"Marked Indelibly for?"


we gather in god's name



Did I offer peace today?  Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?  Did I offer words of healing?  Did I let go of my anger and resentment?  Did I forgive?  Did I love?  These are the real questions.  I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.

~Henri Nouwen


PRELUDE  |||   On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry  |||    Lyndell Leatherman

*CALL TO WORSHIP  |||   Based on Psalm 25

Make your ways known to us, Lord; teach us your paths.

Lead us in your truth—teach it to us—because you are the God who saves us.

We put my hope in you all day long.

Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love—they are forever!

*HYMN 688  |||    Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart  |||   Morecambe


God of Spirit and fire: baptized, we have not done a good job as your people.  We are drawn to the shadows of sin, hoping you will not see our foolishness.  We fall into the arms of temptation, letting it spin us until we are out of control.  We selfishly cling to your hope and grace, convinced that others will misuse these gifts.

Forgive us, Bearer of Grace.  Touch us with your Spirit, so we may be restored to new life; touch us with your grace, so we may offer forgiveness to all people; touch us with your peace, so we might be healers to our world.  This we pray in the name of the One who went into the waters of baptism to cleanse us of sin, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

    (a time of silence)




We expect the fire of judgment, but are given the Spirit of grace; we expect God to yell at us, but we are called by a new name; we expect God to stay angry, but we are handed the dove of peace.  This is the good news for us! Thanks be to God.  Amen.

*THE GLORIA  |||   581


The peace of Christ be with you

          And also with you.


Reading of Covenant of Closure

MOMENT WITH OUR CHILDREN  |||   Rev. Dudley J. Elvery



FIRST SCRIPTURE READING  |||   Isaiah 43:1-7  |||   CEB

But now, says the Lord—the one who created you, Jacob, the one who formed you, Israel: Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched and flame won’t burn you. 3I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. 4Because you are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you. I give people in your place, and nations in exchange for your life. 5Don’t fear, I am with you. From the east I’ll bring your children; from the west I’ll gather you. 6I’ll say to the north, “Give them back!” and to the south, “Don’t detain them.” Bring my sons from far away, and my daughters from the end of the earth,7everyone who is called by my name and whom I created for my glory, whom I have formed and made.

SPECIAL MUSIC  |||   Breathe on Me, Breath of God  |||   Mark Hayes 

SECOND SCRIPTURE READING  |||   Luke 3:15-22  |||   CEB

15The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. 16 John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” 18With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people. 19But Herod the ruler had been criticized harshly by John because of Herodias, Herod’s brother’s wife, and because of all the evil he had done. 20He added this to the list of his evil deeds: he locked John up in prison. 21When everyone was being baptized, Jesus also was baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened 22and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form like a dove. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

 The Word of the Lord

 Thanks be to God!

SERMON   |||    "Marked Indelibly for?" |||    Rev. Dudley J. Elvery


*HYMN 69  |||   I, the Lord of Sea and Sky  |||   Here I Am (Schutte)

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH  |||   from the Confession of 1967 9.51

By humble submission to John’s baptism, Christ joined himself to men in their need and entered upon his ministry of reconciliation in the power of the spirit.  Christian baptism marks the receiving of the same Spirit by all his people.  Baptism with water represents not only cleansing from sin but a dying with Christ and a joyful rising with him to new life.  It commits all Christians to die each day to sin and to live for righteousness.  In baptism the church celebrates the renewal of the covenant with which God has bound his people to himself.  By baptism, individuals are publicly received into the church to share in its life and ministry, and the church becomes responsible for their training and support in Christian discipleship.  When those baptized are infants, the congregation, as well as the parents, has a special obligation to nurture them in the Christian life, leading them to make, by a public profession, a personal response to the love of God shown forth in their baptism.



…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. 


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 whose will is brought about through them all.

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

Together we are the body of Christ. And individually members of it. 

Pastor: We are all called into the church of Jesus Christ by baptism, and marked as Christ’s own by the Holy Spirit. This is our common calling, to be disciples and servants of our servant Lord.  Within the community of the church, some are called to particular service as trustees.  Others are called to service as ruling elders and as teaching elders.  Ordination is Christ’s gift to the church, assuring that his ministry continues among us, providing for ministries of stewardship of property, caring and compassion in the world, ordering the governance of the church, and preaching the Word and administering the sacraments.

Ruling Elder: James Foster III, Charlene Hansen, and Janet Wahl have been elected to serve as Trustees of the church.  We wish to recognize the responsibility they have accepted.

Pastor: Friends, God has given you special gifts for service, and we have chosen you for a special work.  By your energy, honesty, and diligence you will demonstrate Christian faith to those you deal with on our behalf.


Are you willing to be installed as a Trustee?    I am.

Do you promise to give the property affairs of this congregation your devoted attention, to encourage generosity, and, in all your dealings, work to further our service of Christ in the world?    I do.

Ruling Elder: Representing the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, the Session of First Presbyterian Church installs to active service those who have been previously ordained as ruling elders Kathleen O’Hanlon, Sylvia Tufts and to ordain and install Kimberly Hamilton.


Pastor: God has called you by the voice of the church to serve Jesus Christ in a special way.  You know who we are and what we believe, and you understand the work for which you have been chosen. 

DO YOU TRUST in Jesus Christ, your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?    I do.

DO YOU ACCEPT the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s word to you?     I do. 

DO YOU SINCERELY RECEIVE AND ADOPT the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our Church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those Confessions as you lead the people of God? I do and I will.

WILL YOU FULFILL your ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture and be continually guided by our confessions?       I will.

WILL YOU BE GOVERNED by our Church’s polity, and will you abide by its discipline?  Will you be a friend among your colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit?      I will.

WILL YOU IN YOUR OWN LIFE WORK to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love your neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world?      I will.

DO YOU PROMISE to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church?      I do.

WILL YOU PRAY FOR AND SEEK TO SERVE the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?     I will.

WILL YOU BE A FAITHFUL RULING ELDER, watching over the people, providing for their worship, nurture, and service?  Will you share in government and discipline, serving in councils of the Church, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?     I will.


Ruling Elder: DO WE, MEMBERS of the church, accept the persons before us, as ruling elders, or trustees, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation, to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ?      We do.

DO WE AGREE to pray for them, to encourage them, to respect their decisions, and to follow as they guide us, serving Jesus Christ, who alone is Head of the Church?     We do. 



(All ordained ruling elders and teaching elders in the PC(USA) are invited to come forward to pray with our officers-elect.)


You are now ruling elders and trustees in the Church of Jesus Christ and for this congregation.  Be faithful and true in your ministry so that your whole life will bear witness to the crucified and risen Christ.  Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Amen. 



Accept, O Lord, the offerings we bring with the same humility that Jesus showed at his baptism.  Just as you poured out your spirit on him, pour out your spirit on these offerings and us so that they and we may be blessed and bountiful.  Amen.

OFFERTORY  |||   When Jesus Came to Jordan  |||   C.E. Waltz

*DOXOLOGY  606   |||    Old Hundredth

          Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

          Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen.


You have given us many gifts, O God.  See in these tangible offerings our commitment to use all our gifts for you, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


*HYMN (1990 Hymnal)  |||   We Gather Here to Bid Farewell           


*PRAYER OF BLESSING  |||   from St. Patrick

We arise today through the strength of heaven;

Light of the sun, Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind,

Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth,

Firmness of the rock.

We arise today through God's strength to pilot us;

God's might to uphold us, God's wisdom to guide us,

God's eye to look before us, God's ear to hear us,

God's word to speak for us, God's hand to guard us,

God's way to lie before us, God's shield to protect us,

God's hosts to save us afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today against wounding

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ in me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.

We arise today

Through the mighty strength of the Lord of creation.  Amen.


POSTLUDE  |||   Benediction Medley  |||    Mark Hayes 

Rev. Dudley J. Elvery II, Interim Pastor

Mrs. Mary Ann Wenzelman, Interim Organist/Pianist

Worship Liturgist: Rod Dunlap

Usher: Laura Dillman

Next Sunday we welcome back to the pulpit Chaplain Mike Welf, Moderator of the Presbytery of Chicago, Elder at First Presbyterian Chicago Heights and Chaplain for the Chicago Heights Fire Department, as our preacher.

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