6th Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C)

Call to Worship

Blessed are those who are poor, Luke 6:17-26
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who are hungry,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are those who weep,
for they will laugh.
Blessed are those who are hated,
for they will rejoice and leap with joy.
Blessed are those who are in the margins,
for they have a special place in God’s heart.
Come, let us worship God.

Prayer of the Day

God of all Goodness and Mercy,
carry us gently in your heart
that we may be stirred to follow your Word.
Bless this worship that we might love you
with all of our hearts, minds, bodies, and strength. Amen.

Call to Confession

Let us gather before our merciful God
to confess our sins and plea for forgiveness.


Merciful God, Jer. 17:5-10
when we trust in you,
we are like trees planted by water,
sending out our roots into the streams.
But when we fail to trust in you,
we are like shrubs in the desert,
parched and fragile.
Forgive us for the moments when we’ve trusted
everything but you and your steadfast mercy.
Gift us with the courage to follow you
and trust in your providence. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Friends, the goodness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I declare to you our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

Prayer for Illumination

Come, Gracious Spirit,
and gift us with your wisdom
that we might be guided
to those places God is calling us to be. Amen.

Prayers of the People

NOTE: my prayers of the people this week is very specific to the congregation I serve.
Check back next week for a generic prayers of the people that you can adapt
to your ministry context.


Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.