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Choir members singing in red robes

World Communion Sunday

  • Date: Sunday, October 1, 2023
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

October 1, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.


Neno Lake Mungu, setting by Anne Krentz Organ

Neno Lake Mungu, or “Listen, God is Calling,” is a Swahili hymn from Kenya that uses the traditional African musical pattern of call and response. “Listen, God is calling, through the Word inviting, offering forgiveness, comfort, and joy.” The complete text is #456 in the Glory to God hymnal.


“Oh, Qué Bueno es Jesus”

Oh, how good is Christ the Lord! On the cross he died for me.
He has pardoned all my sin. Glory to his name!
In three days he rose again. Glory to his name!

*Call to Worship

(The congregation responds aloud with the bold text)

We gather from the west and the east,
from the south and the north,
to sit at the table in the Kingdom of God,
to dwell in the presence of the Living God,
to praise the God of peace.

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in harmony. 

Come, let us worship God!

*Hymn #340: “This is My Song”

1. This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

2. My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
So hear my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

3. This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms:
thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done.
Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him,
and hearts united learn to live as one.
So hear my prayer, O God of all the nations:
myself I give thee; let thy will be done.

Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Gracious Lord, creator of this universe,
in your generosity you have given us
a world of abundance and diversity,
yet we live guided by greed and selfishness.

We confess that we have defaced your creation
and poisoned our environment
through our consumerist behavior and desire for personal gain.

In Christ, you made us siblings
and intended for us to be together,
yet we have built walls to separate us
from those who are different.


You gave us wisdom and creativity,
yet we have used them to trick each other
and to develop weapons of destruction and death.

You gave us laws to order our lives,
yet we have abused them
to take revenge and punish our enemies.


We love war rather than strive for peace.
We ignore the poor and the weak
and honor the rich and powerful.

In all this, we have not lived according to your will.

Forgive us, Lord, for daring to boast in our human achievements
and for failing to recognize that you alone are worthy of praise.

In your mercy, forgive us our sins.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of pardon

*Response of Praise: Hymn #753, “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace”

1. Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

2. Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, only light,
and where there’s sadness, ever joy.

3. O, Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

4. Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
in giving of ourselves that we receive,
and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

*Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Thank you for joining us for worship! Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week. If you’re joining us for the first time or would like to learn more about Catonsville Presbyterian, you’re welcome to share your email with us. We’ll send some information that will help you get connected.

Children’s Message

Prayer for Illumination

Guide us, O God, by your Word and Spirit, that in your light we may see light, in your truth find freedom, and in your will discover your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn #774: “There Is Now a New Creation”

1. There is now a new creation
through the grace of Jesus Christ,
peace and reconciliation
with the God of endless life.

2. Call the lost and found together;
tell the news to everyone:
now the past is gone forever
and a new life has begun.

3. Wrap the prodigal in welcome;
run to greet the wayward child.
All is finished and forgiven;
let us now be reconciled.

4. Come and join the celebration;
come and join this happy feast;
Jesus makes an invitation
to the greatest and the least.

5. There is now a new creation
through the grace of Jesus Christ.
Sing, with thanks and adoration,
to the God of endless life!

Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-22

So then, remember that at one time you gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us, abolishing the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone; in him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.


“The Table of Peace,” Ken Kovacs

Call to Offering

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Peace and Global Witness Offering


“Ngothando,” Mbuso Ndlovu

Through love, only, we will conquer everything,
All situations cannot swallow (devour us)
Let us open our hearts, and let us fear nothing,
Through love…

Composer’s note: Ngothando is a song written in IsiZulu, a language spoken by the Zulu people (AmaZulu) in South Africa. The song is a message to the rest of the world that it is only through love that we can conquer the barriers that stand between us, the poverty and disease that surround us. Let’s open our hearts and not fear the unknown. Let’s search deep within ourselves, knowing that we do have enough resources.

*Doxology #607, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

*Prayer of Dedication

Generous God, we bring these our gifts to you as a symbol of our commitment to continue the work you have called us to do in your name — the work of reconciliation and peace and justice in the world and in our community. We offer our resources confident that you are the God of peace at work in the world. Transform these gifts so that your peace may be experienced at all times and in all ways. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Hymn #526: “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ”

1. Let us talents and tongues employ,
reaching out with a shout of joy:
bread is broken; the wine is poured;
Christ is spoken and seen and heard.

Jesus lives again; earth can breathe again;
pass the Word around: loaves abound!
Jesus lives again; earth can breathe again;
pass the Word around: loaves abound!

2. Christ is able to make us one;
at the table he sets the tone,
teaching people to live to bless,
love in word and in deed express. (Refrain)

3. Jesus calls us in, sends us out
bearing fruit in a world of doubt,
gives us love to tell, bread to share:
God (Immanuel) everywhere! (Refrain)

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy 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;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Invitation to the Table

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Creating God, source of our being, we give you thanks and praise,
for you have brought forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.

In the beginning you created people in your likeness.
In your likeness, you created people who multiplied and became many–
people of many genders, races, nationalities, and abilities.

You created the world and all that is in it without borders or walls
and you called it “good.”

For this we praise you.

Hymn: “You are Holy”

You are holy, you are whole.
You are always ever more than we ever understand.
You are always at hand.

Blessed are you coming near.
Blessed are you coming here
to your church in wined and bread,
raised from soil,
raised from dead.

You are holy, you are wholness;
you are present.

Let the cosmos praise you, Lord!
Sing hosanna in the highest!
Sing hosanna!
Sing hosanna to our God!

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving (continued)

Jesus, our sibling, born of Mary in a stable in Palestine,
you confronted the powers and principalities of your time,
and welcomed those who society had cast aside as your friends.

For love and the liberation of your people,
you risked your life and were executed by the brokenness of empire,
yet even death could not put an end to the love you embody.
Out of death, you arose to new life and to live again among your people.
With joy we celebrate what you have done
and with dedication we follow you, transformed by your love,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died;
Christ has risen;
Christ will come again.

Boundless God,
Pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup.
Through these ordinary gifts that sustain us our bodies,
nourish us and transform us,
that we might remember that we belong to each other and to you.

Through this remembering,
Let us be reconciled to each other and to you.

Through this remembering,
May we tear down all boundaries and walls that we have built,

Through this remembering,
May all peoples in all places and times be united in you as we share this meal
and pray the words you taught us to pray:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy 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;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

Music During Communion

Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, (“Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness”) Johannes Brahms

Prayer of Gratitude

Gracious God, how can we thank you for such a gift? For you have met us, fed us, drawn us to you, bound us to one another. Now send us out to share your love, embody your peace, and live with hope until that day when you make all things new.

*Passing of the Peace

*Hymn #318: “In Christ There Is No East or West”

1. In Christ there is no east or west,
in him no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

2. In Christ shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find;
his service is the golden cord
close-binding humankind.

3. Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate’er your race may be.
All children of the living God
are surely kin to me.

4. In Christ now meet both east and west;
in him meet south and north.
All Christly souls are one in him
throughout the whole wide earth.

*Benediction: Ephesians 6:23-24

The Lord bless you and keep you,
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you,
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all from now and forevermore.

*Hymn #765: “May the God of Hope Go With Us”

May the God of hope go with us every day,
filling all our lives with love and joy and peace.
May the God of justice speed us on our way,
bringing light and hope to every land and race.
Praying, let us work for peace;
singing, share our joy with all;
working for a world that’s new,
faithful when we hear Christ’s call.


“What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” setting by Robert Hobby

The text to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by Irish poet Joseph Scriven was written to comfort his mother when he learned that she was suffering from illness. Scriven himself was not unfamiliar with heartache and grief. In 1843, his fiancée accidentally drowned on the eve of their wedding. He decided to dedicate his life to preaching and serving God, ultimately moving to Canada to serve through his Plymouth Brethren faith. In 1860, he was engaged to marry again, but his fiancée contracted pneumonia and died before the marriage could take place. Joseph Scriven drowned in 1886 at the age of 66. His poem, “Pray Without Ceasing,” was set to music by Charles Converse and renamed “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Scriven never dreamed that his poem would become a favorite hymn for millions.


  • Dorothy L. Boulton,
    Associate Pastor
  • Mo Ewane,
  • Keith and Kathy Glennan,
    Audio/Video production
  • Wendy Johnston,
    Organist and Assistant Director of Music
  • Greg Knauf,
    Director of Music
  • Ken Kovacs,
  • Vickie Lord,
    Social media support


  • “2023 World Communion Sunday Liturgy,” PC(USA) Special Offerings (Louisville, KY: 2023).
  • Today’s Great Prayer of Thanksgiving was written by Emily Brewer for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
  • Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
  • Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071
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