offering You the worship of our hearts and lives,
and opening ourselves to the prompting and leading of Your Holy Spirit.

May the time we spend in worship,
although distant from each other,
unite us in your love,
Amen.


Gathering Song – Thy Word, Step by Step
Performed by the SOTH Worship Team


Scripture Readings

Romans 8:26-39
The reading can be found here.
Read by Mike Scott

Gospel Reading – Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
The reading can be found here.
Read by John Nauman


Questions for Reflection
What is the most profound experience of distance and/or separation you have had?


What is an experience of distance/separation you have experienced during the pandemic?


How have you experienced God’s love bridging separation in your life?



Centering Songs

Contemporary Song – Your Love Defends Me
Performed by the SOTH Worship Team

Traditional Song – Be Thou My Vision
Lyrics can be found here.
Recorded by Donna Natseway


Prayer of Thanksgiving: For Love
Let us give thanks for the remarkable gifts
of God’s creating and redeeming love, 
the loving that casts out all fear.

For the love that frees us to ask questions and explore,
to frame doubts and investigate new possibilities,
to build theories and then cross-examine them.
We thank you, God of adventurous love.

For the love that enables us to marvel at our own existence,
to ponder and remember,recognize our own needs
and affirm our own knowledge and purpose.
We thank you, God of determined love.

For the love that helps us to communicate with one another,
to express trust and respect,
share heartaches and visions,
to convey love and mercy.
We thank you, God of reconciling love.

For the love that inspires us to warmly encourage those around us,
to affirm and build up,
comfort and enlighten.
We thank you, God of nurturing love.

For the love that liberates us to celebrate the world around us in poetry and song,
to delight in shapes and colors,
intricacies and patterns,
awesome forces and deep mysteries.
We thank you God of visionary love.

For the love that encourages us to express something of our faith;
for creeds and prayers,
hymns and readings,
discussion groups and sermons.
We thank you, God of creative love.

Above all else we thank you
for the love that allows us to admit
that we have no words in which to adequately describe
the process of faith in Christ,
the awesome worship of our God,
and the holy wonder of the Spirit.
We thank you for that point where
our love becomes wordless adoration.
Through Christ Jesus,who is the pure glory of your loving. 
Amen! 


Giving and Offering
Shepherd of the Hills is very blessed and grateful for your continued financial support during this difficult time of physical distancing required by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your giving allows us to continue to provide worship, support and outreach until it is safe to gather in person again. We realize that the pandemic has caused many financial challenges. As your finances allow, please consider continuing to support our shared ministries.

There are two ways to give:
– Mail your tithe or offering to the church office. The office will remain open for normal business hours.
– Give online! Our online giving is secure and fully operational. It can be found here.

Thank you again for helping us continue to spread God’s Word and help those in need during these challenging times.  


Prayer of Thanksgiving: For Love – Written by Bruce Prewer