Presbyterian Church of the Covenant



October 1, 2023






PRELUDE:                     Hymn To Joy                           M. Burkhardt               P. Fullerton      


THE GATHERING                                                                                               

 One:   Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

Many:  I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us.

One:  We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Many:  In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.  He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap.

One:    In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all night long with a fiery light.

ALL:     He split rocks open in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.  He made streams come out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down like rivers.                                                                                                    Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16                                       



* HYMN:  # 473                       For the Beauty of the Earth




PRAYER OF CONFESSION:       Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.  We have failed to be an obedient church.  We have not done your will, we have broken your law, we have rebelled against your love.  We have not loved our neighbors, and we have refused to hear your cry for peace in the church and the world.  Forgive us we pray.  Free us for joyful obedience; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.                    (A MOMENT FOR SILENT CONFESSION)




OLD TESTAMENT LESSON:      Exodus 17:1-7                                      NRSV

17From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”


ANTHEM:                                 Communion Prayer                           Berta & Sonja Poorman


GOSPEL LESSON                      Matthew 21:23-32                                             NRSV

23When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.



SERMON:                                                           Rev. Michael Mansperger           



Words of Invitation

Words of Institution

Sharing the Bread and Sharing the Cup           (We partake together)

Prayer of Gratitude and The Lord’s Prayer                       




OFFERTORY:   Oh Sing to the Lord                 Brazilian folk melody                      Dr. Zirpoli 


*DOXOLOGY:   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.  





*HYMN # 275                               God of Our Life                                    


POSTLUDE:         Song of Hope                        Argentine folk melody                  Dr. Zirpoli

                                               Please remain seated for the postlude.



Prayers:  Carol Hartz, Jane Pyle, Herman and Marian Wissenberg, Anna Fox, Onie Morse, Barbara Gerhardt, Norma Lewis, Marilyn Gabriel, Clark and Barbara Niepert,  James Pratt and Barbara’s sister Faye, Binnie Trimble, Judy Bremer’s family, Bob Harrod, David and Mary Owen, Curt and Nancy Hood, Eddie Ruby, Ron and Jean Cota, Linda Page and her son Ryan, Fred and Ellen Hummel and their daughter Cynthia, Ken Angotti, Our nation and its leaders, Roots Nature Leadership Academy; Pam our mission coworker.


FLOWERS:  From Carol Taylor to the Glory of God.

There are dates available to order Flowers.  Please take a look.



OCTOBER BIRTHDAYS:  Barbara Niepert 1st, Joyce Ruby 3rd, Binnie Trimble 6th, Shelia Bacon 11th, Marilyn Brown 12th, Carol Hartz 16th, Ron Adams 28th, Gerry Bacon 28th, Linda Page 29th, June Buck 30th.


COFFEE HOUR:   Birthday cake.


CHOIR PRACTICE:   WEDNESDAY rehearsals at 1:00 pm.


KNIT & SEW:    Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 11:00 am.


Clothes Closet Volunteers are needed to work Fridays and Saturdays.  The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board.


Pastor 941-445-5508                            Rev. Michael R. Mansperger 

Office Assistant   941-922-5509                                   Alice Sherwin

Director of Music                                              Michele James Pruyne          Pianist/Accompanist                                                  Dr. Danny Zirpoli

Organist                                                         Ms. Priscilla Fullerton          



Phone (941) 922-5509;  FAX (941) 925-4040