Worship – September 27 – With Pastor Miguel Gomez-Acosta

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. This week we welcome Pastor Miguel Gomez-Acosta, who 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.

Prayer of Confession – Based on Psalm 25:1-4

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
I put my trust in you, O God,
do not let me be put to shame; 

do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;

let those be ashamed who neglect your faithfulness,
and who act with evil intent. 
Teach me your ways, O God
and guide me in your paths. 

We bring to mind these things for which we are ashamed—- 
for willfully acting with less than good intentions…

[Silence for Reflection]

Forgive us, O God—
cleanse our hearts and minds
of all that prevents us from loving you
and loving our neighbor.
May our lives be marked by faith active in love
as we watch and wait for your breaking into our world once more.
In Jesus’ name we pray.

Gathering Song – Change My Heart O God
Performed by SOTH Worship Team

Opening Prayer – Based on Psalm 25:1-9
To You, O Lord, we lift up our souls.
You are our God—we trust in You alone.

Look upon us with mercy and love—
the same steadfast mercy and love You have shown
toward Your people throughout history.

Make Your ways known to us;
guide us into Your truth.
Show us the way we should go.

For You are the God of our salvation,
full of compassion and steadfast love,
and those who wait on You will never be put to shame.

Scripture Readings

Reading – Exodus 17:1-7
The reading can be found here.
Read by Belinda Donahoe

Psalm Reading – Psalm 25:1-9
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
    do not let me be put to shame;
    do not let my enemies exult over me.

Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
    let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.

Gospel Reading – Matthew 21:23-32
The reading can be found here.
Read by Allie Papke-Larson

Pastor Miguel Gomez-Acosta’s Message

Questions for Discussion:

When you read in our confession, “We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we done and what we have left undone”, it is easy for us to recognize what we have done. What are some examples of the things we might have left undone?

What do these promises we made to God and to the assembled community on our day of confirmation mean to you today?:
1. Live among God’s faithful people.

2. Hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper.

3. Proclaim the good news through word and deed.

4. Serve all people.

5. Strive for justice and peace in all the earth.

Where can we be God’s voice of grace, love, and mercy?

Centering Song – They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love
Performed by For King and Country

Prayer for Others
like the Israelites in the wilderness,
we too have known Your love,
and experienced Your care and provision.
You invite us to extend that love to the world around us—
to care for others as deeply as we care for ourselves.
And so we bring the needs of our world before You now.
In Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the many who do not have enough:
  enough food to eat, or shelter to keep warm;
  enough employment, or money to pay their bills;
  enough medicine or medical care.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We also pray for those who have more than enough,
  but who still struggle to find meaning and purpose in life;
  who indulge in dangerous or self-serving activities
  to dull their pain or loneliness.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

God, Your grace reaches out to all of us.
You call us to live as citizens of heaven,
working together with one heart and mind.
Strengthen us to live in a manner worthy
of the Good News we have received,
offering our lives in service of Your kingdom,
where the last are first, and the first are last,
and there is grace enough for all.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, Amen.

Sending Song – I’m so glad, Jesus lifted me
Played by SOTH Worship Team

Go in peace,
and may the Lord who gave water to his people in the wilderness
   pour out upon you the fullness of his blessings,
may your faith be grounded upon the rock which cannot move
and your love be as bountiful as the love which sustains you
   each and every day,
in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy One.

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 Confession – Written by Moira Laidlaw
Prayer for Others – Written by Christine Longhurst
Blessing – Written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild