Search

bjhlog

Category

Worship

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 https://katyandtheword.com/2021/04/13/prayers-for-acts-6-stoning-of-stephen/?fbclid=IwAR3hB6dxy9lTay-hhKQB1fNNGEWd6t6qPogFHHIt7j1lFjfox1L8VT5vaUw

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.

Amen.

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.

Amen.

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.

Amen.

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

Trauma Anniversary Info: https://www.mentalhelp.net/ptsd/anniversary-reactions-to-a-traumatic-event/

katyandtheword | March 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Hymn Dives and Lazarus British folk song

https://hymnary.org/hymn/CCNO1871/39  (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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl3xFnoDZ  (not for use in worship due to copyright)

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

https://revlisad.com/2015/04/03/tell-me-dear-tree-a-lenten-hymn-of-sacrifice-2/t t

 

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

Kingsfold is in the public domain in the US

See https://hymnary.org/tune/kingsfold_english

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

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY

IMAGE

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfolk_Island

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

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 https://katyandtheword.com/2021/01/12/lent-ideas-with-children-narrative-lectionary-luke/

JANUARY 12, 2021 BY KATYANDTHEWORD.COM
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: http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/01/burying-alleluia-for-lent.html
(Post includes an image of Pigpen from Peanuts, with his quote about where his dirt has been before it landed on him!)

See also https://worshipwords.co.uk/transfiguration and https://worshipwords.co.uk/ash-wednesday and nfleshed,  a non profit creating and facilitating resources or spiritual nourishment for collective liberation, which can be found at https://enfleshed.com/pages/ash-wednesday

Commentary by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome on Rafael’s painting Transfiguration on the possessed boy and the female figure depicted there! https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/arts-and-faith-for-lent/cycle-a/arts-and-faith-week-2-of-lent-cycle-a/ in text or https://youtu.be/GYo5VyNv7fg in video

Ignatian prayer exercise to match the above art commentary exercise/https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/arts-faith-lent-second-sunday-imaginative-prayer-exercise/

Psalm 137 Worship Resources

Cover photo: An aerial view of protesters gathered near the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd, marking one week since his death (Minneapolis). Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images.

We are using the 2020 Presbyterian Women’s Horizons Bible Study for our Summer Series:  Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament, a $10 resources with 9 lessons. This is week 2 on lamenting together; week 1 was intro to lament.

Singing the Lord’s Song/being in communion when separated and in times of darkness

How do we sing the Lord’s Song when our world’s violence makes any thoughts of even one peaceful Sabbath a pipe dream? When you’re in such a dark place that you wish death on somebody, maybe even yourself? When our people and communities are broken, divided by illness, grief, spite or sheer vengeance? When your own church’s communion – much less the world’s – seems impossible?

From Sacredise: https://sacredise.com/lectionary-resources/proper-22c/

REFLECTIONS ON THEME:
The readings this week offer a fascinating juxtaposition of ideas. The Old Testament and Psalm readings all explore the pain and humiliation of God’s people when they are defeated, conquered and exiled, and as they long for forgiveness restoration and salvation. Even Psalm 37 deals with similar issues, albeit in a more generalised way, speaking of the pain and confusion that arises when destructive or evil people prosper, and the difficult work of faith and patience in God’s action on behalf of those who trust God’s ways. The New Testament readings, on the other hand, explore the impact that a life of simple, ordinary faith can have, and the attitude of humble servanthood which expects no undue reward for simply living faithfully. In essence, both Testaments are saying the same thing this week.
In a world where bad things happen to good people, and where it often appears that the lawless and ‘godless’ get the best, it can be tough to live in faith and faithfulness. Justice can take a long time to come, and it can be tempting to use any means – however undesirable – to achieve what we long for. This applies even when our goal is to manifest God’s reign. However, as we live in faithfulness, and pass our faith on to others who come after us, the small, ordinary acts of goodness and justice that we do each day, the small faithful commitments to our convictions that we renew each day, really do ‘move mountains’ and change the world, little by little, into a place where God’s salvation is visibly revealed.

CONNECTING WITH LIFE:
GLOBAL APPLICATION: In the light of the huge challenges facing our world – hunger and poverty, human rights abuses, unequal distribution of resources, human trafficking, dread diseases, environmental degradation, conflict and war – it is easy to get frustrated and impatient, and it is extremely tempting to embrace any strategy that gets results. The danger here, though, is that we can too easily become what we seek to overcome, and our efforts, which may appear successful in the short term, leave us in deeper trouble in the long term. Two important principles that the lectionary offers us this week are 1) the power of small acts of goodness and justice, and 2) the need to think systemically and long term, waiting at the “guard post on the wall” (to use Habakkuk’s image) to observe, nurture and cooperate with any manifestations of God’s reign that emerge. In the world of big business, big politics, and powerful lobby groups, such long term thinking can be frustrating, but, as demonstrated by Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela (it must have taken faith to spend 27 years in jail and then still embrace dialogue as a valid process to end apartheid) such faithful, consistent and just living does result in significant change. What long term commitments to justice can you embrace or renew in your community this week?

LOCAL APPLICATION: Perhaps the best focus, on the local level, this week, is the power of small, ordinary, “everyday” acts of justice. When we refuse to live according to the expedient, self-centred, materialist values of the society around us, it may appear to have no impact, and we may feel like we become nothing more than a laughing stock – a people in exile, suffering for what may sometimes feel like foolish and ineffectual convictions, while those around us “live it up” and succeed. The promise of the Scriptures, though, is that such alternative living does have an impact – a significant one – and also has lasting value – becoming the heritage of faith and goodness that is passed down through generations and across communities. The reassurance this gives is that our suffering is not in vain, and that our faithfulness is useful to God. In our “instant gratification” society, such perseverance and endurance is hard and counter-cultural, but is a powerful witness to the Gospel. Where has your church’s commitment to “everyday justice” grown tired or weak? In what ways do you need to renew your commitment to persevere? What alternate living choices do you need to make or renew together? To whom can your faith heritage be passed on? What can you do to inspire and sustain small, long term, commitments in your community this week?

SONG: https://www.psalmimmersion.com/psalm-137

Psalm 137:1

בָּכָה bâkâh, baw-kaw’; a primitive root; to weep; generally to bemoan:—× at all, bewail, complain, make lamentation, × more, mourn, × sore, × with tears, weep.

Psalm 137:3 captors/tormenters

תּוֹלָל tôwlâl, to-lawl’; from H3213; causing to howl, i.e. an oppressor:—that wasted.

Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon [?]

Psalm 137:7 rase/tear down/lay bare

The KJV translates Strong’s H6168 in the following manner: uncover (3x), discover (3x), emptied (2x), rase (2x), leave destitute (1x), make naked (1x), poured out (1x), poured (1x), spreading (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  1. to be bare, be nude, uncover, leave destitute, discover, empty, raze, pour out
    1. (Piel)
      1. to bare, lay bare
      1. to lay bare by emptying, empty
      1. to pour out
    1. (Hiphil)
      1. to make naked, strip bare (of sexual offences)
      1. to pour out
    1. (Niphal) to be poured out, be exposed
    1. (Hithpael)
      1. to expose oneself, make oneself naked
      1. pouring oneself, spreading oneself (participle)

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

עָרָה ʻârâh, aw-raw’; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) bare; hence, to empty, pour out, demolish:—leave destitute, discover, empty, make naked, pour (out), rase, spread self, uncover.

Psalm 137:8 ravaging the daughter of Jerusalem

The KJV translates Strong’s H7703 in the following manner: spoil (30x), spoiler (11x), waste (8x), destroy (2x), robbers (2x), miscellaneous (5x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  1. to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, ruin, destroy, spoil
    1. (Qal)
      1. to violently destroy, devastate, despoil, assail
      1. devastator, despoiler (participle) (subst)
    1. (Niphal) to be utterly ruined
    1. (Piel)
      1. to assault
      1. to devastate
    1. (Pual) to be devastated
    1. (Poel) to violently destroy
    1. (Hophal) to be devastated

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

שָׁדַד shâdad, shaw-dad’; a primitive root; properly, to be burly, i.e. (figuratively) powerful (passively, impregnable); by implication, to ravage:—dead, destroy(-er), oppress, robber, spoil(-er), × utterly, (lay) waste.

Psalm 137: Complex Communal Laments

JOHN AHN

Journal of Biblical Literature

Vol. 127, No. 2 (Summer, 2008), pp. 267-289 (23 pages)

Imagine the 267N5 Imagine the act of decapitating little children or infants against the edge or corner of the wall of Jerusalem. Something that is supposed to protect is now employed to behead. The violent and traumatic visual image of such a repeated act goes beyond anything we can comprehend.

Mock-simha; fake song of victory over enemies

275 Why would Ps. 137k accentuated by laments & curses, be place in the midst of these 0135-137] Thanksgiving and praise psalms? This is a bold but unconventional editorial move that proposed to give thanks and praise through lament laden with honest feelings of enmity. Thhanksgiving and praise arise not only from positive elements in life. Rther the true mark of these practices if finding the courage & strength to praise & give thanks when there is nothing worthwhile or praiseworthy. 176 Brueggemann says that Ps 137 is marked not by despair but by hope. However, we cannot move into this hopeful realm all too quickly without allowing the pathos to resound and have its rightful place. The ? is, Can those in Babylon, both the first wave and the second wave of forced migrants collectively voice “Hallelujah” or “Thanks be to God” in the midst of their most difficult time? The answer seems to be complex.

278 by the waters of Babylon; by the irrigation canals where the Judean royalty and religious leadership were put to work maintaining/desalinating the canals.

280 weeping willows crying for those who hung the harps

v.3 wordplay beween captors, tormenters & hung

282 For there our captors asked us for the words of a song, but our tormenters asked for mirth, ‘Sing for us a Zion song!’

283 Captors, Babyonians, may be separate from torments, who may be fellow-laborers who are not Jewish.

284 Bookends: Forget/do not remember

Musician wiling to forgo righthand instrument & mouth/tongue for praising God

College Press NIV Commentary 470

v. 5 Wordplay: forget with become crippled/lamed

Conversations Among Exiles

by Walter Brueggemann

The Christian Century, July 2-9, 1997, pp. 630-632.


SUMMARY

In response to times of crisis, Leviticus urged the practice of holiness, and Deuteronomy stressed neighborliness. Unless the experience of loss is expressed, examined and understood, new ways of living are not able to emerge.

In our time of dislocation the church can offer ways of speaking and acting that the dominant society regards as subversive, but without which we cannot for long stay human.
The church can
1) express sadness, rage and loss as an alternative to the denial that inevitably breeds brutality.
2) be a voice of holiness that counters the trivial commodity-centered world by the practice of disciplines that make communion possible.
3) be a voice of imaginative, neighborly transformation, focused on those in need.
4) express new social possibilities, rooted in the truth of God’s good news.

Before us is the choice between succumbing to a fearful self-preoccupation that shrivels the spirit or heeding God’s call to re-enter the pain of the world and the possibility of renewal and salvation. [Numbers added]

Juneteenth https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

http://www.theafricanamericanlectionary.org/PopupLectionaryReading.asp?LRID=10  Maafa service – Maafa is an African word used to refer to four centuries of worldwide enslavement of black people.   The remembering in Psalm 137 (v. 1, 6, 7) occasions anguish, accountability and anger. Babylonians asking for a kind of minstrel show. Includes sermon illustrations.

Phrase from an article that is no longer at the link: Hope without singing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGz5wbIGm0w British Bishop on singing the Lord’s song in a strange land in a time of COVID-19

LITURGICAL RESOURCES

Call to Worship, Prayer, Personal Meditation by Joan Stot http://www.thetimelesspsalms.net/w_resources/pentecost20[27]c_2013.htm

Includes dealing with the last vengeful verses and provides alternative of Lamentations 3:21-26 as an assurance of pardon or final blessing. http://hwallace.unitingchurch.org.au/WebOTcomments/OrdinaryC/Pent19Psalm137.html

Our bulletin is at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcYfmV3FepVsFsaFng

The sermon will be here; target date is 6/15. https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcYfmV3FepVsFsaFng

Worship Elements Redefined: Call, confession, communion and commission beyond COVID-19

Barb Hedges-Goettl | WHAT PRESBYTERIANS BELIEVE

Traditional elements of worship enter a new world

Call, confession, communion and commission beyond COVID-19

Social distancing as a way to flatten the curve of COVID -19’s spread has created many questions about how to maintain a sense of community while not physically coming together in one space. For Christians, though, the social distancing that resulted from the worldwide spread of a virus raised a pressing question: How do we understand ourselves as the church when we can’t meet in person?

John Calvin proclaimed that the marks of the true church are the gospel rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered. So, if the existence of the church is indicated by its worship, as Calvin said — the Word preached and the sacraments rightly administered — what does the current diaspora mean for the church? 

I want to explore four traditional characteristics of church that, although most clearly expressed and reinforced when we gather together, can apply to the Christian life well beyond worship held in the church building.

The first is call, which is best experienced in the corporate Call to Worship that opens many a Sunday service. Presbyterians believe that God’s grace is “prevenient”; that is, that God acts first. The Christian life — and worship itself — is begun by God calling us to Godself, into God’s own kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12) However, during a time of sheltering we are reminded that this call can happen every day, anywhere. Daily Prayer from the PC(USA) Book of Common offers this call in the form of prayer — morning, midday, evening and at the close of day — inviting us to a new rhythm of worship beyond a church building. How else can you open yourself to hear God’s call?

The call of God then leads us into confession — the telling of the truth about ourselves, about God, and about the relationship of the human and divine. “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope, for he who has promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). Our words express and form our faith, telling it like it is and shaping us for what is yet to be. This truth-telling includes the confession of sin and the responding assurance/confession of God’s mercy. It is truth told in our formal confessions of the faith (The Apostles’ Creed, the Brief Statement, etc.). It is truth presented in the ways the Word of God comes to us in worship and life — in song and prayer, in Scripture and preaching, in the witness of nature and of others. It is shared truths and traditions mutually accessible even when we are apart. Is there a prayer, song or other devotional practice you can commit to sharing at the same time as others?

Confession then prepares us for the element of worship traditionally defined as the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup — communion — although it includes the passing of the peace and fellowship time. Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).  Without being able to break bread together or touch hands in a hearty shake, communion as the church takes on new expression. When I studied communion in the PCUSA, it became clear that all kinds of ways of receiving the elements were viewed as “communing together.” Just as God’s action among us is not hampered by particular models of participation in a communion meal, God is not hampered our inability to get together. The church is the church every time we choose to lean on one another, passing the peace by phone, text or computer. The church is the church when a simple table grace is said, asking God to join us all together in love and communion.

Lastly, the fourth characteristic of what church has always been about, still is, and will always be is commissioning. As the Father sent me, so send I you (John 20:21). In baptism we join Jesus’ disciple-making work of bringing Good News to all. Commissioning is for the work of the church in the world — no matter how we meet, where we meet or if we cannot meet together. How can we express our love of neighbor, and reveal that the church is strengthened by the very necessity   of finding new ways to socially connect? What gratitude can we express to God, together or apart? How can we live out the  call, confession, communion and commissioning not just as traditional Sunday morning rubrics, but as the very framework for being the church today?

The Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl is a PC(USA) pastor who, with her husband Len, co-pastors a small neighborhood church outside of Philadelphia. She has a Ph.D. in liturgical studies, a path that began with an interest in what it means to be the church.

Presbyterians Today                            May/June 2020                                          p.7

Narrative Lectionary for Pentecost: Acts 2:1-4 & 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Resources: Bulletin (sermon to follow)

Worship Without Walls

Pentecost                                                                May 31, 2020  

Facebook:      Trinity United Presbyterian Church    Clifton Heights

Prelude   There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ae5pjIK8lM

Opening Prayer[2]

Pentecost us, God.

Inspire us to shed the comfortable accents of churchy insider talk.

Teach us to speak digital. Enable us to worship virtually.
Fit our mouths to something strange, speaking through a mask of love–.
Conjugate the Spirit in and through us. Empower our worry,                                                                                               like the worry of those who waited in the Upper Room so long ago,
to lead us to the active voice of love—mostly verbs, present tense,

not passive voice–and not many possessive pronouns.
Amen.

Call to Worship[3]

Come Spirit like rain, refresh, renew, revitalize.

Come Spirit like fire, embolden, enlighten, enable.

Come Spirit like a mighty wind, move, challenge, enkindle.

Come Spirit like a wave, move, tear down, lift up.

Come Spirit, come Breath, draw us close, make song, bring intimacy.

Come Spirit, come Love, make one, make justice, make peace.

Come Spirit, come Kingdom, come Love.

 

*Opening Hymn Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us[4]

First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska

Come, O Spirit, dwell among us, Come with Pentecostal fire;

Give the church a stronger vision, Help us face each crucial hour.

Built upon a firm foundation, Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone,

Still the church is called to mission That God’s love shall be made known.

We would raise our alleluias For the grace of yesteryears

For tomorrow’s unknown pathway, Hear, O Lord, our humble prayers.

In the church’s pilgrim journey You have led us all the way

Still in presence move before us, Fire by night and cloud by day.

Come, O Spirit, dwell among us; Give us words of fire and flame.

Help our feeble lips to praise You, Glorify Your holy name

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Three in one: what mystery!

We would sing our loud hosannas Now and through eternity.

Call to Confession:  

Let us ask for God’s forgiveness for the ways we do not heed the Spirit.

Prayer of Confession:1  
O God, when we let the Spirit deflate, forgive us.

When we lose the Spirit of love or hope, of liveliness or adventure,

of tenderness or courage, forgive us.

When we do not breathe inspiration into all your people, or when we puncture joy,

forgive us.

When we let go of the church just because it isn’t exactly as we wish it,

forgive us.  (Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon

God is merciful and gracious – a patch to our leaking faith,

the helium lifting us into joy —
the breath for all who are suffocating.

Thanks be to God for the Good News:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw

Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you.             And also with you.

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)                       

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries                                       

Offering Hymn  Spirit[5]                                                                  Kristina Ahlstrom

REFRAIN: Spirit, Spirit of gentleness,

blow through the wilderness, calling and free.

Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep,
and over the eons you called to each thing:
Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings. REFRAINYou swept through the desert, you stung with the sand,
and you goaded your people with a law and a land,
and when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes. REFRAIN


You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,
then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still,
and down in the city you called once again,
when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind. REFRAINYou call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
with bold new decisions your people arise. REFRAIN

* Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

* Prayer of Dedication

May the words of our mouths, the dedication of our hearts,

and the gifts of our time, talents and money be acceptable

and pleasing in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination Though I May Speak[6]

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control, Our spirits long to be made whole,

Let inward love guide ev’ry deed; By this we worship and are freed.

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 (see end of bulletin)

Message Why the Spirit?                                                                    Pastor Barb                                  

Confession of Faith: The Brief Confession of Faith

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.

The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of 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!”

*Closing Hymn God, Bless Your Church with Strength![7]

  1. God bless your church with strength! Wherever we may be,
    upbuild your servants as we work in common ministry.
    Urge us from fledgling faith to venture and to soar
    through open skies to sing the praise of Christ whom we adore (interlude)

    2. God bless your church with life! May all our branches thrive,
    un blemished, wholesome, bearing fruit, abundantly alive.
    From you, one holy vine, in freedom may we grow;
    sustain us in our mission, Lord, your love and peace to show.

(Longer interlude)


3. God bless your church with hope! Despite chaotic days,
may we in darkness shine to light a pathway through life’s maze.
May justice be our aim, and kindness ours to share;
in humbleness oh may we walk, assured our God is there! (end)

*Charge and Benediction                                                Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude The Lord Bless You and Keep You                Julliard Christian Fellowship 


[1] Words and Music – ©1990 Manna Music

[2] Adapted from a prayer by Maren https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/some-pentecost-2020-prayers/

[3] By Martin Brown, posted on the CAFOD website. 

[4] Words: Doris Akers ©1979 Hope Publishing Company

[5] Words and Music: James K. Manley ©1978 J. Manley Publishing

[6] Words: Hal H. Hopson ©1972 Hope Publishing Company. y

[7] Words: John A. Dalles ©2000 GIA Publications, Inc. Music Diademata, George Elvey © OCP

All music reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-733426. All rights reserved.

Pandemic Gifts of the Spirit by Rev. Katy Stenta, from blog katyandtheword

Lord God Almighty, I am on my knees, with my arms outstretched to you,            because I am in need of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit

I need encouragement as a parent of a child                                                               who has been faking their online schooling for the last two weeks.

Patience as I wait for more information, so that my job can make the next decision about how we are running things this week.

Courage as I realize that every single person has their own idea about what is               and isn’t safe and we have to navigate relationships together.

Inspiration as I try to figure out how to connect with the people in my lives                           in new and not discouraging/draining ways.

Hope as death after death, sick after sick case comes in                                                   and the solution seems no closer than it was two months ago.

Breath as I am working too many hours of too many days                                                      and don’t know when it’s all going to end.

Love as all of my imperfections have been laid bare in this time                                  where self-examination is unavoidable                                                                       and all the things I’m carrying have been stuck in quarantine with me.

Lord remind me that I am more than my job or my role in my family                                      or my material worth.

Lord, remind me that I am God-breathed,                                                                      gifted by the Holy Spirit, and sibling of Jesus Christ.

In this time of crises–when every way I function is under a microscope                                 and every emotion I am having is magnified–allow me to fully discern                          and differentiate myself as a child of God.

And even if these aren’t exactly the things I need, and I am too mired to know what it is I really need.

Please grant me the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I pray.

And if I can’t pray to the Holy Spirit, help me to breathe:

in

out

and in

and out again

until the Holy Spirit prays me, instead.

In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Narrative Lectionary: A bulletin, some hymns & liturgical resources for 1 Corinthians 13

Bulletin at https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcRDOTDCk1ldf4oVdg

SONGS

+13.1–14.1  (chapter 13:1-14:1)

126.4 (PCUSA hymnal number.verse) Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

136.2 Sovereign Lord of All Creation 318 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost * 350R Fill My Cup 367 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love 372.2 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian 374 Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace 386.5 O for a World 398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit 405 What Does the Lord Require 407.2 When a Poor One 433 There’s a Spirit in the Air 531 Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels * 533 O Perfect Love 534 The Grace of Life Is Theirs 536.2 Lord, Make Us More Holy

13.1-3 335 Though I May Speak *

13.4-7 9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 76.4 My Song Is Love Unknown 85 What Wondrous Love Is This 347 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive 357.2+3 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee 366.3 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me 457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

13.12 49.4 Once in Royal David’s City 139.4 Come, Thou Almighty King 278.2+4 Our God, to Whom We Turn 301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me 310.1 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

327.3 O Word of God Incarnate 340.3 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart 376.4 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 399.4 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight 426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak 442.4 The Church’s One Foundation 485.2 To God Be the Glory 519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee

13.13 545.4 Now, on Land and Sea Descending

Liturgical Resources:

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-index-acts-through-revelation.html

includes
Prayer Reflection: Which Three

(based on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

“…Now faith, hope and live abide, these three…”


doubt moves in
and props its feet
at the hearth of my soul,
warming them
on the coals of my unbelief;
while faith 
rents space
for a few days
in the summers of my life.

despair is the frayed,
soft corduroy jacket
that fits comfortably
on my shoulders
while hope
is a hair shirt
i resist wearing.

impatience is the face
i put on
each morning
in order to greet the world,
while love
is that mask
i wear occasionally,
removing it
when i look in the mirror,
not recognizing myself.

which three will abide in me, O God?

which three?

Amen.

~ Copyright © Thom M. Shuman. Posted on Prayers4Today.  http://prayersfortoday.blogspot.ca/

Prayer

 

Our Father,

each day is a little life,

each night a tiny death;

help us to live with faith and hope and love.

Lift our duty above drudgery;

let not our strength fail, or the vision fade,

in the heat and burden of the day.

 

O God, make us patient and pitiful one with another

in the fret and jar of life,

remembering that each fights a hard fight

and walks a lonely way.

Forgive us, Lord, if we hurt our fellow souls;

teach us a gentler tone, a sweeter charity of words,

and a more healing touch.

Sustain us, O God, when we must face sorrow;

give us courage for the day and hope for the morrow.

Day unto day may we lay hold of thy hand and look up into thy face,

whatever befall,

until our work is finished and the day is done. Amen.

 

~ Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226.  Posted on thisischurch.com http://thisischurch.com/

From “Love” on worshipblogspot


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love. Amen

~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Our bulletin is at

SONGS

+13.1–14.1  (chapter 13:1-14:1)

126.4 (PCUSA hymnal number.verse) Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

136.2 Sovereign Lord of All Creation 318 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost * 350R Fill My Cup 367 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love 372.2 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian 374 Lord, Make Us Servants of Your Peace 386.5 O for a World 398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit 405 What Does the Lord Require 407.2 When a Poor One 433 There’s a Spirit in the Air 531 Not for Tongues of Heaven’s Angels * 533 O Perfect Love 534 The Grace of Life Is Theirs 536.2 Lord, Make Us More Holy

13.1-3 335 Though I May Speak *

13.4-7 9.3 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel 76.4 My Song Is Love Unknown 85 What Wondrous Love Is This 347 Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive 357.2+3 O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee 366.3 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me 457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

13.12 49.4 Once in Royal David’s City 139.4 Come, Thou Almighty King 278.2+4 Our God, to Whom We Turn 301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me 310.1 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

327.3 O Word of God Incarnate 340.3 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart 376.4 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling 399.4 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight 426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak 442.4 The Church’s One Foundation 485.2 To God Be the Glory 519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee

13.13 545.4 Now, on Land and Sea Descending

Liturgical Resources:

https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/07/prayer-index-acts-through-revelation.html

includes
Prayer Reflection: Which Three

(based on 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

“…Now faith, hope and live abide, these three…”


doubt moves in
and props its feet
at the hearth of my soul,
warming them
on the coals of my unbelief;
while faith 
rents space
for a few days
in the summers of my life.

despair is the frayed,
soft corduroy jacket
that fits comfortably
on my shoulders
while hope
is a hair shirt
i resist wearing.

impatience is the face
i put on
each morning
in order to greet the world,
while love
is that mask
i wear occasionally,
removing it
when i look in the mirror,
not recognizing myself.

which three will abide in me, O God?

which three?

Amen.

~ Copyright © Thom M. Shuman. Posted on Prayers4Today.  http://prayersfortoday.blogspot.ca/

 

Prayer

Our Father,

each day is a little life,

each night a tiny death;

help us to live with faith and hope and love.

Lift our duty above drudgery;

let not our strength fail, or the vision fade,

in the heat and burden of the day.

 

O God, make us patient and pitiful one with another

in the fret and jar of life,

remembering that each fights a hard fight

and walks a lonely way.

Forgive us, Lord, if we hurt our fellow souls;

teach us a gentler tone, a sweeter charity of words,

and a more healing touch.

Sustain us, O God, when we must face sorrow;

give us courage for the day and hope for the morrow.

Day unto day may we lay hold of thy hand and look up into thy face,

whatever befall,

until our work is finished and the day is done. Amen.

 

~ Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226.  Posted on thisischurch.com http://thisischurch.com/

From “Love” on worshipblogspot


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love. Amen

~ written by Terri and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Narrative Lectionary Resources/Bulletin/Sermon: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 & Acts 18:1-4

Image: Tabernacle Replica located at Timna Park in the region of Eliat in Israel. https://www.imb.org/image/tabernacle-replica-3/

If you use people’s stuff (mine included) please use their names as well!

Resources (images, exegetical, liturgical, song) h

My husband’s preaching this one; he’s choosing to focus on the image of tentmaking as what we all do from Acts 18:1-4; that we are vocationally called to be Christians fulltime and…well, sermon to follow. He’s adding v. 26 to the 1 Corinthians reading.

IMAGES

Mainly unity https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS891US891&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=images+1+corinthians+1:10-18&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjzwsG7h5XpAhVcmHIEHbdxA8kQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1093&bih=500

Tentmaking

EXEGESIS

Both passages-unity but not based on who the leader is https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1337

Podcast on the two passages https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1337

Audio recorded sermon on Acts 18 https://commons.ptsem.edu/id/04586

Note: The Corinthian passage is the RCL for Epiphany 3A; these references are for it.

Several pastors discuss 1 Corinthians lectionary passages from RCL, incl. this one (focus on unity) and 19-28 (focusing on “call”) http://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/15-4_Nations/15-4_Dinovo.pdf*

The speech-act of transferring listeners from false reality to the reality of having the mind of Christ http://wordandworld.luthersem.edu/content/pdfs/16-4_Corinthians/16-4_Brown.pdf

Unity as having more in common with Christians throughout the ages than with nonChristians from today https://cep.calvinseminary.edu/sermon-starters/epiphany-3a/?term=epiphany%203A

Unity http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=26

Focusing on Unity, this link provides further links to authors including Lillian Daniel, Kathleen Norris and Princeton Seminary presidents Gillespie & McCord. See https://preachingandworship.org/search/1%20corinthians%201%3A10-18 

Paul is addressing problem that the Corinthians do not understand that the cross of Christ was God’s way of upending their ways of defining and valuing themselves and one another->unity http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3139

The Cross Creates Its Own Economy http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=796

Friends in Low Places: Status in Church and Work https://www.theologyofwork.org/new-testament/1-corinthians/friends-in-low-places-1-cor-118-31

Tentmaking https://www.theologyofwork.org/new-testament/acts/a-clash-of-kingdoms-community-and-powerbrokers-acts-13-19/tent-making-and-christian-life-acts-181-4

Also Tentmaking https://www.theologyofwork.org/key-topics/women-workers-in-the-new-testament/the-tentmaker-priscilla-acts-182

The concept of tentmaking as a missionary strategy https://worldwidetentmakers.com/education/what-is-a-tentmaker/ and the issues involved https://www.imb.org/2018/05/24/good-bad-tent-making-missions/

CHILDREN’S SERMON
He sent me to tell you the Good News without using big words        http://www.sundayschoollessons.com/epi3mtart.htm

LITURGICAL PIECES

Called by God

O God, giver of all good gifts,

you have given me life.

You have bestowed upon me your love

and that love includes your plans for me.

What am I to do?

All life is a call and a response.

I pray for grace to hear God’s voice

and a heart to respond.

I am ready to listen.

Help me to listen to the rhythm of each day, day by day,

so that I am not overwhelmed with thoughts of the future.

Yet guide me into that future so that I know who and whose I am.

I shall listen.

I shall listen to the voices of those witnesses who have lived before me.

I shall listen to those who are here to give me guidance and encouragement,

for it is clear that whatever plans you have for me,

I will never journey alone.

I will listen to my feelings as I grow and change,

processes that I know will be lifelong.

I shall listen to you.

And even though I want easy answers,

I know that what you want is a relationship.

So when I answer you,

may my response be to my potential

and to your love of all creatures on your good earth.

Let me serve with the gifts you give me.

O God, I know that vocation is truly a gift of your love.

What am I to do?

I am ready to listen.

~ posted on Consider Your Call. http://www.consideryourcall.org/sites/default/files/CYC-Media/Toolbox/Materials/Worship-Toolbox.pdf

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession

Holy Christ,

we come to You knowing that we have fallen away

from Your intentions for us.

We have followed the paths of greed and envy,

turned away from our brothers and sisters in need

in order to satisfy our own desires.

You gave Your life for us,

and yet we are willing to give so little at times.

Forgive us for not understanding that You laid down Your life for us.

Forgive us for not recognizing the sacrifice of love,

to live for others instead of ourselves.

Call us back, to repent, and return to the kingdom of God.

In Your precious Name we pray. Amen.

Blessing/Assurance of Pardon

Christ continues to lay down his life for us,

so that we might have life.

Christ continues to show us the way,

so that we might live into the truth and the life.

Christ continues to love us,

so that we might love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

Know that you are forgiven, loved, and given new life. Amen.

~ written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-o-lution.org/

 

Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest

Labels: confessionEpiphany 3 A

JAN 6, 2014

Pastoral Prayer: Looking for Light

Here’s a prayer of intercession for the season of Epiphany from Rev. Abigail Carlisle-Wilke.

Prayer of Intercession

(inspired by passages like Isaiah 9:2,

Matthew 4:14-16, Isaiah 60:1-3, Matthew 5:14-16)

Lord,
We come to you in a time of coldness and darkness,
Looking for warmth and light.
There are those whose homes are physically freezing,
And there are those whose lives are spiritually chilly
We know that we can help warm people’s homes.
We also know you can warm people’s lives.

We pray that there will be no more gloom for those who were in anguish
We pray that you lift away people’s burdens.
We pray you remove the things that oppress from people’s lives.
We pray you give courage to those who fear.

Lord your light calls us forth to follow and serve you.
Your light still shines for all to see in this world.
May we continue to reflect your light in our lives,
in our service, in our words and in our deeds.

~ written by Rev. Abigail Carlisle-Wilke, and posted on Rev Abi’s Long and Winding Road. http://vicarofwadley.blogspot.ca/2011/01/prayer-for-epiphany-3a.html

 

Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest

Labels: ChristmasEpiphanyEpiphany 3 AEpiphany 5 AintercessionLent 4 A

JAN 15, 2012

Prayer of Confession: God, You Call Us

Here’s a prayer of confession written by Rev. Scott Cervas, of the Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church in Lexington, KY.  It would be suitable for use on Epiphany 3A or 3B, or on any other occasion when the subject of God’s call is being explored.

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by Jonah; Mark 1:14-20)

God…you call us…and sometimes…we duck under the table…
hoping you didn’t notice us when you walked into the room.
You call us…and sometimes…we grab a stapler and a stack of papers…
trying to look too busy to be bothered at the moment.
You call us…and sometimes we just say, “No!”
We know that we aren’t expected to do everything…
but we often forget that you call us to be our selves
in the places where our very self is what is most needed.
So give us the grace to say “Yes” to your call…
even now…as we offer our silent confessions…

— written by Rev. Scott Cervas, and posted on the LiturgyLink website. 


Benediction

(inspired by John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18)

My fellow servants, we are one.

The bread we share makes us one.

The cup we pour makes us one.

Even as our dearest sisters and brothers

     come and go from us, we are one. 

Even as we scatter from this place

     to so many diverse pursuits

     throughout this city, this state, this globe,

     we are one. 

With gratitude we share the Table.

With gratitude we depart. 

With gratitude we release one another,

     trusting in the One

     Who makes us one.

  Go in peace.

Benediction for November 25, 2012, written by Paul Randall, and posted on Ecclesia.  http://www.ecclesiahouston.org/

HYMNS

Presbyterian Hymnal

1.10-17

120.6 Hail Thee, Festival Day!

136.3 Sovereign Lord of All Creation

235.5 With Joy I Heard My Friends Exclaim

241 Behold the Goodness of Our Lord

285.2 God, You Spin the Whirling Planets

314.3 Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song

346.3 Christ, You Are the Fullness

380.3-5 O Christ, the Healer

429.2 Lord, You Give the Great Commission

436.4 We Are Your People

438 Blest Be the Tie That Binds

442 The Church’s One Foundation

443.1+2 O Christ, the Great Foundation

457.4 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

465 Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather

471R O Praise the Gracious Power

500.3 Become to Us the Living Bread

503.3+4 Come, Risen Lord

507.3 I Come with Joy

517.3 We Come as Guests Invited

 518 Sheaves of Summer

521.3 You Satisfy the Hungry Heart

Hymns relating to the cross https://hymnary.org/texts?qu=1+corinthians+1%3A10-18&media=text&page=0

SOURCESSONGSWRITERS
ATW 466I am awareMcBride
DMACThat we’d be onescore lyrics
SIS 185/SOF 43/ATA 174Bind us togetherGillman

From http://www.hymntime.com/tch/sca/1%20Corinthians.htm (links there are live)

1:8

1:10

1:18

BULLETIN

Trinity United Presbyterian Church                 May 10, 202

Worship Without Walls                                              610-626-3143  

Facebook Trinity United Presbyterian Church           Clifton Heights

Prelude Together                                                                      King and Country   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RClrQg7DhV8&fbclid=IwAR2ua5DlZiM0elWKzKUjGxHMz1LKi6O7fCSYeLb0dK2prD1geNySmQMtjeg

This is for the busted heart
This is for the question mark
This is for the outcast soul
Lost control, no one knows
Sing it for the can’t-go-backs
Sing it for the broken past
Sing it for the just found out
Life is now upside down

If you’re looking for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feel alone and don’t understand
If you’re fighting in the fight of your life, then stand
We’re going to make it through this hand in hand

And if we fall, we will fall together
Together



This is for the second chance
This is for the new romance
Sing it for the loved in vain, overcame
It’s not too late

If you’re looking for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feel alone and don’t understand
If you’re fighting in the fight of your life, then stand
We’re going to make it through this hand in hand

And if we fall, we will fall together
Together
When we rise, we will rise together
Together
(We will rise together)

(Listen)
If you’re looking for hope tonight
(And you’re all alone)
If you’re feeling alone tonight
(Can you feel)
If you’re in the fight of your life
(I can promise)
We’re gonna make it happen, yeah
I will be by your side
(By your side)
Cause love’s in the air tonight
(Can you feel it)
Come up and see the light
whenever ever ever
Just as long as we’re together, say

If we fall, we will fall together
(I got you my brother)
Together
(I see you my sister)
When we rise, we will rise together
Together

If we fall, we will fall together
(Take my hand)
Together
(Help me stand)
When we rise, we will rise together
(We will rise together)
Together

Together we are dangerous
Together with our differences
Together we are bolder, braver, stronger

Opening Prayer1

O God, giver of all good gifts, you have given us life. You have bestowed upon us your love and that love includes your plans for us.

What are we to do? All life is a call and a response.

Give us grace to hear your voice and a heart to respond. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Call to Worship1                                                                                                                  

In the rhythm—and chaos—of each day, day by day,

open my ears that I may hear.

Without being overwhelmed by the future

Instead knowing who I am and whose I am,

open my ears that I may hear.

Given the voices of those who have lived before me,

open my ears that I may hear.

Gifted with those who provide guidance and encouragement,

open my ears that I may hear.

Provided with ways to grow and change,

open my ears that I may hear.

Given a relationship with you instead of just a set of rules,

open my ears that I may hear.

Given your love and everlasting presence,

open my ears that I may hear.

*Opening Hymn  Open My Eyes That I May See

Open my ears, that I may hear Voices of truth thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear, Everything false will disappear.

Chorus: Silently now I wait for thee, Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my eyes, that I may see Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp and set me free. Chorus

Open my mind that I may read More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead? Only for light from Thee I plead. Chorus

Open my mouth, and let me bear Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare Love with thy children thus to share.
Chorus

Call to Confession: As we sing our desire to be instruments of God’s peace, we are reminded of the ways we fall short. Let us ask God’s forgiveness.

Prayer of Confession2

God, you call us…and sometime…we duck under the table,
hoping you didn’t notice us when you walked into the room.

Forgive us, Lord.
You call us…and sometimes…we grab a stapler and a stack of papers,
trying to look too busy to be bothered at the moment.

Forgive us, Lord.
You call us…and sometimes we just say, “No!”

Forgive us, Lord.
We know that we aren’t expected to do everything…
but we often forget that you call us to be our selves
in the places where our very self is what is most needed.

Forgive us, Lord.
So give us the grace to say “Yes” to your call…
even now…as we offer our [silent confession]…. 

Thanks be to God for the Good News:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) “Glory Be to the Father”

Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you.    And also with you.

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)                      Blue Hymnal, p. 14

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries                              

Offering Hymn The Old Rugged Cross

1On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross The emblem of suff’ring and shame,
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best For a world of lost sinners was slain.
 Chorus: So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.
2Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above To bear it to dark Calvary. Chorus
3To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, Its shame and reproach gladly bear Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away, Where His glory forever I’ll share   Chorus (repeated two times) ending with a final repeat of the line “And exchange it some day for a crown”

* Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

* Prayer of Dedication (adapted from Pentecost Offering resources)                              Good and gracious God, pour out your power upon all the gifts we offer:                our time, our talents, and our lives, so that all of your children everywhere may know your love. Strengthen our resolve to act especially on behalf                       of your children. Enable us to support whatever enables them to be who you create them to be. In the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Prayer for Illumination  Wonderful Words of Life https://youtu.be/Pi8EGVzV758

Sweetly echo the gospel call, Wonderful words of Life;

Offer pardon and peace to all, Wonderful words of Life,

Jesus, only Savior, Sanctify forever,

Beautiful words, wonderful words, Wonderful words of Life,

Beautiful words, wonderful words, Wonderful words of Life,

Message Together                                                                                   Pastor Len

Confession of Faith from the Belhar Confession3  

We confess that God unites us in faith together.

We come to know the height, and the breadth,

and the depth of the love of Christ together.

We are built up to the full stature of Christ together.

We know and bear one another’s burdens together

We admonish one another. We comfort one another.

We suffer with one another. We need one another.

We build up one another.

We pray together. We serve God in this world together.

We fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity together.

Thanks be to God for drawing and keeping us together.  Amen.

 *Closing Hymn They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love

1-
We are One in The Spirit, We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit, We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.


Chorus
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, By our Love,
Yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.


-2-
We will work with each other, We will work side by side.
We will work with each other, We will work side by side.
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity And save each one’s pride.


Chorus


-3-
We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand.
We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand.
And together we’ll spread the News that God is in our land.


Chorus


-4-

All praise to the Spirit, From whom all things come

And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son

And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one


Chorus


*Charge and Benediction                                                Pastors Barb and Len

Postlude The Lord Bless You and Keep You                        written by John Rutter

Sung by Batavia Madrigal Singers (Virtual Choir)

1Opening prayer adapted from post on Consider Your Call http://www.consideryourcall.org/sites/default/files/CYC-Media/Toolbox/Materials/Worship-Toolbox.pdf. Call to Worship by Barb Hedges-Goettl uses the themes and categories of that post/prayer.

2 Written by Rev. Scott Cervas, and posted on the LiturgyLink website

3 Original resource written in the themes/words of the South African Belhar Confession by Barb Hedges-Goettl

SERMON

How do you identify? It’s a question that gets a lot of attention these days. On Mother’s Day, we pay special attention to those who identify as a Mother, either because they are biological or adoptive mothers or because they function in the formative years of a child as a mother.

We identify by so many different characteristics: I am male, I am female, I am gender fluid. I am straight or gay or bi or trans or queer. I am a child or an adult, a son, daughter or sister, brother, cousin, Aunt, Uncle. I am a doctor, lawyer, Indian chief… or I am a retiree.

Some ways we identify draw us together like I am the member of the Hedges-Goettl clan, or I am a Navy veteran, or I am the member of a teacher’s union.  In the passage from Acts today, Paul was staying with Pricilla and Aquilla “because he was of the same trade – by trade they were tentmakers.” Their shared work drew them together. They related to each other through their shared identification as tentmakers.

Sadly, some of the ways we identify tend to separate us. I am a Republican or Democrat, or Libertarian, or Independent.  I am employed or unemployed. I am a citizen or an immigrant. I am Black or Latinx, or Asian, or White. I identify as right so you are wrong.

The Corinthians passage is all about how folks are divided by how they identify. I was baptized by Paul or by Apollos or by Cephas. The funny part of the passage is that Paul can’t even remember exactly who he baptized: He know he baptized Crispus and Gaius… oh yeah, also the household of Stephanus… eventually he admits “I don’t know if I baptized anyone else.” This doesn’t mean that Paul doesn’t care about baptism, on the contrary he cares immensely that the faithful are baptized into the family of Christians and have received the Holy Spirit to empower them when they were baptized. He just doesn’t care a wit about WHO baptized the faithful Christian.

Christ is not, never was and never will be divided. Whether we agree in our politics, whether we agree about what we enjoy or what occupation employs us, whether we are powerful or of noble birth or not…  Christ cannot be kept from the poor and the powerless. In the community of faith, I am not a follower of this famous philosopher or that famous entrepreneur.

In the community of faith, I am not a follower of this musician or that artist or this preacher or that healer. In the community of faith, I am not a follower of any of the myriad ways that I identify myself except that in the community of faith we are ALL followers of Christ crucified and saved by the power of God.

We don’t need what Paul calls “eloquent wisdom.” We need to lay bare the cross of Christ so that its power is not obscured by fancy words or lofty sayings.

This is a time when many in Delaware County (over 4000 diagnosed with Covid), and many in this state and many in this nation and in many nations…when the people of the world understand something about suffering. How foolish then to hold up to others the folly of the cross, an ultimate symbol of suffering!

But as Paul says “The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER OF GOD.”

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.

We have a chance, and opportunity, A CALLING. To a world, a nation, a state, a county… to our own neighborhood right now that may be struggling to make any sense of the evil of disease and the grief of loss… to hear again the words of Romans 6:5 and to share Paul’s ridiculous, miraculous, truthful hope: For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his

We are being saved by the POWER OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.

This is for the busted heart
This is for the question mark
This is for the outcast soul
Lost control, no one knows
Sing it for the can’t-go-backs
Sing it for the broken past
Sing it for the just found out
Life is now upside down

If you’re looking for hope tonight, raise your hand
If you feel alone and don’t understand
If you’re fighting in the fight of your life, then stand
We’re going to make it through this hand in hand


And if we fall, we will fall together

When we rise, we will rise together

For Christ never was, never is, never will be divided. We are followers of Christ crucified and saved by the POWER OF GOD.

AMEN

Acts 3:1-10 bulletin and sermon

Bulletin: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMSG-DLOlNhpocklg

Sermon: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AuB3z496aTHTgcMJCaCfbGyjdhB7Mw

Cover photo: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/dramatized/niv/Acts.3

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑