August 16, 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.


Lord, open unto me

Open unto me—light for my darkness.

Open unto me—courage for my fear.

Open unto me—hope for my despair.

Open unto me—peace for my turmoil.

Open unto me—joy for my sorrow.

Open unto me—strength for my weakness.

Open unto me—wisdom for my confusion.

Open unto me—forgiveness for my sins.

Open unto me—love for my hates.

Open unto me—thy Self for my self.

Lord, Lord, open unto me!


-Howard Thurman (1900-1981)


We are our stories. We are stories of what is, what was, what could have been, and also what will be. One of the central questions we must ask ourselves about spiritual growth is, “what am I doing today to prepare for the person God is shaping me to be?” We are our stories, but all too often the stories of many go untold or unheard. Christ meets us here in this place, at this moment, and guides us to see stories we otherwise would miss.


Confession is the chance to admit that we wish we could “edit” our personal narrative. We can look back at the encounters we have had an see what we would rather redact. The beauty of God’s grace is that no such thing is necessary. We are loved and forgiven, just as we are, and God is already helping us write our next chapter. Confident in this promise we are empowered to give our whole “Book of Life” over for reading.


Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.


In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your holy name. Amen.


Know that your story is not over. In Christ God is writing new adventures and new chances for life, love, and joy. In Christ, your story is one of wholeness and peace.



Let this story that too often goes unheard open our ears and eyes to your presence in our lives, and the many stories we encounter each and every day. Amen.


Mark 10:46-52

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.


Story of the Missing Man


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.



So, what “story” is your life writing? How is your life impacting the lives you encounter each day? These questions may serve as companions for us as we prepare for the week ahead. And as we go, I hope you know that you are known and loved for than you will ever know.


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.


I Love to Tell the Story

arr. Anna Laura Page, (sung by the choir)

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story, because I know it’s gtrue;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, it will be my theme and glory
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

Tell me of Jesus, a story so dear,
Tell me of Jesus, who always is near.
Tell me a story of grace from above,
Of Jesus, our Savior, and his unending love.

I love to tell the story of Jesus so dear,
I love to tell the story of Jesus so near.
I love to tell the story of grace from above,
Of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and his unending love.
I love to tell the story, it will be my theme and glory
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.


Peace be with you

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


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