Curious. Caring. Classic.
Spartanburg's First Church, Founded 1837

We welcome everyone to join in worship
through our live stream Sunday mornings
at 9:00 am on the church's Facebook page.
You can also find the service at a later time
on the church's website. 

Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, we will continue worshipping outdoors at 9:00 AM. We will worship between the parking garage and the Education Building around the portico. We will provide some chairs, but please feel free to bring your own chair.
Letter from Paige Wolfe, Minister of Christian Education and Programs

This week marks the first week of school for Spartanburg schools. Students are beginning the year in classrooms, on computers, or some combination of both. There is a newness to the schedule, routine, and environment for learning. There is no doubt that this year looks different than most. Yet, in the midst of change, we continue to mark the first day of school with pictures. We buy school supplies. We sharpen pencils. We interject normalcy into this new reality.

As I have prepared for the school year ahead with my children, I have found that this year calls for more than school supplies, a good internet connection, and new clothes. This year calls for us to remember God’s everlasting presence. This year calls for prayer. This year calls for a peace that passes understanding.

In our present reality, there are many things that are different about the school year ahead. While we take comfort in glimpses of normalcy, let us ground ourselves in the hope that God is with us.  It is my hope and prayer that despite the unknown, we can find ourselves in a place of peace.

As we enter into a new year of learning, I invite you to pray this prayer with me.

Thank you, God, for new opportunities to learn and grow whether it be in
an actual classroom, a virtual classroom, or from our homes.

Be with our teachers, leaders, caregivers, and administrators as they guide us into the
new school year. Give them the tools and energy to create engaging ways
for all of us to learn and grow.

Help us to open our hearts and minds to new ideas, new friends and
leaders, and new ways of learning.

Show us how to seek joy in all things.

When things don’t go as planned, help us rejoice in the newness. When we
have technical difficulties, help us rejoice in simple things like books and crayons.
When we feel lonely or isolated, remind us that you are by our side.
When our teachers and caregivers seem worried and wary, help them to be
gentle with themselves.

As we begin to explore the unknown of this school year, let us rejoice
with new friends, in new ways of learning, in knowing that you are
with us through it all.

God of joy and light, pour out your blessing upon these students, families,
teachers, and leaders. Bless their backpacks, Chromebooks and computers, virtual classrooms, school buildings, and all preparations that help build a strong and safe
year for everyone.

May each of you be a blessing and light in your new year!
Go and light up the world!


Prayer written by Kari Morgan

Order of Worship for Sunday, August 23, 2020
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Lectionary: Exodus 1:8-Chapter 2: vs. 10
Romans 12:1-8; Gospel of Matthew 16:13-20

Rev. Paige M. Wolfe, Liturgist
Tom Norrell, Preacher

Greeting and Announcements
Choral Introit

Call to Worship:
Minister: This is the day that the Lord has made.
People: We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Minister: This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.
People: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Opening Prayer

Confession of Faith

We believe in the one God, creator and sustainer of all things, the source of all goodness and beauty, all truth and love.

We believe in Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, our teacher, example, and Redeemer, the Savior of the world. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, God present with us for guidance, for comfort, and for strength.
We believe in the forgiveness of sins, in the life of love and prayer, and in grace equal to every need.

We believe in the Word of God found in the scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

We believe in the church, we who are united in the living Lord for the purpose of worship and service.

We believe in the reign of God as the divine will realized in human society, and in the family of God, where we are all brothers and sisters. 

We believe in the final triumph of righteousness and in the life everlasting. Amen. 

Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 1:8-2:10
Epistle Lesson: Romans 12:1-8

*Gospel Lesson: Matthew 16:13-20

Pastoral Prayer: The Lord's Prayer

Special Music
Sermon: Who Do We Think You Are by Tom Norrell, Pastor
Response to the Word:
Lord, send us out in travail and hardship so we might restore life. Lord, push us out beyond our comfort that we might share your peace that passes understanding. Redeem the years we believe we have lost and the hopes that seem dim and distant, and restore our sense of purpose as we recognize your hand in our lives as individuals and as a congregation. We confess to you our doubts. We proclaim to you our faith. Amen.


Choral Response

Postlude: Brian Dailey, pianist  

*Please stand for the reading of the Gospel.

You are invited to join the Upper Room Sunday school class on
Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM on Zoom. If you want to join, click
the link below and enter the meeting ID and password!

Meeting ID: 815 9104 7549
Password: 778963

This Sunday our special speaker is The Reverend Dr. Susan A. Bennett, a
former member of Central who moved to Atlanta after her marriage to
Dr. Larry Adams.
She will be teaching on "Engaging the Paradigm Shift."
Meditation in Central Park
August 23, 7:00 PM
Feeling stressed about the virus and its health, economic and social effects? Join John Simmons at 7:00 PM on Sunday in Central Park for a time of meditation and mindfulness activity designed to deal with stress. There is room to practice social distancing. John is certified as a Mind Body Skills Trainer by the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington DC. In the past 12 years, John has led dozens of workshops using mindfulness to help cancer patients, patients with chronic pain, patients with post traumatic stress disease and people with varying degrees of anxiety and mild to moderate depression. There will be no fee and no meditation experience is required. The experience will be open to anyone.
We Need Your Pictures
Planning a church event? Take photos so we can share them in Central Time, our website, or our Facebook page. Send your photos to Gina's email and Paul Wood at: woodtz1955@gmail.com

Sacred Traditions And Rituals
Tranquility with Tea Service on Sunday Evening, August 23, 6:00 O'clock
"Good Vibrations," and the "Power of Sound."

Save the Date!
(special offering) September 13, 2020
Epworth is Our Ministry! Where do children go when DSS has taken them from their families because of abuse or neglect? What about when a mother is struggling with addiction and is neglecting her children? Currently, over 80 children call Epworth home. Each of these children have found refuge in the ministry we share as United Methodists in SC. Epworth Children’s Home has been welcoming children in Christ’s name for 124 years through the generous support of churches like ours! We will participate in the annual Work Day Offering on Sunday, September 13th, to benefit the children who call Epworth home. Please be in prayerful consideration of what God is calling you to give to this valuable and life changing ministry. For more information about Epworth Children’s Home, you can visit them on the web at www.epworthchildrenshome.org or find them on Facebook. 
*Plan ahead: As of now, Church Directory pictures have been scheduled for February 23, 2021 and February 24, 2021.
Prayers and Concerns

Martha Hardin - White Oak Nursing Home
Becky Smith
Kathy Worley -recovering from knee surgery (home)
COVID-19 Office Hours
Monday-Wednesday: 9:00 AM-Noon
Friday: 9:00 AM-Noon
Telephone (864) 582-7263  Fax 582-6944
Tom Norrell, Senior Pastor (864) 384-2779
Paige M. Wolfe, Minister of Christian Ed. and Programs  (864) 710-7363

August Birthdays
16- Mike Johnson
17- Marvin Cann; Andy Crosland
18- William Cubitt; Gladys Hudgens; Maddison Wolfe
19- Erin Hamilton
20- Betty Jackson; Trent Lancaster; Bertice Robinson
23- Amy Driggers; Heyward McPhail
25- Dee Goforth
27-Elaine Crosland
30- Paul Wood; Tyler Wyatt

Central Time August 19, 2020
Curious. Caring. Classic.
Spartanburg's First Church, Founded 1837

Please text “Central” to
(864) 661- 4726 if you would like to
receive text notifications from the church.