A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Prayer of Preparation

Eternal God, we give thanks to you, we call upon your name. We sing to you, we sing praise to you, telling of all your wonderful acts. We give glory to your holy name. Our hearts rejoice as we seek you. We look to you as our strength. We remember all the wonder you have done for us. In your presence we worship you and seek your face. Amen.

—Based on Psalm 105:16.


Call to Worship

This place for us is Holy Ground.  The place where we sing songs of praise to the Lord, and repeat the stories of faith  that inspire us to respond to Christ’s love.  God called us here, in whispering winds and in burning flames, and with God’s presence, disarms us of the barriers we have placed around us. Instead God meets us in our vulnerability, our humanity.  Let us worship the Lord.


Prayer of Confession

God, just as you called Moses so long ago, so You call each one of us to speak and act on your behalf in our world today. Forgive us when we are hesitant to follow: when we question Your call or make excuses for our abilities;  when we complain about our lack of time or hoard our resources. Give us courage to step out in faith, to follow where you lead without hesitation or fear, trusting that your presence goes with us, and that you will provide all that we need. Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #413



Assurance of Forgiveness

One: Believe the good news of the gospel: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

All: Thanks be to God!


Preparation for the Word



September 3, 2017

Service of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"A 'Come to Jesus' Moment"

Scripture  

Exodus 3:1-15

Hymns

#515 “I Come with Joy”

#39 “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

#710 “We Lift Our Voices”

Come into God's presence with singing,

"Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia"

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Prayer of Preparation

We gather with grateful hearts in this sacred space, O God.

Awaken us to hear your call for our lives and help us listen with our hearts as well as our minds. Instill in us a desire to follow you with determination and purpose through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Call to Worship

Come, let’s praise God together! Sing a new song— a song of God’s goodness and mercy, faithfulness and love. For God delights in God’s people, crowning them with honor and glory! Let’s worship together.


Morning Prayer

One: Holy God, before time you named us through time you redeem us. You call us, precious in your sight.

All: May we love as you love.

One: Holy One, through the turbulent waters make us steady, your hands holding strong the fragile and weak.

All: May we love as you love.

One: Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives be food for the hungry: bread, clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word.

All: May we love as you love.

One: God of justice, remove the chaff of our lives that keep us from hearing, following, your call.

All: May we love as you love.

One: Loving God, take this day our fears, our worries, distractions, and all; turn hem into wheat, heart food.

All: May we love as you love. Amen


(silence)


Response Hymn #413



Preparation for the Word Hymn #583



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September 10, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Robin Crawford

"Singing Psalms and Swinging Swords"

Hymns

#409 “God is Here”

#192 “Lord, the Light of Your Love Is Shining”

#378 “We Wait the Peaceful Kingdom”

Come into God's presence with singing,

"Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia"

Glory to God, glory to God, glory to God in the highest!

Glory to God, glory to God, alleluia, alleluia

Centering Prayer

O God who wrestles with us,

circle our hearts,  

center our minds,  

still our bodies be present to us now.

Amen


Call to Worship

One: We come, for God gathers us here, with that community called faith:  

All: where the hungry are served first, where the thirsty drink life's water.

One: We come, for God welcomes us here into that home called grace:

All: where the naked are clothed in robes of hope; where the stranger is embraced as the long-lost prodigal.

One: We come, for God reunites us here, sisters and brothers in that family called love.


Morning Prayer

Loving and living Lord,   as we welcome you into our midst we call upon you to hallow this time: that we may know your blessing and you may know our devotion; that we may know your presence and you may know our worship; that we may know your will  and you may know our willingness; that we may know you in the silence ... ... ... and you may know us in our praise. Amen.y


(silence)


Response Hymn #413



Preparation for the Word



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September 17, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"A Cup of Cold Water"

Scripture  

Matthew 25:35-40

Hymns

#388 “Come All You People”

701 “Lord, Prepare Me”

614 “Great Are You, Lord”

Come into God's presence with singing,

"Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia"

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Centering Prayer

O God who wrestles with us,

circle our hearts,

center our minds,  

still our bodies be present to us now.

Amen.


Call to Worship

One: Here, in this place,

All: God welcomes all the dreamers, as well as the doubters:

One: Here, the worriers and wanderers can call on God by name.

All: Here, in this time, we can remember all the ways God has graced us:

One: Here, in these moments, we are reminded that God is with us, always!

All: Here are gathered those daring enough to step out of comfort into the unknown:

One: Here, in this faith space, we will find the courage to cry out, 'God, save us!'

All: In every situation.


Prayer of Invocation

Holy God, Creator of Life,

you call us out of our dark places, offering us the grace of new life.  When we see nothing but hopelessness, you surprise us with the breath of your spirit.  Call us out of our complacency and routines, set us free from our self-imposed bonds, and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace, In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray. Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #413



Preparation for the Word



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September 24, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Richard Pyke

"A Little Good News"

Scripture  

Acts 3:1-10

Romans 10:14-15

Hymns

#353 “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

#792 “There Is a Balm in Gilead”

#700 “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”

Come into God's presence with singing,

"Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia"

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Prayer of Preparation

God of our lives, your Word is one of communion, not division. Your gifts are gifts of abundance, peace, and freedom, not scarcity, violence, and oppression. We thank you that in Christ you have given us greatest gift: you gave us yourself. As we gather today, may your gifts and your presence be received with joy and humility.  Amen.


Call to Worship

One: We are all one family.

All: We are all one family, made in the image of God.

One: We are all one family.

All: We are one family, all over the world.  

One: We are one family.

All: We are all one family, each unique, each special.

One: We are one family.

All: We are all one family, brothers and sisters.

One: We are all one family.

All: We are all one family, given gifts and talents to share.

One: We are all one family.

All: We are all one family, on one journey of faith.

One: We are all one family.

All: We are all one Family, united in love, united in peace, united in Christ our Lord.


Prayer of Confession

God of compassion and mercy, we are your wounded and wounding children. We bring our wounded selves, our divided society, and our broken world, seeking your healing and transforming grace; it is easy for us to point the finger at others. Yet we know that we all need your forgiveness; so we lift into your presence today, not only the victims of conflicts, but also those we have called enemies. Break down the walls of hatred, distrust and bitterness and open a way for us to reach one another in truth and love. Enable us to build a society where all can belong; to share our gifts in mutual respect and to seek for the new future, which you offer us through Jesus the Christ. Amen.


(silence)


Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, believe in the good news of the Gospel. In Jesus Christ, we are a forgiven people. Amen.


Response Hymn #581




Prayer of Consecration

God of all nations, we give You thanks that we are all made in Your image, with such rich diversity. On this day we are in solidarity with the faithful around the world. As we break bread together, we remember that we are still one body in You, even though we have different languages, cultures and traditions, different ways of worship, praying and praising. In solidarity we drink the cup together of hope, of new life, knowing that Your will is for Your people to be one body. We are one body, but we are not the same—it is through the gift of diversity that we are able to be Your body. We thank You and praise You for making us all who we are, individually and collectively. We each celebrate our own ancestry, culture and ethnicity. Amen.

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October 1, 2017

World Communion Day

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Faith as an Adventure"

Scripture  

Luke 17: 5-10

Hymns

#510 “We Gather Here in Jesus’ Name”

#507 “Come to the Table of Grace”

#505 “The Feast is Ready”

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

World without end.  Amen, amen.

Gathering Prayer

O Holy Maker of all, we ask your blessing on every creature gathered here today, the large and the small. May they live peacefully in praise of you. Bless us all to love your creation, and revere its sacredness. We ask this blessing in the name of the one who was, is, and always will be, our Creator, to whom every creature belongs. Amen.


Call to Worship

One: But ask the animals, and they will teach you;  The birds of the air, and they will tell you;

...and the fish of the sea will declare to you. In God’s hand is the life of every living thing.

All: Amen.


Prayer of Thanksgiving and Confession

One: Lord, for all the animals in the whole wide world,

All: We thank you, God!

One: Lord, for all the fun and friendship we have with animals,

All: We thank you, God!

One: Lord, for all the times we have hurt or neglected animals,

All: We are sorry.

One. Lord, for all the times we have used poisons that have killed animals,

All: We are sorry.

One: Lord, for all the times we have destroyed the homes of animals in the forests, oceans, or fields,

All: We are sorry.


Blessing and Rememberance of the Animals


Benediction and Charge

All: Go out into the world, love one another. Cherish our animal family,  protest against abuse and neglect of our animals;  exercise stewardship of ALL creation, so that ALL can experience God’s Shalom.

One: Go out into the world, my horizontal and vertical brothers and sisters in Christ. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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October 8, 2017

Blessing of the Animals

Reflection by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

Scripture  

Genesis 2:18-20a

Gathering Prayer

Eternal God, we give thanks to you, we call upon your name.  We sing to you, we sing praise to you, telling of all your wonderful acts. We give glory to your holy name. Our hearts rejoice as we seek you. We look to you as our strength. We remember all the wonder you have done for us. In your presence we worship you and seek your face. Amen.

(Based on Psalm 105:1-6)


Call to Worship

One: Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice!

All: Today we choose to rejoice. Today we choose to worship and give thanks.

One: Seek the peace of God that will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

All: Today we choose God's peace; today we place our trust in God.

One: Turn your hearts away from the distractions and disappointments of life that will always flow in and flow out like the tide. Set your affections on things above and worship the Lord who loves you and cares for you.

All: We come to worship God who alone is excellent and worthy of praise!


Morning Prayer

God of peace, cause us to rejoice in you always, make us gentle to everyone, keep us from being anxious about anything — help us to ask you for what we need, with thanksgiving; and let your peace guard our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #413



Preparation for the Word Hymn #583


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October 15, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Do Not Be Anxious"

Come into God's presence with singing,

"Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia"

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Gathering Prayer

It is good to be together in the presence of the Lord! God, we welcome you to this place. We know that, apart from you, all that we try to do, say or sing will sound like noise. Instead, we ask that you guide us in our words, guide us in our prayers and guide us in our worship -- so all that is said, sung and done in this place will bring you the great glory you deserve. Amen.


Call to Worship

One: The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;

All: for God has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

One: Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

All: That the King of glory may come in.

One: Who is this King of glory?

All: The Lord of hosts, God is the King of glory.


Prayer of Confession

Lord, we look for you in the wrong places. We put our trust in material things.  We worry about things we cannot change.  We wonder if you are even there at all.  For all the times we have doubted you, Lord, forgive us.  For all the ways we have neglected your word and ignored your people, forgive us.  Do not be far from us, Lord.  There is no one else we can turn to for help.  Renew our fickle hearts and help us put our trust in you.   Amen.


(silence)


Assurance of God's Forgiveness

There is no wrong that God cannot make right. There is no chasm that can separate us from God’s love. The Lord is patient and kind, generous and good.  God will not forsake you or leave you.  Turn to the Lord with confidence and put your faith in God’s great mercy.  By the power of Jesus Christ, we are made whole.  Amen.


Response Hymn #413



Preparation for the Word Hymn #583


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October 22, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Counting and Sharing Our Blessings"

Come into God's presence singing,

"Blessings abound, blessings abound, blessings abound!"

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Gathering Prayer

Ever-calling God, we give thanks that you have gathered us into your church and graced us with your faithful presence.  We ponder our history, ancient and still developing, and marvel at the many expressions of your church.  Grant us the vision to be a part of a new reformation for the Church that will bring ever more joy and justice to the world. Continue to gather us, the diverse lot of us, into Jesus’ vision and dream that your faithful people may be one in you.  Amen.


Call to Worship

One: Welcome today to a service of re-formation.

All: Change is our constant companion. What does God have in store for us?

One: God seeks to form our lives anew, as lives of love and service.

All: We are ready to hear God’s word and do God’s will.

One: Open your eyes, your ears, your hearts to God’s awesome love.

All: Come, O Lord, and transform our lives.


Prayer of Confession

One: When we want to be a church ever-reforming, yet cling to comfortable ways:

All: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!

One: When we want to honor your “still speaking voice”, but are fearful of insights which challenge old assumptions:

All: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!

One: When we want to live into Jesus’ dream of oneness, but fail to listen to voices of difference:

All: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!


(silence)


Assurance of God's Forgiveness

Take heart, get up; Jesus is calling to us! We trust in the one who has guided the church for two millennia. Through Christ, God forgives us our failings, and continues to call us into a community of mutual love and forgiveness. Let us celebrate this mercy of God.


Response Hymn #581




Preparation for the Word Hymn #587


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October 29, 2017

Reformation Sunday

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Reformed and Always Reforming"

Scripture  

Mark 10:46-52

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

World without end.  Amen, amen.

Gathering Prayer

For all the saints who went before us who have spoken to our hearts and touched us with your fire, we praise you, O God.  For all the saints who live beside us whose weaknesses and strengths are woven with our own, we praise you, O God.  For all the saints who live beyond us who challenge us to change the world with them, we praise you, O God.  Amen.


Call to Worship

One: Come, let us mingle our memories and our hopes together, for today is a special day.

All: Today we celebrate All Saints' Day.

One: Saints are made by listening to the call of God and saying, "Yes."

All: Hidden in a whisper or proclaimed in a hurting world, the call of God touches our hearts.

One: And we give thanks for all who have attended to the call.

All: Heroes and nobodies, the ordinary and the talented, the walking and the wounded.

One: Give thanks for the ones who've gone before us and made it easier for us to believe in God.

All: And live the life of faith.


Prayer of Confession

Beloved God, who was known to our mothers and fathers, and even to our spiritual forebears, have mercy on us. We do not always love as you would have us love. We do not always do as you would have us do. In our stubbornness, we turn from you when we should turn toward you. Hold us, dear One – comfort us when we mourn the passing of friends and family, and help us to know that they are rejoicing in your presence. We praise you for the grace you shower on us, constantly forgiving our errors, especially the ones that we don’t share with any but you. Hear now the silent fears and worries of our hearts.


(silence)


Assurance of God's Forgiveness

Friends, hear the good news! Though thousands upon thousands of our ancestors did not follow God’s ways perfectly, we have hope in the one who did! Jesus, a man of a particular people in a particular time, taught through his words and deeds that God has already forgiven us. Thus, we and all who have come before us are rightly known as saints – the holy ones of God! Thanks be to God for God’s mercy, grace, and love! Amen!


Response Hymn #583




Preparation for the Word Hymn #413



Naming of the Honored Dead in honor of All Saints Day


Service of Holy Communion

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November 5, 2017

All Saints Day and Service of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"For All the Saints"

Come into God's presence singing,

"Worthy the Lamb, worthy the Lamb, worthy the Lamb"!

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Gathering Prayer

Be still!  We come to quiet ourselves in this haven of holiness.

Be still and know . . . we come to discern the Word which can set us free.

Be still and know that God is our Hope, our Help, our Refuge, and our Redeemer.  Amen.


Call to Worship

One: Come, all you whose souls thirst for the living God.

All: We come in search of help and hope.

One: Come, you who are acquainted with grief or oppression.

All: We come bearing our doubts, our wounds, and our fears.

One: Come, you who are in need of good news.

All: We come in search of joy, truth, and light.

One: Come and find refuge in God your rock.

All: Let us again praise the One who is our help and our hope.


Morning Prayer

O God, we gather together in Your presence with expectation, hungry for an encounter with You,

eager to hear Your Word.  Open our eyes and ears to the presence of Your Holy Spirit. May the seeds of Your Word scattered among us this morning fall on fertile soil.  May they take root in our hearts and lives, and produce an abundant harvest of good words and deeds.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our teacher and our Lord.  Amen


Response Hymn #413




Preparation for the Word Hymn #583



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November 12, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Richard Pyke

"Heard That, Been There, Done That!"

Come into God's presence singing,

Joy, truth and light; Joy, truth and light; Joy, truth and light!

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Gathering Prayer

In deep gratitude we come to worship God.  We recognize God as the source of all goodness.  All good gifts come from the Spirit of God: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness are all of God.  We come with grateful hearts, not for things, but for who God is.  We gather to show our gratitude in song and prayer.  Amen.


Call to Worship

God of all creation, our chief aim is to glorify you, and enjoy you forever.  Our deep delight is in your presence, our fondest thoughts are of you, our strongest longing is for your presence.  In this hour of worship, help us to become who we are meant to be -- a community that breathes thankfulness, voicing your praise in all we do.  Amen.


Prayer of Thanksgiving

One: Generous God, for the abundance of your blessings to us, day by day and year by year,

All: we give you our thanks.

One: For the simple pleasures of life: for garden harvests, coffee conversation, and familiar surroundings, for health and strength to appreciate the wonder of life, for needs met and desires fulfilled,

All: we give you our thanks.

One: For food to nourish body and spirit, for homes which supply shelter, which nurture order and beauty, and offer hospitality,

All: we give you our thanks.

One: With gifts of money which reach farther than we can manage ourselves, with deeds done in service of neighbor and stranger, with family and friends distant and nearby,

All: we worship you, God, with grateful hearts and joyful spirit.  Alleluia.  Amen.


Call and Response




Silence


Response Hymn #413




Preparation for the Word Hymn #583



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November 19, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Giving Thanks"

Come into God's presence singing,

Alleluia!  Alleluia, Alleluia!

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)

Gathering Prayer

Good and gracious God, we welcome you into our midst and invite you to make yourself known to us in the silence, in the symbols and in the words and melodies and actions of our worship.  We lay aside all else but the desire to be in your presence, touched by your grace and fed by your Word.  Enter this sacred time with us, we pray, that we might apprehend the Holy and more importantly, that the Holy might apprehend us.  Amen.


Call to Worship

One: We come, for God gathers us here, with that community called faith: 


All: where the hungry are served first, where the thirsty drink life's water. 


One: We come, for God welcomes us here into that home called grace:

All: where the naked are clothed in robes of hope; where the stranger is embraced as the long-lost prodigal.

One: We come, for God reunites us here, sisters and brothers in that family called love:

All: where the imprisoned model justice, where the sick are cradled in God's peace.


Morning Prayer

May we honor your name

not by paying it lip service, Lord Jesus

but by trusting the vision it speaks of and the way it calls forth

May we honor it by following you

speaking into the word with our actions

and showing who we are chosen to follow

May we love in your name

speak in your name

care in your name

that willingness to touch the outcast

feed the hungry

remember the sick

visit the imprisoned

clothe the naked

give water to the thirsty

in your name.  Amen.


Call and Response




Silence


Response Hymn #413




Preparation for the Word Hymn #583



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November 26, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Robin Crawford

"Sheep and Goats"

Scripture  

Matthew 25:31-­46


Come into God's presence singing,

Alleluia!  Alleluia, Alleluia!

Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)