WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING

May 24, 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.

PRAYER BEFORE WORSHIP

Eternal God, you have called us to be members of one body. Join us with those who in all times and places have praised your name, that, with one heart and mind, we may show the unity of your church, and bring honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

From the Book of Common Worship

CALL TO WORSHIP

Just as Christ rose from the grave and then ascended to heaven forty days later, we are called to live risen lives. For many, our lives are littered with the gravestones of past relationships, disappointments and failures, and unrealized yearnings. There are many here among us who feel that life is but a weary and lonely journey. In our worship and life together, however, God stitches our relationships together so that all who have felt apart may be brought in.

HYMN

Alleluia, Sing to Jesus sung by the Chancel Choir
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus; his the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the trimpy, his the victory alone!
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood:
"Jesus out of every natikon has redeemed us by his blood."
Alleluia! Not as orphans are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! he is near us; faith believes nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him, when the forty days were o'er,
shall our hearts forget his promise: "I am with you evermore"?
Alleluia! King eternal, Lord omnipotent we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary, earth your footstool, heaven your throne.
As within the veil you entered, robed in flesh, our great high priest;
here on earth both priest and victim in the eucharistic feast.

CALL TO CONFESSION

Through many dangers, toils and snares we have come, following the promises of an itinerant preacher two thousand years ago. Some of us feel confident in the hope he offered, others less so, for some it rings hollow and gaunt. The call to repentance is not simply a charge against our actions, but a call to turn and see the one who calls to us. Our confession can be about the places where we need to say sorry, but much more it is about the reminder we are never left alone.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God of peace, we have built walls to protect ourselves from others, nursing our hurts and living in isolation, but those walls have also shut us off from receiving your love. Break down all that blocks us from dwelling in your presence, and help us to see that the way into your heart is through healing the broken relationships in our own lives. Bless them and us, that we may come to grow in love for each other and for you, Jesus Christ. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

The one who has risen is the same who promises to come again. We have not been left to our own devices; our failures and false starts are not the end of the story. Trust in God that every hurt, every scar you bear signals the coming presence of God who reconciles all things.

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

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.

GOSPEL READING

Acts 1:6-14

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

SERMON

Rev. Jeremy Jinkins

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.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FAMILY

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!

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

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.

OFFERING OUR GIFTS

In the ascension of Christ, the disciples are gifted each other. They come together in a new way, understanding that the love that binds them together is the presence of God. They live more closely and they spend their days in prayer and praise to God. One of the greatest gifts we can still offer today is ourselves. Considering the way that our presence, a phone call or a note even, can reignite the heart of someone we care for.

 

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 tbarulli@westfieldpc.org if you have that ability.

THE SENDING

CHARGE

When I think of suffering, of despair, of those who feel apart - separated - I do not feel pity, I feel longing. Our relationships harbor in their very connection the presence of God. There are a lot of people out there hurting, some with new aches doled out by the health crisis, others whose long-tended scars have reopened, all in need. I hope in going from this moment that you may realize the power you hold in reaching out, making contact, in your own simple prayers, to be presence for someone else.

BENEDICTION

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.

HYMN

Amazing Grace (J. Christopher Pardini)   Paul Sanner, organ

PASSING THE PEACE

Peace be with you

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

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

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