From the Pastor:    “Looking for Peace”                  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr November 19, 2023


November 19, 2023

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost


Processional:                                                                “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”


Invocation: Welcome to this Glorious Sunday!

Our loving and caring God, we need this time together to be united with our sisters and brothers in the faith. We need this time of worship to be comforted and strengthened in your presence.
We hear of wars. We read of persecution and oppression. Remind us again of your vision, that all might live in a world of peace and justice and love. May this time together imprint this vision and promise on our hearts, that we may live into this beloved community. Amen.


Call to Worship

L: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice!
P: God, we delight in our connectedness. We thank you for friends who check in, for church family who lift one another up, for neighbors who show up in the good and challenging times.

L: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice!
P: We give thanks for neighbors who offer help in times of trouble, gentleness in the midst of pain, and acts of kindness during seasons of struggle.

L: Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving and rejoicing!
P: Come! Let us worship God together. Amen.


Words of Welcome and Parish News


Stewardship Moment


*Gathering Hymn:                                         “We Gather Together”                    131 UMH 


Silent meditation and prayer:

Prayer Focus: Caring


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, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture: New Testament


Philippians 4: 4-9

Rejoice[b] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.[c] Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about[d] these things. As for the things that you have learned and received and heard and noticed in me, do them, and the God of peace will be with you.


John 14: 27

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.


Romans 15: 13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Choir Anthem:                                                                                   “He Has Made Me Glad”


The Message                                   “Looking for Peace”                  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr

Peace is an emotion that moves through our souls and is required in our minds. We have so much moving through our thoughts. Many questions arise in life. How do we reach out and grab hold of peace? Have you ever heard someone say they need just a minute of peace? How do we give thanks to God during times of turmoil? Sometimes, we are overwhelmed by so much stuff that we can’t see anything but pain, heartache, and drama. Philippians says: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I’m so grateful that you continue to have stewardship in your midst. I realize that many backstories, trials, and things can cause a detour in your stewardship. But please know it doesn’t dissipate your intention to give. No matter what is happening in the news, paper, or social media.

We, as the people of God, can’t become a distraction from the ministry we are called to do in this world. Now, we view so much conflict in humanity that we forget who and whose we are. So, where do we look for peace in this world? We look to Jesus, Verse 27 in John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.  However, we have many troubled hearts in this world on this day. How can we be the vehicle, the connection, the light for a world in turmoil? Can we rejoice today? Can we praise today? Can we find peace in our God? Yes!


Offertory Invitation

O God, we long to make a difference in our world.
We offer you what we have: our visions and dreams; our witness to your saving acts
of love and justice; our resources to help bring the new heaven and new earth into our midst.
We offer you our very lives,  that we may be coworkers with you to bring about true change.


Offertory Music:                                                                              “Mountains Are All Aglow”


*Doxology:                                                                                                                        UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.                                                                                                                


*Unison Prayer of Dedication:

Lord of peace and serenity, receive the gifts we bring this day as we present them in thankfulness and joy. We bring ourselves as our offering,  that in living lives of truth, justice, honor, and excellence. Let us embrace your never-failing love and presence with us. Grateful that Christ and the Holy Spirit might dwell in us, we pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.


*Closing Hymn:                                “Now Thank We All Our God”                       102 UMH 


Sending Forth:

May God’s peace follow you wherever you go, guiding and guarding you, that you may live in joy and thanksgiving with God, self, neighbor, and all creation. Amen.


Recessional:                                                                                       “Count Your Blessings”                                                                                

       (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)



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