Rev'd Karen Hollis Minister
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Home Church 10th Sunday after Pentecost August 9, 2020 Rev. Karen Hollis

Preparing the Space Around Us

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! Welcome if you are gathering on zoom or if you are worshipping at home with the bulletin. We are one community and all part of the body of Christ. I invite you to prepare the space around you so that for the next hour you can be fully in this worship experience, not to keep out the realities of the world, rather to focus us in the midst  of it all on God. If you need to go and get something or shift something around you, feel free.

Preparing the Space within Us

Let us prepare now the space within us for a time of worship. I invite

you to sit quietly, perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need from this time of worship.

Hymn: Joyful, Joyful v. 1,2   VU #232

1 Joyful, joyful, we adore you,
God of glory, life and love;
hearts unfold like flowers before you,
opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
drive our fear and doubt away;
giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day.

2 All your works with joy surround you,
earth and heaven reflect your rays,
stars and angels sing around you,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
sound their praise eternally.

Opening Sentences
Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,

they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

they shall run and not be weary,

they shall walk and not faint.                                            (Isaiah 40:31 NRSV)

We need this kind of hope.

Come; worship the Holy One who meets you where you are.

Come; open yourselves to the God who lifts us up.

We are here to worship; we are here to offer ourselves to God.

Opening Prayer  Read the prayer slowly (UCC Worship Ways)

God of Presence,

as you faced the winds and walked upon the water to meet the disciples,

meet us in the midst of the storms in our lives.

God of Renewal,

as you lifted Peter from the water,

lift us from despair to hope,

from distraction to focus,

from death to life.

God of the Journey,

direct us in your way,

work out your purpose in and through our lives.

We pray in the name of Christ who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 


Hymn: Joyful, Joyful v. 3,4  VU #232

3 You are giving and forgiving,

ever blessing, ever blest,
wellspring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!
Source of grace and fount of blessing,
let your light upon us shine;
teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

4 Mortals, join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began;
God's own love is reigning o'er us,
joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife;
joyful music lifts us sunward
in the triumph song of life.

Prayer of Confession  UCC Worship Ways

God is here, Christ is present, and the Holy Spirit connects and surrounds us.

When we turn our eyes to the challenges of this life and lose our focus on God, we find ourselves sinking.

We can begin again.

Imagine a new way of being.

We cast aside our dreams to maintain the familiar.

We cast aside the dreams of others, fearful of what they might mean.

God loves each of us,

Christ will lift you from the waves of doubt

and the Holy Spirit will rescue you from currents of insecurity and alienation.

Silent Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Grace

Do not be afraid. God is bigger than our biggest dream and our biggest challenge. Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, God is for you, and for life abundant.

Peace of Christ Christ is with us and in the space between us. 

Let us share the peace he brings!

              The Peace of Christ be with you!

              And also with you!

First Reading: (translated by Lynn Baumann)  Shelagh Huston

Listen for the word of God to you this morning . . .

Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.

But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them." He answered, "Here I am." So he said to him, "Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me. "So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. He came to Shechem, and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, "What are you seeking?" "I am seeking my brothers," he said; "tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock." The man said, "They have gone away, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'"

So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams." But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, "Let us not take his life." Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him" --that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers agreed. When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

Gospel Reading  David Soy

One:      God be with you.       

All:        And also with you

One:      The Good News of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

All:        Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

One: This is the Gospel of Christ;

All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ

Reflection:  Walking on Water  Rev Karen Hollis   (see sermon attached)

Silent Reflection

Hymn: My Life Flows On     v. 1,2                                             VU #716

1 My life flows on in endless song;
above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far off hymn
that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing:
It finds an echo in my soul --
how can I keep from singing?

2 What though my joys and comforts die?
My Saviour still is living.
What though the shadows gather round?
A new song Christ is giving.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I'm clinging:
since Love commands both heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

Apostle’s Creed: Let us affirm our faith . . .

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Susan Brockley  ( Prayers attached)                 

One:    Holy One

All:      Hear Our Prayer

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.


I want to give acknowledgement this morning to those who are helping to lead worship week to week. What we do in the service here is called liturgy, which literally means “the work of the people.” It is what we do together and the leadership we bring that shapes the service. I hope that your participation helps you feel that sense of collective ownership

of what we do in this space together. If there is anyone who would like

to participate in leading worship, please let me know or George, who does the roster, and we will weave you in. I also want to acknowledge this morning the work of the council. We had a meeting this week and continue to do the work of the church behind the scenes and discern in particular how to maintain safety while meeting the needs of the congregation during this season. Thank you to all who have taken on this really important work.

Let us pray . . . God we give thanks that while we are in the midst of a storm, we are together and you are with us. As a community, we offer ourselves anew to your service; bless our leaders and our collective discernment, that we may meet this moment. Bless us all that we may serve faithfully in the ways you call us, in the ways we are uniquely gifted to serve. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn: My Life Flows On  v. 3,4 VU #716

3 When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
and hear their death knells ringing:
when friends rejoice both far and near,
how can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
our thoughts to them are winging:
when friends by shame are undefiled,
how can I keep from singing?

4 I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
and day by day this pathway smooths,
since first I learned to love it.
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing:
all things are mine since I am Christ's --
how can I keep from singing?


If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:      The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey, guiding you, cherishing you.

Female: The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories, feeding you, challenging you.

Male:     The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom, comforting you, disturbing you.

All:        The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

One:      Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:        Thanks be to God! Alleluia!