WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING

September 27, 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

Exhaust the little moment.
Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold,
It will not come
Again in this identical
Disguise.

~ Gwendolyn Brooks

CALL TO WORSHIP

Our faith is not one of following religious principles, but following one, principal person.

It is the life of Jesus that beckons us to follow. It is the death of Jesus that stands as the central moment in creation. It is the resurrection of Jesus that remakes the world. It is this same Jesus who calls us to worship right now.

Let us, then, set everything aside that would distract us and join in praise.

CALL TO CONFESSION

The art of being fully human demands we never become imprisoned to our own desires, our own frustrations, our own hurts. Confessional prayer is an invitation to make space in our cluttered hearts for others, to feel their experiences and share life. This empathy is the sacred moment where God shows up and marks our relationships as holy ground.

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

In Christ we come face to face with the full character of God, whose judgment on humanity is love, whose life calls us to new life and whose very being is our refuge. Know that you are forgiven, freed, and loved.

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Give us the space to let go of all voices that are not yours, ears to perceive your love through all expectations, and eyes to see the world new by the power of your holy word. Amen.

GOSPEL READING

Philippians 2:1-13

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

 

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

 

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.

 

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

SERMON

The Art of Letting Go

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

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

From the Book of Common Worship

Our creator, redeemer and sustainer, our cup seems to run over with reasons to pray.

For those who have been ill or lost loved ones in COVID; for those who have been ill and struggled to receive adequate care due to the demands on healthcare in COVID.

Hear our prayer.

For those who have lost livelihoods, who are struggling with bills, putting food on the table.

Hear our prayer.

For college students struggling with the cost of college and the weighing the reward education provides in a distance-learning environment.

Hear our prayer.

For families and our children who are struggling with school and socializing and normalcy and the flood of emotions that come day after day. For the numbness that emotional overload brings.

Hear our prayer.

For the lonely. For those who have felt the emptiness of this time and yearn for laughter and tears with their friends, the warm touch of a loved one, and the feeling of shared life.

Hear our prayer.

For all that seems to be tearing us apart. For the hate and rancor. For blaming of others for the pains we face. For the fear and the fear-mongering. Forgive us.

Hear our prayer.

For the promise that beyond even this time of social separation there is your Beloved Community and even we and our "worst enemies" have a place in it.

Hear our prayer.

 

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

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 tbarulli@westfieldpc.org if you have that ability.

THE SENDING

CHARGE

Now, as we get ready to turn our attention back to everyday life, let's take a deep breath, let go of all that weighs on us, and remember - you are beloved and taken care of, and be at peace.

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

O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

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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