WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
November 15, 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
I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by far the
largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today
or in ten thousand or ten million
I can cheerfully take it now, or with
equal cheerfulness I can wait.
- Walt Witman, Leaves of Grass
CALL TO WORSHIP
In a world that increasingly feels unhinged and uncertain, it is evermore important to remember that we are called back together by God’s Holy Spirit, and that in our worship in, to, and with the Son, we glorify the redeeming work of the Father in this world. We believe this, because when it feels the world is unhinged, we remember that everything really hinges on Jesus.
CALL TO CONFESSION
Confession isn’t really about what we “get out of it.” The practice of this prayer is an assurance of our pardon, of the restoring of our connection with all that is holy. It starts with our turning back to our true north, and doing so because we are motivated, not by being let off the hook or being forgiven or feeling as though the albatross has dropped from our necks, but rather by the desire to come home – to be the real us once more.
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
Meet us in the thoughts of your servant, Paul, dear Lord, and guide our thoughts and hearts and minds to see in them the Good News. Make this word for us solid ground on which to stand and a platform on which to let our lives speak. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
When they say, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
So then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Keeping the Faith, a How-to Guide
Rev. Jeremy Jinkins
To receive the food of Your Holy Word
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory
Holy reverence, true humility
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity
Your majestic love and authority
Words of power that can never fail
Let their truth prevail over unbelief
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory
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
During the time that we focus on 1 Thessalonians and hear about maintaining faith in uncertain times, we will use the same Pastoral Prayer, one that is based on responses to the Heidelberg Catechism, and used by many pastors and is based on the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Help us to really know you,
to bless, worship, and praise you
for all your works
and for all that shines forth from them:
your almighty power, wisdom, kindness,
justice, mercy, and truth.
Help us to direct all our living—
what we think, say, and do—
so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us
but always honored and praised.
Your kingdom come.
Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way
that more and more we submit to you.
Keep your church strong, and add to it.
Destroy the devil’s work;
destroy every force that revolts against you
and every conspiracy against your Word.
Do this until your kingdom is so complete and perfect
that in it you are all in all.
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Help us and all people
to reject our own wills
and to obey your will without any back talk.
Your will alone is good.
Help us one and all to carry out the work we are called to,
as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Do take care of all our physical needs
so that we come to know
that you are the only source of everything good,
and that neither our work and worry
nor your gifts
can do us any good without your blessing.
And so help us to give up our trust in creatures
and to put trust in you alone.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Because of Christ’s blood,
do not hold against us, poor sinners that we are,
any of the sins we do
or the evil that constantly clings to us.
Forgive us, just as we are fully determined,
as evidence of your grace in us,
to forgive our neighbors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
By ourselves we are too weak
to hold our own even for a moment.
And our sworn enemies—
the devil, the world, and our own flesh—
never stop attacking us.
And so, Lord,
uphold us and make us strong
with the strength of your Holy Spirit,
so that we may not go down to defeat
in this spiritual struggle,
but may firmly resist our enemies
until we finally win the complete victory.
For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever.
We have made all these requests of you
because, as our all-powerful King,
you not only want to,
but are able to give us all that is good;
and because your holy name,
and not we ourselves,
should receive all the praise, forever.
It is even more sure that you listen to our prayer,
than that we really desire what we pray for.
You are invited to silently lift the names of particular people or situations that weigh heavily on your soul at this time.
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
Even in this time where so much feels unsettled and we so yearn for things to be put right, God calls to us, and invites us to become a part of the reconciling work. Where we see brokenness, we can offer healing. Where we see discord, we can offer peace. Where we see despair, we can offer hope. Our lives, simply led as an offering of gratitude for the hope we find in Jesus, can spark change in the lives around 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have that ability.
Because God has destined us for reconciliation, regardless of being in light or dark, be good to and for each other, building each other up. And know that you are loved more than you could ever hope or imagine.
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.