april 26, 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.


Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,

It will set you free,

Be more like the one you were made to be.

There is a design,

An alignment to cry, of my heart to see,

The beauty of love as it was made to be.

Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More, 2009


Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.


The proof of God’s amazing love is this: while we have been sinners, Christ died and rose in the power of love over all else. It is in faith of this alone that we claim Christ as Lord over all, and it is in this faith that we approach God in the confidence that God choose to remember only the one we have been created to be, forgiving and making all things new. Our confession is a turning back to God, an act of trust that we are loved beyond reasoning.


We confess that the world seems too bleak a place, too lost, already determined. We confess that we see only the unredeemable, and too often throw ourselves into the pile. We confess that too often we are ensnared by petty things and lose the beautiful imagination and creative energy you have placed in every human heart.

Free us from anxiety and worry for the future. Blow away the clouds of doubt that cling to us. Wash us clean of every thought that obscures the gift of this life and those you have given to us as companions on the journey. Give us strength to turn, always turn, back to you no matter the path we are on. Amen.


Christ is Risen. For this and in this, we have new life right here, right now. Turn from whatever distraction has pulled you away to the one who guides us to still waters in this troubled world.



Give us new eyes, Father, to see the world as you do, and to trust that your hand is at work, even when we cannot see or understand. Give us hope, give us trust, and lead us to see your light in this world. Amen.



Acts of the Apostles 2:14a, 36-41

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.

Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.


Where Do I Turn?


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.



It is no secret that the world is hurting. Before this health crisis it was hurting and on the surface, at first glance it would appear that the power of pain, hurt, and destruction in the world is getting stronger. But Peter reminds us of God's promise. The Risen One is Lord in heaven and the Anointed on earth. God's loving presence is all among us, bringing life where we expect death. If you need proof watch a neighbor walking their dog, or kids riding on bikes, or call a friend you miss. And remember always that you are proof of God's love for someone else. Turn and face the presence of love in the world.


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.


That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright

That Easter day with joy was bright,
The sun shone out with fairer light,
When to their longing eyes restored,
The apostles saw their risen Lord
O Jesus, King of gentleness,
Do all our inmost hearts possess,
And we to You will ever raise
The tribute of our grateful praise
From every weapon death can wield,
Your own redeemed forever shield;
O lord of all, with us abide
In this our joyful Eastertide


Peace be with you.

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


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