april 19, 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.


From Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 1855


Apart from the pulling and hauling

Stands what I am,

Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,

Looks down, is erect, bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,

Looks with its sidecurved head curious what will come next,

Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.


Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,

I have no mockings or arguments …. I

Witness and wait.

I believe in you my soul ….


Christ is Risen, and the world scratches its head.

Christ is Risen, and the world explains away.

Christ is Risen, and suffering continues in the world.

Christ is Risen… and the bud of hope sparks in a human heart.

Christ is Risen and never again will fear or death have the final word.


O Lord our God, you are always more ready to bestow your good gifts upon us than we are to seek them. You are more willing to give than we desire to receive. Help us so to seek that we may truly find, so to ask that we may joyfully receive, so to knock that the door of your mercy may be opened for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers

Christ has risen while earth slumbers; Christ has risen where hope died,
as he said and as he promised, as we doubted and denied.
Let the moon embrace the blessing; let the sun sustain the cheer;
let the world confirm the rumor: Christ is risen, God is here!
Christ has risen for the people whom he died to love and save;
Christ has risen for the women bring flowers to grace his grave.
Christ has risen for disciples huddled in an upsairs room.
He whose word inspired creation can't be silenced by the tomb.
Christ has risen and forever lives to challenge and to change
all whose lives are messed and mangled, all who find religion strange.
Christ is risen, Christ is present making us what he has been;
evidence of transformation in which God is known and seen.



Lord, we do not always find it easy to recognize your coming to us. Come, reveal yourself to us. Meet us in the breaking of the bread. Set our heavy hearts on fire with love for you, and send us on our way rejoicing.

For your name’s sake, Amen.



Acts of the Apostles 2:14a, 22-32

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

‘You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him,
“I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover, my flesh will live in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.”

‘Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
“He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.”
This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.


The Story Goes On


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.


Click the activities button for family activities to do with your children. You will find this week's Church on Wednesday (C.O.W.) Activity, plus previous activities you can still do!


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

Our Father who art in heaven.  Hallowed be Thy name.  They 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 the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

How can we pray for you?

Click the button to send us your prayer concerns and joys and stay connected.


Often the time of the offering is given in terms of what we ‘ought or should’ do in response to all God has done for us. In reality, it is some we are empowered to do, an act we can do; it is an act of rebellion against a world filled with fear. Offering ourselves – our time and talents and the fruits of our labors are a testament of trust in God that we are part of God’s redemption story for this world. I invite you now to consider how you are being called to be a word of good news.


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 first disciples entered Easter with heavy hearts, filled with despair, seeing no future. As he met them, as he greeted them by name their hope was restored and their own stories rewritten. It is this hope that sent them into the world to retell what they knew. Many of us will leave this place with worry and fear clinging to us, stronger I pray is the hope that comes with trusting that God is not finished writing your story.


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.


Peace be with you.

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


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