St. Paul
United Church of Christ
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Eric  Stricklin
Eric Stricklin
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Digital Bulletin
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“A Setting of "Brightest and Best"  arr. Mark Hayes”

played by Dr. Martha Folts


Welcome and Brief Announcements



 God of our weary years and God of our silent tears,

thou who has brought us thus far on the way, we invite your presence into our midst as we pay tribute to all who have labored for justice, equality and love. We pray that in this moment you would strengthen us to continue to fight for the fulfillment of the dream that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently laid out on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Help us to labor so that every valley is exalted, every hill and mountain made low,

the rough places are plain, and the crooked places made straight so that the glory of the Lord is revealed,

and all flesh see it together. Let your love guide us to see one another as fully human with diverse hues, colors, ethnicities and cultures, and respect the content of their character. Let your spirit strengthen us for the fight of today and tomorrow until all God’s children can say with full conviction, “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God All-Mighty, I’m free at last.” Amen.


Call to Worship

Let it be known and proclaimed! Let this truth sink into the depths of your being:

The presence of God receives us as we are.

Our questions. Our pain. Our stories unfinished and memories held close.

There is a love to hold it all.


Quieting the noise of shame.

Casting out words of “not enough.”

The voice of God says, “Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.”


Hymn: "Brightest and Best”

played by Dr. Martha Folts



Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18


Prayer of Confession

O God, we as broken creatures have fallen short of all that has been required of us. Whereas you looked at your beloved creation and said “it is good”, we have at times looked at that same creation and rejected its beauty and inherent goodness. We have looked at the color of one another’s skin and assigned beauty and worth based on its hue. We have felt the texture of one another’s hair

and determined what is good and what is damaged.

We have examined one another’s frame and labeled it as human or “other”. We have fallen short of being family and each other’s keeper but,

Deep in my heart, I do believe that we shall overcome some day.

But today is a new day full of opportunities to try again.

What was left undone yesterday can be completed today. We can turn from the sins of neglect and dishonesty, and prayerfully move towards reconciliation and mutual respect. The realization that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”, forces me to be concerned about what happens to my neighbor. And so,

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe we shall live in peace some day.


Invitation to Silence


Words of Assurance

One: By God’s grace through Jesus Christ we are restored, equipped, and called, to be stewards of Good News for all people. Let us take our next steps, transformed by this grace.

All: Thanks be to God. Amen.


Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, Amen.


Hebrew Bible Lesson:

1 Samuel 3:1-20

Gospel Lesson:

John 1:43-51


Musical Interlude

Sermon “Called” Rev. Eric M. Stricklin

Prayer Concerns, Pastoral Prayer, 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, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.


Closing Hymn “Lift Every Voice & Sing” played by Martha Folts


Let us now go forth into the world in peace, being of good courage, holding fast to that which is good, rendering unto no one evil for evil, strengthening the faint hearted, supporting the weak, helping the afflicted, serving all people, loving and serving God, and rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God. Amen.



Improvisation on "Lauda Anima" (Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven)

played by Dr. Martha Folts