WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
February 21, 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
“Before a [person] can do things there must be things [they] will not do.”
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
Journey with us, O Holy God, as we begin our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, ready to perceive and respond to you Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. In his name we pray, Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let us confess our sins to the Almighty God.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God of transfiguration, you meet us in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary moments of life. We seek you in the valleys and on the mountaintops. Yet we admit that too often our eyes are blind to your presence, too often our ears are deaf to your call. When you reach out to us through the cries of the hungry and homeless, too often our hearts shrink from your touch. Forgive us, we pray, and set us free to love and serve. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven and transformed! Praise be to God. Amen.
PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
God of call, God of transformation, God of our Lenten journey, help us to discern your still, small voice. Open us to change and growth, that we may learn to walk with Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
In my distress I cry to the Lord,
that he may answer me:
‘Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.’
What shall be given to you?
And what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!
Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech,
that I must live among the tents of Kedar.
Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
I am for peace;
but when I speak,
they are for war.
Rev. Jeremy Jinkins
Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days
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
O God, source of love and compassion in the suffering of all your children, we are our compassion also for the hungry and the sick in body, mind, or heart; the depressed and the lonely; all living in fear and under stress; all stricken in grief; the unemployed and the rejected; and those burning with hatred.
Strengthen us to work for their healing, and inspire us to build with you the kingdom of love in which none will cause suffering to others and all will be caring, loving children of yours, our compassionate, all-embracing God.
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 our Lord, Christ Jesus, 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
Lent is a time of taking stock on our lives, and reassessing who we have been, who we are, and who we want to be, and, more important, who we begin to sense God is calling us to be. It is a time to become an offering to God and to our neighbors, whom God loves so deeply.
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.
Sometimes our sense of disconnect with our own culture, our dissatisfaction even, at the world around us is a signal, an invitation to something more that God has in store. Come, follow, and discover how love and grace are a more powerful truth than anything this world can concoct.
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.