Monday, September 9, 2013

I’m sharing excepts from our September 8, 2013 worship service in lieu of a sermon. Our guest speaker was Mark Berte, Executive Director of Alabama Coastal Foundation:



*PROCESSIONAL SONG              “Alleluia”                   p. 9 in songbook

(Signs of the Sea are placed on the altar.)


CALL TO WORSHIP         from Psalm 104

Voice 1: 1Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent,  3you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind.

ALL:     Bless the Lord.

Voice 2:  5You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken.6You

cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 8They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.

ALL:     Bless the Lord.

Voice 3: 13From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. 14You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, 15and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.

ALL:     Bless the Lord

Voice 4: 25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there,living things both small and great. 26There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it. 27These all look to you to give them their food in due season;28when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

ALL:     31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.


PRAYERS OF THE SEA      “Bless the Lord”   p. 19 in songbook

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE       “Lord of Life”        p. 53 in songbook

We hold these creatures in the Light of God’s Love . . .

SUNG RESPONSE: “Lord of Life, We Come to You” p. 53

We hold these places and situations in the Light of God’s Love . . .

SUNG RESPONSE: “Lord of Life, We Come to You” p. 53

We hold these people in the Light of God’s Love . . .

SUNG RESPONSE: “Lord of Life, We Come to You” p. 53

HEBREW BIBLE READING              Deuteronomy 30: 15-20

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. 16If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. 17But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, 18I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.


What are ways we can “choose life” by caring for the coastlands we have “entered to possess”?  In what sense might heaven and earth “witness against” us if we harm our waters?  What “other gods” are we serving when we are careless with creation?

OFFERTORY PRAYER                                                                                              

God, our Creator, through your love you have given us gifts to share. May we give our offerings as an expression of our deep thanks and our concern for all in need, including our fellow creatures on planet Earth.   Amen


HYMN                  “Touch the Earth Lightly”                     TENDERNESS

Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently, nourish the life of the world in our care:

Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender, trust for the children tomorrow will bear.

We who endanger, who create hunger, agents of death for all creatures that live,

We who would foster clouds of disaster—God of our planet, forestall and forgive.

Let there be greening, birth from the burning, water that blesses, and air that is sweet,

Health in God’s garden, hope in God’s children, regeneration that peace will complete.

God of all living, God of all loving, God of the seedling, the snow, and the sun,

Teach us, deflect us, Christ reconnect us, using us gently, and making us one.

Words: Shirley Erena Murray © 1992. Hope Publishing Co.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted under A-718273

MESSAGE           “Serve the Earth for Its Own Sake”



SHARING GOD’S GOOD GIFTS: the bread of life, the cup of joy, and signs from the sea


BENEDICTION  “The Peace of the Earth” p. 78-79 in songbook

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