WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
August 23, 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
To your name, Lord Jesus, help me to bow the knee
And all its worshipping,
Bow the head
And all its thinking,
Bow the will
And all its choosing,
Bow the heart
And all its loving. Amen.
From the Book of Common Worship (1993)
CALL TO WORSHIP
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.
CALL TO CONFESSION
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.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
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.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
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.
PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
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.
Now Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the clan of Heber the Kenite. Jael came out to meet Sisera, and said to him, ‘Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear.’ So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. Then he said to her, ‘Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.’ So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. He said to her, ‘Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anybody comes and asks you, “Is anyone here?” say, “No.” ’ But Jael wife of Heber took a tent-peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, until it went down into the ground—he was lying fast asleep from weariness—and he died. Then, as Barak came in pursuit of Sisera, Jael went out to meet him, and said to him, ‘Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.’ So he went into her tent; and there was Sisera lying dead, with the tent-peg in his temple.
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
One thing remains true as we have continued down the road of living our lives, maintaining our friendships, all in this time of disruption; we get so much more than we give. For every call we may give to check in on a friend, we too are comforted. For every act of kindness given, we receive a portion of grace. For every gift given there is joy in the giving.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have that ability.
It is hard, living beyond our expectations. There will be good days and there will be troubling ones.
But know this, through it all, you are loved more than you can imagine by a God who is at work restoring all things. Trust this and be at peace.
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.
Donald Boos and Paul Sanner
PASSING THE PEACE
Peace be with you
Please pass the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to your neighbors.