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Event Series Event Series: Worship (In Person and Online)
Choir members singing in red robes

Worship (In-Person and Online)

  • Date: Sunday, April 28, 2024
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Matthew 25 in the PC(USA): A Bold vision and invitation

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:37-40

We are a Matthew 25 church!

Our congregation has accepted the PC(USA)’s invitation to follow Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 25:31-46 by becoming active disciples and making a difference in our community and the world.

As part of our Matthew 25 commitment, we pledge to embrace one or more of these three areas of focus:

  • Building congregational vitality by deepening and energizing our faith and growing as joyful leaders and disciples actively engaged with our community as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed.
  • Dismantling structural racism by fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices, and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice, and oppression of people of color.
  • Eradicating systemic poverty by acting on our beliefs and working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.

To learn more and for ideas on how to get involved and do your vital part as a member of a Matthew 25 church, please visit pcusa.org/matthew25.

Order of Worship

Service for the Lord’s Day

Gathering around the word

Prelude: The Peace May Be Exchanged, Dan Locklair

† Call to Worship

We come to this place where God pours out love upon us,
we join our voices in praise, as our fears are left behind. 

We gather with one another, with those who seek to follow Jesus
so we might walk the paths of service hand in hand. 

We open our hearts to the gifts of the Spirit,
so that grace and peace might be the fruit we bear. 

† Hymn #755: “Alleluia! Laud and Blessing”

Prayer of Invocation

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Lord, have mercy on us.

We talk about love, but our actions betray us.
We talk about love, but we neglect the poor.
We talk about love, but we fail to love one another. 

Lord, have mercy on us. 

Forgive us, and abide in us by the power of your Spirit
so that our lives may show our love for Jesus Christ,
in whose body we live and in whose name we pray. 

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Pardon

God abides in you! God is breathing, living, forgiving, restoring you in the moment, and in the days to come. This is the good news for us!

As God is in us, so we can live, work, care for others, so that love, hope and joy might touch all people. Thanks to be God, we are forgiven!                                                                                                                  

† Response of praise: Hymn #582, “Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me”

† Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Proclaiming the Word

Children’s Message

Prayer for illumination

Come, Holy Spirit, that through your word we may be guided into the love of God for all the world. Amen. 

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-12, 19-21

Message: “It’s in our DNA”, Dorothy Boulton

Hymn: “Jesus, Be With Us”


Jesus, be with us.
Help us each day to follow the gospel
and live as we pray.

Send us your Spirit and show us your way.
Jesus, be with us today.


  1. [Choir only] Where there is hunger and thirst in the land,
    Shatter the systems of greed.
    Jesus, be with us; make use of our hands.
    Lift up your people in need.
  2. [Choir only] Where there is hatred because of our skin,
    break down the walls of our fear.
    Jesus, be with us to save us from sin.
    In your great love, draw us near.
  3. [Choir only] Where there are valleys of bones, dry as dust,
    Build up the body of Christ.
    Jesus, be with us, and help us to trust.
    Teach us a new way of life.

Responding to the Word

Ordination and Installation

Opening Words

There are different gifts,
but it is the same Spirit who gives them. 

There are different ways of serving God,
but it is the same Lord who is served. 

God works through different people in different ways,
but it is the same God who achieves God’s purpose through them all. 

Each one is given a different gift by the Spirit,
to use it for the common good. 

Together we are the body of Christ,
and individually members of him. 

Though we have different gifts,
together we are a ministry of reconciliation led by the risen Christ. 


Stephanie Stevens, Ruling Elder, class of 2027

Questions for the Officer-Elect

Questions for the Congregation

Q:     Do we, the members of the church, accept Stephanie as a ruling elder, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ?

A:     We do.

Q:     Do we agree to pray for her, to encourage her, to respect her decisions, and to follow as she guides us, serving Jesus Christ, who alone is Head of the Church?

A:     We do.

Call to Offering

Offering of Tithes and Gifts

OffertorY: “As Pants the Hart for Cooling Streams,” K. Lee Scott

As pants the hart for cooling streams when heated in the chase,
so longs my soul, O God, for thee and thy refreshing grace.

For thee, my God, the living God, my thirsty soul doth pine:
O when shall I behold thy face, thou Majesty divine?

Why restless, why cast down, my soul? Hope still, and thou shalt sing
the praise of him who is thy God, thy health’s eternal spring.

† 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

Through our offerings, O God, give your life-giving Spirit to a world in need of comfort, of justice, of transforming love. Make our many gifts one offering for the world, in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Prayers of the People & 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.

† Hymn #300, “They’ll Know We are Christians by our Love”

† Benediction

Postlude: Puer nobis nascitur, “Proclamation”, A setting by David Schelat


“Jesus, Be With Us,” a hymn for Matthew 25 churches in the PC(USA). TEXT: David Gambrell; MUSIC: David Gambrell, arr. Phillip Morgan, 2020.

Where the Broken Gather, Year B, Thom M. Shuman, 2014.

Feasting on the Word, Year B, vol. 1, Kimberly Bracken Long.

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

Worship Participants

Dorothy Boulton
Associate Pastor

Kathy Glennan
Video production

Marcellous Dixon-Grant
Worship Technical Director

Wendy Johnston
Organist and Assistant Director of Music

David Hutton

Greg Knauf
Director of Music

Vickie Lord
Social media support

Learning & Growing

Thursday Morning Bible Study

Next meeting on Thursday, May 2 | 10:30 a.m. in the Library

Thursday Morning Bible Study resumes for a special series that explores the Bible’s understanding of death. The Bible does not speak with one voice on this subject. Each week, we’ll study a different passage of scripture and related theological themes, supported by additional articles and reflection pieces to inform our discussions. View the full schedule and readings.

Realm Walkthrough

Sunday, April 28 at 9 a.m. in the Library | Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. on Zoom

These two identical sessions will cover the basics of Realm, like logging in, navigating around, signing up to serve, and accessing the directory. The May 7 session will be recorded and available for those who cannot attend either of the times synchronously.

Youth Group

Sunday, April 28 | 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall

Middle and high school youth will gather for games, snacks, and activities this evening.

Adult Education: Christian Nationalism

Sunday, May 5 at 9 a.m. in the Library | Led by Ken Kovacs

We take up an issue that we started to explore last November. Christian nationalism is a political ideology and cultural framework that seeks to merge American and Christian identities. The focus of our discussion will be Tim Alberta’s article in The Atlantic, “My Father, My Faith, and Donald Trump” (November 28, 2023), adapted from Alberta’s important new book The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in the Age of Extremism (Harper, 2023).

May 10 marks the 90th anniversary of the Barmen Declaration. Designed to prevent the capitulation of the churches to hostile cultural forces in the Nazi period of Germany, it has been accorded authoritative status throughout the Protestant world, including the PC(USA), for its emphasis on the centrality and all-sufficiency of Christ. We will hold Alberta’s article and Barmen in critical tension.

Read the articles

Adult Education: Belonging

Sunday, May 12 at 9 a.m. in the Library | Led by Ken Kovacs

Last fall, we kicked off our theme for the year: Connection and Belonging.  This Sunday, we bring our adult ed program to a close with a look back and reflection upon our theme.  We will focus on David French’s piece in the NYTimes from several weeks ago on friendship and learning to be present to those in need.

Read the article 


Fellowship Hour

Thank you to the Mission Committee for hosting today’s Fellowship Hour!

Ministry in the Presbytery

This morning, Ken Kovacs is preaching at Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church (DMPC). The congregation is beginning to search for a part-time transitional minister to help the congregation discern its future. Ken is on the Presbytery’s Commission on Ministry and serves as the liaison to DMPC.

Realm Signups Continue

Today is a Realm signup and picture day! Head over to the France Room following worship to update your contact information, receive your signup link, and take a photo for the pictorial directory. Blue fliers with additional information are in the front and rear of the sanctuary.

Baltimore International Seafarers Center (BISC)

As recovery efforts continue in the aftermath of the Key Bridge collapse, the Baltimore International Seafarers Center is responding to heightened needs. We’re grateful for the Mission Committee’s recent decision to give $4,000 to assist with recovery efforts.

Bridges to Housing Stability: Beans & Bags for Bridges

Join us on May 5 in a day of fun and community as we work to end homelessness through Bridges to Housing Stability’s Beans & Bags fundraiser! Enjoy chili, cornhole, a silent auction, and live music by local musicians. Chili tickets and cornhole registration are now available.

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