The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury

July 17, 2022
9:30 am



Faithful God, we come into Your presence with thanksgiving, deeply grateful for the unfailing love and faithfulness You have shown toward us, Your people. When we call out to You, You answer. When we are exhausted, You give us the strength to go on. When we find ourselves in trouble, You are there, standing beside us. And so we come before You gratitude and praise, offering You the worship of our hearts and lives. Open our eyes to see and know You here among us; open our ears to recognize Your voice. And then send us out from here, to live and work in the world as Your faithful disciples. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. 



The buzz of the world interrupts our lives and fills our ears
Call us into Your way of life, O God
The complaints of others settle in our mind and cloud our vision
Lead us into Your vision of life, O God
The cries of the poor, the oppressed and the outcast pierce our hearts
Guide us in Your example of living for others, O God
Fill our hearts, fill our eyes, fill our ears with Your love, O God
Let us be Your hands and feet in the world, O God.
Let us worship You together.

*HYMN No. 35 “Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty”

1 Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near;
join me in glad adoration!

2 Praise ye the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
granted in what he ordaineth?

3 Praise ye the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the amen sound from his people again;
gladly for aye we adore him.


Do not be afraid! Whatever you fear, God is ready to take away from you; whatever you have said, God is ready to speak mercy to you; whatever you have done, God is ready to forgive you. Please join me as we pray to the One whose steadfast love endures forever.


God enthroned in heaven: most of us would not consider ourselves to be holy. We think of others as inconveniences or intrusions, not as sisters or brothers. We look at others with pride or spite, not through the eyes of compassion. We are so
busy listening to ourselves, we cannot hear the anguish and loneliness of our neighbors. Forgive us, God enthroned in our hearts. You have set us apart so we might be a partner with hurting people. We belong to your Kingdom so we might bring others in to live with us. We would risk following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who first risked calling us as disciples.

Silence is observed


The Holy One become wholly human so we might know love. The One enthroned on high endured the Cross so we might have life. Believe this good news: we are forgiven!
By God’s grace, we are who we are: forgiven and restored people. Thanks be to God.

*RESPONSE No. 581 “Glory Be To the Father”

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.


Since God has forgiven us in Christ, let us forgive one another. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you.




Loving God, you have called forth disciples and prophets to live and speak your word. Give us ears to hear, lives to respond, and voices to proclaim the good news of salvation, which we know in our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 


5Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.




SERMON                  “Get Off The Beach”                       Bruce Main

Commentary and Liturgy provided by Heather A. Moody, Thom M. Shuman, Mindi Welton-Mitchell and Christine Longhurst


A portion of the Brief Statement of Faith

We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God.  Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed  and blessing the children, healing the sick  and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.  Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition, Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world.  God raised this Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal. Amen.

*HYMN No. 853 “We Are Marching in the Light of God”

We are marching in the light of God;
we are marching in the light of God.

We are marching in the light of God;
we are marching in the light of God.

We are dancing . . .
We are praying . . .
We are singing . . .


God of the sacred and the mundane, your presence is needed among your people. Dirty dishes are piling up, the trash needs to be taken out, book club is meeting at our house, and we’ve got no appetizers to serve. We are worried and distracted by many things, God. May we sit here at your feet for a moment? May we breathe with you and pray with you and enjoy a little silence? May we remind ourselves of our one need, considering our many tasks? Yes? Oh, thank you, great God of holy invitation. We praise you for this sacred stillness.

Prince of Peace, our world is broken by violence and our hearts torn with lament. Rage burns hot among those whose rights are violated and stripped away. Power is abused by those not seeking the path of righteousness, but the path of profiting off others’ pain. The values of our world are upside down, aiding the rich and punishing the poor. God of the downtrodden, strengthen us for the work of your kin-dom. Recalibrate our world with equity. Balance the scales of justice so all might thrive.

Giver of live, lover of unity, you draw us together in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. But we strain against one another and resist the call to community. In this day of division, help us to work together and build bridges for the good of us all. May our relationships breed trust and dispel past hurts. Lead us in the work of reconciliation, setting aside personal and petty grievances, listening to each other in love. We are your people, and this is Christ’s church. Bless us, Holy God, through this community.

In your mercy, Beloved God, hear these prayers of your people. Now, as the Body of Christ, we pray as Christ taught us, “Our Father, who art in heaven …”.

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.


Today’s flowers are given in the glory and honor of God by Linda Blackwell in memory of Dr. Daniel Blackwell.


And now, not because we have to, but because we are grateful, let us return to God what is ours to share. Let us joyfully offer our time, our treasure, our commitment, our prayers.



Praise God, from whom all blessing flow, Praise God, all creatures here below.  Alleluia, Alleluia Praise God in Jesus fully known; Creator, Word, and Spirit one. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. 


God, thank you, thank you, thank you – for your grace, for this community of faith, for the gifts of our lives. Bless these offerings today that they might be used to further your reign of righteousness here and now. Work through each of us and through the ministries of this congregation that we might glorify you in all we do. Amen.

*HYMN No. 22 “God of the Sparrow”

1 God of the sparrow
God of the whale
God of the swirling stars
How does the creature say Awe
How does the creature say Praise

2 God of the earthquake
God of the storm
God of the trumpet blast
How does the creature cry Woe
How does the creature cry Save

3 God of the rainbow
God of the cross
God of the empty grave
How does the creature say Grace
How does the creature say Thanks

4 God of the hungry
God of the sick
God of the prodigal
How does the creature say Care
How does the creature say Life

5 God of the neighbor
God of the foe
God of the pruning hook
How does the creature say Love
How does the creature say Peace

6 God of the ages
God near at hand
God of the loving heart
How do your children say Joy
How do your children say Home



Go forth from this place refreshed and empowered to do the ministry to which God calls you:  Travel lightly, for you carry within you all that you need.   Notice God’s presence in simple, everyday experiences.  Whenever opportunity arises, labor for the good of all.  And the blessing and joy of God, our Creator, Healer, and Life-Giver go with you today and always. Amen.

Dr. Bruce Main is the founder and president of UrbanPromise. Establishing the first summer camp in the city of Camden in 1988 at the age of 25. His many UrbanPromise roles have included camp director and executive director, as well as the visionary creator of UrbanPromise’s satellite locations in Wilmington, DE; Miami, FL; Trenton, NJ; Toronto, ON; Birmingham, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; Copán, Honduras; and Lilongwe, Malawi.


Bruce Main headshot

Bruce speaks nationally and internationally at mission conferences, colleges, churches, and business seminars. He and UrbanPromise are featured regularly in local media outlets and were highlighted on Diane Sawyer’s 20/20 special “Waiting on the World to Change.”

Bruce is an adjunct faculty member at Eastern University and co-authored the book Revolution & Renewal:  How Churches Are Saving Our Cities with Dr. Tony Campolo, professor emeritus at Eastern and renowned sociologist and Christian leader. Bruce has also authored If Jesus Were A Sophomore: Discipleship for College Students, If Jesus Were A Senior: Last Minute Preparations for a Life of Discipleship, Spotting the Sacred: Finding God in Unlikely Places, and Holy Hunches: Responding to the Promptings of God, The Promise Effect, and his first children’s book – The Water Barrel.

Bruce graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. He received his Master’s in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. He lives with his wife Pamela and has three grown children.