Evil is Going, Too: Wednesday, May 18

General Conference Worship
Wednesday, May 18, 8:00 AM
Evil is Going, Too!


PRELUDE     Northwest Chorale


On behalf of the whole church, I ask you:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of your sin?

We’re trying!

Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness?

We want to, but it’s difficult!

Do you reject the evil powers of this world?

We are overwhelmed!

Do you repent of your sin?

Help us, God! Save us from evil!



And so I ask you again:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness?

Yes, we do!

Do you reject the evil powers of this world?

Yes, we do!

Do you repent of your sin?

Cleansed by the saving waters of baptism, we do repent!

Remember you are baptized, and be thankful!


Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (tune: CWM RHONDDA)

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty; hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more; feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain, whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield; be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell’s destruction, land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee; I will ever give to thee.


SCRIPTURE    Matthew 12:43-45

‘When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but it finds none. Then it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation.’

ANTHEM   Providence Kamana, with GC House Musicians

SERMON   “Evil is Going, Too!”   Bishop James Swanson


Song: Pelas dores deste mundo (For the troubles and the sufferings)


God of power and peace,
You who travel with us every step of our journey,
we ask you to continue to fill us with your holy presence.
Fill us, O God.

Forgive us when we fail to acknowledge your indwelling presence. As our journey lengthens and we run dry, forgive us when we forget how much we need your Living Water. We find ourselves empty and we consume the things that promise to satisfy but instead leave us unnourished and unhealthy.
Forgive us, O God.

Steer us away from the empty calories of pride and prejudice. Keep us from imbibing the wine of greed, the spirits of fear and hatred, the tea of apathy and willful ignorance.
Help us remember that you are the perfect nourishment we need to fill us to the very edges of our being. Forgive us for leaving even a tiny corner empty of your love. Let us not leave a wisp of emptiness where evil might enter and thrive.
Fill us, O God.

Remind us that we do not journey on our own. We pray that we would always choose Jesus as our guide and guardian, as our source of power to defend against the forces of evil. Forgive us when we try to do it on our own, forgetting our baptismal vows that bind us to you forever.
Forgive us, O God.

We long for at-oneness with you, O God, so that we are healthy, strong, and full of love as we travel the paths of our lives. May we be so filled with the love and light of Jesus that all whom we encounter are influenced to your way, the way of peace, the way of justice, the way of mercy.
Fill us, O God.

We long for a world that is filled to overflowing with you, loving God. We pray that each of us would work toward that goal by moving in perfect unison with you, step by step, meter by meter, mile by mile. We cannot do it filled and fueled by anything except your abundant, perfect love.


I Need a Principle Within

I need a principle within
of watchful, godly fear,
a sensibility of sin,
a pain to feel it near.
I need the first approach to feel
of pride or wrong desire,
to catch the wandering of my will,
and quench the kindling fire.

From thee that I no more may stray,
no more thy goodness grieve,
grant me the filial awe, I pray,
the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
awake my soul when sin is nigh,
and keep it still awake.

Almighty God of truth and love,
to me thy power impart;
the mountain from my soul remove,
the hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain
my reawakened soul,
and drive me to that blood again,
which makes the wounded whole.



Almighty God of truth and love, we need you and we need your power in our world. Even as we pray, we acknowledge that you are already here, and you are already at work! We lift up our hearts in thanksgiving for your grace, for your mercy, for your incarnate love moving through our lives. We give you thanks for your invitation to us to join you in acts of mercy. As we work for the transformation of the world, we rejoice that you are the One who transforms us! Hallelujah! Amen.



Leader: Almighty God of truth and love, you are ever more powerful than evil. There is no trial, no pain, no violence, no evil that cannot be overcome through the strength of your goodness. When we believe that we are sinking into despair, you show us that you, God of the Universe, are here!

Song: “Over My Head,” Northwest Chorale

Over my head, I hear music in the air,
Over my head, I hear music in the air,
Over my head, I hear music in the air,
There must be a God somewhere!

Leader: There IS a God somewhere, and it is you, the God of truth and love, the God who makes the wounded whole, the God who is victorious even over death! Thank you, God!

all sing: Halleluya!

You, God, are going on the way with us. You, God, are with us through our journeys and into our nights. Even in our deepest torment, you, God, are with us. Merci, mon Dieu!

all sing: Halleluya!

God, we thank you that you never leave us alone. You are with us in our struggles, and you call us to be with each other, embodying your love in every corner of the world. Asante, Mungu!

all sing: Halleluya!

God, with you we are not afraid of evil. You empower us through your love. With our hearts one with Christ, we do not fear to take the next step. Obrigado, Deus!

all sing: Halleluya!

God, if you are for us, who can be against us?
No one!
God, you gave us your own Son, your own Son’s life! Will you, in fact, give us everything else that we need?
God, you have chosen us to be your agents of love in the world. Can anyone argue with that?
Can anyone or anything separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ?
Can hardship?
Can distress?
Can persecution?
Can famine?
Can corruption?
Can hatred?
Can poverty?
Can malaria?
Can war?
Can anything evil keep us apart from God’s love?
Is there anything in all the heights or depths or corners of the earth than can ever possibly separate us from the all-encompassing, all-compassionate, all-merciful, all victorious love of God?
No! No! No! No! NO!

all sing: Halleluya!


Leader: God of goodness, even as we offer our thanks for the abundance of our blessings, we also lift up grateful hearts for the opportunity to share our gifts with a world where evil continues to threaten your people. Guide us, we pray, so that every step we take is on your path of victorious love, in partnership with your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Step by Step

BENEDICTION   Bishop Swanson


Step by Step



We are grateful for the leadership of these guest musicians:

The Northwest Chorale (featuring singers from throughout the Pacific Northwest)
Providence Kamana of The Kamana 5 (Bandalungwa UMC; Kinshasa, Congo)

Unless otherwise noted, all liturgical pieces are written by Laura Jaquith Bartlett, © 2016 The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts.

Litany of the Water © The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, adapted by Laura Jaquith Bartlett. Permission granted for use in worship in local churches with the inclusion of this copyright notice. It may not be sold, published, or placed on a website without additional permission from the author.

Prayer following the sermon written by Suzanne Cate, © 2016 Suzanne Cate.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah; words: William Williams; tune: CWM RHONDDA by John Hughes; found at #127 United Methodist Hymnal. Public Domain.

Pelas dores deste mundo (For the troubles and the sufferings); words and music: Rodolfo Gaede Neto, English translation by Simei Monteiro and Jorge Lockward; found at #162 Global Praise 3. © Rodolfo Gaede Neto, English translation © 2004 General Board of Global Ministries, GBGMusik.

I Need a Principle Within; words: Charles Wesley; tune: GERALD by Louis Spohr and SISCO by Mark A. Miller; found at #410 United Methodist Hymnal and page 56 All Loves Excelling. SISCO tune © 2007 Abingdon Press, admin. by The Copyright Co.

Over My Head; words and music: African American spiritual; found at #2148 The Faith We Sing.

Halleluya; words and music: Abraham Maraire; found at #22 Global Praise 3. © Zimbabwe East Annual Conference. All rights reserved.

Step by Step; words and music: David Strasser; found at #3004 Worship & Song. © 1991 Universal Music-MGB BMG Songs (ASCAP) and Kid Brother of St. Frank Publishing.

Image: Todd Pick, © 2016.


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