CHRIST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
A United Church of Christ
9525 Colesville Road ∙ Silver Spring, MD 20901
301-585-8010 ∙ www.cccsilverspring.org

Christ Congregational Church covenants to be faithful as …

  • A Just Peace Congregation
  • An Open and Affirming Congregation

An Anti-racist CongregationAt CCC, we honor and celebrate people of all races, cultures, ages, abilities, sexual orientations & gender identities.

10:30 A.M. SERVICE OF WORSHIP
FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION / AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY CELEBRATION
February 26, 2017

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Pastor’s Matt Braddock & Gloria Grant

PRELUDE
The Lark in the Clear Air
Sir Samuel Ferguson
The Chancel Choir

CALL TO WORSHIP
Pastor Gloria Grant

Today we ask God to give us eyes to see the light of Christ around us . . .
To see God’s light in other people, to see God’s light and realize how much God loves us.
Today we ask God to give us ears to hear . . .
To hear God’s voice within our own; to hear God’s voice in the midst of our fears and pains.
Today we ask God to help us remember the mountain top experiences of life, especially when we are feeling down in a ditch . . .
And to remember that God is always with us!

INVOKING THE SPIRIT
OPENING HYMN # 182
We Have Come at Christ’s Own Bidding
HYFRYDOL
PRAYER OF INVOCATION & THE LORD’S PRAYER
Ann Marshall

We celebrate that we are safe in the hands of God who never leaves nor forsakes us,
Who breathes life within us and walks with us on our way.
We affirm Jesus as Companion who truly lived as we do;
Who cried out with our cry and laughed with our laughter.
We believe we are not defined by the deaths that others deal us,
And we need not be defeated by the powers that stand against us.
Come, Spirit of Power. Come, Sacred Spirit.  We ask in the name of Christ, saying . . .
Holy God, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.  AMEN

SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 17:1-9
Ann Marshall

THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

Baptism is the church’s way of celebrating and naming the grace of God living in everyone of God’s children. It is the way we initiate new members into the life of the universal community of faith, and it marks the entry point into the life-time pilgrimage of following in the Way of Jesus. Today we baptize Aurora Florence Ellis, child of Erica and Noel Ellis. Aurora was born on December 16, 2016. The godparent is Andy Cook.

Introduction

Today we claim the joy of water and the way it sustains and nourishes us. Our biblical stories talk of the preciousness of water. They remind us that water is a blessing and the source and strength of life. Without it humanity and all that is created could not survive. Let the water flow and pour and sprinkle all people, so that we all may know the gift of God in water. Let the water pour and remind us that God’s way is the way of overflowing compassion and love.

Addressing parents:

Do you desire to have Aurora baptized into the faith and community of Jesus Christ?
We do.

Parents and Godparents:

Will you encourage Aurora to learn from the wisdom of the prophets; doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God? Will you foster for your child an appreciation for the life and teachings of Jesus in concert with an appreciation for diverse religious traditions? Will you journey with Aurora to discover the wonder of God’s love made visible here this day?

We will, with the help of God.

Addressing the congregation
The Board of Deacons

Jesus calls us to welcome children into the full life of our community, opening our table and hearts to those most vulnerable, offering the wisdom of the ages to all who hunger for truth. Do you, who witness and celebrate this sacrament, promise your love, support, and care to Aurora as she lives and grows in this Christian community?

As your sisters and brothers in the universal Christian church, we join with you in the covenant you make this day, here in the presence of God. We promise our support as you nurture Aurora in the ways of life and faith. We promise to help guide Aurora in the ways of Christ’s justice and compassion. We pledge to create a safe, supportive community where she will be able to grow in the Spirit’s joy and wisdom.

Prayer and Blessing of the Water

We gather to pray, believing that God prays in us. We acknowledge our responsibility to ensure we use the resources of water joyfully and conscientiously, and make available future resources for our children and their children. We give thanks for the gift of this water. May it be the birthing waters of a new and holy life. We pray, God, that you will bless this child. May she always know that the Source-of-All-Love lives and comes to unique expression in her. And bless Erica and Noel; may they always show their gratitude for the new life given them by loving and caring for Aurora.

The Act of Baptism

Presentation of Certificate and Cradle Cross

PRAYER OF CONFESSION & RECONCILIATION
Pastor Matt Braddock

Sometimes it feels like it doesn’t really matter, God,
if we ignore the needs of our partner,
or shout at the kids unnecessarily,
or elaborate on the truth just a little, so we look better,
or waste the resources our world so generously gives.

Sometimes it just feels silly to worry about making things beautiful,
to keep reaching for the best of the good, and not just the easy;
to stay true to what is true.

And then we come here, and we remember.
You do not change to accommodate our good-enoughness;
You do not dim the sun just a little so we won’t feel so dull,
or switch off some of the stars to keep us from feeling small.

You are Light and Life and Love and Fullness – you can be no other.
You are Beauty and Goodness and Truth – brilliant and dazzling.
It is we who must change.
It is we who must choose to gaze on your holiness & beauty and be changed into glory.
So here we are, God. Please, show us more of yourself. AMEN

Believing that all people belong to God, we greet each other with signs of peace.

SCRIPTURE READING
Jeremiah 29:11
Rev. Jeffrey Thames

SERMON
Be Encouraged
Rev. Jeffrey Thames

CALL TO OFFERING
Living Libation by Safiyah Fosua
based on 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Pastors Matt Braddock, Gloria Grant

Make my life a libation
poured out like oil
diffused through air
like perfume
blessing multitudes.

Make me a libation
poured out to God,
not Mother Church,
or someone else’s agendas;
an emissary of Christ,
lighthouse and cattle-prod,
good news and conscience-goad,
bringing tidings of peace
and warnings of the wrath to come.

Let me not be sacrificed
on the altar of the church’s indifference,
nor let me confuse sacrifice with suffering for selfish gain.

At the end of my days,
when life on this globe is over,
let it be truthfully said
my life was poured out
for You

OFFERTORY
Hear My Prayer
Moses Hogan
The Chancel Choir

DOXOLOGY
DUKE STREET

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow:
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God for all that love has done;
Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Ann Marshall

O God, please take these gifts and multiply them; let them be a means to create the justice and peace you long for in this world. Amen.

HYMN OF GOING FORTH #593
Lift Every Voice and Sing
LIFT EVERY VOICE

BENEDICTION
Pastors Matt Braddock & Rev. Jeffrey Thames

POSTLIDE
Just a Closer Walk With Thee
Ed Lojeski
Dan Pence, Chancel Choir

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