Worship – November 1 – All Saints

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.

Call to Worship – Stardust and Promise

Even though we are many individuals,
We are part of one great body!

We sing in many different voices.  We sing well.  We sing poorly.  We sing loud.  We sing quietly.
And, yet, we sing one song of praise to God.

We are scattered throughout the earth.  We are called away from the ones we love and make our homes in strange places.
And, yet, we share the same love with those we meet and serve.

Each of our lives shine uniquely with the gifts that God has given us.  Sometimes, we feel like we shine alone.
But, we shine as one constellation to the world.  We inherit God’s promise to Abraham.  We are the stars of the sky!  We are saints of light!

Even though we are many individuals,
We are part of one great body!

Gathering Hymn – For All the Saints
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by Fountainview Academy

Gathering Prayer
Let us pray,
God of Abraham,
As Abraham looked to the sky, he must have doubted your promise.  Yet, here we are: numerous as the stars in the sky.  Grant us your light, we pray, that we may shine together as your Saints. Whether we stand shoulder-to-shoulder or light-years apart, unite us in your promise.
In your holy name, we pray,

A Story of the Saints – “Don Bendel”– Mara Anderson

Scripture Readings

Reading – Genesis 15:1-6
The reading can be found here.
Read by Laura Wade

A Story of the Saints – “Jedediah Mannis” – Mike Scott

All Saint’s Reflection – “On the Death of the Beloved”
Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

A Story of the Saints – “ Ellie” – Jenny Hoffmann

Gospel Reading – Matthew 5:1-12
The reading can be found here.
Read by Peggy Lairmore

A Story of the Saints – “ Alma Jacomini Jeschien” – Anne Benson

Questions for Reflection
Luther wrote that we are simultaneously sinner and saint (simul justus et peccator).  What do you think he means by that?

What are the attributes of a ‘saint’?

Who has been a ‘saint’ in your life?

How are you a ‘saint’ to those who surround you?

Centering Song – Blest Are They – ELW 728
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by Children’s Music Resource

Time of Remembrance
We remember, O God… 
The constellation of saints
who have sewn the story of God
throughout time and space,
We remember, O God… 
The tender touch of loved ones,
the example of heroes,
the healing words of comforters,
the remarkable acts of fearless ones.
We remember, O God… 
The gentle strength of grandmothers,
the loyalty of friends,
the joy of children,
the sacrifice of parents.  

We remember, O God… 
The supreme love of Jesus,
the guidance of his words,
the sharing of his suffering,
the glory of his resurrection:

Shown forth in the lives of his disciples, the saints of God’s church,
young and old,
dead and living,
articulate and silent,
strange and familiar,
brilliant and ordinary.

Woven together they have made a tapestry of laughter, tears, story, and faith which wraps around us, bearing witness to God’s faithfulness.

Sending Song – Rise Up, O Saints of God! – ELW 669
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Elizabeth City, NC

We praise and bless you, God of Life.
Bless us with your presence each day of our lives.

We have seen you and have felt your presence
in the history of your people.
God, be present in our history,
in our communities
and be part of our lives.

With love and mercy, you have cared, led, inspired and sustained
your daughters and sons in all generations.
Shine within us, inspire us,
use us to make visible your peace, justice and truth.

You, who have gathered together your saints from the beginning of time
bless us to be your holy constellation, shining with the light of your love.

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.  

Call to Worship – Stardust and Promise – Written by Roddy Hamilton
All Saint’s Reflection – “On the Death of the Beloved” – By John O’Donohue