Sunday Worship Service: If Any Encouragement

For Reflection
“We are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.”

Call to Worship

Words of the Persian mystic Rumi

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Friends we gather here on this sabbath day,
To recognize our interdependence,
To give thanks for our lives and for this good green earth upon which all life depends.
And to know that we, and all of creation’s beings, might be called beloved.
Come, now, and let us worship together.                                                

Passing of the Peace

Pastor Don: May the Peace of Christ be with you.  
Congregation at Home: And also with you.  
Pastor Don: Consider three ways that you can extend peace to one another this week through a phone call, text or email.

Opening Hymn

“Comfort, Comfort Ye, My People” (Click here for sheet music.)

Hebrew Reading

Joshua 1:5-6

And God said to Joshua: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”

Theme Children’s Story for the Whole Family

The Great Realisation

Christian Reading

Philippians 2:1-5

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

“If Any Encouragement”
Rev. Don Ludwig

If you prefer to read the sermon text, click here.

Responsive Hymn (Meditation Music) 

“We Belong to Christ”

Take a moment to listen to the music, perhaps close your eyes, breathe deeply, and be in this moment!

Pastoral Prayer

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Psalms 46:1-2).

Spirit of life, you move in ways so subtle, so mysterious. Help us as we find our way. Help us as we recognize how we are all in this together. Help us most of all to see our own lives connected to others, those at risk, those who are the most vulnerable. Help us to live in the presence of chaos and despair and in the presence of wonder and beauty too. Be with us, no matter where our journey takes us. Remind us that we never journey alone. We pray for those who are upon our hearts this morning (take a moment to be silent and offer prayers for loved ones and the world). Amen.

Time for Offering

Precious Lord, performed by Jerry Larkin
Hymntune by George N Allen, Text by Joyce Merman

As we reflect on all of our blessings, individually and as a community, may we consider how we may give of ourselves so that the work of Christ’s love and peace may continue throughout our world. (Please contact, or one of our Trustees to discover simple ways you may give electronically or via mail. Thank you for supporting the staff and on-going ministries of Southminster Presbyterian Church).

Closing Hymn

They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love (We are One in the Spirit)

Final Blessing and Benediction

Now, as you enter a new week, be encouraged, good people of Southminster.
Be encouraged that we belong to each other.  Be encouraged that the chaos will deepen us.
And may your joy be made complete this day and forever more.  Amen.

Postlude Music

The Storm is Passing Over

Peace to you and your familyalways.  Amen.