WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
June 21, 2020
First, a word on fancy words. In worship we have this phrase we use called liturgy that feels like a formal way of having a worship leader saying stuffy things about God. The word means, “the work of the people” and liturgy is meant to be held, and owned by the worshippers, i.e. you. This service is planned to give you a path, a guide to pray, interact with scripture, wrestle with it – wrestle with God – and in so doing, have a moment of coming face to face with the divine right here, right now.
So, come and lay all the worries of the day aside. Take a deep breath, and we will start with a prayer.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
“If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it. For this is a journey of unknowables -- of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair.”
~ Jeanne Guyon
CALL TO WORSHIP
When there is nothing left to grasp, when it seems that hope slips past our fingers, when we sit off at a distance because we cannot bear the sight of watching our dearest dreams die, God is present still. Come one, come all, who have felt the pang of loss, of feeling invisible and see, God is with you now. Come, let us worship God.
CALL TO CONFESSION
Relationships broken, hopes cast off, promises fade like mist. The deep chasm of sin in our lives separates us and causes division. Even into this human mess, God calls to us, beckoning that we turn, that we lift our eyes and see hope on the horizon.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God of Abraham and Sarah; God of Hagar, God of Isaac and God of the denied brother Ishmael, send your Holy Spirit among us to help us confess the ways in which we have turned on one another. We have failed to care for the weak, the poor, the disenfranchised among us; we seek our own preservation. Your Son emptied himself and revealed your eternal self-giving love. Forgive us, we pray.
Wipe sin from our lives and lead us to find our true selves in Christ alone. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
God, who loves us, does not abandon us, will not forsake us. Our Savior hears our cries when hurt by others, and feels the tear in our own souls when we cause pain and division. The death of our sin cannot bind us, for we freed. Hear the good news, in Jesus Christ you are forgiven. Amen.
PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
O God, you have the power to make a desert a place of renewal and a cross a sign of redemption. Your very presence meets Hagar in the desert and brings her a life she could not imagine. Send your Holy Spirit so that we can hear you and entrust our lives completely to you. Amen.
The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.’ The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named after you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, ‘Do not let me look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.’ Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Staring at the Abyss
Rev. Jeremy Jinkins
SUNDAY SCHOOL AT HOME
Although we can’t be in the same proximity physically, we can be together in spirit. We are happy to be able to provide to you age appropriate Sunday school lessons each week for you to do with your children. Click the Sunday School button to be directed to our weekly lessons.
STAYING CONNECTED FOR ADULTS
Faith Formation is pleased to announce the following adult learning opportunities that are meeting “virtually” while we “shelter in place”. Anyone is welcome to participate. Contact information and more details can be found by clicking the Adult Opportunities button.
RESPONDING TO THE WORD
Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name. They kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
How can we pray for you?
Click the button to send us your prayer concerns and joys and stay connected.
OFFERING OUR GIFTS
God provides and protects us in ways that we can scarcely comprehend. God’s grace erupts in our lives when it seems all hope has been vanquished. Come, see that God’s grace in your life is a call to be a sign of hope in the life of another. The only response to grace is gratitude; how will you show yours?
In our spiritual and faith lives we are invited to relearn how to be fully present in all aspects of life – how we relate to our time, how we employ our talents and gifts, how we invest the fruits of our labors are all a matter of being fully present. We are blessed to be more intentional with every part of our lives so that they may be a gift to others.
If you have struggled finding a way to help support the work PCW does in our local and broader community in these days of worshipping remotely, remember, you can send checks to 140 Mountain Avenue, Westfield, NJ 07090, or email Tina Barulli at email@example.com if you have that ability.
All too often these days we may feel that the world we knew is falling into the abyss. The grace of God fills even the depths that terrify us, and there is no place where God is not. God pours grace upon grace into the world so that even our loneliness, exhaustion, alienation, and despair is touched with the divine and transformed into the very resurrected life for which we dream.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
PASSING THE PEACE
Peace be with you
Please pass the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to your neighbors.