Sunday Worship | Becoming a Bridge Builder

| written by Rev. Brett S. Myers

O God of empty tombs and resurrection living:
Make us mindful of the pervasiveness of hope, the determination of faith, and the persistence of love.
In a world where suffering is ever near, and where terrorism provokes fear, instill in us a resolve to live peacefully, justly, and compassionately.
May we be the agents of healing and reconciliation when opposed by the forces of destruction and alienation.
May we be the beacons of beneficence when others are the harbingers of hatred.
May we be the vessels of grace to a world in disarray. A-men.

OPENING HYMN  |  “Come, Live in the Light”

MINUTE FOR MISSION  |  Responsive Chorus

There are so many exciting ways that God is working through each of us and in this community.
As we consider our receiving and our giving to the works of ministry in this place and in the world, may we remember a child such as the one we celebrate this season.

Through all our living, we our fruits must give.
Good works of service are for offering.
When we are giving, or when receiving,
We belong to God.
We belong to God.
We belong to God.
We belong to God.

HEBREW READING | Genesis 33:1-10

Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked.  Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.”

Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down. Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?” “To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said. But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”  “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.

THEME READING | Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom

“I cannot pinpoint a moment when I became politicized, when I knew that I would spend my life in the liberation struggle. To be an African in South Africa means that one is politicized from the moment of one’s birth, whether one acknowledges it or not…His life is circumscribed by racist laws and regulations that cripple his growth, dim his potential, and stunt his life…I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments, produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, From henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”

THEME VIDEO | Nelson Mandela, A Short Biography

“Becoming A Bridge Builder”
By Rev. Don Ludwig

Read Don’s Sermon Here


  • 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 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
Written by Rev. Brett S. Myers

O God of empty tombs and resurrection living:
May we trust in kindness more than might,
in forgiveness more than revenge,
in gentleness more than harshness,
and in virtue more than prudence.
May beauty flow forth from our spirits,
truth from our lips,
and mercy from our hands.
Help us to live the life that is light,
that we may, like Jesus,
rise above the shadows of death and despair
and shine forth the blessings of love on all of creation.
In the Spirit of the risen and still rising Christ, May it be so.

RESPONSIVE HYMN | In the Midst of New Dimensions

FINAL BLESSING AND BENEDICTION | Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom

“We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all.”