The Church of ACTS - Act with Generosity

October 9, 2022
Pastor Donnie Sturgill
Stephanie Shorden

*Call to Worship
CLM Twinkle Gordon

Leader: Let us come to hear the stories of the people of God.
People: We come as individuals to hear the stories of the Church - the followers of Christ
Leader: Come, you who hunger and thirst.
People: May our hunger be satisfied, and our thirst be quenched with God’s word.
Leader: This is the day that the Lord has made.
People: We shall rejoice and be glad in it!
*Gathering Song
I Love to Tell the Story
UMH #156
WORDS: Katherine Hankey, ca. 1868
1. I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true; it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
2. I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams. I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; and that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
3. I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the story, for some have never heard the message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
4. I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, ’twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
Scripture Reading
Acts 5:1-11
CLM Twinkle Gordon
But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. “Ananias,” Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!” Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him.
After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.

Pastor Donnie Sturgill
Jenevieve Avalee Paxton Buitendorp
Pastor addresses the congregation and Family
Do you, as Christ’s body, part of the universal Church, reaffirm both your reliance on God to cleanse you and cover you in grace, and your commitment to Christ as your Lord and Savior?
People: We do.
Will you nurture Jenevieve as a beloved child of God and include her in your love, support and care as she lives and grows in her faith?
People: Jesus calls us to welcome children into the full life of community, opening our table and hearts to those most vulnerable. We promise our love, support and care to Jenevieve as she grows to learn to walk in the Way that leads to life.
Let us now join together in professing the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
Do you believe in God the Creator, the Giver of Life?
People: I believe in God.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ the Savior, the Redeemer of Life?
People: I believe in Christ.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit the Sustainer, the liberating wellspring of life?
People: I believe in the Holy Spirit.
Baptismal Prayer
The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Let us pray.
We thank You, God, for the gift of creation made known to us in water and word. Before the world had shape and form, Your Spirit moved over the waters. Out of the waters of the deep, You formed the firmament and brought forth the earth to sustain all life. In the time of Moses, Your people Israel passed through the waters of the Red Sea, from slavery to freedom and crossed the flowing Jordan to enter the Promised Land. You have come to us through water in the stories of Jesus who was nurtured in the water of Mary's womb, baptized by John in the water of the Jordan, and became Living Water to a woman at the Samaritan well. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and sent them forth to baptize with water and spirit.
God of Grace and Mercy, as we gather to baptize Jenevieve Avalee Paxton Buitendorp this morning, we ask that You pour out Your Holy Spirit to bless and transform this water of baptism, and Jenevieve who receives it.
Clothe her in righteousness all her life, so that, dying and being raised with Christ, she may share in the newness and completeness of life that You make possible. May Jenevieve always know your abiding presence and claim on her life.

Jenevieve Avalee, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit work within you, that being born through water and the Spirit you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ
People: Amen
Unison Prayer of Dedication
People: God of wonder and grace, we thank You for Your love we feel as a tangible presence with us this morning as we gather, making covenant promises. We pray that we all will have the grace to uphold the promises made here this day, providing a safe shelter of Your love in which Jenevieve may play, learn and grow. We pray that Jason and Nicole will continue to feel the sweet wonder of Your presence so transparent here today, and it will sustain them in their sacred journey of parenting. We pray that Jenevieve will grow in Your love as she makes her own life and journey of faith. Amen.
Now it is our joy to welcome our new sister in Christ.
People: Through baptism you are incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God’s new creation and made to share in Christ’s royal priesthood. We are all one in Christ Jesus. With joy and thanksgiving we welcome you as a member of the family of Christ.

Mystery Box  
Invitation to Prayer
Pastor Donnie Sturgill
Prayer Song
Just as I Am, Without One Plea
v. 3 UMH #357
WORDS: Charlotte Elliott, 1835
3. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Pastoral Prayer, Silent Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer
Pastor Donnie Sturgill
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 trespasses, as we forgive those to trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory forever.
Prayer Response
Just as I Am, Without One Plea      
v. 5 UMH #357
 WORDS: Charlotte Elliott, 1835
5. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Invitation to Offering
CLM Twinkle Gordon

Pagina d’album by Michele Mangani
Mark Rankin, Clarinet        
Prayer of Thanks & Dedication
Pastor Donnie Sturgill

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow
UMH #94
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise God, all creatures here below: Alleluia! Alleluia!  Praise God, the source of all our gifts! Praise Jesus Christ, whose power uplifts! Praise the Spirit, Holy Spirit! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Scripture Reading
Acts 16:1-15
CLM Twinkle Gordon
Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers and sisters in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
We therefore set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the Sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.
Joy in the Morning by Natalie Sleeth
Sanctuary Choir

Prayer for Illumination                    
Leader: May the words of my mouth,
People: and the meditations of all of our hearts
All: be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our rock and our redeemer.
Psalm 19:14
The Church of ACTS—ACT with Generosity
Pastor Donnie Sturgill
*Affirmation of Faith
CLM Twinkle Gordon
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is the one true church, apostolic and universal, whose holy faith let us now declare:

We believe in God as creator and parent, infinite in wisdom, power, and love, whose mercy is over all creation, and whose will is directed toward the good of all people.  
We believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of man, the gift of the Creator’s unfailing grace, the ground of our hope, and the promise of our deliverance from sin and death.
We believe in the Holy Spirit as the divine presence of God in our lives, whereby we are kept in perpetual remembrance of the truth of Christ, and find strength and help in time of need.
We believe that our faith is lived out in the service of love and that we are co-creators of God’s world.
We are the People of God.
We are St. Paul's United Methodist Church,
Celebrating the Love of God,
following the teachings of Christ,
Building a better world,
and living in the Power of the Spirit.
*Sending Hymn
Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee
v. 1-3, 5, 6 UMH #562
 WORDS: Charles Wesley, 1749
1. Jesus, Lord, we look to thee; let us in thy name agree; show thyself the Prince of Peace, bid our strife forever cease.
2. By thy reconciling love every stumbling block remove; each to each unite, endear; come, and spread thy banner here.
3. Make us of one heart and mind, gentle, courteous, and kind, lowly, meek, in thought and word, altogether like our Lord.
5. Free from anger and from pride, let us thus in God abide; all the depths of love express,
all the heights of holiness.
6. Let us then with joy remove to the family above; on the wings of angels fly, show how true believers die.
Fall Clean Up Day,
Pumpkin Carving/Community Dinner
Trunk or Treat
Pastor Donnie Sturgill

Stephanie Shorden
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