Service for July 24, 2022

Featured art is a photo of “Jesus Mural of Faith, Hope, Love, & Peace” (Chicago, IL).


Call to Worship

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
so that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and will make a path for his steps.

Psalm 85

Songs of Praise

You Are Good
Blest Be the Tie That Binds
Open Our Eyes Lord

Welcome and Announcements


The Peace of Christ

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of God’s grace!

Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease, ’tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’tis life and health and peace.


Response – We Give Thee But Thine Own

We give thee but thine own whate’er the gift may be
All that we have is thine alone, a trust oh Lord from thee. Amen.

Prayer of Thanks

Scripture Lesson 1

Genesis 18:20-32

  1. Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin!
  2. I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me, and if not, I will know.”
  3. So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.
  4. Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
  5. Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
  6. Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
  7. And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.”
  8. Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to my lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
  9. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
  10. Again he spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”
  11. Then he said, “Oh, do not let my lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
  12. He said, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to my lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”
  13. Then he said, “Oh, do not let my lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

Scripture Lesson 2

Psalm 138 – Selected and read by Deacon Jonathan J. Holley

  1. I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
  2. I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted your name and your word
    above everything.
  3. On the day I called, you answered me;
    you increased my strength of soul.
  4. All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth.
  5. They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
  6. For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he perceives from far away.
  7. Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
    you stretch out your hand,
    and your right hand delivers me.
  8. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Musical Response

I Sing Praises to Your Name

Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever.


Sermon Lesson

Colossians 2:6-19

  1. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in him,
  2. rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
  3. Watch out that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
  4. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
  5. and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.
  6. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by the removal of the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ;
  7. when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
  8. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,
  9. erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.
  10. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
  11. Therefore, do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food or drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths.
  12. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the body belongs to Christ.
  13. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, initiatory visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking,
  14. and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, grows with a growth that is from God.


In Over Our Heads – Rev. Starlette Thomas

Hymn of Consecration

I Surrender All



Sweet, Sweet Spirit

In the Life of the Church

Welcome to Riverside Baptist Church, where our one law is love of God and neighbor. Justice and peace matter to us. So we celebrate racial diversity, gender equality, and inclusion of all persons no matter their sexual orientation. We draw the circle of God’s love large here. You’re included. Christ is the center here. No one more and nothing less.

We will be live-streaming the service, and a recording of the service will be available on the website later for those who are not able to be here in person yet.

Visitors – Please go here to let us know you were with us today. This link will also allow you to request contact from the deacons and to add your contact information to our database.

Out of concern for the safety of your neighbors we ask you to please continue wearing masks at all times, including during our times of praise and singing. We appreciate your cooperation.

Today we welcome back to the pulpit author, activist, visual artist and race abolitionist, Reverend Starlette Thomas, a womanist in ministry and the principal architect of a raceless world. Her podcast, The Raceless Gospel, takes her listeners to church and to a virtual church service where she and her guests tackle that taboo trinity— race, religion and politics. She regularly writes on the socio-political construct of race and its longstanding membership in the church in North America as an associate editor and director of The Raceless Gospel Initiative at Good Faith Media.

Several of the Baptist organization that we are affiliated with and have supported, including the Alliance of Baptists, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North American, and the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC) have issued statements on several of the recent Supreme Court decisions. You can see these statements on their websites.

The 165th anniversary of the founding of Riverside Baptist Church, then called Island Baptist Church, is this Tuesday, July 26. We will commemorate this anniversary later in the year. Today, a few pictures of various congregational groups over the years are on view in the atrium.

Today’s featured image is a picture of a mural in Chicago. The image comes from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

Pray For: Lynda Gyles’s aunt, Heidi DeVaugh; Freda White’s brother Alphonso H. Bowers, Jr., and the Bowers and White families; Terri Battle and her mother, Claudia Green; Karl Maxwell and his brother, Kenneth Maxwell; Edward Harris’s mother, Ruth Harris; Edith Booker; Annie Abbott; Tanya Bethel and her mother, Ruby McCrary; Gale Miller’s mother, Marian Miller; Lillie Ransom’s sister Teriea and her husband, Jerry; Sheba Greene’s daughter Donna; Dr. Bledsoe’s mother, Peggy Bledsoe