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Choir members singing in red robes

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

  • Date: Sunday, June 25, 2023
  • Time: 9:30am10:30am
  • Location: Fellowship Hall

June 25, 2023 | Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

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“His Eye is on the Sparrow” arr. Phillip Keveren

Call to Worship

(The congregation responds aloud with the bold text)

The God of heaven has made a home on earth,
Christ dwells among us and is one with us.

Highest of all creation, Christ lives among the least,
Christ journeys with the rejected and welcomes the weary.

Come now all who thirst
and drink the water of life.

Come now all who hunger
and be filled with good things.

Come now all who seek
and be warm by the fire of love.

Let us worship God!

Hymn #301, “Let Us Build a House”

1. Let us build a house where love can dwell
and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell
how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions:

all are welcome; all are welcome; all are welcome in this place.

2. Let us build a house where prophets speak,
and words are strong and true,
where all God’s children dare to seek
to dream God’s reign anew.
Here the cross shall stand as witness
and as symbol of God’s grace;
here as one we claim the faith of Jesus: (Refrain)

3. Let us build a house where love is found
in water, wine, and wheat;
a banquet hall on holy ground
where peace and justice meet.
Here the love of God, through Jesus,
is revealed in time and space;
as we share in Christ the feast that frees us: (Refrain)

4. Let us build a house where hands will reach
beyond the wood and stone
to heal and strengthen, serve and teach,
and live the Word they’ve known.
Here the outcast and the stranger
bear the image of God’s face;
let us bring an end to fear and danger: (Refrain)

5. Let us build a house where all are named,
their songs and visions heard
and loved and treasured,
taught and claimed as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter,
prayers of faith and songs of grace;
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: (Refrain)

Prayer of Adoration

Call To Confession

Prayer of Confession

O God of life, of all life and of each life, we lay our lives before you. We give our lives to you, from whom nothing in us is hidden.

You are before us, God, you are behind.
You are around us, God, you are within.

O God of life, you know the secret thoughts of every heart.

We bring the faith that is in us, and the doubt;
We bring the joy that is in us, and the sorrow.

O God of life, you are the light, and in the darkness,

We bring the knowledge that is in us, and the ignorance;
We bring the hope that is in us, and the despair.

O God of life, O generous Spirit,

Renew us with your life.

Silent prayer of confession.

Assurance of Pardon

Response of Praise: Hymn #435, “There’s a Wideness In God’s Mercy”

1. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment given.

2. For the love of God is broader
than the measures of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we would gladly trust God’s Word,
and our lives reflect thanksgiving
for the goodness of our Lord.

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.

Scripture: Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and night wraps itself around me,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.

Hymn: “With Open Hearts”

With open hearts, open arms, open minds
There is welcome in this place, there is welcome in this space,
There is welcome with embrace with open hearts.

1. A place of caring and acceptance,
Openness and trust,
Actions that are just.
All are welcome here,
A place of belonging.

2 A place of risking and affirming,
Radical and bold,
No one fits a mold.
All are welcome here,
A place of inclusions.

3 A place for healing and releasing
Brokenness and pain,
Hurt that’s been sustained.
All are welcome here,
A place for receiving.

4 A place to question and to wonder,
Liberating views,
Relevant and new.
All are welcome here,
A place for engaging.

Scripture Reading: Luke 24:1-35

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to the hands of sinners and be crucified and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem, and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Sermon: “Uncalculating Love,” Kenneth E. Kovacs

Prayer for Pride Sunday (From the Disciples of Christ LGBTQ+ Alliance)

God of love,

Sanctify this space today.

Sanctify our own sacred and holy spaces — the tables where we find you, the closets where we find ourselves in you, the relationships where we come to know you more.

Make the spaces where each of us finds ourselves today a reflection of your love and grace.

God of rainbows,

Today we celebrate the many colors by which we all gather:
The colors that shape our identities
The colors that make up our flags
The many colors that make up our bodies.

Let us find that each of these shades is a reflection of your love for us.

God of peace and justice,

As we remember the struggle that unites us in our heritage,
let us not forget that this fight is not over.

While we celebrate today, remind us that tomorrow there is still work to be done, not only in our community, but in too many marginalized communities.

Let our love extend like your love, well beyond our own created borders.

God of grace,

May we find grace as abundant as yours in learning from each other.
May we find the grace to make mistakes and to continue learning.
May we find the grace to radically expand our welcomes.
May we find grace to breathe in slowly, and know we are filled with enough.

Call to Offering

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Offertory: “There is a Balm in Gilead,” by Philip Keveren

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

We thank you, God, that you have blessed us with an abundance of gifts for the flourishing of your world. May this offering of our lives and labor reveal your love as we seek to share your love with all people. 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 #726: “Will You Come and Follow Me?”

1. “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown; will you let my name be known;
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?”

2. “Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?”

3. “Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean, and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?”

4. “Will you love the ‘you’ you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?”

5. Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.



“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” arr. Philip Keveren


  • Dorothy L. Boulton, Associate Pastor
  • Keith and Kathy Glennan, Ruling Elders, video production
  • Wendy Johnston, Organist and Associate Director of Music
  • Greg Knauf, Director of Music
  • Kenneth E. Kovacs, Pastor
  • Melissa Lambdin, Ruling Elder, liturgist
  • Vickie Lord, Social media support
  • Dottie Marshall, Sanctuary set up


  • Book of Common Worship (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018)
  • Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
  • The Iona Community Abbey Worship Book: Services of the Iona Community (Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 2001).
  • Presbyterian Outlook, Teri McDowell Ott (2023).
  • 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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