WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
March 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.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
Journey with us, O Holy God, as we continue 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
Almighty God, you despise nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and contrite hearts, that, truly repenting of our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, we may obtain from you, the God of all mercy, full pardon and forgiveness, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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 sacred relationships, hold us in your divine care and remind us that we live, not for ourselves, but for each other. Open your Word up to us so that through holy writ we may be awakened to your blessings and will in our midst. Amen.
Old Testament Reading – Psalm 133
How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
life for evermore.
Rev. Jeremy Jinkins
Let Me Walk You Home
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 Lord, our God, you desire truth in our inward being; teach us wisdom in our secret heart. Send out your light, send out your truth, and let them lead us home. Take from us the weight of all that separates us from you, from our neighbors, so that room may be made for the spirit of your truth. If we prepare in this Lenten season a dwelling place, may your Holy Spirit find a home in us, will abide with us, and set us free. Only then will we live in right relationship. Only then will we love beyond our words, but in deeds, and by this all the world will know that we belong to you. O lord, our God, you desire truth in our inward being; teach us wisdom in our secret heart.
As Christ wept over his departed friend, Lazarus, be with all who grieve today and call us to the place where we may be your comfort for them.
As Christ wept over the state of Jerusalem and the abuses of power and even religion, be with our communities – cities and towns, even in our houses of worship. Turn us to face you and to use our lives as blessing for others.
As Christ wept alone in Gethsemane, realizing that his final act of ministry and care would be as one alone and rejected, be with all who are lonely, all who face difficulty with families or friends, all who have been pushed to the margins because of who they are. Call us to make room for them, to welcome them in, so that our relationships may be a safe place for them – a new home.
As Christ offered prayers for those he loved, we now pause to pray for those in our lives, and ask that you carry us beyond our thoughts and prayers to a place of living out our love for others in our lives.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have that ability.
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.