WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING

July 12, 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 is the second week of exploring the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus flips the world we know on its head and reveals a truth obscured by our expectations and day-to-day life. As we walk through worship, may we be invited in and given the confidence to stand firm when so much of our lives seems to be upended.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Jesus says that until the kingdom comes, not one letter of the Law will be removed. Jesus also tells of this kingdom and invites us to be a part of it right now! The kingdom of heaven is not some far off idea or destination, it is a reality that we can have right now! God is great! God is good! God has made us to live in relationships, which are the kingdom.

HYMN

Great is Thy Faithfulness  (sung by the choir)

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;

There is no shadow of turning with thee.

Thou changest not; thy compassions they fail not.

As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness!

Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand hath provided.

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

 

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is thy faithfulness!

Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand hath provided.

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

 

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow:

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is thy faithfulness!

Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning, new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand hath provided.

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

CALL TO CONFESSION

Jesus says that when salt has lost its saltiness it is worthless and can only be thrown out and trampled underfoot. Jesus also calls us salt of the earth. On the surface this may be a troubling passage! Jesus call us salt of the earth, this is true, but salt does not lose its saltiness, it can only be diluted. In our prayers, in our time with God, we are restored and renewed, all that has watered us down is removed.

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

Speak to us now and light up our spirits with your word. May these ancient lines spoken by our Lord call us to renewed faith, restore us with renewed hope, and point us in the way we must go. Amen.

GOSPEL READING

Matthew 5:13-20

‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

SERMON

Fulfillment - Rev. Jeremy Jinkins

HYMN

Beautiful City, by Stephen Schwartz
Sung by Craig Sanphy

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

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

Jesus calls us salt and light because through us others become who they were made to be, and those in darkness have a place to turn. Compassion is the fulfillment of the Law and the touchstone of our faith. As we reenter our everyday, let us be ever mindful of this truth that lies at the heart of our being.

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

Shall We Gather At The River
arr. Charles Callahan, Paul Sanner, organ

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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