CALL TO WORSHIP | based on a poem by Sandi Nesbit

Let us come together today – to celebrate community; to reconcile and forgive; to dream “God’s World”;
Let us dream a world where difference is seen as blessing; where colors mix in a universal dance; mingling, blazing forth.
Let us dream a world where we make room in ourselves for the beauty of another, where we are all nurtured and cared for – from the weakest to the strongest. Let us dream a world where all gather:
Manual laborers and managers and ministers; scientists and sociologists and spiritual seekers; musicians and mathematicians and medical practitioners; rationalists and risk-takers; politicians and poets and plumbers.
Where all of us gather and come together to celebrate God’s awesome Spirit.
Let us dream a world where all young people will be invited into the center of society – where their ideas, curiosity and energy can be respected and used creatively.
Let us dream a world where God’s Spirit shines forth in us; shimmers in our courage and compassion and weaves us into a community.
Let us dream a world where we celebrate the amazing richness of our diversities. Then we might all be held close in God’s heart; be reconciled to God and each other; be transformed.
May God Gather us in to make this dream possible.

OPENING HYMN  |  “Gather us In”

INTRODUCTION AND WELCOMING A NEW MEMBER:

Calvin Taylor

HEBREW READING | Micah 7:1, 7-9

“What misery is mine!
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
none of the early figs that I crave.”

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.
Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
Because I have sinned against God,
I will bear the Lord’s wrath,
until God pleads my case
and upholds my cause.
The Lord will bring me out into the light;
I will then see only justice and mercy.”

THEME READING | Martin Luther King Jr.
On Forgiveness

“Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no person can love their enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.” // “Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.”

THEME VIDEO | Keep The Dream Alive
Martin Luther King Jr.

REFLECTION
Truth and Reconciliation
By Rev. Don Ludwig

You can read Don’s sermon here.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

  • Prayers for the family of long time member Jacqueline (Jacque) French who passed away January 7. Let’s hold Cheryl, her granddaughter, and the entire family in our thoughts and prayers.
  • Prayers for Lisa, our administrative assistant, whose father, Bill Mulflur, passed away January 5.
  • Prayers for Tammy Jose and her daughter, Quinn. Tammy and her spouse, Jaimee, attended Southminster in 2017, and Jaimee Jose passed away in December from a pulmonary embolism. The family resides in Tualatin.
  • Karen Wittenburg continues treatment for cancer. She is currently at her home and continues to increase her activity
  • Marilyn Arthur continues to recover from surgery (shoulder).
  • Bert Schmidt’s has once again had his biopsy procedure postponed. It is now scheduled for January 18. Please keep him and Sue Chandler, daughter, in prayer.
  • Bob Buell continues to be in hospice.
  • Please keep the PNC (Pastor Nominating Committee) in prayer as they discern the future of Southminster.

CORPORATE PRAYER | Affirmation of Faith
Opening Prayer of Reflection
(based on prayer from Gifts of Many Cultures)

Shining, Surprising, Grace – full God, for the times we avoid the searchlight of your desire for us; for the times we turn away from your dream; Forgive us.

For preferring the safe, the familiar and the certain to the risky, the unknown and mysterious future to which you call us; Forgive us.

For failing to believe in the dream of justice; for allowing our own pain to fill us with bitterness towards others; Forgive us.

For fearing those who are different from ourselves and projecting onto them what we cannot accept within our own depths; Forgive us.

For times we allow the hopelessness or discouragement of our past to pull us astray from God’s path;Forgive us.

Set us free, we pray, to be whole human beings; to live lives of graciousness and justice; to life our voices and hearts in praise and joy. Amen.

RESPONSIVE HYMN | We Shall Overcome
Morehouse College Glee Club

FINAL BLESSING AND BENEDICTION | Martin Luther King Jr.

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.” A-men.