7th Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C)

Call to Worship

Take delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart. Ps. 37
Let us commit our way to the Lord and trust in God.
Be still before the Lord, and way patiently for God.
We gather as God’s beloved children to give of ourselves in praise.
Come, friends, let us worship God!

Prayer of the Day

God of Justice,
help us learn of your ways of righteousness,
ponder the love that you shower upon us,
and commit to the Way of salvation for all people. Amen.

Call to Confession

Come, friends in Christ, let us confess our sins together.


God of Subversive Love, Luke 6:27-38
you tell us to turn the other cheek,
but we lash out against our enemies;
you tell us to give others our coats,
but we demand that they stop freeloading;
you tell us to love everyone,
but we love people only when it’s easy;
you tell us to lend without interest,
but our economy thrives by making money off the poor.
Forgive us, Merciful One, for these sins.
Help us to resist the standards of our culture
that fly in the face of the standards you have given us. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Friends in Christ,
I announce to you this day that our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

Prayer for Illumination

God of Wisdom,
bless us with a double portion of your Spirit this day
that we might be guided in the reading of your holy word. Amen.

Prayers of the People

Let us pray to God, saying:
God of the Poor, give us merciful hearts.

We pray this day for the poor in spirit:
for those who suffer from depression…
for those who have lost loved ones recently…
for those whose cries for justice have been ignored…
for those whose skin color brings them hatred and ridicule…
for those who are watching loved ones deteriorate in body or in mind…
God of the Poor, give us merciful hearts.

We pray this day for the poor in pocket:
for those who cannot find employment…
for those who are caught in cycles of poverty…
for those whose cultural punishment does not end with their prison sentence…
for those who are burdened by debt…
for those who live from paycheck to paycheck…
God of the Poor, give us merciful hearts.

We pray this day for the poor in body:
for those who have chronic health issues…
for those who struggle with substance abuse…
for those who do not have the mobility they once had…
for those who don’t have access to affordable healthcare…
for those who have been diagnosed with cancer recently…
God of the Poor, give us merciful hearts.

Hear us, Gracious God,
as we lift these prayers to you using the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…


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.