From the Pastor:    “Steadfast Love”                       Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr September 17, 2023


September 17, 2023

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost


Processional:                                                                        “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”


Invocation: Welcome to this Glorious Sunday!

We seek you, Lord, and your strength; and your presence continually. We remember the wonderful works you have done, your miracles, and the judgments you uttered. You are the Lord our God; your judgments are in all the earth. Amen and Amen.


Call to Worship

L: The Lord comes to us this day. Are you ready?
P: We are ready!
L: The Lord challenges us to be in ministries of peace and hope. Are you ready?
P: We are ready!
L: Let us praise God who calls us to serve God by helping others.
P: Praise be to God who has given us hope and peace. AMEN.


Words of Welcome and Parish News


*Gathering Hymn:                     “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”                    UMH 381


Prayers of the people and a time for Silent Prayer

Prayer Focus: Self-Care


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.


Old Testament Lessons:


Psalm 23

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;  he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me  all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Psalm 103:(1-13)

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness Of David.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,  who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live  so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,  slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear all places of his dominion.

Choir Anthem:                                                            “All Creatures of Our God And Kin”


The Message                                 “Steadfast Love”                       Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr

Sometimes, we have many turns in our human journey. Sometimes, the turns are harsh and painful. We may even fall into the feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem, and bitterness. We read and reread that trial may come your way. But how do you sustain during these periods of constant torment? People need to feel that there is access to this steadfast love in the being.


Psalm 23 is powerful because it looks to you and you alone in your journey. The Lord is there, navigating the terrain for your life. Can you admit that sometimes you feel your traveling without a roadmap, MapQuest, or a trip ticket? What speaks to your heart when you have frustration in life? There must be something that will have you stop and seek instruction from the Master.  Psalm 23 has life nuggets embedded in the verses. Something that stands out is found in verse three. He restores my soul. Hallelujah, we all need restoration, especially from the events happening in this world. We must find the link to that steadfast love to take hold of our hearts.


Offertory Invitation

Generous God, your good gifts to us are too many to name! We have been so blessed, not so that we might hide away these blessings, but to use them so that the blessings might be multiplied. As we give from our blessing stockpile, help it to multiply and grow. May our gifts empower multiple acts of mercy and compassion, and may your love pour over this world like a flood.


Offertory:                                                                           “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”


*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:

God of love and compassion, we ask you to dedicate the tithes and offerings we bring to worship. We do this in the hope that you will do more with them than we could ever do on our own to heal the brokenness and division in our world. This we pray in the redeemer’s holy name, Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Closing Hymn:                          “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”                       UMH 139


Sending Forth:

People of God, made ready by God’s love and mercy: Go forth into God’s world to serve in ministries of justice, kindness, and peace. Know always that God’s peace is with you. AMEN.


Recessional                                                                               “How Can I Keep from Singing”

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

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