From the Pastor:     “Unity”     







January 22, 2023

Third Sunday after the Epiphany




Invocation: Good morning and welcome!

Heavenly Father, you have called us in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ to continue his work of reconciliation and reveal you to the world: forgive us the sins which tear us apart; give us the courage to overcome our fears and to seek that unity which is your gift and your will; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen


Call to Worship

L: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.

P: Let us join hearts and voices in praise.

L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.

P: Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.

L: We practice our faith in many different ways.

P: Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.

L: We render different forms of ministry.

P: Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.

L: Rejoice, people of God: The Risen Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.

P: Praise the Lord!


Words of Welcome and Parish News:


*Gathering Hymn


Silent meditation and prayer:

Prayer Focus: Togetherness


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, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Readings:


Psalm 27: 1, 4-9

1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

4One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

5For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

6Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

7Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

8“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.

9Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!


1 Corinthian 1:10-18

10Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. 18For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.




The Message                                           “Unity”                       Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

Today’s message highlights some thoughts from our United Methodist Church Disciple Ministries.

This word unity brings a lot of questions.

What does this word signify? What does this word mean in the minds and heart of Christians?

Tune in next week for the answer. Well many people are watching how our society has taken on many issues politically, socially, economically, and lastly spiritually in the church. Just last week we were having references made about those lacking and doing for the community. But, if we have no unity can we care for the community? 10Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 

Here is an interesting take from a commentary: “Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be all that keen in telling us exactly what it means to be of the same mind. Does it mean that we have to agree on every single point of doctrine and ethics? Does it mean that we have to read the scriptures in exactly the same way every time? Does it mean that there is absolutely no room for differences or nuance? That you have to apply the word to your life in exactly the same way that I apply the word in mine?” So, does this mean that we surrender truth? Or right? In favor of just sticking together no matter what? Of course not. Paul is writing this letter to correct behaviors and understandings that he argues are wrong, not of Christ, he says.

When we go through life and encounter peer pressure it can be devastating and influencing upon the actions we take in situations. I remember that statement: that sometimes only one person may have the right opinion and not follow the crowd just to be following the crowd. Unity in something that we often struggle with because it may not be popular. I think Paul wants the people to not lose focus on doing what Christ has told us and showed us. We must remember to love one another.

Offertory Prayer: Holy God, as we present our tithes and offerings in worship, we know we come from a world that is tearing itself apart due to division. Even among your followers, we find ourselves shutting down and closing ourselves to those who don’t think or act as we do. We need to be reminded that you desire unity and one mind from your children – not a church void of disagreement, but one where we work at listening in love more than working at speaking louder and winning the day.


Offertory Music


*Doxology:                                                                                                                     UMH 95


Unison Prayer of Dedication

* We dedicate not just our gifts but our minds to the work of your unifying love. In Christ, we pray. Amen


*Closing Music:


Sending Forth

As we leave this gathered worship, we know that we do not leave alone. We go with God into a world resonant with God’s presence. We go with one another, bound together in Spirit and in truth, a mighty company of disciples of Jesus Christ. Let us go, then, separately but together, as we seek to be the on-going sign that God is at work in the world. Amen.

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

























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