Seeking Higher Ground

January 10, 2021

First Sunday after Epiphany
Baptism of Christ



Call to Worship: Psalm 29
Leader: Give to our God, O heavenly beings, Give to our God glory and strength.
Response Give to our God a glorious name; worship our God in holy splendor.
Leader: The voice of our God is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
Response: The voice of our God is powerful;
the voice of our God is full of majesty.
Leader: The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Our God breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
Response God makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
Leader: The voice of our God flashes forth flames of fire.
Response: The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; Our God shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
Leader: The voice of our God causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in God’s temple all say, “Glory!”
Response: The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; Our God sits enthroned as ruler forever.
Leader: May our God give strength to the people! May the Lord bless the people with peace!

“All Hail the Pow’r of Jesus’ Name!”
All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
(Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!)2x

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
(Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all!)2x

Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
(To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all!)2x

Creating, Calling, and Faithful God, we come to this time and place to be with you, to worship you, and to learn from you.May our time together be like your creation of light
in the darkness that you called good.
May it be that you would call us good
while we respond to your call
and as we listen to you. Amen.

People of God, we desire to be refreshed, renewed and changed. Let us listen again to God’s calling our names to encourage us and strengthen our resolve to be God’s people in faithfulness and peace-loving justice.

O God, we hear your voice
and we see the way of Jesus set before us.
But it’s hard, dear God, to try again and again
to live up to our baptismal vows and maintain our resolve to be your people in the world.
In repentance we ask you to forgive us. Set us once again on a holy path that leads to you. Amen.

Friends, God hears our prayers and sets before us the way of Jesus. God calls us and gives us enough grace and mercy to follow the way.
Thanks be to God.


Oh, that with yonder sacred throng,
We at His feet may fall!
(We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all!)2x




Baptism and Renewal of Baptismal Vows
Introduction (Minister)
Our God created new life forms and brought them up from the waters of chaos, embraced them, and called them good. Jesus, baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist, became living water for us and embraces all of us. Jesus embraces those who are poor, oppressed, marginalized and all others who come seeking. We follow Jesus with our Baptism, marking a starting place for new life and new ways of being. We join Jesus in love and service. Let us prepare our hearts and minds to see, feel, and hear again the vows of Baptism.

Renewal of Baptismal Promises
(from Book of Worship)

Minister: Do you renew and affirm the promises made at your Baptism?

Response: I do.

Minister: Do you recognize the call of God to be God’s people always?

Response: I do.

Minister: Do you embrace the way of Jesus in faith and ministry?

Response: I do

Minister: Do you accept the nurture of the Holy Spirit who renews your spirit each day?

Response: I do.

Minister: Do you accept and embrace others who seek a liberating faith in God?

Response: I do

Minister: In renewing your baptismal vows,
remember your Baptism as a mark of acceptance and welcome into the care of Christ’s church where you may begin again your Christian faith and life.

A Unison Prayer:
O God, we rejoice in your grace, given and received. We thank you that you claim us,
that you wash us, strengthen us, and guide us,
that you empower us to live a life worthy of our calling. In the way of Jesus, make us as water in a dry and thirsty world. Establish us to be places of refreshment.Root us and nurture us in love, that with all your people,
that we may rightly and justly serve you. Fill us with your fullnessthat our lives may overflow in service and love. Amen.

Let us now offer to God what are God’s:
our offerings of ourselves through the offerings of the substance and fruits of our labors.


Faithful God,
Bless us in our baptismal calling to be in ministry of showing hospitality to others.
We offer the gifts that we have been given
to be used not for conquest and dominance,
but for use in liberating the poor and hurting people who pray for our liberation as well as their own.Receive and multiply our gifts for life-giving ministry. Amen.

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry,
Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer


Thank you, God, for blessing us with memories of Jesus baptism and ours. Thank you for removing our reluctance, doubt, and fears,
for replacing them with courage and commission. We go forth with your calling, direction, and blessing. Amen.

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