WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
January 31, 2021
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
In God alone my soul can find rest and peace, in God my peace and joy. Only in God my soul can find its rest, find its rest and peace.
- Jacques Berthier, The Taizé Community
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION
Trusting the promise of God’s loving grace, let us pause for a moment to bring our hearts to God.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Forgiving God, we turn back to you from all the ways we have drifted. You have called, but we have let your voice get lost in the noise of our culture. You have lit the way before us, while we have preferred to take our own way. Forgive us, heal us, and lead us back to you, that we may learn to show mercy to all we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
This is the Word of God: in Jesus Christ you are forgiven, freed, and given new life.
PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Holy One, giver of life and light, as your word is read and proclaimed, illumine our hearts and minds that by the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives may reflect God’s glory to all we meet. Amen.
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
What Does Jesus Have to Do With Us?
Rev. Tom Kort
Everyone Who Longs
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
Let us bring the needs of the church, the world and all in need to God’s loving care. This prayer is a litany form – and happens to be one of Rev. Jinkins favorites from The Worship Sourcebook; each petition section ends with the same phrase and you are invited to actively participate by reading the bold letters out loud.
God of heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ you promise to hear us when we pray to you in his name. Confident in your love and mercy we offer our prayer. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Empower the church throughout the world in its life and witness. Break down the barriers that divide so that, united in your truth and love, the church may confess your name, share one baptism, sit together at one table, and serve you in one common ministry. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Guide the rulers of the nations. Move them to set aside their fear, greed, and vain ambition and to bow to your sovereign rule. Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, that all your children may dwell secure, free of war and injustice. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Hear the cries of the world’s hungry and suffering. Give us, who consume most of the earth’s resources, the will to reorder our lives, that all may have their rightful share of food, medical care, and shelter, and so have the necessities of a life of dignity. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Restore among us a love of the earth you created for our home. Help us put an end to ravishing its land, air, and waters, and give us respect for all your creatures, that, living in harmony with everything you have made, your whole creation may resound in an anthem of praise to your glorious name. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Renew our nation in the ways of justice and peace. Guide those who make and administer our laws to build a society based on trust and respect. Erase prejudices that oppress; free us from crime and violence; guard our youth from the perils of drugs and materialism. Give all citizens a new vision of a life of harmony. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Strengthen this congregation in its work and worship. Fill our hearts with your self-giving love, that our voices may speak your praise and our lives may conform to the image of your Son. Nourish us with your Word and sacraments, that we may faithfully minister in your name and witness to your love and grace for all the world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Look with compassion on all who suffer. Support with your love those with incurable and stigmatized diseases, those unjustly imprisoned, those denied dignity, those who live without hope, those who are homeless or abandoned. As you have moved toward us in love, so lead us to be present with them in their suffering in the name of Jesus Christ. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Sustain those among us who need your healing touch. Make the sick whole. Give hope to the dying. Comfort those who mourn. Uphold all who suffer in body or mind, not only those we know and love but also those known only to you, that they may know the peace and joy of your supporting care. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
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
Jesus invites us to make our lives a testament to his. Jesus inspires us to live as witnesses pointing back to him as the source of a light too beautiful to be hid or ignored. Your life can become a beacon of God’s irresistible grace in this world, beckoning others to see for themselves.
We can join in this work by volunteering to help our neighbors, by joining with our ministries to continue making an impact in the lives of our fellow church members – like helping to teach our children. We can also help by pledging to support this church community financially as we make a bigger and bigger impact in our local, regional, and even international communities.
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 email@example.com if you have that ability.
Christ speaks straight through our doubts, our fears and anxieties, and even the dark places of our own souls to call us back, and to restore us to our whole selves.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who calls us to new life; the love of the Father, who calls us back to abundant life; and the communion of the Holy Spirit, who sustains us still with every breath we take, be with you now and always. Amen.
PASSING THE PEACE
Peace be with you
Please pass the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to your neighbors.
Assorted liturgy from this worship service were taken and/or adapted from the Feasting on the Word liturgy book for Year B. This worship resource is full of beautiful reflections on scripture and continue to inspire God’s people.