25th Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 27 (Year B)

Call to Worship

Come, Siblings in Christ, and see what God has to give!
We gather from from and near to share in God’s generosity.
Come, you repairers of the breach, and get ready for work.
We labor in the name of the Lord, or else our labor is in vain. Ps. 127
Come, you people of the promise, and let us share that which God has given us.
We rejoice for God has called us to be Christ’s hands and feet.
Come, let us worship God.

Prayer of the Day

God of Creation,
we are reminded this day that unless you build the house,
the house is built in vain. Ps. 127
As we seek to move forward as a congregation,
renewed and rejuvenated by your love,
help us do so in your strong and sure name. Amen.

Call to Confession

With boldness and humility,
let us confess our sins to our merciful God.


Gracious and merciful God, Mark 12:38-40
forgive us for the moments when we’ve acted as if we are greater:
greater than the poor,
greater than the marginalized,
greater than those with different colored skin,

greater than those who define their sexuality differently,
greater than the people with whom we disagree.
Remind us that each of us is guilty of condemnation
and that your grace makes it possible for us to love one another
especially for those who are different than us.
This we pray in your holy name. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Siblings in Christ,
be reminded this day that God’s mercy washes away our sins.
In the name of the Risen Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven.
Alleluia! Amen.

Prayer for Illumination

God of All Wisdom,
speak, for your Church is listening.
Guide our hearts in the reading of your word
that we may be transformed into the disciples you’re calling us to be. Amen.

Prayers of the People

Let us pray to God, saying:
God of Every Mercy, hear our prayer.

God of Harmony,
We pray for our divided nation.
We pray for the politicians who were elected last Tuesday,
that they may conduct themselves with dignity, kindness, and compassion.
We pray for those who didn’t get the outcome they wished,
and those that fought hard for what they felt to be right
but endured loss all the same.
Gracious God, send your Spirit to guide us.
God of Every Mercy, hear our prayer.

Prince of Peace,
on this Veterans Day weekend,
we give thanks for those who have served in our armed forces
and have sacrificed so much to keep us safe from harm.
We long for the day when there is no longer need for armies.
But until that day comes, we give thanks for our veterans,
both those who are still living
and those who have joined the Church Triumphant.
God of Every Mercy, hear our prayer.

Wounded God,
we pray for the two African Americans gunned down in a Louisville Kroger.
We pray for the eleven Jews slaughtered in Pittsburgh.
We pray for the two women murdered in a Florida yoga studio.
And we pray for the more than a dozen people killed
in a California bar on Wednesday night.
A Kroger, a Synagogue, a Yoga Studio, and a bar:
places that should be peaceful that are now places who have endured gun violence.
How long, O Lord? How long must we we slaves to our own infatuation with violence?
God of Every Mercy, hear our prayer.

God of Power and Might,
we pray for the members and friends of this congregation who need healing and peace:
especially for…
We lift up for you this day those on our hearts in silence…
God of Every Mercy, hear our prayer.

Hear us, Merciful God, as we lift our prayers to you
in the name of your Son who 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.