Revised Common Lectionary

Worship Words: April 18, 2021

Psalm 4 Paraphrase by Barb Hedges-Goettl                                                                                                                                                      

God, you are right and just and true.

When I call with a loud cry,

    You answer me.

You widen the straits of distress

   that bind and besiege me.

When my world is small, narrow, and cramped,

  You give me room to breathe.

When I am stuck between a rock and hard place,

   You let me loose in your broad, wide pasture.

You bend to me in kindness and mercy,

    understanding my prayer.

How long will people hurt God’s reputation

     and damage God’s honor and glory?

How long will we love empty words,

     seeking lies and requiring falsehoods,

     and yearning after worthless things?

Set us aside for yourself, O Lord.

     Make us your good and faithful ones,

     Your kind and godly ones,

     Your saints by Your mercy.

O Lord, hear me when I call to you.

When I am trembling and quivering,

       Agitated and disturbed,

       Angry and disquieted,

       Worried and anxious,

             Keep me from sin.

Inspire me to meditate on you at night.

    Put me to bed and tuck me in with your comfort.

    Whisper to the ears of my heart, that I may hear you.

    Quiet and calm me in my whole being.

I confess my dependence on you.

    Enable me to wait upon you

    With confidence and patience.

I offer myself in thanksgiving;

    I give myself to you because of your mercy.

    I respond to your love with love of my own.

    I respond to the all you give me

        With my all.

I put my trust in you.

    I hold out my hand for your hand.

    I offer my heart to your heart.

    I offer my mind to your purposes.

    I offer my body to your body.

Be my hope,

      my boldness,

      my security,

      my confidence,

             my God.

There are many who say:

       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!

        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness

        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest

         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,

         A share in your joy.

We will lie down and sleep;

         We will be stilled and remain at peace,

         dwelling in God’s house,

         where we can safely lie down.

Thanks be to God.

Opening Prayer(adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

My God,

Be my hope,

      my boldness,

      my security,

      my confidence,

My God.

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 4) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

There are many who say:

       “Oh, that we might perceive some good!”

Shine your light upon us, O God!

        Make your presence dawn upon us.

Give us joy and gladness

        at our deepest heart of hearts–

Joy greater than a bountiful harvest

         or material riches.

Bestow gladness in our very being,

         A share in your joy.

Confession of Faith in the Good News cf. Acts 3 (RCL) and Acts 6-7 (NL) by Barb Hedges-Goettl                                                                                                                         

We believe and receive the Good News. We experience God’s confounding of the evil of crucifixion with the grace of resurrection.  We participate in God’s conversion of mourning into dancing. We are dressed in grave clothes made over into glad rags. We are lifted up from the grave and given new life. God lifts us up from down-and-out to up-and-at-‘em. For this Good News, we give thanks to God. Amen.

Prayer of thanks for a witness by Barb Hedges-Goettl

God, we thank you that we have a witness. You bear witness to yourself:  You proclaim that we are made in your image, and that image is very good.Jesus proclaims love for all people, the sacrificial love of a Shepherd for the sheep.The Spirit proclaims you with sighs too deep for words.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses have come before us: Prophets proclaim your justice for all people, rolling down like waters. The women at the tomb proclaim your confounding of evil and death through the resurrection. Astounding the crowd by healing the lame, Peter witnesses to forgiveness and resurrection. Condemned by false witnesses, Stephen witnesses to the Son of Man and forgiveness.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Witnesses are all around us:Give us ears to hear voices long silenced, peoples whose experiences challenge and correct our own. Fill our hearts with love for the diverse ways in which you speak, that we know and hear your word through each person’s own experience, and so honor your image and your presence in each one we meet.

O God, we thank you that we have a witness. Make us witnesses going forward, sharing what we have known, what we have heard:  your love, your hope, and the Good News of the resurrected life  redeemed from evil, death and all that would separate us from you and from one another.

In Jesus’ name and by the power of the Spirit we pray, Amen.

The below are from Rev. Katy Stenta, see

Prayers for Acts 6: Stoning of Stephen

Acts 6:1-7:2, 44-60

Suggest Pairing Isaiah 66:1-2, 22-23

Call to Worship (based on Isaiah 66:13-14, ) 

God promises, asa  mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you

We shall see, and our hearts shall rejoice. 

Come let us pray for the Lord, for God is Good. 

Come let all flesh give God Thanks and Praise. 

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we find comfort in tradition. We have struggled throughout this year as so many things have had to change. Walk with us this spring and we try to understand what it is we need to keep, and what it is we can leave behind. Help us to choose, always and forever, the ways that lead us closer to your kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen 

Assurance of Pardon: God’s promises to remake heaven and earth in God’s forgiveness. Let us share the good news with one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication: (unison) Lord, let us go forth giving thanks for all that is good. Place praise for you on our lips and on our tongues, that others might see and know and understand your love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Hymns: Morning Has Broken, Jesu Jesus Fill Us with Your Love, Called as Partners to Christ’s Service, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace,

Worship Words for Sunday, March 14 for Narrative Lectionary: Luke 16:19-31 (Psalm 41:1-3) and Revised Common Lectionary (Numbers 21:4-17, Ephesians 2:1-10)

Khor Virap, Armenia with Mount Ararat in the background. Barb Hedges-Goettl, 2018.

Opening Prayer (or Intercession) inspired by Luke 16:19-31 by Barb Hedges-Goettl

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

In the name of the finely dressed man

Who feasts sumptuously every day

Whose crumbs could satisfy the hungry

Whose dogs tend the wounds of the needy.

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

Send Lazarus, recipient of evil things,

Who was carried by angels to Abraham

Who has comforting water–and cool

Who can call the living back from their hell

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

The One who received evil things

The One who brings Living Water

The One who brings the living back from their hell

O God, send us your messenger from the dead

That we, who receive and do evil things,

May share living water, comforting and cool,

And bring back the living from their hell.


Call to Worship (or Prayer of Thanksgiving)based on Psalm 107 by Barb Hedges-Goettl

Redeemed by the Lord from trouble, let us say so.                                                                       We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.                                                                                                                                                                  

Gathered in from all lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.    

As we cry to the Lord in our trouble, God saves us from our distress.                                                            We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

God sends out God’s word and heals us, delivering us from destruction.                                                We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

We give thanks for the Lord’s steadfast love, For God’s wonderful works to humankind.                     We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Offer thanksgiving sacrifice, and tell of God’s deed with songs of joy.                                                  We give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Prayer of Confession inspired by Numbers 21:4-9 by Barb Hedges-Goettl

O God, forgive us.

We are impatient.

We forget that you made us and that you call us.

You lead us–and you provide for us.

O God, forgive us.

We want what we want.

We act like we know ourselves better than you know us.

We pretend that we can take care of ourselves.

O God, forgive us.

We close our eyes to all that needs healing.

We do not recognize the powers of death and dying that need transformation.

We pretend there are no wrongs for you to overcome.

O God, forgive us.

We doubt your ability to transform.

We do not trust you to take that which is deadly

and turn it into the deliverer of salvation and hope.

O God, forgive us.

Silent Confession

Assurance: Even when we do not believe it, God brings about transformation, exchanging sin for forgiveness, trading wounds for healing, replacing fear with courage, converting falling down into rising up, and overcoming death with life. Thanks be to God

Prayer of Intercession (or Confession) by Barb Hedges-Goettl

A Sort of Anti-Confession, naming what we seek to do instead of what we have failed to do (or done wrongly). The categories are from Psalm 41:1-3 and represent the ways that God blesses those who remember the poor, recognizing them as ways that we can also bless others.

Lord, have mercy. Show us how to help those who are in trouble as you help us.

Lord, have mercy. Empower us to protect others, and preserve their lives, as you protect and preserve us.

Lord, have mercy. Enable us to bless others, sharing the blessings and joy you grant us.

Lord, have mercy.  Embolden us to accompany people in the presence of their enemies, as you accompany us even in the valley of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy. Inspire us to serve and heal, as you are the servant and healer of all.

Lord, have mercy. Make us more and more your people, serving all as created in your image.


Prayer of Intercession Trauma Prayer by Katy Stenta

Here is a prayer for the survivors, who were left by those who got sick and died.

A prayer for the workers who were deemed essential–and never got a break from the work, the breath, the spit, the talk, the-show-up-to-get-your-paycheck

Its a plea for those who were “let go” told that they weren’t important enough to keep getting paid

Its a recycled prayer for the homeless and the hungry, who are the same as ever, only worse

A love note for the queer fam, whose barriers only increase when people become stressed

Here’s a prayer for the black and brown people the Native Americans, the Asians, the Immigrants…the ignored and forgotten. The “inaccessible” for healthcare, the ones who always have to sit on the bottom, except for deaths in the pandemic where they ride high.

Here’s a chant for Black Lives Matter–words that start, but don’t do enough to create a structure for reparations

Here’s a prayer for the abused, alone and trapped.

A prayer for the addict, who is living the days, and the nights trying to figure out treatment in tough times.

This is a Cry for the lonely: the elderly, the singles, the handicapped, the sick. Lord, you know there are too many ways for us to feel lonely in ordinary times. Here’s an extra cry for them.

Here’s a prayer for a moment–for all those who are caretaking or parenting, those who have had not respite and no relief, for whom the to do list has lengthened and the how to list no longer exists.

This is a prayer for the children, who know in their bones what they are missing, even when they don’t know what they are missing.

We are praying for all of the world together–because this is our traumaversary–a moment when we look at the world that has ended, and has not yet a world to look towards.

We have to relive the trauma of the loss, and we still haven’t learned how to Cope with it Lord.

This is a prayer for me Lord,

Because I’m tired and lonely, and I don’t even know if I’m hungry or bored or just dealing with depression. This is a prayer for my family, because ok is all we can go for right now.

This is a prayer for the traumatized. Help us, we pray, Save us, we pray.


Feel free to share/use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Trauma Anniversary Info:

katyandtheword | March 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Hymn Dives and Lazarus British folk song  (public domain in the US)

To hear it, go to Maddy Prior performing ‘Dives & Lazarus’ from Nettlebed Folk Club on the ‘Seven For Old England’ tour.  (not for use in worship due to copyright)

Hymn; Tell me, Dear Tree(Ephesians 2:1-10)  A Lenten hymn of sacrifice t


Meter- 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (United Methodist Hymnal #179)

Kingsfold is in the public domain in the US


Worship Resources for Transfiguration Sunday (2/14) and Ash Wednesday (2/17)



Photo by Tamar Dolev.
Sunset from Norfolk Island. Feel free to use it. If you want to know more about this beautiful island, then visit


by Barb Hedges-Goettl
‘God Almighty, we give you thanks for your creation and care,
for the words and witness of those who have gone before us,
and of those who live the Christian life alongside us.
We thank you for your steadfast, eternal presence,
even when we do not see, hear or follow you.

You sent your son Jesus to reveal you love.
Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection,
you reveal to us the way, the truth and the life–
not just at the Transfiguration on the mountain,
but in this very time and place
through the bread and cup you give us to share.
And so we praise and thank you
with these people in this place,
and with all your people across every time and place.

By the work of your Holy Spirit,
reveal to us that we eat together at the very table of Christ Jesus.
Make us one with you and with each other.

Through this holy meal,
teach us to know and follow your way.
Ground and settle us in your truth,
and make us sharers of your abundant and eternal life.

[Confirm what we know.
Reveal to us what we do not know.
Fill us up with whatever we lack.
Keep us faithfully in your service
until we feast together in your eternal kingdom.]

Following Christ Jesus, himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
we do what he commanded us to do:

Like him, we take bread, and having given thanks,
we break it and give it to the disciples, saying, as Christ Jesus did,
“Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

And, also like Jesus, we take the cup, saying
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Prayer of Confession

(from Psalm 51:1-4, New Living Translation adapted by Barb Hedges-Goettl)
 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Forgive me, O God.
In your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Forgive me, O God
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Forgive me, O God
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Forgive me, O God
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned. Forgive me, O God
I have done what is evil in your sight. Forgive me, O God


Opening Prayer/Confession of Faith

by Barb Hedges-Goettl

We gather together as the church

When we can’t summon our “Jesus-loves-me” smiles

When we are not feeling happy or better

When traditions don’t seem to suffice

When we know all too well that we are ashes and dust

                    Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

When we are not sure how to come before God

When we miss being in our building

When we miss being with our community

When all seems strange and uncertain           

          Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

When we need to lament

When we are a grieving people, a weeping people,

When we are dependent on God for help and healing

When we seek God’s Kingdom until that Kingdom comes

          Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

Because God creates in us a clean heart, a new and right spirit within us

Because God restores to us the joy of salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit

Because God does not cast us away, or take God’s holy spirit from us

Because God restores to us the joy of God’s salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit

 we gather together as the church. THANKS BE TO GOD!

Children’s sermon (good for grownups too!)

Found at

Lent Ideas with Children: Narrative Lectionary Luke

Children Ideas: Meditate on Dirt together (Ideally with dirt): What is dirt? 
Discuss God as creator and make clay/playdo people together, Bury the Alleluias:
(Post includes an image of Pigpen from Peanuts, with his quote about where his dirt has been before it landed on him!)

See also and and nfleshed,  a non profit creating and facilitating resources or spiritual nourishment for collective liberation, which can be found at

Commentary by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome on Rafael’s painting Transfiguration on the possessed boy and the female figure depicted there! in text or in video

Ignatian prayer exercise to match the above art commentary exercise/

RCL: 12/16/18 Sample bulletin Zephaniah 3:14-20                                  Philippians 4:4-9           

December 16th, 2018                 Third Sunday of Advent                         10:30 a.m.


Welcome and Announcements


Lighting of the Advent Candle: We begin this third week of Advent with a sense of

liberating joy. Let us pause and breathe deeply as we hear these words spoken by Mary:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”


Call to Worship (from Isaiah 12)

One: Surely God is my salvation.

Many: With joy we will draw water from the wells of salvation.

And we will say in that day:

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name.     

Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,

for great in our midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Sing praises to the Lord,

make known God’s deeds in all the earth.


Opening Prayer

O God, Source of all that is true, noble, reputable, authentic,                                      compelling, and gracious, unite us to you in joy.                                                                Fill our minds with good and praiseworthy things so that                                                                          we will put into practice what we have learned and received,                                                                heard and seen in Christ Jesus.                                                                                                                      In his name, and by the power of the Spirit, we pray. Amen.

*Opening Hymn  (blue hymnal) #145 Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart


*Call to Confession: God calls us to fill our minds, hearts and lives with all that creates joy, but we are not always ready to go there. Let us confess our need for God’s forgiveness and grace.


*Confession of Sin (followed by silent confession)

God, in this busy season, we are discovering the ways in which we are not fully ready.

We are not ready to give up our shame.

We are not ready to abandon our fears.

We are not ready to rejoice.

We are not ready to turn to you instead of to worrying.

We are not ready to tell the truth. We are not ready to be just.

We are not ready to be real. We are not ready to be gracious.

We are not ready to show that we belong to you in all that we think, and say, and do.

Forgive us and change us. (Silent Confession)


* Assurance of Pardon (from Zephaniah 3, New International Version)

The Lord has taken away your punishment.

The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.

Thanks be to God for the Good News:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


* Gloria Patri: Hymn 579 (blue hymnal) “Glory Be to the Father”


Passing of the Peace

The peace of Christ be with you.        And also with you.


Offering Hymn #13 (blue hymnal) Prepare the Way


* Doxology (Hymn 592, blue hymnal)   “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”


* Prayer of Dedication


Prayer for Illumination

Open our eyes, Lord we want to see Jesus

to reach out and touch him, and say that we love him.

Open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen.

Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.

First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20

Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-9

Message:  Getting Ready for Christ to Come

Affirmation of Faith (from the PC-USA Brief Confession of Faith)

In life and in death we belong to God.
Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor
and release to the captives,
teaching by word and deed
and blessing the children, healing the sick
and binding up the brokenhearted,
eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners,
and calling all to repent and believe the gospel. 


We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
In sovereign love God created the world good
and makes everyone equally in God’s image
male and female, of every race and people,
to live as one community

God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant.
Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
God is faithful still.

We trust in God the Holy Spirit,
everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers
in the one body of Christ, the Church. 

In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

Celebration of the Lord’s Supper


*Closing Hymn (blue hymnal) #2 Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus


*Charge & Blessing


*Denotes please stand if able.

















Trinity United Presbyterian Church

360 N. Oak Ave. Clifton Heights, PA 19018    610-626-3143


Whatever is true                                          whatever is honorable








whatever is just                                                     whatever is pure








whatever is pleasing                                     whatever is commendable








if there is any excellence                     and anything worthy of praise








…think about these things.

RCL Resources 9/9/18

Sample bulletin from Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church, Springfield, PA with original resources by Barb Hedges-Goettl. Bulletin cover is a quote attributed to John R.W. Stott.


SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY                                           Sunday, September 9, 2018

Guest Pastor: Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl                                            





WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS                         

CALL TO WORSHIP (church’s mission statement)

As a caring community of believers, led by the Bible and the Holy Spirit,                  we serve God and our neighbors, both near and far.                                                       We gather, dedicating ourselves to worship and to follow the Lord                          with enthusiasm, integrity, and generosity of gifts and spirit.  

Come, let us worship the Lord.

*HYMN # 440 (hymns from 1993 PCUSA Hymnal Glory to God)                                                   “In Christ There is No East or West”                      Oxenham

   *CALL TO CONFESSION  James 2 notes: You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Yet if a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?

Let us together confess our need for God’s forgiveness.


O God, we find it easier to talk and pray and spiritualize than to take action.                Forgive us when we forget that you have made and love all people.                                  We repent the nearsightedness that limits our ability to know of others’ needs.     We regret talking about others’ needs without including them in the conversation. We are sorry for the times when we miss people’s tangible needs, and when we ignore the human need for respect, for being heard, and for companionship.

Open our ears to hear, our arms to reach out, and our hearts to respond.



Leader: Friends believe the Good News of the Gospel:                                                          People: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

 *RESPONSE 579                  *Gloria Patri 



FIRST LESSON           James 2:1-10, 14-17 (New Testament, pg.  )

Leader:  This is the Word of the Lord.  People:  Thanks be to God.



SECOND LESSON     Mark 7:24-30 (New Testament, pg. )

Leader: The Gospel of the Lord. People: Praise to You, O Christ.

SERMON               “Grace, Faith, Dogs, and Crumbs”    Rev. Len Hedges-Goettl



*HYMN # 369         “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”              I’m Gonna Live

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH  (adapted from the inclusive language version of the PCUSA Confession of 1967) As Romans 6:4 proclaims, “We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” This new life of ours takes shape in a community where we know that God loves and accepts us in spite of what our sin.. Therefore we can and do accept ourselves and love others, knowing that no one has any ground on which to stand except God’s grace.  Our new life does not release us from conflict with sin. We still have to struggle with disheartening difficulties and problems. Nevertheless, as we mature in love and faithfulness in our life with Christ, we live in freedom and good cheer, and we bear witness on good days and evil days, confident that our Spirit-led new life is pleasing to God and helpful to others.

As members of the church, we are emissaries of peace and seek the good of all in cooperation with powers and authorities in politics, culture, and economics.

But we have to fight against pretensions and injustices when these same powers endanger human welfare. In all things, our strength is in our confidence that God’s purpose, rather than human schemes, will finally prevail. Thanks be to God.



* DOXOLOGY 592      “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow”




“The Lord’s Prayer will be sung In Unison. Please refer to the bulletin.                             (Please leave your insert in the Hymnal Rack for future use.)

*HYMN  # 422            “God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”             Beach Spring


*PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH (expanded in scope from church’s usual prayer.)

God, we ask your blessing on your people in all times and places.                                      We ask your blessing on your Church and on Chambers Memorial Church.                     Inspire us with your vision, fill us with your love, transform us with your power.Show your grace among us, so we may proclaim with hope the good news of Jesus Christ to one another, our community, and the world.  Amen.


 POSTLUDE                                                                                                                                              *The Congregation stands












Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church




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