3rd Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C)

Call to Worship

We are all part of the Body of Christ.           1 Cor. 12:12-31a
Hands, feet, eyes, noses, fingers and toes!
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
God has arranged this body, this family of faith that forms us.
Come, let the Body of Christ worship its Maker!

Prayer of the Day

Good and Gracious God,
bless our worship of you this day
that we might find in you the joy that you find in us.
In the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, we pray.  Amen.

Call to Confession

Siblings in Christ,
let us gather before our merciful God
to ask forgiveness for that which we have done, and left undone,
that separates us from God and one another.


God of our Design,           1 Cor. 12:12-31a
you have created us as a body with many parts.
But we do not always work together as we could.
The eyes get jealous of the feet.
The nose tries to do the work of the hands.
The shoulders think they’re better than the knees.
Forgive us for the moments 
when we have not worked together as we should.
Bless us with your wisdom and courage
that we might function as the Body of Christ
and serve you joyfully and faithfully.  Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Friends, our sin does not withhold us from God’s mercy.
The love of God extends from everlasting to everlasting.
I declare to you this day:  our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia!  Amen.

Prayer for Illumination

God of All Wisdom,
bless our reading of your word
that we might be guided by its truth.  Amen.

Prayers of the People

Let us pray to God, saying:
Gracious God, help us be the Body of Christ.           1 Cor. 12:12-31a

Holy God,
today’s scripture reminds us that when one member of the body suffers, all suffer together with it.
We pray this day for the parts of the Body that are suffering:
for the more than 800,000 government workers who are not getting paid due to the shutdown,
for those who find the cold, winter months a difficult time, especially those with depression,
for the families of those who have lost loved ones recently,
for the families of the five women who were gunned down and killed in a Florida bank this week,
and for all others who suffer who we lift up to you now in silence…
Gracious God, help us be the Body of Christ.

Holy God,
today’s scripture also reminds us that when one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
We give thanks for those who marched last weekend to support the rights of women and girls.
We give thanks for those who have stepped up to show kindness to the government workers
who are currently furloughed.
We give thanks for the Lexington city employees who have worked hard to keep our roads safe
during this icy weather we’ve been having.
We give thanks for Lynn and Gwynn who now begin their second term on Session.
We give thanks for Christina and for her ministry to and with us.
We give thanks for all the blessings in life, that we lift up before you now in silence…
Gracious God, help us be the Body of Christ.

Holy God,
we pray for the Body that is this congregation.
As we navigate the waters of change and transition,
help us work together and remind us that we are all on the same team.
Where there are bumps in the road, give us patience.
Where there are challenges up ahead, give us courage.
Where there are differences of opinions, give us discernment and respect for one another.
Bless us with your presence that we might serve you and the community to which you call us.
Gracious God, help us be the Body of Christ.

God of all Goodness and Grace,
we lift up to you these prayers
as we pray as 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.