Home Worship for July 4, 2021 Independence Day

Thank you for worshiping with us from home.  Wherever you are, whenever you pray, and sing and open your heart to God this online worship tool can be here for you.


As we celebrate our nation's 245th birthday...here is an introduction to the declaration of independence.


Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the United State's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. 


Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths". Read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration at: (get URL).

Battle Hymn of the Republic Hymn #717

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The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"[11] 

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Freedom Prayer

Gracious God,

you have made all of the peoples of the earth for your glory.

You invite us to serve you in freedom and in peace.

Give to the people of our nation a zeal for justice

and the strength for forbearance,

that we may use our liberty

in accordance with your gracious will.

We ask this on a day of celebration,

a day of hope for a nation made free.

We ask this in the name of the one

who welcomes all to be free indeed.

Inspire us to live and worship in your freedom

and for the sake of your kingdom. Amen.


Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer

2 Corinthians 12:2-10 (NRSV)

2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep[a] me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.[b]

2 Corinthians 12:2-10 (NRSV) (con't)

 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me,  9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power[c] is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.


New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Song: America

by Neil Diamond and expression of the diversity and beauty of the United States of America

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Sermon for the 4th of July

Pastor Emily Denmark McGee

Lectionary Series


America is made strong in her vulnerability “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

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Hymn: This Is My Song #437

This is my song, O God of all the nations
A song of peace for lands afar and mine
This is my home, the country where my heart is
Here are my hopes and dreams, my holy shrine

But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine

But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine

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Blessing: A Prayer for America

God of many names,

You who has endowed us with the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,...

We gather holding a common value
That the glory of this country
rests first and foremost in its diversity.
Out of many ideas,
Out of many beliefs,
Out of many views,
Out of many voices,
Out of many passions,
Out of many experiences,
We are one.

Help us O God, to never forget
that we need not be alike
to live and love alike.

We ask for forgiveness this day
For our national and individual transgressions …
When we have chosen inaction or silence
in the face of injustice,
and abuse of power --
and our failure to claim our own.

We ask for forgiveness for
When we have not known our own neighbor, Fed our hungry, or equipped our future generation with Knowledge and love.

We ask for a blessing on this nation

according to our own faith and forms
And pledge our voice in support of moving closer and closer to freedom.

These and the prayers of our hearts we pray now in the silence...

In the names of those who have come before
And those who are yet to be, 
In the names of all of the helpers of humankind: Amen.


excerpted from A Prayer for America
By Tamara Lebak