July 26, 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.


Stop for a moment as we prepare to worship. Let us ask the question, “how often does my faith, or scripture, or who I know God to be in Jesus Christ, take a back seat to the demands of the day?” Our culture is a powerful force and there are demands on our time, the way we think of our identity, the way we relate to our neighbors. So often, our identity is shaped first by our native culture – to the point that even tenets of the faith are coopted to serve it.

This week we start a new three-week period of focusing on phrases, nuggets of wisdom, that we learned as children, but which are only vaguely connected to our faith. In fact, all three sayings are part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ most famous sermon, yet they tend to remain detached from the meaning he gave them.

Come with us this week as we refresh our thinking of turning the cheek.


Jesus calls to us, even today, showing us a world we often think is too good to be true.

Jesus calls to us, inviting us into the kingdom, showing us what means to live within the will of God.

Jesus calls to us, the Spirit moves and something stirs in us, knowing that what Jesus says is more true than anything else in all of creation.

Jesus calls to us, and yet, this message, this call is drowned out, watered down, diluted. Let us here set all aside that would distract us and turn to face the One who first turns his countenance to us.


For so many confession seems like a guilt trip. This is not the intent. Confession is meant to be liberating, a chance to let go of all that is holding us back, weighing us down. This moment in our worship opens a world for us in which God meets us right where we are and the only judgment we face is God’s choice to love us through anything. Take the moment to let your guard down and make God your inner sanctum.


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.


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.



Your Word meets us in scripture. Sometimes we allow the message to become too familiar, we believe we know it too well. Join with us, we pray, in this moment and awaken us to the power of your love through your word. Amen.


Matthew 5:38-39

‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;


On Being Maladujsted - Rev. Jeremy Jinkins


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.


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.


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.


As the continued heath, economic, and social crises continue, many of us and many close to us feel depleted, worn, less-than. With so much to be concerned of we may sense emotional fatigue and have the impression that we have no more left to give. Here is the wonder of self-offering… with every act of making ourselves available to help, to serve, to love, we realize we need self-protection less and less; we realize that God is with us, carrying us, sustaining us.

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.



When we shut down emotionally, spiritually, we block out others and things break down. Compassion is key to unlocking our own inner world; learning to see things from the point of view of another, learning to set our own view aside, helps us mend what has been broken. Compassion is a gift that connects us to all whom we come across.


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.


For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies:
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light:
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight:
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
Friend on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild:
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best gift divine to the world so freely given;
For that great, great love of thine, peace on earth and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


Peace be with you

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


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