New Covenant Community Church


How Can We Keep from Singing?

by | Oct 24, 2022 | Sermons

10/23/22 Bulletin


PRELUDE                                      Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus                                       – Webb / Berry

*CALL TO WORSHIP   (adapted from the hymn, “Here in This Place” by Marty Haugen)
     Leader: Here in this place God’s new light is streaming. Now is the darkness vanished away.
     People: See in this space our fears and our dreamings revealed to us in the light of this day.
     Leader: Gather us in, the lost and forsaken. Gather us in, the blind and the lame. Gather us in,
                   all people together.
     People: Give us a heart so meek and so lowly. Give us the courage to enter the Lord’s song.
     Leader: It is here that we take the wine and the water. It is here that we take the bread of new
     People: May God nourish us well and teach us to fashion our lives to be holy and our hearts
                  to be true.

*HYMN OF PRAISE                                  Here in This Place                                 Glory to God  #401
Here in this place the new light is streaming; now is the darkness vanished away;
see in this space our fears and our dreamings brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in, the lost and forsaken; gather us in, the blind and the lame;
call to us now, and we shall awaken; we shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young; our lives are a mystery. We are the old who yearn for your face.
We have been sung throughout all of history, called to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in, the rich and the haughty; gather us in, the proud and the strong;
give us a heart, so meek and so lowly; give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we will take the wine and the water; here we will take the bread of new birth.
Here you shall call your sons and your daughters, call us anew to be salt for the earth.
Give us to drink the wine of compassion; give us to eat the bread that is you;
nourish us well, and teach us to fashion lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Not in the dark of buildings confining, not in some heaven, light years away:
here in this place the new light is shining; now is the kingdom, and now is the day.
Gather us in and hold us forever; gather us in and make us your own;
gather us in, all peoples together, fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

  Merciful God, although Your grace inspires us to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
  we have often remained silent.
      You invite us to contribute our voices to Your harmonies of hope, but we have closed our
      ears to the message in Your music.
          You prompt us to dance to the rhythms of Your new reality, but we are reluctant to
          follow Your footsteps.
  Have mercy upon us, Lord, and forgive the sins we have committed.
      Shape us into instruments of Your grace and peace,
          so that we may be filled with the euphonious faith that transforms the world,
              for we ask it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (adapted from Isaiah 44:22-23)
     Leader: Thus says the LORD, “I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins
                   like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
    People: Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, O depths of the earth, and break
                  forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree! 
    Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
    People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

*HYMN                                          Lord, Prepare Me Glory to God,                                              #701
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.
(sing twice)

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                    Psalm 150:1-6
   1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
   2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing
   3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
   4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
   5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
   6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                    God of Great and God of Small Glory to God                        #19
[During the interlude, you are encouraged to turn to the hymn and read the helpful
textual notes at the bottom of the page that are associated with this piece of music.]

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                              Colossians 3:14-17
  14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

MEDITATION                                                                                         Can I Keep From Singing

ANTHEM                             I Know Whom I Have Believed                    – Larson / McGranahan

     Leader: Congregational hymnals and songbooks are friends and companions on the Christian
                   journey. They accompany believers through the church year, amidst significant events
                   in our lives, and in times of great faith and doubt, and we are grateful for the grace and
                   generosity that have brought this new hymnal to us. Therefore, in deep appreciation for
                   all God’s gifts, we now dedicate these hymnals to the glory of God and for service in the
                   life of this congregation, so that the message and melodies of the music would instruct
                   us, inspire us, and encourage us on the path of discipleship. Let us pray responsively:
                       God of grace and God of glory1, not only do You inspire us to sing a new song to
                  You, but You also enliven us with Your lyrics of life through Your amazing grace.
                  Enable us to celebrate the many gifts that spring fresh from Your Word,2 and summon
                  us to praise You with elation3 and to unite our voices with all creation as we sing of Your
                  truth and wisdom, Your power and compassion, and Your hope and healing.
    People: As we dedicate these new hymnals, grant that the music and lyrics contained within
                  these pages would shape our faith for years to come. Use our voices to proclaim
                  Your word and to amplify the melodies of mission, so that people of every homeland
                  and heritage, of every age and ability, of every culture and creed, may experience
                  the tunes of transformation that build a house where love can dwell and all can
                  safely live.4
     Leader: We thank You, O God whose giving knows no ending,5 for members of this
                   congregation whose vision, energy, and resources have helped to make this new hymnal
                   available for our use, and we are grateful for all the composers, poets, and artists who
                   worked to create this collection for Your wider church.
     People: Loving Lord, You are the church’s one foundation,6 and in gratitude for the old
                   songs that keep us connected with saints and traditions from our past, and in
                   appreciation for the new songs that create a legacy for future generations, we now
                   dedicate these hymnals, so that You would encourage us to lift every voice and sing.7
     Leader: Gracious God who inspires the hymns of our hearts, throughout the days ahead, give us
                   voices to sing of Your love, and utilize these hymns of faith to inspire us to serve You
                   in our world.
    People: O Lord of sea and sky,8 in every area of life, make us receptive to everything
                  You are trying to teach us, and instill within us the wisdom to learn Your

                  spiritual lessons, so that we may receive hearts for love alone9 and tend the
                  poor and lame. 10 Make us attentive to the new songs that You are composing
                  among us tune our voices to sing of the lyrics of Your love; and utilize us as
                  Your instrument that communicate Your wonder and grace to all humanity,
                  so that we may faithfully serve You with our lives and promote Your purposes
for all people, for we ask it
in the name of the One who is the Master Musician,
                  Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen.

*HYMN                                                   In My Life                                          Glory to God, #468
In my life, Lord, be glorified; be glorified.
In my life, Lord, be glorified today.

In our song, Lord, be glorified; be glorified.
In our song, Lord, be glorified today.

In Your church, Lord, be glorified; be glorified.
In Your church, Lord, be glorified today.

In Your world, Lord, be glorified; be glorified.
In Your world, Lord, be glorified today.

1 Glory to God, #307
2 Glory to God, #664 (verse 1)
3 Glory to God, #664 (verse 3)
4 Glory to God, #301 (verse 1)
5 Glory to God, #716
6 Glory to God, #321
7 Glory to God, #339
8 Glory to God, #69
9 Glory to God, #69 (verse 2)
10 Glory to God, #69 (verse 3)

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH                                                                 from The Confession of 1967, 9.50
    The church responds to the message of reconciliation in praise and prayer.
        In that response the church commits itself afresh to its mission,
            experiences a deepening of faith and obedience,
                and bears open testimony to the gospel.
    Adoration of God is acknowledgment of the Creator by the creation.
        The arts, especially music and architecture,
             contribute to the praise and prayer of a Christian congregation
                 when they help people to look beyond themselves
                     to God and to the world which is the object of God’s love.

. . . Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven,
may the hallowing of Your name echo through the universe!
May the way of Your justice be followed by all people of the earth!
May Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Grant that Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
would come on earth and sustain our hope.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us,
for You reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.
– adapted from the New Zealand Prayer Book


MUSICAL INTERLUDE                      Heaven Opened to Isaiah Glory to God                                #68
[During the interlude, you are invited to turn to this hymn from Rwanda and read the
textual notes at the bottom of the page that are associated with this piece of music.]

    Loving God, because we know that we only give Thee but Thine own,
        we pray that You would take our talents, our resources, and our lives
            and let them be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
    Use our voices so that we may sing always of our gracious King,
        and enable us to imitate the example of Your Son who extravagantly shared the gifts of
       Your grace with all people,
             so that all the world would be blessed, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name
            we pray. Amen.

*HYMN                                   Be Thou My Vision Glory to God,                                       #450
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tower;
raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise;
thou, mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.


*SUNG RESPONSE              Surely the Presence of the Lord Is In This Place                 – see screens

POSTLUDE                                               Revive Us Again                                      – Husband / Hayes

You are invited to be seated as we listen to the Postlude which sends us forth into the world.

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