WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
October 11, 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
We make a living by what we get, but a life by what we give.
- Sir Winston Churchill
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
We spend lifetimes seeking to let our lives be all they can be, to become the “us” we were created to be, and to live openly and generously for others. Join us, here in this space, God, and remove any obstacle to sensing your Spirit with us now. Open your word and speak, so that we may find the us we become in you. Amen.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Art of Becoming
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
God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, thank you for this time of worship, a moment to step away from the daily excess of worry and stress. Thank you for the relationships that renew us, challenge us, and shape us into the people we are becoming.
Thank you for all that provides for our lives, and we put our trust in you that even in these terribly difficult times, you walk with us. Teach us to live with generous hearts and give us opportunities to practice our faith daily by living with purpose and looking for ways to serve others. Teach us to give our time for others, to use our talents to improve the lives of others, and to remember that all we have – even the very financial resources at our disposal – have been entrusted to us by you, for your purposes.
We are living in a moment where our very society seems to be teetering and so much we hold dear seems to sit at a precipice. Teach us to trust in you as our only foundation, so that regardless of the daily rancor, we can still meet neighbors with love and look to building up those around us instead of tearing down. Use us, your people, to be a sign of your loving presence in this hurting world.
We pray for all those who are scared of losing work, who have lost jobs, and feel their world shrinking. We pray for all those who cannot get out, who cannot see friends, who feel their world shrinking. We pray for all experiencing relapse and growing addiction, who feel their world shrinking. We pray for all who have lost loved ones, whose world has become emptier.
Help us, Father, to come alongside all who are hurting and scared that our presence may be a sign of your care. Help us live in ways that allow our relationships to mirror all that is intended for this world. Shape us more and more into the Beloved Community, so that we constantly are becoming what was intended in the stories of creation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have that ability.
God loves you more than you could ever hope or imagine; in fact, God loves you exactly as you and, yet, too much to let you stay that way. Look for that spark within yourself that alights with the presence of God and follow where it leads.
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.
PASSING THE PEACE
Peace be with you
Please pass the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to your neighbors.