* Find pdf files of Orders of Worship at the bottom of this page.
Sunday Worship Service
September 17, 2023
In person in the sanctuary and via Zoom and Facebook
Zoom Meeting ID: 839 4473 4152
Phone # +1 929 205 6099 (NY)
(*Please Stand If You Are Able)
Opening Voluntary – “Legende” by E. Broughton
*Call to Worship
L: When the tides of fear seem to overwhelm us, we cry out….
P: Lord, come to us and lead us to paths of safety!
L: When we feel lost and alone and we wonder if anyone cares about us, we cry out….
P: Lord, come and heal our wounded spirits!
L: When turbulence within and without seem to threaten us, we cry out….
P: Lord, bring us peace. Amen.
*Opening Hymn #2234 – “Lead On, O Cloud of Presence” ~The Faith We Sing Hymnal~
When we feel overwhelmed by the storms of life, enter our hearts with your redeeming love, O Christ. When our fears overtake us and we cannot find our way, give us direction, that we might faithfully serve you all our days, singing your praises! Amen.
Children’s Sermon – “Forgiveness Isn’t Easy”
1 Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. 5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6 Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God. 7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
L: The Word of God, For the People of God. P: Thanks be to God.
*Gospel – Matthew 18:21-35 (Please stand if you are able)
21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.’ 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
L: The Word of God, For the People of God. P: Thanks be to God.
*Hymn before Message #177 – “He Is Lord”
Message – “Forgiveness Formula” Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hooker, Pastor
Lord’s Prayer and Choral Response
Prayer of Confession
Lord, we confess that we don’t always turn to you in our troubles. Sometimes we are paralyzed by fear and anxiety. We cannot see “the light at the end of the tunnel”. For us, there is only the ongoing darkness and hopelessness. Clear our sight, O Lord. Bind up our wounded spirits! Fill us with your mercy and love. Forgive us when we stray; when we fear; when we falter. Pick us up and place us on pathways of peace and hope, for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Words of Assurance
No matter what befalls us, the Lord walks with us on the path, bringing us courage and hope. No matter what, we belong to the Lord, now and forever. Amen.
Passing of the Peace of Christ
As we stand before God, accepted and upheld, let us greet one another as brothers and sisters in this gathered community.
Invitation to Tithes and Offering
In gratitude for all the abundant blessings you have showered upon us, we celebrate as we receive our morning offering. Amen.
Chancel Choir Selection – “Seventy Times Seven” by J. Raney and J. M. Martin
*Hymn No. 95 – Presentation of the Offering
*Prayer of Dedication
Lord, you have blessed our lives in so many ways. In gratitude for all these blessings and in confidence that our gifts will be used for ministries of peace and hope, we offer these gifts. Amen.
Closing Hymn #463 – “Lord, Speak to Me”
*Dismissal with Blessing
Closing Voluntary – “Immortal, Invisible by G. Peterson
(Please remain seated for the Closing Voluntary)
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hooker
Liturgist and Reader:
Director of Music:
Everett Fitch, Carol Provenzano, Michael Provenzano
Ken Pearce (TBD)
Flowers are given today in honor of the 70th birthday of my friend and Colleague, Mrs. Olga Gordon-Murray by Pat Eshun. Flowers are also given in loving memory of a very special person, Margaret (Peg) Keller, by Eileen and Sarah.
Every Wednesday – Bible Study 7:30PM/Zoom
Every Saturday – Prayer Meeting 8AM/Zoom
GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hooker, Pastor
21 South Franklin Avenue
Valley Stream, NY 11580
Church Phone Number: 516/825-1182
Church E-mail: GraceVSNY@aol.com
Church Website: GraceVSNY.org