WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING

May 31, 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

As the wind is your symbol, so forward our goings.

As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.

As water, so purify our spirits.

As a cloud, so abate our temptations.

As dew, so revive our languor.

As fire, so purge our dross. Amen

 

-Christina Rosseti

CALL TO WORSHIP

At Pentecost we remember the promised arrival of God’s Holy Spirit coming to give strength to Jesus’ followers. At Pentecost, we mark the “birthday” of the Church. At Pentecost we witness God doing something new as a gift and blessing for the world. God is up to something new this Pentecost, calling the church to serve in new ways, calling us to love in new ways, and reforming us to be what the world needs, right here, right now. Our worship this morning may not be what we have yearned for, but God’s Holy Spirit still calls. Our prayers may be led a little differently, but God’s Holy Spirit still moves. Our friends and family may not be sitting in the seats and pews around us, but we are still connected in God’s Holy Spirit, and it is in the Spirit we offer our sacrifice of praise and prayer now.

HYMN

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
(arr. John Helgen) sung by Donald Boos

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;

Stoop to my weakness, might as thou art, and make me love thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies, no sudden rending of the veil of clay,

no angel visitant, no opening skies; but take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to love thee as thine angels love, one holy passion filling all my frame;

the baptism of the heaven-descended Dove, my heart an altar, and thy love the flame.

CALL TO CONFESSION

At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descends, the people are able to speak in new languages, separated no more by the bounds of ethnicity or culture. This is part of God’s plan for creation, that nothing hold us apart from being in right relationship; this, in fact, is the essence of what we mean by “communion.” Confession is a sign that we can be honest and that we can lay aside everything that would keep us divided.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God, our Holy Parent, give us a new way of relating that with new thoughts and even new tongues we may learn to use our words to build each other up, to serve other people, and to express the love you have for all. Make us a new creation – both as individuals and as your holy church – that we may be what is most needed in this broken world.

 

We pray all of this in the one hope that this reformation may make us whole, and wake us to the calling you have prepared each of us to live out. Namely, the calling that as followers of Christ we get to be healers in creation.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

It is so easy for daily life, even in the immense disruption of this health crisis, to drown out our ability to hear and see God’s presence in our own daily life. But know this, nothing we do, or say, even think, occurs outside of the presence of God, who is always at work calling us back to our truest selves. We are forgiven. We are freed. We are loved. Amen.

PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

God, whose Spirit ignites our hearts, who kindles our imaginations to see a world lit by love, compassion and justice, awaken us now, we pray. Give us sight to see the future you are weaving together for us. Give us courage to hear your Word today in scripture and lived by generations of the faithful so that we, too, may be the church you call us to be.

GOSPEL READING

Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

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. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

SERMON

Rev. Jeremy Jinkins

HYMN

Sing a New Church
(arr. Jeffrey Honoré; words by Delores Dufner), sung by the choir

Summoned by the God who made us rich in our diversity,

Gathered in the name of Jesus, richer still in unity:

Let us bring the gifts that differ and in splendid, varied ways,

Sing a new church into being, one in faith and love and praise.

Radiant risen from the water, robed in holiness and light,

Male and female in God's image, male and female, God's delight.

Let us bring...

Trust the goodness of creation; trust the Spirit strong within.

Dare to dream the vision promised sprung from seed of what has been.

Let us bring...

Bring the hopes of ev'ry nation, bring the art of ev'ry race.

Weave a song of peace and justice; let it sound through time and space.

Let us bring...

Draw together at one table all the human family;

Shape a circle ever wider and a people ever free.

Let us bring the gifts that differ and in splendid, varied ways,

Sing a new church into being, one in faith and love and praise.

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

Pentecost is a siren call to the faithful, both a reminder of what God has done, but also a clear sight of God at work right here right now. As we have heard of the Holy Spirit descending on the faithful so many years ago, and as we remember that this same Spirit continues to call men and women to faithful service now, we too can ask, “how is God calling to me?”

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

I tend to find that in the moment it is hard to recognize God's presence. To be honest, most days I (and most people I talk to) feel far too small to be worthy, to be good enough, to be "usable" by God for much of anything. When we start talking about miracles and God's call, we think of some of the biggest Bible stories, events that are too outrageous for "little ole me."
But Pentecost is a chance to see that there lies across each of our shoulders a mantle of burning love and compassion. We need nothing more than this to follow God's call to serve this world in prayer, worship, and community. The question always remains, will we answer the call? Will you find your true voice?

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

Every Time I Feel the Spirit
(Spiritual; arr. Reginald Unterseher); sung by Youjin Cho and Teresa Giardina with Paul Sanner, piano

PASSING THE PEACE

Peace be with you

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

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

By clicking on the image you will be directed to Spotify, and will need a Spotify account to listen (don’t worry they’re free); by clicking you are also agreeing to the Terms of Services, the Copyright Policy and the Spotify Privacy Policy.