A Prayer For Empathy

A Prayer For Empathy

Sabbath Sunday. Pentecost (Fourth Sunday). June 28, 2020. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28


Sabbath Sunday is where we take a break from services once a month and worship God through resting. As we wait to resume our regular Sunday services during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will post a devotional instead of Social Distance Worship liturgy on the last Sunday of each month. This devotional includes a prayer, meditation, Bible passage, and a reflection on a specific topic.


Opening Prayer

O God Most High, Creator of the ends of the earth, Governor of the universe, Judge of all people,
Head of the Church, and Saviour of sinners; Your greatness is unsearchable, Your goodness is infinite,
Your compassions unfailing, Your providence boundless, and Your mercies are new everyday. I bless Your name for the words of salvation. How important, suitable, encouraging are the doctrines, promises, and invitations of the Gospel of peace! I am lost, but in the Good News You have presented to me a full, free and eternal salvation. I am weak, but in the Good News I learn that help is found in One that is mighty. I am poor, but in Christ I discover unsearchable riches. And I am blind, but In Christ I find that he has treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Lord, I thank thee for Your unspeakable gift. Your Son is my only refuge, foundation, hope, confidence. I depend upon His death, rest in His righteousness, and desire to bear His image. May His glory fill my mind, may His love reign in my heart, and may His cross inflame me with a humble zeal. Amen.


Scripture Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18)

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

25 Brothers and Sisters, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


Reflection

A Call to Empathy (by Pastor Seth Nelson of Faith Lutheran Church of Ronan)

Blessings on your April! Though Easter morning fell on April Fools Day this year, the resurrection is no joke! We continue to live into the reality of the resurrection by observing an Easter season that extends until the day of Pentecost on May 20th this year. May hope in the resurrection bring you joy throughout this season!

A hundred years ago Allied forces were bogged down in a brutal, prolonged war with Germany on the western front in France and beyond. The Great War, better known here as World War I, turned out to be far more atrocious than anyone could have imagined at its beginning. The fighting had broken down into an entrenched stalemate with forces on either side shooting at each other from earthen fortifications across “no man’s land” – the area between the forces that endured intense shelling over the years of fighting, a space that few dared to enter because it meant almost certain death. The holes that the soldiers slept in were disease ridden, gas masks were standard issue because of all the chemical weapons that were in regular use, and soldiers’ prospects of survival were bleak.

Now, you might think that living in this sort of military muck and engaging the enemy day after day would make you hate your opponent more and more with each passing day. As you looked over the shelled areas between you, trying to pick off soldiers one by one, knowing that their continued survival would keep you from returning home, it would seem only natural for you to hate those you were trained to kill and treat them as nothing but an object to be overcome. Yet, surprisingly, officers on the front lines of this terrible conflict started staggering the times that their men spent on the line because they discovered that if their troops were facing the same enemy faces for too long they would stop shooting at them or start missing their targets on purpose. Even though these soldiers spent every miserable day at the front looking across the destruction that their enemies had wrought on the land, they began to empathize with their opponents and realize that they too were mere men caught up in a larger fight. Instead of developing hatred for their opponents, they grew to see them with greater humanity the longer they faced them. Officers had to keep their troops from looking at the same enemies regularly or they would begin to empathize with those that they were supposed to neutralize.

The Google dictionary defines empathy as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” One who shows empathy is a person who looks across the trenches, battle lines, and ‘no man’s lands’ that divide us and sees more than an enemy – they see a person who is called up in the same battle that ranges around us all but simply ended up on the other side. In the polarized times in which we live, there are many stark battle lines drawn to keep people behind the thresholds of extremes and these battle lines are keeping us divided. A poll on the news this morning reported that nearly ninety percent of both Republicans and Democrats view those with political differences negatively, effectively proving that right now people are not practicing empathy across political divides. Many in our time are unable to understand or share the feelings and perspectives of others, especially of those with whom they disagree. But, as people of faith, we believe that we are all formed in the image of God and we all share in the love of the One who made us and saves us. If soldiers in one of the most dreadful wars in human history can show empathy towards their enemies, imagine what we can do here on the homefront.


Silent Meditation (Compassion Hymn)

(As you think about today’s passage and reflection on empathy, listen to this song)


Closing Prayer

A Prayer for Empathy

God, our world is bent and broken. But this didn’t stop You from showing Your great love for us by sending Your Son to empathize with us in our weakness. Help me to do likewise. He me to view everyone I interact with the way that You see them. Allow me to be a part of Your solution to the brokenness in this world. Show me how to partner with You in creating sustainable change. I recognize that in order to do that, I need to be willing to share in the pain of others. Give me the courage to do that, and then, help me to take action. Let empathy and restoration start with me. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Signs: The Purpose of Holy Things

Signs: The Purpose of Holy Things

Social Distance Worship. Pentecost (Third Sunday). June 21, 2020. 1 Samuel 2:12;22-25


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

There upon the cross of Calvary
Our blessed Savior died;
There between two thieves our blessed Lord
For us was crucified.

O, His blood was shed that we might live
With Him when life is o’er,
And upon the clouds of glory ride
Safe to that peaceful shore.

O, He suffered there for guilty man,
His life so freely gave,
When He paid the debt we could not pay
And triumphed o’er the grave.

O, His blood was shed that we might live
With Him when life is o’er,
And upon the clouds of glory ride
Safe to that peaceful shore.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Christ my sure Redeemer, I worship You with joyful heart, for through You I can truly say that God Himself is with me. Lord, receive my gifts of thanks and praise to You this day, and let me find a solace in Your presence which is steadfast love. And let the world know it is better off because of this; that You live and rule and reign all things, and that Your people live and follow You. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

Song of Adoration

God Himself is with us; let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in his temple; all within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence.

Him alone do we own
As our God and Savior;
Praise His name forever.

God Himself is with us: hear the harps resounding!
See the crowds the throne surrounding!
“Holy, holy, holy,” hear the hymn ascending,
Angels, saints, their voices blending!

Bow your ear to us here;
Hear, O Christ, the praises
That Your Church now raises.

Fount of every blessing, purify my spirit;
Trusting only in Your merit.
Like the holy angels who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore You,

And in all, great and small,
Seek to do most nearly
What You love so dearly.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

My Lord Jesus, with my brothers and sisters in other places, I confess that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed; by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. Instead of treating holy things like signs that tell me I must go to You, I have treated them like the destination and sometimes made them my chief end. Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me for mistreating Your gifts, and help me by the Holy Spirit to use them in a proper. Let the Word, Sacraments, prayers, and songs, tell me, “Go to Jesus”, and at this I shall run to You and rest within Your grace and truth. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Come, Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice)

“Come,” said Jesus’ sacred voice
“Come, and make My paths your choice

I will guide you to your home,
Weary pilgrim, hither come.”

Hither come, for here is found
Balm that flows for every wound

Peace that ever shall endure
Rest eternal, sacred, sure.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your Keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forevermore.

Song of Forgiveness

Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well
Free and changeless is His favor, all is well,

Precious is the blood that healed us
Perfect is the grace that sealed us

Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us
All must be well

Though we pass through tribulation, all will be well
Ours is such a full salvation, all is well,

Happy still in God confiding
Fruitful if in Christ abiding

Steadfast through the Spirit’s guiding
All must be well

We expect a bright tomorrow, all will be well
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, all is well,

On our Father’s love relying
Jesus every need supplying

Yes, in living or in dying
All must be well

Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well
Free and changeless is His favor, all is well,

Precious is the blood that healed us
Perfect is the grace that sealed us

Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us
All must be well


V. Message

Scripture Readings

1 Samuel 1:24;2:18-21

24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.

18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.

21 Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.

1 Samuel 2:12;22-25

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.

22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: Signs

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, Who gives us holy things as signs that point us on to You, I follow now the sign of prayer which leads me to Your gracious throne. Since I cannot commune with You through Your Sacrament of bread and wine, come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. I long for the day when I can worship in Your house again, and there delight in holy gifts which shine with hope and joy from You. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. And may the Lord God lift the light of His countenance upon you, and give you His peace, both now and forever. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

My Lord Jesus, I thank You for the gift of holy things, and I thank You that they are not the home and the place that where I am meant to go. All these things point to You, the chief end of Your precious saints, and through them You say, “Follow me, and you will never be the same”. This day I follow You and answer Your great summons; the summons to be like a sign that points to You through service and Lord. May all who see me, Lord, see a hand that points to You, and may they come to follow You and be encouraged in faith and hope. I ask all this in Your great name, You Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as one God, both now and forever. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving

Will you come and follow Me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let My love be shown? Will you let My name be known,
Will you let My life be grown in you and you in Me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let Me answer prayer in you and you in Me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean in you and you in Me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through My sight and touch and sound in you and you in Me?

Lord Your summons echoes true when You but call my name.
Let me turn and follow You and never be the same.
In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in You and You in me.


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Bound for the Promised Land

Bound for the Promised Land

Social Distance Worship (Second Sunday of Pentecost), June 14, 2020 | Deuteronomy 30:15-20


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

O tell me no more
Of this world’s vain store;
The time for such trifles with me now is o’er.
A country I’ve found
Where true joys abound;
To dwell I’m determined on that happy ground.

No mortal will know
What Christ will bestow;
What joy, strength, and comfort do after him go.
Lo, onward I move,
To see Christ above,
None guesses how wondrous my journey will prove.

Great spoils I shall win
From death, hell and sin;
‘Midst outward afflictions, shall feel Christ within.
And still (which is best)
I in his dear breast
(As at the beginning) find pardon and rest.

When I am to die,
Receive me, I’ll cry,
For Jesus has loved me, I cannot tell why.
But this I do find,
We two are so joined,
He’ll not live in glory and leave me behind.

This blessing is mine
Through favor divine,
And, O my dear Jesus, the praise shall be thine;
In heaven we’ll meet
In harmony sweet,
And, glory to Jesus! we’ll then be complete.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

Almighty God, Whose mercies are new everyday, I thank You for this moment where You offer me a second chance. A chance to live a life of thanks and praise that pleases You, and a chance to follow Christ and walk His way that leads to life. Lord, be gloried as I worship You and bless Your name, and let me rest within Your hope and crown Your Son unrivaled King. To Him, to You, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and power forever and ever. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Hast Thou Heard Him)

Hast thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him;
Joyful choose the better part.

Captivated by His beauty,
Worthy tribute haste to bring.
Let His peerless worth constrain thee,
Crown Him now unrivaled King.

What can strip the seeming beauty,
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right nor duty,
But the sight of peerless worth.

Captivated by His beauty,
Worthy tribute haste to bring.
Let His peerless worth constrain thee,
Crown Him now unrivaled King.

Tis that look that melted Peter,
Tis that face that Steven saw,
Tis that heart that wept with Mary,
Can alone from idols draw.

Captivated by His beauty,
Worthy tribute haste to bring.
Let His peerless worth constrain thee,
Crown Him now unrivaled King.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

O Christ our unrivaled King, You show to us a way of life, but sometimes in our sinfulness we take a way that leads to death. Sometimes we fail to the love the Lord with our entire being, and sometimes we fail to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Sometimes we faith is meant to only keep things good for us, and we lose sight of Your faithfulness and call to heal this broken world. Lord, shepherd us beyond our wants that we might love. Lord, shepherd us beyond our fears that we might heal. Lord, shepherd us beyond way of death to life; the life we celebrate today while offering our thanks and praise. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Shepherd Me, O God)

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

Shepherd me, O God,
Beyond my wants,
Beyond my fear,
From death into life.

God is my shepherd, so nothing I shall want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.

Shepherd me, O God,
Beyond my wants,
Beyond my fear,
From death into life.

Gently You raise me and heal my weary soul,
You lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
My spirit shall sing the music of Your Name.

Shepherd me, O God,
Beyond my wants,
Beyond my fear,
From death into life.

Though I should wander the valley of death,
I fear no evil, for you are at my side,
Your rod and Your staff, my comfort and my hope.

Shepherd me, O God,
Beyond my wants,
Beyond my fear,
From death into life.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty;
They will see a land that stretches afar.

Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an untroubled habitation
An immovable tent, whose stakes will never be plucked up,
Nor will any of its cords be broken.

But there the Lord in majesty will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
Where no galley with oars can go, nor majestic ship can pass!

For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver;
The Lord is our King; He will save us.

Song of Forgiveness (You Gotta Walk That Lonesome Valley)

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

Some folks say that John was Baptist
Some folks say he was a Jew,
But the Holy Bible tells us
That he was a preacher too.

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

Daniel was a Bible hero,
He was a prophet brave and true,
In a den of hungry lions
Proved what faith can do for you.

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

There’s a road that leads to glory
Through a valley far away,
Nobody else can walk it for you,
They can only point the way.

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.


V. Message

First Reading (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

15  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Second Reading (Acts 5:1-11)

1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: Bound For The Promised Land

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, Who is the truth of God, and way of life that we must walk, I love You above all things and desire to receive You into my soul. Lord, in this time where I cannot receive Your Sacrament, fill my heart with Your presence of love and keep me from the way of death. I also ask for justice in this world that comes from You. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May God the Father, Who made the waves to run, the air to flow, the earth to be still, and starts to shine give you the deep peace of God the Son. Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, Who lives and reigns in all of us through God the Holy Spirit. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God of hope and justice, I thank you for the Land far off; the Promised Land, where a King awaits in all His glory of grace and truth. May others see this Land through the faith and works I have on earth, and may they join You people and be bound for it by saving grace. Your grace which like Your mercy comes afresh with each new day, and enables us to lean on You and trust that You will set things right. Lord, fulfill our hopes and bring Your justice to this world, and through Your people heal the wounds and brokenness within this world. I ask all this through Jesus Christ, Your Light and Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit as one God, both now and forever. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (On Jordan’s Stormy Banks)

On Jordan’’s stormy banks I stand
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

All o’er those wide extended plains,
Shines one eternal day;
There God the Son forever reigns,
And scatters night away.

I am bound, I am bound,
I am bound for the Promised Land.
I am bound, I am bound,
I am bound for the Promised Land.

No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

I am bound, I am bound,
I am bound for the Promised Land.
I am bound, I am bound,
I am bound for the Promised Land.

When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?

I am bound, I am bound,
I am bound for the Promised Land.
I am bound, I am bound,
I am bound for the Promised Land.


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Black Lives Matter To Us

Black Lives Matter To Us

How All Souls is showing solidarity.


9. June 2020By Scotty Williams3 Minutes

At All Souls we believe that every life matters, and because of this we are not afraid to say that Black lives matter. As we have done in the past with other suffering communities (e.g., refugees), we stand in solidarity with the Black community around the world. This solidarity is not based on a political stance, but the command of our gracious Lord that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Here is how we are showing love and standing in solidarity:

Speaking Out

Our pastor is doing interviews with local radio stations, newspapers, podcasts. Here are links to three of these interviews:

Tipp St. Gallen (starts at 1 hour and 2 minutes)

Life Channel Radio

Sacred Collective

Reaching Out

At the request of youth from the local community, we have started the holding solidarity circles where people can gather to engage the topics of race and social justice through discussion, lament, and hoping together. The first solidarity circle was held on June 6th in Kirche Rotmonten, and was well received.

We are planning on having more solidarity circles, so be on the lookout for the dates and times which will be posted on our Events Page.

Helping Out

There are some people who have asked for resources (e.g., books) and pastoral guidance as they seek to understand the topic of race and the racial tensions that the world is currently facing. If anyone is in need of these things, please contact us. We would be honored to assist you.

One great resource is an article written by one of Elders titled, “Learning About The Origins Of Racism“.


Reconciliation on God terms

Reconciliation on God's terms

Social Distance Worship. Trinity Sunday. June 7, 2020. Matthew 9:9-13


Today’s Social Distance Worship is dedicated to the life and memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and is in solidarity with the current calls for justice and peace around the world.


Meditation

(Listen in silence and reflect upon the words)

Hold on just a little while longer.
Hold on just a little while longer.
Hold on just a little while longer.

Everything will be alright.
Everything will be alright.


Opening Prayer

O Gracious Triune God, I come to You this day with my brothers and sisters around the world, and not just in the faith of Christ, but also in humanity. At the moment our thanks and praise are mingled with lament and fear, and some of us are angry from fruits of great injustices. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our laments and calm our fears, and sate our anger not by revenge, but by Your justice, peace, mercy, and love. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.


Opening Song

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

O, what peace we often forfeit
O, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms, He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


Bible Passage

The Wickedness of Judah

Isaiah 1:2-4;16-18

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against Me. 3 The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.

16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. 18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Jesus Calls Matthew

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, Follow Me. And he rose and followed Him.

10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when He heard it, he said, Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.


Message

Reconciliation On God's Terms

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams


Closing Prayer

O Precious Lord, I thank You for the gift of reconciliation, and not just with You in heaven above, but with people living here on earth. May You take all our hands and lead us in this troubled time, and bring us from the darkness to the light of justice, peace, and truth. I ask all this through Jesus Christ, Your loving Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit as one God, both now and forever. Amen.


Closing  Song

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light,
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

 

When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall.
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

 

When darkness appears,
And the night draws near,
And the day is past and gone,
At the river I stand,
Guide me feet, hold my hand.
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

 

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light,
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.


The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this devotion is © All Souls.


God trusts you

God trusts you

Social Distance Worship (Seventh Sunday of Easter), May 24, 2020 | Job 1:6-12


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, recordings of a sermon, and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

While Thee I seek, protecting Power,
Be my vain wishes stilled,
And may this consecrated hour
With better hopes be filled.
Thy love the power of thought bestowed,
To Thee my thoughts would soar;
Thy mercy o’er my life has flowed,
That mercy I adore.

In each event of life, how clear
Thy ruling hand I see!
Each blessing to my soul more dear,
Because conferred by Thee.
In every joy that crowns my days,
In every pain I bear,
My heart shall find delight in praise,
Or seek relief in prayer.

When gladness wings my favored hour,
Thy love my thoughts shall fill;
Resigned when storms of sorrow lower,
My soul shall meet Thy will.
My lifted eye, without a tear,
The gathering storm shall see:
My steadfast heart shall know no fear;
That heart shall rest on Thee.

My lifted eye, without a tear,
The gathering storm shall see:
My steadfast heart shall know no fear;
That heart shall rest on Thee.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Protecting Power that I seek, I come to You with all my trust and I worship You with confidence from the wondrous things that You have done. You have seen me through another week filled with ups and downs from joys and cares, and You have brought me to this moment consecrated for Your thanks and praise. Truly, You are good to me and all Your people around the world, and with saints and angels in heaven above we hallow Your name as Lord of all. To You be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Holy God, We Praise Your Name)

Holy God, we praise Your name;
Lord of all we  bow before You;
All on earth You scepter claim,
All in heaven above adore You.

Infinite Your vast domain,
Everlasting is Your reign.

Hark the glad celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising;
Cherubim and Seraphim
In unceasing chorus praising,

Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord.”

Lo! the apostolic train
Joins Your sacred name to hallow;
Prophets swell the glad refrain,
And the white robed martyrs follow.

And from morn to set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.

Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name You;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim You,

And adoring bend the knee,
While we praise the mystery.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

Merciful Lord, I confess that with me there is an abundance of sin, but in You there is the fullness of righteousness and the abundance of grace. I am spiritually poor, but You are rich and in Jesus Christ came to be merciful to the poor. Strengthen my faith and trust in You. I am an empty vessel that needs to be filled; fill me. I am weak in faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me, and make my heart fervent for You that my love may be fitting for You and all the people that You have made. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (God Is So Good)

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,

He’s so good to me.

He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He cares for me,

He’s so good to me.

I love Him so,
I love Him so,
I love Him so,

He’s so good to me.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

With the merciful You show Yourself merciful;
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;

With the purified You show Yourself pure;
And with the crooked You make Yourself seem tortuous.

For You save a humble people,
But the haughty eyes You bring down.

For it is You who light my lamp;
The Lord my God lightens my darkness.

For by You I can run against a troop,
And by my God I can leap over a wall.

This God—His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord proves true;
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.

Song of Forgiveness (10,000 Reasons)

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning.
It’s time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger.
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind.
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
10, 000 Reasons for my heart to find.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.

And on that day when my strength is failing.
The end draws near and my time has come.
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending,
10, 000 Years and then forever more.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Job 1:6-12)

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have You not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: God Trusts You

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, in Whom I place my trust, I thank You for Your trust in me; the confidence based on Your grace that enables me to do Your will. Lord in this moment I cannot receive You through Your Sacrament, so come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. I declare with joy this day that You alone are my Confidence. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Swiss Confession*

I believe in God, Who created all things, and is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And I believe in the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, as the Word of God and rule of faith.
I believe that God should be worshiped alone, through the power of the Spirit and in Jesus’ name.
And I believe in the Holy Universal Church, where sins are forgiven,
grace abounds,
and eternal life is given to all.
Amen.

*This confession is based on the Second Helvetic Confession of faith that was written by the Swiss Reformer Heinrich Bullinger in 1562.

Blessing

Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be all glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Who was near to Job, I acknowledge that You are with me now and I thank You for Your hedge of grace which enables me to do Your will. Lord, I am not worthy of the confidence that You have in me, for too often my trust in You is weak and crumbles like the dust. Thank You for the favor that You have given me despite my many failures, and enable me to stay near to You from this life to the life everlasting. I ask all this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit as one God, both now and forever. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (Nearer My God To Thee)

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,

Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee;
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;

Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to Thee;
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto heaven,
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;

Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee;
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;

So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee;
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly,

Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee;
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


To the unknown god

To the unknown god

Social Distance Worship (Sixth Sunday of Easter), May 17, 2020 | Acts 17:22-31


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

O Jesus, my Savior, I know Thou art mine,
For Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign;
Of objects most pleasing, I love Thee the best,
Without Thee I’m wretched, but with Thee I’m blessed.

The Spirit first taught me to know I was blind,
Then taught me the way of salvation to find;
And when I was sinking in gloomy despair,
Thy mercy relieved me, and bid me not fear.

In vain I attempt to describe what I feel,
The language of mortals or angels would fail;
My Jesus is precious, my soul’s in a flame,
I’m raised to a rapture while praising His name.

I find Him in singing, I find Him in prayer,
In sweet meditation He always is near;
My constant Companion, O may we ne’er part!
All glory to Jesus, He dwells in my heart.

I love Thee, my Savior, I love Thee, my Lord,
I love Thy dear people, Thy ways, and Thy Word;
With tender emotion I love sinners too,
Since Jesus has died to redeem them from woe.

My Jesus is precious–I cannot forbear,
Though sinners despise me, His love to declare;
His love overwhelms me; had I wings I’d fly
To praise Him in mansions prepared in the sky.

Then millions of ages my soul would employ
In praising my Jesus, my Love and my Joy;
Without interruption, when all the glad throng,
With pleasures unceasing unite in the song.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Jesus my Savior, Who is not just found in Churches, I seek You in this moment through the holy gifts of song and prayer. Thank You for being with me in every hour of the day, and thank You for the fellowship that I have with those who bless Your name. Lord, receive the praise of all Your saints on earth below, and let it meld with the joyful praise of all Your saints in heaven above. May I behold You and the Father on Your gracious throne, and may the Spirit move me that the Trinity might be adored. To You, the Father, and the Holy Spirit be all blessing and glory and honor forever. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Behold Our God)

Who has held the oceans in His hands?
Who has numbered every grain of sand?
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice.

Behold our God, seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him.

Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His words?
Who can teach, the One who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds.

Behold our God, seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him.

Who has felt the nails upon His hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign.

Behold our God, seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King, nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

O God, Who is not bound to the temples that we build on earth, I lay my sins before You in the presence of Your heavenly throne. I confess that I have failed to daily seek Your Kingdom, and have failed to grow in the knowledge of You while taking up the knowledge of self. And with these failures I have struggled with the way of Christ, Who said to love You fully and to love all people as myself. Lord, in Your mercy, forgive me and restore me, and let my life reveal You to a world that often knows You not. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Trisagion)

Holy God
Holy and Mighty
Holy Immortal One
Have mercy, have mercy on us.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Tell of His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Song of Forgiveness (God In My Living)

God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
You are everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
Be my everything

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Acts 17:22-31)

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “People of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by people, 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all humanity life and breath and everything. 26 And He made from one man every nation of humankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In Him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed His offspring.’

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a Man [Jesus] whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: To The Unknown God

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, Who has made God known to us through Your life, death, and resurrection, I love You above all things and desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You through Your Sacrament, come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. I rest in Your marvelous grace that is shown through Your font, table, and pulpit, but is not bound to the places that we build to gather and worship You. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May our Lord Jesus Christ, and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through His grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word, both now and forever. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God of heaven, Who made all things and is present beyond our temples on earth, I thank You that You are not unknown to me as You were to those in Athens. Because of Your Son, Jesus, I am no longer a stranger to You, but enjoy as a child enjoys the loving arms of a parent. Father, empower Your Church to make You known within this world, and help us rest within Your grace which soothes the soul and makes it well. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (It Is Well With My Soul)

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul!”

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin, O, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul.


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Esther: Praying In The Silent Times

Esther: Praying In The Silent Times

Social Distance Worship (Mother's Day), May 10, 2020 | Esther 6:14;7:1-6


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He’s so good to me!

He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He’s so good to me!

I love Him so,
I love Him so,
I love Him so,
He’s so good to me!


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Wonderful and Merciful One, though we call You God the Father You are also like a mother in the love You shows us everyday. In Your Word we see images of Your gracious arms that are open to all and the shelter of Your nurturing hand which comforts every trembling heart. Lord, on this Mother’s Day reveal to us Your motherly care, and bless all women around the world as they care for our communities. Take all who worship now and gather them to You as a hen gathers her chicks, and give us rest that calms the soul as we offer You our thanks and praise. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Wonderful, Merciful Savior)

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
O, You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
O, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne.

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
O, our hearts always hunger for.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

O Mothering God, I confess that I have treated You like an earthly parent, whose patience is limited and whose love is sometimes not enough. In forgetting the promise that You are slow to anger and abounding in love, I have avoided bringing my faults to You and worshiped with a spirit of fear. But like a mother hen, You invite me to come under Your wings, and You beckon me to feel the joy and warmth of Your unending grace. You invite me to remember that I more than just a worshiper; I am Your child before Your throne, and you hear my voice whenever I call. Lord, I call You to you for forgiveness for my failures, and I take the hope You offer all who know Your love through Jesus Christ. The hope that You will speak and answer with compassion, and the hope You will heal and set me free with righteousness. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Lord, Listen To Your Children Praying)

Lord, listen to Your children praying.
Lord, send Your Spirit in this place.

Lord, listen to Your children praying.
Send us love, send us power, send us grace.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with its mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore.

Song of Forgiveness (Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my pardon, this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Esther 6:14-7:1-6)

14 While they were yet talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared.

1 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: Esther – Praying In Silent Times

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, I believe that the silent times are not where You are distant, but the times where You come close to us and listen with a motherly heart. Lord, as You love me, I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul and be transformed by Your grace and truth. Since I cannot at this moment receive You through Your Sacrament, come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. Thank You for hearing me, even in the silent times. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May the blessing of the God of Sarah and Abraham, may the blessing of the Son born of Mary, and may the blessing of the Holy Spirit, Who watches over us as a mother watches over her children, be upon you and with you always. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God Who is a father to the fatherless and a mother to the motherless, I thank You that I am Your child and can call on You in every condition. As this time of worship ends, and I face the world with its ups and downs, remind me of Your love divine which excels all loves within this world. May Your gentle gracious guiding hand lead all of Your faithful people on, and may You keep us until the day we cast our crowns before You in wonder, love, and praise. I ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit as one God, both now and forever. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling)

Love divine, all loves excelling
Joy of heaven to earth come down
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling
All Thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, Thou art all compassion
Pure, unbounded love Thou art
Visit us with Thy salvation
Enter every trembling heart
.

Come Almighty to deliver
Let us all Thy life receive
Suddenly return and never
Nevermore Thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing
Serve Thee with Thy hosts above
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish then Thy new creation
Pure ans spotless let us be
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee.

Changed from glory into glory
Till in heaven we take our place
Till we cast our crowns before Thee
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


Life more abundantly

Life more abundantly

Social Distance Worship (Fourth Sunday of Easter), May 3, 2020 | John 10:1-11


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

O, let the Son of God enfold you with His Spirit and His love;
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
O, let Him have the things that hold you, and His Spirit, like a dove,
Will descend upon your life and make you whole.

Jesus, O Jesus,
Come and fill Your lambs.
Jesus, O Jesus,
Come and fill Your lambs.

O, come and sing the song with gladness as your hearts are filled with joy,
Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name.
O, give Him all your tears and sadness, give Him all your years of pain,,
And you’ll enter into life in Jesus’ name.

Jesus, O Jesus,
Come and fill Your lambs.
Jesus, O Jesus,
Come and fill Your lambs.


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Son of God, Who enfolds the world with Your Spirit and love, I join with all Your people on earth to honor You and bless Your name. Thank You for this morning which has broken through another night, and allowing me to rise from sleep and experience another day. May everything that I do be a song of praise for Your great love, and may Your heart find great delight in the worship that I offer now. In Your gracious name I pray. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Morning Has Broken)

Morning has broken like the first morning.
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.

Praise for the singing, Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew fall on the first grass.

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
Born of the One Light Eden saw play.

Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

My Lord Jesus, with my brothers and sisters in other places, I confess that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed; by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not listened to Your voice, which says, “Love God with all of your being”. And I have not heeded Your Word which says, “Love others as you love yourself”. Instead of Your abundant life, I have sought a “good life” by pleasing the world, and I ask that You forgive me and guide me back to righteousness. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Come, Said Jesus’ Sacred Voice)

“Come,” said Jesus’ sacred voice
“Come, and make My paths your choice

I will guide you to your home,
Weary pilgrim, hither come.”

Hither come, for here is found
Balm that flows for every wound

Peace that ever shall endure
Rest eternal, sacred, sure.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May He send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May He remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!

May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving might of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.

O Lord, save the king! May He answer us when we call.

Song of Forgiveness (What A Friend We Have In Jesus)

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

O, what peace we often forfeit
O, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms, He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


V. Message

Scripture Reading (John 10:1-10)

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: Life More Abundantly

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, I believe that You are in charge, even when the wicked rule, and I love You above all things and desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You through Your Sacrament, come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. I receive the abundant life You freely give by grace, and I ask that I would never cease to treat it as a gift from You. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. And may the Lord God lift the light of His countenance upon you, and give you His peace, both now and forever. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

My Lord Jesus, I thank You for bringing abundant life and for offering it freely as a gift of grace without a price. As this time of worship ends, I pray that You will make Your people Christians in heart, who through love, holiness, and keeping Your example share the gift of abundant life with the world. I ask all this in Your precious name, You Who live and reign in glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as one God, both now and forever. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (Lord, I Want To Be A Christian)

Lord, I want to be a Christian
In my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be a Christian
In my heart.

In my heart.
In my heart.
Lord, I want to be a Christian
In my heart.

Lord, I want to be more loving
In my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be more loving
In my heart.

In my heart.
In my heart.
Lord, I want to be more loving
In my heart.

Lord, I want to be more holy
In my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be more holy
In my heart.

In my heart.
In my heart.
Lord, I want to be more holy
In my heart
.

Lord, I want to be like Jesus
In my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be like Jesus
In my heart.

In my heart.
In my heart.
Lord, I want to be like Jesus
In my heart
.


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


SUPPORT ALL SOULS

Many thanks for supporting us by taking part in this week’s Social Distance Worship, and if you would like to support us by making a donation just click on the tip jar below.

––

The concept of this service is © All Souls.


The new normal

The new normal

How will Church be as the lock down ends?


30. April 2020By Scotty Williams6 Minutes

We cannot go back

As countries begin to slowly emerge from COVID-19 lock downs, there are many people expressing a hope of getting back to normal. In fact, there are even some who have protested for normality, but the hard truth that we must accept is that we can’t go back to how things were. Dr. Bréne Brown writes that we have to “settle into a new normal”, and this includes our worship lives or gathering within the Church. Of course, there are some things that will stay the same and continue, but there are many things that will not be the same when services start up again.

So, for example, numbers of the elderly have died during the pandemic, and many of them were faithful members of parishes for decades. Their loss means more than just a lower number in membership, it also means a loss of wisdom that has carried congregations for many years. Furthermore, the pandemic has suspended celebrating the Sacraments, and when they are celebrated again it will be under several restrictions. Those who serve Communion might have to wear gloves and possibly masks, and baptisms might take place outside of regular services. And then there are those within the risk groups who must stay at home, and not enjoy the fellowship of gathering with the body of Christ.

Indeed, there are many things that will change when Churches reopen, and the goal should not be business as usual or getting back to how things were. The main goal of every congregation should be settling into the new normal and helping people to navigate the new world this normal has brought about.

We’re going to have to settle into a new normal while grieving the loss of normal, which is a big ask of people, collectively. – Brené Brown

An exit plan

For the past few weeks, the All Souls Council has been thinking and praying about the new normal, and after much discussion they have begun to see a way for our community to settle in. Of course, there are many unknowns and things must be done day by day, but the Council feels that we need an “exit plan” like the one that Switzerland is following now. As we emerge from quarantine we cannot jump back to full services, for there will still be federal restrictions for all public worship gatherings. In other words, we will gradually make our way back to the sanctuary, and we will do so in stages following those that the Swiss Federal Council has set.

The first stage will focus on Inreach and bringing our community back together, and this will be done through small gatherings led by Elders called “shepherding groups”. In accordance with federal regulations these gatherings will consist of five people, and they will meet for an event where they can have fellowship while social distancing and have a short time of discussion on a spiritual topic.

In addition to shepherding groups, we will continue with Social Distance Worship on Sundays, and our pastor will be offering a weekly study series via Zoom on the early Church called, “Didache”. We will also be intentional about gatherings for those in risk groups, and will create events where they can participate, fellowship with others, and receive pastoral care. Those in risk groups are encouraged to share ideas for events that are suitable for them, and you can do so by contacting Charmaine or our pastor. The inclusion and safety of those in risk groups is a top priority, and we count it a privilege and a blessing to assist them in this time.

Again, the first stage of the exit plan will be bringing our community back together, and our Council will send regular updates on the next steps in the coming weeks. In this process of reopening All Souls they hope that others will be inspired to join us, and settle into the new normal which is filled with joys that are yet to be discovered. Despite the hard truth that we cannot go back to how things were, we have the hope that we can go forward to greater things than what we had before. And with this we have the hope of the constant presence of the Lord, the Lord Who was with us in the old normal, is what is now, and leads us on.