Joint Service of Worship with In The Loop Churches and Invitation to Read Scripture | September 13

The In The Loop Churches of the Presbytery of Baltimore are excited to announce that we will be holding a joint service of worship on September 13th. A few points for clarification:

  • First, we will worship at our ordinary time, using Zoom/FB Livestream. Please use the regularly published Zoom link/bulletin for the service.
  • In terms of format, the service will be identical to our regular service. However, we will share pre-recorded videos of the confession, the scripture readings, and the sermon.
  • Second, we envision this service, which is the first installment, as connected to a deeper conversation relative to the 1619-theme (the NYTimes ran a series on the question of enslaved peoples, reparations, and white privilege).
  • On September 16th, we plan to hold a virtual dialogue on these topics so that together we can be better informed and better equipped partners in the story of God’s liberating resolve.

Please consider this invitation from Rev. Tim Hughes, of Lightstreet Presbyterian Church, to be a reader of scripture for the September 13 service. He would need these no later than September 7 (please read his letter for further instruction). He plans to collect readings from our different churches and blend those readings into one seamless reading — essentially, one reading in many voices.

Do you enjoy reading scripture? Do you have access to a video camera (smartphone or on your computer)? If you do, please consider this invitation:

Dear All,

I’m going to create a pre-recorded collaborative Scripture Reading of Exodus 14:19-31 and Numbers 14:1-4, featuring readers from all our congregations.  Please use the NRSV translation for this reading so that it will fit together. I’ve attached the text below for your convenience.
We’re hoping all participating congregations can record someone from their church doing a full reading of the Scripture passages. You can do this on your phone or computer. Don’t worry about the dead time on the beginning and end of the recording – I’ll only be using excerpts of each.  When you are done, email your file to or text it to my cell phone: 443 603 7106. Emailed files look much better so please do that if you are able.  If you are filming yourself on your phone, please try and hold the phone horizontal if possible. I’ll confirm that I’ve received your video.
If you have young people, youth, or other lay people who would like to participate, that’s great! Multiple videos are fine too. Just make sure to send the full reading and the name and church of the reader. 
Let me know if you have questions, and please submit these videos no later than Monday, September 7. I’ll try to have it edited in time to also create a video that can be used to promote the service.
Here are the Scripture passages:
The First Scripture Reading: Exodus 14:19-31

19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”

26Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.“ 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

The Second Scripture Reading: Numbers 14:1-4
14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become booty; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt.”