Bulletin for New Year’s/Joshua 24

December 30th, 2018                 First Sunday of Christmas                                 10:30 a.m.


Welcome and Announcements



Call to Worship (from Psalm 78)

One:     Give ear, O people of God, to the things that we have heard and known.

Many: We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord,

and his might, and the wonders that God has done.

One:     He has established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel

which he commanded our ancestors to teach the children

Many: that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn,

            and rise up and tell them to their children,

One:     so that they should set their hope in God,

Many: and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.


Opening Prayer (adapted from a prayer by Billy Graham)

O God our Creator, as we face this new year, we need your presence and guidance.                    Although we each have hopes and dreams for the coming year, only you know what it holds.  You alone can give us the strength and wisdom we will need to meet the challenges of 2019.                 In the midst of life’s uncertainties, assure us of your unchanging love.                                     In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, turn us to you.                                  In the midst of life’s busyness, open our eyes to the needs of others.                                            In the midst of praising you with the angels, shepherds and wise men,                                                      re-focus us on you as the center and foundation of our lives.                                                            In the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit we pray, Amen..

*Opening Hymn  (blue hymnal) #22 Angels, from the Realms of Glory


*Call to Confession: We declare that we will serve the God, but we fall short in doing so.               Let us together confess our sins and our need for God’s forgiveness.




*Confession of Sin (followed by silent confession)

O God, as we look back, we know that we need your grace.

We have not always remembered to put you first.

We have been silent when we should have spoken out,

We have spoken when we should have listened.

We have clung to what you have given us instead of to you.

We have not seen, and served, the needs of others.

Lord God, forgive and change us.


* Assurance of Pardon (from Isaiah 65) God says:

“I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;

the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating;

for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,

and its people as a delight.”

Thanks be to God for the Good News of the new creation:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


* Gloria Patri: Hymn 579 (blue hymnal) “Glory Be to the Father”


Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries

Prayers of the People (ending in the Lord’s Prayer)

Passing of the Peace

The peace of Christ be with you.        And also with you.


Offering Hymn #38 (blue hymnal) It Came Upon the Midnight Clear


* Doxology (Hymn 592, blue hymnal)   “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”


* Prayer of Dedication


Prayer for Illumination

Open our eyes, Lord we want to see Jesus

to reach out and touch him, and say that we love him.

Open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen.

Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.

Scripture Reading: Joshua 24:1-18

Message:  As for Me and My House

Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed (Blue Hymnal p.14)


*Closing Hymn (blue hymnal) #40 Joy to the World


*Charge & Blessing


*Denotes please stand if able.

















Trinity United Presbyterian Church

360 N. Oak Ave. Clifton Heights, PA 19018    610-626-3143



The Lord’s Prayer (tangentially in the Narrative Lectionary for 10/28)

Matt 6:9-10, Pray in this way, “Our Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come…”)

Call to Worship (from Psalm 5)


Give ear to our words, O Lord;
Give heed to our sighing.
Listen to the sound of our cry, O Lord;
We pray to you, our God and our King.

You hear our voice in the morning.
At sunrise we offer our prayer.
O God, we wait for your answer.


*Hymn # 80   I Greet Thee Who My True Redeemer


*Call to Confession


*Prayer of Confession (adapted from prayer by Brenda Kuyper)

One: Our Father in who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Many:  Forgive us when we act in ways that shame your name;                                           empower us to honor and praise you by all we think, say, and do.

One: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Many: Forgive us when we are so caught up in our own lives                                                that we fail to share your love and grace with the world around us.

One: Give us this day our daily bread.

Many: Forgive us when we trust too much in the things and people                                  you have given us, forgetting they come from you.

One: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Many: Forgive us when we harden our hearts toward those who have hurt us,              forgetting that, time and again, you forgive us when we have hurt you.

One: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Many: Show us the ways we hurt you and the work of the Kingdom.                                  Embolden us to stand firm against temptation..

One: For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Many:  Make us your people, serving your kingdom.


*Assurance of Forgiveness                                                                                                                                                                  One: Christ Jesus came that we might know forgiveness and be renewed,                          becoming more and more like him.


Hebrew Scripture Lesson:    2 Chronicles 6:18-21

Special Music: Make My Life A Prayer to You          by Keith Green/Second Chapter Acts

Gospel Scripture Lesson:   Matthew 6:5-13


Epistle Scripture Lesson:   Romans 8:26-27…………………………


*Hymn #350  Open My Eyes, That I May See                  …….


Teach Us to Pray …………………….. Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl


*Hymn #435   What a Friend We Have in Jesus           

 Prayer of Confession adapted from Cover image from


Possible Lord’s Prayer hymns

Presbyterian Hymnal:

347: Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive

349: Let All Who Pray the Prayer Christ Taught

358: Help Us Accept Each Other


God’s will

Presbyterian Hymnal

#86 (refrain) When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

#178 (verse 1) Lord, to You My Soul  Is Lifted

#203 (verse 2) God of Mercy, God of Grace

#287 (verse 1) God Folds the Mountains Out of Rock

#316 (verse 2) Breathe on Me, Breath of God

#324 (refrain) Open My Eyes That I May See

#387 (verse 3) Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

#391 (verse 5) Take My Life

#409 (verse 1) Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice

#553 (verse 2) For the Fruit of All Creation


Lord’s Prayer as service music:

#571 (John Weaver 1988)

#589 (West Indian Folk Melody transcribed by Olive Pattison)

#590 (Vater Unser/Schumann’s Gestliche Lieder, harmonized by Bach; Vers. Henry J. deJong, 1982


Hymns for the Living Church (1974)

#370 Teach Me Thy Will, O Lord

#516 Father Eternal, Ruler of Creation

Narrative Lectionary: The Ten Commandments



Book Title: Euangelische vnnd Christenliche Predige[n] / Judoci Clichtouei vo[n] dem Vatter vnser, Aue Maria, Glauben, zehen Gebot, vnd siben Sacramenten, Lateinisch beschriben, vn[d] durch Haimeran Schweller, Rö. Rü. Ma. [et]c geliebter Rüningklicher finder zü Insprug Caplan, vnd Prediger verteutscht

Author: Clichtove, Josse, d. 1543

Image Title: Ten Commandments



Exodus 19:2-8

Exodus 20:1-17

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20





Note the repeated use of shama/shema (listen)/sh’ma in 19:5 as in “Hear, O Israel,” the Jewish prayer; see


For transliteration/word study, see





shä·mah’ (Key)

Part of Speech

masculine noun, verb

Root Word (Etymology)

A primitive root

Dictionary Aids

TWOT Reference: 2412, 2412a

KJV Translation Count — Total: 1,159x

The KJV translates Strong’s H8085 in the following manner: hear (785x), hearken (196x), obey (81x), publish (17x), understand (9x), obedient (8x), diligently (8x), shew (6x), sound (3x), declare (3x), discern (2x), noise (2x), perceive (2x), tell (2x), reported (2x), miscellaneous (33x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]


  • to hear, listen to, obey
    1. (Qal)
      • to hear (perceive by ear)
      • to hear of or concerning
      • to hear (have power to hear)
      • to hear with attention or interest, listen to
      • to understand (language)
      • to hear (of judicial cases)
      • to listen, give heed
        1. to consent, agree
        2. to grant request
      • to listen to, yield to
      • to obey, be obedient
    2. (Niphal)
      • .to be heard (of voice or sound)
      • to be heard of
      • to be regarded, be obeyed
    3. (Piel) to cause to hear, call to hear, summon
    4. (Hiphil)
      • .to cause to hear, tell, proclaim, utter a sound
      • to sound aloud (musical term)
      • to make proclamation, summon
      • to cause to be heard

n m

  • sound

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

שָׁמַע shâmaʻ, shaw-mah’; a primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.):—× attentively, call (gather) together, × carefully, × certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, × diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), × indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, × surely, tell, understand, whosoever (heareth), witness.



Also Exodus 20:1: Elohim dabar dabar amar.


dabar=do, make, say, thing, word; suggests command/performative speech of God as in creation; here God is commanding a command, making a making, wording a word.

Speaking and doing are one. Sometimes when actions contradict words,  I say that actions can speak so loudly that people cannot hear what is being said. Matthew 21:28ff relates the parable of the sons, one of whom said he would do something but didn’t do it; the other who said he wouldn’t do it but then did, comes to mind. Teenagers are experts at saying no while doing yes. Which speaks louder, words or actions? What is they aligned and spoke together? What would the power of that witness be?


Our power to bring words and action together is dependent on God’s grace and power:

Second Chapter of Acts song “Which Way the Wind Blows”

with the lyric “do a doing, say a saying”




Thy Word by Amy Grant

See Psalm 119:105-112  (“On Eagles’ Wings”)

2 The great I AM has sworn;
I on this oath depend.
I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
to heaven ascend.
I shall behold God’s face;
I shall God’s power adore,
and sing the wonders of God’s grace
forevermore. (“Trust and Obey”)

3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

1 Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God.
He whose Word cannot be broken
formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded,
what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded,
thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

3 And if we flutter helplessly, as fledgling eagles fall,
beneath us lift God’s mighty wings to bear us, one and all.

5 He His chosen race did bless
in the wasteful wilderness:
for His mercies shall endure,
ever faithful, ever sure.

2 O beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness,
and every gain divine.

4 O spread thy covering wings around
till all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father’s loved abode
our souls arrive in peace.


  1. Come, let us join our friends above
    who have obtained the prize,
    and on the eagle wings of love
    to joys celestial rise.
    Let saints on earth unite to sing
    with those to glory gone,
    for all the servants of our King
    in earth and heaven are one.

1 Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty;
let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

1 Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea;
day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
saying, “Christian, follow me.”
Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, “Christian, love me more.”

1 May we Thy precepts, Lord, fulfill
And do on earth our Father’s will
As angels do above;
Still walk in Christ, the living way,
With all Thy children and obey
The law of Christian love.

1 GOD spake these Words, O Isr’el, hear,
What I shall now command;
Thy LORD and only GOD am I,
Who with Almighty Hand

(A verse for each of the commandments)

1 The great command Jehovah gave,
No other Gods but only me
Shall ye my chosen People have,
Your only trust in me shall be.

(A verse for each of the commandments)

3 O God of covenant and law,
revealed in cloud and flame,
your mighty deeds evoke our awe;
we dare not speak your name.
Yet we by faith are drawn to you
and will your people prove,
as on our hearts you write anew
the covenant of love.

Goes through the commandments; some verses are not on Hymnary because they are still under copyright (to tune “Jesus Loves Me”)

v.3 Ten Commandments were the way God called people to obey,
For God wanted us to see: In obeying, we are free. (to tune “Lord, I Want to Be a Christian”

  1. 1 Gifts of love our Lord has given, Words of life: “I’m your God!
    I have brought you out of Egypt; now I call.
    Listen here, listen well:
    When you live in gratitude you’ll keep my law.”
  2. 2 “Have no other gods before me, says the Lord God Most High.
    Don’t choose idols that you worship in God’s place.
    Know God’s name, use it well.
    Keep the Sabbath for it is God’s gift of grace.”

Hark Israel and what I say,
give heed to understand:
I am the Lord thy God that brought
thee out of Egypt land,
Even from the house wherein thou didst
in thraldome live a slave:
None other God at all before
my presence shalt thou have.

Attend my people ad give eare,
Of setly things I will thee tell:
See that my word in mind thou beare
And to my precepts listen well.

  1. When Israel camped in Sinai, then Moses heard from God:
    “This message tell my people, and give them this, my word:
    From Egypt I was with you, and carried on my wing,
    The whole of your great nation from slavery I did bring.
  2. Just like a mother eagle, who helps her young to fly,
    I am a mother to you, your needs will I supply;
    And you are as my children, the ones who hear my voice,
    I am a mother to you, the people of my choice.”
  3. If God is like an eagle who helps her young to fly,
    And God is also Father, what then of you and I?
    We have no fear of labels, we have no fear of roles–
    If God’s own being blends them, we seek the selfsame goals.
  4. Our God is not a woman, our God is not a man;
    Our God is both and neither, our God is I Who Am.
    From all the roles that bind us our God has set us free.
    What freedom does God give us? The freedom just to be.




PRAYERS (please include “by Barb Hedges-Goettl, copyright 2018). You may use/adapt these for use in worship settings.



Call to Worship:

God calls to us from the mountain, saying, “I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Therefore, obey my voice and keep my covenant and you shall be my treasured possession, a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.” Come, let us worship the One who calls and sanctifies us.


Prayer of Approach/Invocation

Hear, listen, understand.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Give heed, consent, agree.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Diligently discern.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Consider, be content.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Yield and obey.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.

Proclaim and summon.

O Lord, give us ears to hear.



Confession of sin:


O God, your commandments glisten with the possibility of life lived in faithfulness to you and with one another. Yet we know we fail to live up to that call.


(Each petition may be followed by a time for silent confession, and/or the refrain:

Lord, have mercy.)


We put other things before you.

We misuse you and the faith we profess.

We let work take over our lives.

We do not honor those you have given us in love.

We hate.

We trample boundaries and promises.

We take from others.

We lie.

We envy.


Bear us up on eagles’ wings to you, that we may be your people, priestly and holy, living what we believe.


Words of Assurance: In Christ, the law is fulfilled. Through his power and his mercy, we are being re-made as God’s treasured possession, God’s own kingdom. Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.






I work in a middle school. The theme of recent morning “word of wisdom” was the need for rules to make school, society, games, life, work.


Why did God give the Commandments? What does the giving of rules mean? What does the giving of these rules mean? Is this a place to discuss human sinfulness, need for limits/boundaries/guidance and also forgiveness?  My father thought Jesus was worth following because he understood human nature better than other religious leaders. What do the Ten Commandments say about human nature?


Do the Commandments apply to everyone? Do they fit “the rule of law”?                 Quote from James Madison: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”  From the American Bar Association discussion of “The Rule of Law” at

See also

Rule of Law Institute of Australia                                 

World Justice Project                                                              




RCL Resources 9/9/18

Sample bulletin from Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church, Springfield, PA with original resources by Barb Hedges-Goettl. Bulletin cover is a quote attributed to John R.W. Stott.


SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY                                           Sunday, September 9, 2018

Guest Pastor: Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl                                            





WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS                         

CALL TO WORSHIP (church’s mission statement)

As a caring community of believers, led by the Bible and the Holy Spirit,                  we serve God and our neighbors, both near and far.                                                       We gather, dedicating ourselves to worship and to follow the Lord                          with enthusiasm, integrity, and generosity of gifts and spirit.  

Come, let us worship the Lord.

*HYMN # 440 (hymns from 1993 PCUSA Hymnal Glory to God)                                                   “In Christ There is No East or West”                      Oxenham

   *CALL TO CONFESSION  James 2 notes: You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Yet if a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?

Let us together confess our need for God’s forgiveness.


O God, we find it easier to talk and pray and spiritualize than to take action.                Forgive us when we forget that you have made and love all people.                                  We repent the nearsightedness that limits our ability to know of others’ needs.     We regret talking about others’ needs without including them in the conversation. We are sorry for the times when we miss people’s tangible needs, and when we ignore the human need for respect, for being heard, and for companionship.

Open our ears to hear, our arms to reach out, and our hearts to respond.



Leader: Friends believe the Good News of the Gospel:                                                          People: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

 *RESPONSE 579                  *Gloria Patri 



FIRST LESSON           James 2:1-10, 14-17 (New Testament, pg.  )

Leader:  This is the Word of the Lord.  People:  Thanks be to God.



SECOND LESSON     Mark 7:24-30 (New Testament, pg. )

Leader: The Gospel of the Lord. People: Praise to You, O Christ.

SERMON               “Grace, Faith, Dogs, and Crumbs”    Rev. Len Hedges-Goettl



*HYMN # 369         “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”              I’m Gonna Live

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH  (adapted from the inclusive language version of the PCUSA Confession of 1967) As Romans 6:4 proclaims, “We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” This new life of ours takes shape in a community where we know that God loves and accepts us in spite of what our sin.. Therefore we can and do accept ourselves and love others, knowing that no one has any ground on which to stand except God’s grace.  Our new life does not release us from conflict with sin. We still have to struggle with disheartening difficulties and problems. Nevertheless, as we mature in love and faithfulness in our life with Christ, we live in freedom and good cheer, and we bear witness on good days and evil days, confident that our Spirit-led new life is pleasing to God and helpful to others.

As members of the church, we are emissaries of peace and seek the good of all in cooperation with powers and authorities in politics, culture, and economics.

But we have to fight against pretensions and injustices when these same powers endanger human welfare. In all things, our strength is in our confidence that God’s purpose, rather than human schemes, will finally prevail. Thanks be to God.



* DOXOLOGY 592      “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow”




“The Lord’s Prayer will be sung In Unison. Please refer to the bulletin.                             (Please leave your insert in the Hymnal Rack for future use.)

*HYMN  # 422            “God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”             Beach Spring


*PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH (expanded in scope from church’s usual prayer.)

God, we ask your blessing on your people in all times and places.                                      We ask your blessing on your Church and on Chambers Memorial Church.                     Inspire us with your vision, fill us with your love, transform us with your power.Show your grace among us, so we may proclaim with hope the good news of Jesus Christ to one another, our community, and the world.  Amen.


 POSTLUDE                                                                                                                                              *The Congregation stands












Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church




Narrative Lectionary Seeds for 9/9

Genesis 5:4-22, 8:6-12; 9:8-17 and Matthew 8:24-27

Audio/Video/Print takes on Noah

Animated Christmas Video of school choral piece Old Man Now Built a Boat

Robert Shaw Chorale version of Old Man Noah Built a Boat

Bill Cosby’s take on the Noah story

Frederick Buechner’s take on Noah


Intro to the Fall NL



The ark=teva in Hebrew, meaning nature, biosphere, wildlife. All of nature in a single

vessel. Different word from ark ov covenant-aron, but might have in common specially

built container for something precious. Suggested that Moses’ little boat as a baby was

a kind of miniature ark.   See


Renewal of baptism (see Flood Prayer resources below)*


These next 3 themes are from


Human stewardship of animals and their welfare (Gen 6:19-21-keeping each animal

according to its kind/species safe, incl. taking the food they’ll need)

Fresh start but bringing along something from what came before*

God keeping covenant with humans and animals and the earth even when they do not

keep covenant in return





Liturgical Resources


Hymns from

The title is the final set of words after the /


Genesis  Also titled “You Are Our God, We Are Your People”  v. 3   v.3


Matthew     (verse 3)   (Jesus, Lover of my Soul, let me to thy bosom fly)   (I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore)

Hymns from the PCUSA 1993 hymnal

The notation .2 means that verse 2 is most pertinent to the scripture passage;                          2+3 means verses 2 and 3 are most pertinent

Genesis 9.8-17

134.2 Creating God, Your Fingers Trace

191 God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength

192.1+2 God, Our Help and Constant Refuge

193.2+3 Psalm 46

209.3 My Song Forever Shall Record

214.4 O Come and Sing Unto the Lord

271.1 Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Things

276 Great Is Thy Faithfulness

283.1 God Marked a Line and Told the Sea

293 This Is My Father’s World

294 Wherever I May Wander

554 Let All Things Now Living

Genesis 9.13

384.3 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go


Matthew 8.23-27

184.3 How Blest Are Those

191 God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength

192 God, Our Help and Constant Refuge

193 Psalm 46

201.2 Praise Is Your Right, O God, in Zion

209.3 My Song Forever Shall Record

214.4 O Come and Sing Unto the Lord

271.1 Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Things

286 Give to the Winds Thy Fears

303.1 Jesus, Lover of My Soul

365.2 Jesus, Priceless Treasure

373 Lonely the Boat

388.3 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389.3 O Jesus, I Have Promised

560.2 We Plow the Fields and Scatter

562.2 Eternal Father, Strong to Save


Matthew 8.26a

86.4 When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

189.4 As Deer Long for the Streams

286 Give to the Winds Thy Fears

326.3 Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

348.3 Christian Women, Christian Men

390.6 O Savior, in This Quiet Place

399.3 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

462.3 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

463.3 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

464.1 Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

522.3+4 Lord, When I Came Into This Life


Hymns from the new Glory to God PCUSA hymnal (2013)

Genesis 9:7-17

315 In the Midst of New Dimensions


Genesis 9:12-16

738 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee


Genesis 9:12-17

22 God of the Sparrow


Genesis 9:13-15

39 Great Is Thy Faithfulness


Genesis 9:13-17

250 In the Bulb There Is a Flower


Renewal of Baptism

Luther’s “Flood Prayer”

Lutheran version (Lutheran service book): Almighty and eternal God, according to Your strict judgment You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. You drowned heart-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, yet led Your people Israel through the water on dry ground, prefiguring this washing of Your Holy Baptism. Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood, and a lavish washing away of sin. We pray that You would behold N. according to Your boundless mercy and bless him with true faith by the Holy Spirit that through this saving flood all sin in him which has been inherited from Adam and which he himself has committed since would be drowned and die. Grant that he be kept safe and secure in the holy ark of the Christian Church, being separated from the multitude of unbelievers and serving Your name at all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope, so that, with all believers in Your promise, he would be declared worthy of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Anglican version (Book of Common Prayer):

Almighty and everlasting God, who of thy great mercy didst save Noah and his family in the ark from perishing by water; and also didst safely lead the children of Israel thy people through the Red Sea, figuring thereby thy holy Baptism; and by the Baptism of thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in the river Jordan didst sanctify Water to the mystical washing away of sin: We beseech thee, for thine infinite mercies, that thou wilt mercifully look upon this Child, wash him and sanctify him with the Holy Ghost; that he, being delivered from thy wrath, may be received into the ark of Christ’s Church; and being stedfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, may so pass through the waves of this troublesome world, that finally he may come to the land of everlasting life, there to reign with thee world without end; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


1993 Book of Common Worship (PC-USA) version:

Brief portions of this Book of Common Worship may be reproduced without special permission for one-time use only, for worship and educational purposes, in an order of service for use by a congregation, or in a special program or lesson resource, provided that no part of such reproduction is sold, directly or indirectly, and that the following acknowledgment is included: Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, © 1993 Westminster/John Knox Press.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks, Eternal God,

for you nourish and sustain all living things

by the gift of water.

In the beginning of time,

your Spirit moved over the watery chaos,

calling forth order and life.

In the time of Noah,

you destroyed evil by the waters of the flood,

giving righteousness a new beginning.

You led Israel out of slavery,

through the waters of the sea,

into the freedom of the promised land.

In the waters of Jordan

Jesus was baptized by John

and anointed with your Spirit.

By the baptism of his own death and resurrection,

Christ set us free from sin and death,

and opened the way to eternal life.

We thank you, O God, for the water of baptism.

In it we are buried with Christ in his death.

From it we are raised to share in his resurrection,

Through it we are reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit.


The minister may touch the water.

Send your Spirit to move over this water

that it may be a fountain of deliverance and rebirth.

Wash away the sin of all who are cleansed by it.

Raise them to new life,

and graft them to the body of Christ.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon them,

that they may have power to do your will,

and continue forever in the risen life of Christ.

To you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God,

be all praise, honor, and glory,

now and forever. [411]



Directives for a baptismal prayer with similar content:

The minister may give thanks over the water in his or her own words:

  1. praising God for God’s faithfulness in the covenant;
  2. thankfully remembering God’s reconciling acts such as:

the cleansing and rebirth in the flood in the time of Noah;

the exodus through the waters of the sea;

Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan;

the baptism of Jesus’ death and his resurrection.

  1. invoking the Holy Spirit

to attend and empower the baptism;

to make the water a water of redemption and rebirth;

to equip the church for faithfulness.

The prayer concludes with an ascription of praise to the triune God.


Book of Common Worship offering prayer (covenant)

Let us pray.

Faithful God,

you placed the rainbow in the skies

as the sign of your covenant with all living things.

May we who are saved through water and the Spirit,

worthily offer to you our sacrifice of thanksgiving.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. [256]




Other water/flood-related scriptures:

Psalm 29, 42, 69

Song of Solomon 8:6–7


Psalm 29 (Book of Common Worship)

PSALM 29 Tone 3; PH 180; PS 26


1 Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory that is due the holy name; *

worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. R

3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;

the God of glory thunders; *

the LORD is upon the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *

the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor. R

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6 the LORD makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *

and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox. R

7 The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;

the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

8 The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *

and strips the forests bare.

9 And in the temple of the LORD *

all are crying, “Glory!” R

10 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *

the LORD sits enthroned as Sovereign forevermore.


11 The LORD shall give strength to the chosen people; *

the LORD shall give the people the blessing of peace. R

God of mystery and power,

open our eyes to the fire of your love,

and open our ears to the thunder of your justice,

that we may receive your gifts of blessing and peace,

to the glory of your name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


PSALM 42 Tone 8; PH 189, 190; PS 37


1 As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *

so longs my soul for you, O God.

2 My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *

when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night, *

while all day long they say to me,

“Where now is your God?” R

4 I pour out my soul when I think on these things: *

how I went with the multitude and led them into the house of God,

with the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *

among those who keep holy-day.

5 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *

and why are you so disquieted within me? R

Put your trust in God; *

for I will yet give thanks to the One

who is the help of my countenance, 6 and my God.

My soul is heavy within me; *

therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,

and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.

7 One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts; *

all your rapids and floods have gone over me.

8 The LORD grants loving-kindness in the daytime; *

in the night season the song of the LORD is with me,

a prayer to the God of my life. R

9 I will say to the God of my strength,

“Why have you forgotten me? *

and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?“

10 While my bones are being broken, *

my enemies mock me to my face;

all day long they mock me *

and say to me, “Where now is your God?” R

11 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *

and why are you so disquieted within me?


Put your trust in God; *

for I will yet give thanks to the One

who is the help of my countenance, and my God. R

Gracious God,

in the night of distress we forget the days of sun and joy.

When we do not know your presence,

preserve us from the deep torrent of despair.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


PSALM 69 Tone 8


1 Save me, O God, *

for the waters have risen up to my neck.

2 I am sinking in deep mire, *

and there is no firm ground for my feet.

I have come into deep waters, *

and the torrent washes over me. R

3 I have grown weary with my crying;

my throat is inflamed; *

my eyes have failed from looking for my God.

Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;

my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. *

Must I then give back what I never stole?

5 O God, you know my foolishness, *

and my faults are not hidden from you.

6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,

Lord GOD of hosts; *

let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me,

O God of Israel. R

7 Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, *

and shame has covered my face.

8 I have become a stranger to my own kindred, *

an alien to my mother’s children.

9 Zeal for your house has eaten me up; *

the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.

10 I humbled myself with fasting, *

but that was turned to my reproach. R

11 I put on sack-cloth also, *

and became a byword among them.

12 Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, *

and the drunkards make songs about me. R

13 But as for me, this is my prayer to you, *

at the time you have set, O LORD:

“In your great mercy, O God, *

answer me with your unfailing help.

14 Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; *

let me be rescued from those who hate me

and out of the deep waters.

15 Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,

neither let the deep swallow me up; *

do not let the pit shut its mouth upon me. R

16 Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; *

in your great compassion, turn to me.

17 Hide not your face from your servant; *

be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.

18 Draw near to me and redeem me; *

because of my enemies deliver me. R

19 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; *

my adversaries are all in your sight.”

20 Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; *

I looked for sympathy, but there was none,

for comforters, but I could find no one.

21 They gave me gall to eat, *

and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink. R

22 Let the table before them be a trap *

and their sacred feasts a snare.

23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, *

and give them continual trembling in their inner parts.

24 Pour out your indignation upon them, *

and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.

25 Let their camp be desolate, *

and let there be none to dwell in their tents.

26 For they persecute the one whom you have stricken *

and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.

27 Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, *

and let them not receive your vindication.

28 Let them be wiped out of the book of the living *

and not be written among the righteous. R

29 As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; *

your help, O God, will lift me up on high.

30 I will praise the name of God in song; *

I will proclaim the greatness of the LORD with thanksgiving.

31 This will please the Lord more than an offering of oxen, *

more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.

32 The afflicted shall see and be glad; *

you who seek God, your heart shall live.

33 For the Lord listens to the needy *

and does not despise those who are in prison. R

34 Let the heavens and the earth give praise, *

the seas and all that moves in them;

35 for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; *

they shall live there and have it in possession.

36 The servants of the LORD will inherit it, *

and those who love the name of God will dwell therein. R

Blessed are you, God of hope;

you restore the fallen

and rebuild the broken walls.

Teach us the song of thanksgiving,

for you are the strength of your people;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


ORIGINAL RESOURCES by Barbara Hedges-Goettl

Call to Worship from Psalm 29:3-4, 10-11

One: The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
Many: the God of glory thunders,

One: the Lord, over mighty waters.
Many: The voice of the Lord is powerful;
One: The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
Many: the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
ALL: May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

 Collect (from Genesis 9) O Saving God, who made a covenant with Noah and his descendants and with every living creature surviving on the ark; when clouds cover the earth, remember and keep your covenant with all living things, so that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

In the name of the Creator, who makes and keeps covenant with the people of God; the Spirit, who sweeps over creative waters; and the Son, who calms the seas, Amen.


Prayers of the People (from Psalm 42:7-8)

All: Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows have gone over me.

O God, we are billowed and buffeted by waves of evil and violence. Silent or specific prayers.

All: I pray to you, O God of my life.  By day command your steadfast love. By night your song is with me.

Floods of illness and grief threaten to drown us. Silent or specific prayers.

All: I pray to you, O God of my life.  By day command your steadfast love. By night your song is with me.

Tears of weariness and sadness have been our food.

Silent or specific prayers.

All: I pray to you, O God of my life.  By day command your steadfast love. By night send your song to be with me.

But we hope in you, O God. Dry our tears and quench our thirst.

Silent or specific prayers.

All: I pray to you, O God of my life.  By day command  your steadfast love. By night your song is with me.

Send your cleansing waters upon us, soothing and healing, renewing and refreshing. Silent or specific prayers.

All: I pray to you, O God of my life.  By day command  your steadfast love. By night your song is with me.

Buoy us with the relief of rain, the flow of a stream, the quiet of a lake, the ebb and flow of the ocean. Silent or specific prayers.

All: I pray to you, O God of my life.  By day command your steadfast love. By night your song is with me.

In the name of the Creator, who placed the rainbow in the heavens; the Spirit, who brought order to the chaos of the deep; and Jesus, the living water, Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Psalm 69:1-3, 29, 17-18 from The Message)

In 2 groups (bold & italic); it would be best if leaders jump in quickly, or if people read the bold and leader (quickly afterward) the italics,

indicating the urgency and overwhelmingness of the need.

God, God, save me! I’m in over my head,

Quicksand under me, swamp water over me;
Going down for the third time.

Hoarse from calling for help,
Bleary-eyed from searching the sky for God.

I’m hurt and in pain;
Give me space for healing, and mountain air.

Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it.
I’m in trouble. Answer right now!

Come close, God; get me out of here.
Rescue me from this deathtrap.

Maybe play/sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during quiet time for confession after the litany or after these words of assurance: “Jesus is our bridge over troubled water. He laid himself down to dry our tears and calm our seas. Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.”


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[1] Brief portions of this Book of Common Worship may be reproduced without special permission

for one-time use only, for worship and educational purposes, in an order of service

for use by a congregation, or in a special program or lesson resource, provided that no part

of such reproduction is sold, directly or indirectly, and that the following acknowledgment

is included: Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, © 1993

Westminster/John Knox Press.

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