WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING

July 5, 2020

weekly liturgy

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

Today we begin a new period of reflection and focus in worship. For the next six weeks we will swim in the waters of Jesus’ most famous sermon The Sermon on the Mount; the first three Sundays we will listen to his call for love to be the center of our being, the touchstone of our faith, and the expression of all our dealings in the world. Mindfulness, in our faith, is set to heartbeat of love and compassion. It all starts today The Beatitudes, the enigmatic opening to the sermon as Jesus flips world on its head and shows that what we take for granted as the world (and how it works) is, in fact, not the truth.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Blessed are… blessed are… blessed are…

Jesus is calling. Will we listen?

Jesus naming blessing, blessing for self and blessing for the world.

Come one, come all, and hear the call of our Lord, worshipping him and glorifying the God of Love.

HYMN

When Morning Gilds the Skies

CALL TO CONFESSION

Blessed can feel a loaded term. Blessed, compared to others who hurt more? Blessed in area of life despite pain in another? Blessed because I desperately want to show that “all is well” to others? So often ‘blessing’ is equated with ‘getting our desires.’

It is so, so much more than that. Blessing is the recognition that we are known and loved by the deep presence at the heart of creation. We are never alone, never forgotten. Grace itself seeks us. This is the grace that seeks for us to respond, and confession is a time for us to turn and celebrate that there is nothing in our lives, nothing in our heart that can take Blessing away from us.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Our Light and true Life, we admit that too often your lofty call seems to high, a dream, a myth to reach for. We admit that the everyday we see around, the suffering on the news, abuses of power, people split and fighting constantly, all of it seems a reality we must escape or learn to live with. We admit that there also moments when we are complicit in the “real world.” We admit that, like Christians over the centuries, we don’t know how to grapple with your call to be the blessed ones.

Meet with us here in this holy space. Wash us once more in your Spirit and strengthen us to see that our faith is one of living and moving in a world gone blind. Let our lives be ones that help others see you at work in the world. Let our lives work for reconciling that which is broken. Let our lives inspire others. Let our lives offer more love than we ever thought possible. Reform and remold us into a blessing for this world you so adore. This we ask in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

Know that the love that holds you in grace is greater than any power in all creation. Yes, the same One we claim is the very spark of all that is, seen and unseen, we also believe exists in perfect communion; another way of saying it, God is love, and more than that, God is the love that binds all relationships. You are never lost, this world is never lost, because God will never let that relationship falter. We are loved, forgiven, and free. Amen.

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Guide us by the words of your Word, O God. Speak blessing into our lives as we are challenged to listen to where you would guide us, not by where we now stand. Amen.

GOSPEL READING

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

SERMON

Blessed are…        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

SACRAMENT OF LORD'S SUPPER

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Almighty God, gracious Father, in the presence of your bounty keep us humble, in the presence of all people’s needs keep us compassionate and caring.

Give us faith in our praying and love in our serving, knowing that by your power all may find a new balance in living and a new victory in adversity.

We pray for all unhappy lives, those who are bitter and resentful, feeling life has given them a raw deal, those who are sensitive to criticism and quick to take offense, those who desire their own way, whatever the inconvenience or cost to others. May your judgment and mercy be for their healing.

We pray for those who are lonely, who are shy and self-conscious, who find it hard to make friends; those who are nervous and timid, who ever feel themselves strangers in a world they scarcely understand. May your presence inspire confidence and ensure companionship.

We pray for those who live with bitter regrets, for loving relationships brought to ruin, for opportunities freely given and woefully abused, for the acrid taste of defeat or betrayal at another’s hand, or for failure in personal integrity. May your grace give new hope to find victory in the very moment of failure.

We pray for all in illness and pain, weary of the day and fearful of the night. Grant healing, peace, comfort for those who suffer, and at all times the gift of your indwelling peace.

Bless the whole company of Christ’s people, the church in every land and in every time. Make her eager in worship, fearless in proclamation of your gospel, and passionate for caring.

Bless our country. Bless our leaders. Bless our children and grant us peace. Grant us as a nation to be found to use our position of leadership to serve the world, especially the least.

Bless us, each one, in the communion of saints, and keep us ever mindful of the great cloud of witnesses that, following in their steps, as they did in the steps of the Master, we may with them at the last receive the fulfillment promised to your people. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

We seal these prayers with the one he taught us, saying together:

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 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 power and the glory, Amen.

How can we pray for you?

Click the button to send us your prayer concerns and joys and stay connected.

OFFERING OUR GIFTS

We are a people with more gifts than we know what to do with! Sometimes this may be in material terms of money, assets and that ilk, but even when that is true, the real gifts are generosity of spirit, kindness, empathy, patience, curiosity, and love. Our cup truly “runneth over” and our offering is a time to consider where and how this wellspring of love should be directed in our personal lives.

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 tbarulli@westfieldpc.org if you have that ability.

THE SENDING

CHARGE

We are blessed to be a blessing. This quiet truth has the power to flip the world on its head. Jesus calls to us even now, asking that our lives turn toward love, compassion. Go, and know that you carry the very power to bless all you encounter from Christ himself.

BENEDICTION

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.

HYMN

Blessed are They

PASSING THE PEACE

Peace be with you

Please pass the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to your neighbors.

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

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