Worship – November 15 – Playing Poker

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.

Confession and Forgiveness

Lord of Creation,
we confess that we have squandered your gifts
and used them as if they had been given for us alone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have failed to be an obedient church.
We have not done your will,
we have broken your law,
we have rebelled against your love,
we have not loved our neighbors,
and we have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive us, we pray.  
Free us for joyful obedience,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[Silence for Reflection]

Hear the Good News:
We have not been faithful in all things.
But our God still welcomes us with patience and kindness.
Therefore, as people of God’s promise,
let us receive forgiveness, embrace hope, and faithfully respond, 
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Glory to God!
We are forgiven.
We have hope.
We will respond. Amen.

Gathering Song – In Christ Alone
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by Celtic Worship

Gathering Prayer

God, whose giving knows no ending,
we offer up the treasure that you have entrusted to us;
we offer up the skills and time that you have graciously given to us;
we offer up ourselves in service and praise.
Receive these gifts by your grace.
Multiply and use them through the power of the Holy Spirit
to accomplish Christ’s work of love in the world.

Scripture Readings

Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The reading can be found here.
Read by Sandy Swaby

Psalm Reading – Psalm 90:1-8
God’s Eternity and Human Frailty
A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn us back to dust,
    and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
For a thousand years in your sight
    are like yesterday when it is past,
    or like a watch in the night.

You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
    in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are consumed by your anger;
    by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 25:14-30
The reading can be found here.
Read by Julia Gassaway

Pastor Adam’s Message – Playing Poker

Questions for Discussion:
How do you react to “risk” in your life?  Are you more of a chess or poker player?

What significant risks have you taken for family or friends?

What significant risks have you taken for work?

What significant risks have you taken for God?

Centering Song – Evidence
Performed by SOTH Worship Team:
vocals – James Kirk
piano – Marie Zelenka
guitar – Bill Ring
percussion – Stefan Nelson

Affirmation of Faith
I believe in a God
who created all things
and seeks for all to be in communion as God’s people.

I believe in Jesus Christ
who showed us how to share love,
and who commissioned us to go out into the highways and byways
inviting all to be a part of God’s work in the world.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
who leads and guides us into the world,
then touches the lives of those around us
in ways that make them receptive to love.

I believe in the harvest
and the call for laborers to receive and respond,
sharing light and life with the world.  Amen.

Prayer of Commitment
O God,
it is your nature.
You give us yourself

In freedom we have received your Spirit.
Help us to freely give it away,
then receive it

We want to say with the servant,
“You gave me two talents.
I have made two

Let us take part in your Spirit,
and to share in your

Closing Song – All Creatures of Our God and King
Performed by Stephen J. Nasby

There are blessings
meant for you
to hold onto

like a lifeline

like a candle
for a dark way

tucked into a pocket
like a smooth stone
reminding you
that you do not
go alone.

This blessing
is not those.

This blessing
will find its form
only as you
give it away

only as you
release it
into the keeping
of another

only as you
let it
leave you

bearing the shape
the imprint
the grace
it will take

only for having
passed through
your two

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.  

Gathering Prayer (inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20) – Written by Joanna Harader
Prayers – Affirmation of Faith (inspired by Matthew 25:16-20, Matthew 9:35-38) – Submitted by Tim Tate
Prayer of Commitment – Written by A. Osdieck
Blessing (inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20) – written by Jan L. Richardson