A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Prayer of Preparation

Living spring and living fire Love!

Our hearts inflame, inspire!

Peace, true peace, we ask you, bring;

Lead us safe beneath your wing.


Call to Worship

One: A wind breathes among us, calling us to gather in the name of the Holy One.

All: A fire burns within us, calling us to service, calling us to prayer.

One: A spirit moves around us, calling us to turn in joy toward the sorrows of the world.

All: Burning, breathing, Spirit of Compassion, we bring our lives to you.

June 4, 2017                                                                                                                 Worship Notes

Faith In Action Sunday

Scripture  

Acts 2:1-21

Hymns

#285 “Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song”

#280 “Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us”

Prayer of Preparation

O Lord my God, I believe in you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Insofar as I can, insofar as you have given me the power, I have sought you. O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to believe and never to cease seeking you. Grant that I may always and ardently seek out your countenance. Give me the hope of finding you. Amen.  (Adapted from St. Augustine)


Call to Worship

All: God is calling us today.

One: Why is God calling us?

All: To be the church, people united by God in faith.

One: For what purpose would God do such a thing?

All: Because God has given each member a gift to share, so that if we all come together and lean on one another, then we can become all that God has called us to be.


Prayer of Confession

You call us to be your light in the darkness, your voice in the wilderness, your hope for the hopeless. You give us strength in our weakness, peace and gentleness, words and boldness, to proclaim more of you and of us, less. Bless us and open us to your Spirit of Love. Amen.


Assurance of Forgiveness

One: The One who breathed life into our lungs continues to be present with us. God, who has made us reflective of God's own image, has forgiven us all and made us new creations.

All: God, who made me in Your image, teach me to love myself as You love me. God, who made me in Your image, allow me to show that image to the world. God, who made me in Your image, help me to see Your image in all those I meet.

God, who made me in Your image, teach me to conserve and protect all Your creation. God, who made me in Your image, bless, protect, and keep me and all Your children safe.

One: Therefore, since our sins are forgiven, let us be present with love and peace, honoring and upholding the dignity of all we meet, knowing we see reflections of God's image all around.

All: Thanks be to God.

June 11, 2017                                                                                                                 Worship Notes

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Going Into the World"

Hymns

#298 “Lord, You Give the Great Commission”

#510 “We Gather Here in Jesus’ Name”

#716 “God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending”

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Prayer of Preparation

Be silent. Be still. Alone. Empty Before your God.

Say nothing. Ask nothing. Be silent.  Be still.

Let your God look upon you. That is all.

God knows.  God understands.  

God loves you with an enormous love, and only wants to look upon you with that love.

Quiet.  Still.  Be. Let your God— Love you.


Call to Worship

One: Come with your questions, come with your awe!

All: For the God who broods over the chaos meets us in this place.

One: Come with your energy, come with your weariness!

All: For the God who breathes new life into the dust meets us in this place.

One: Come with your sadness, come with your joy!

All: For the God who dared to become human meets us in this place.


Morning Prayer

One: Into the daily cycle of our lives When all seems well with us and with the world; when our yoke is easy and the burden light, You break in

All: And scatter our complacency.

     (silence)

One: Into the daily cycle of our lives when we are comfortable and at our ease; when the fire is lit but eyes are closed, You break in

All: And challenge our dependency.

     (silence)

One: You break into our daily prayers; humble hearts lay souls bare, You break in

All: You break in

     (silence)

One: You break in  When defenses are down With an Angel's shout  Or the quietest sound You break in

All: You break in

One: And we change

All: And all things change

One: When you break in.


Response Hymn #616




Preparation for the Word

June 18, 2017                                                                                                                 Worship Notes

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"What a Difference a Day Makes"

Scripture  

Exodus13:21

Luke 9:51-62

Hymns

#307 “God of Grce and God of Glory”

#649 “Amazing Grace” (stanzas 1, 3, 5)

#296 “Go in Grace and Make Disciples”

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Our God is an awesome God

Who reigns from heaven above

With wisdom, power and love

Our God is an awesome God.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine.

Word of God and inward light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

Prayer of Preparation

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7, NRSV)


Call to Worship

One: We are part of the Church universal - faithful people of every color, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, and ability, gathered to love and serve God. We are an Open and Affirming church, a congregation of More Light Presbyterians. Together, let us worship God, rejoicing in the good news which we celebrate this day!

All: There is a place in God's heart, there is a place at Christ's table, there is a place here and in every welcoming church for all people.

One: Christ who gathers us, bids us follow in the ways of love and justice.

All: May our hearts be open to Christ's leading in our worship and our living, this day and always. One: We are the body of Christ!  The hand clapping, toe tapping, heart pumping, arms embracing,  justice seeking, hymn singing, love making,  bread breaking, risk taking

All: Body of Christ!

One: Baptized in one Spirit, we are members of one body.

All: Many and varied in gender, color, sexuality, age, class, and ability, we are members of Christ's beautiful body.

One: None of us can say to another, "I have no need of you."

All: For only together can we find wholeness.

One: None of us can say to another, "I will not care for you."

All: For we are connected like muscle and bone. If one suffers, we all suffer. If one rejoices, we all rejoice!

One: Thanks be to God who, in Christ, has made us one.

All: Let us worship God!


Prayer of Confession

One: We are painfully aware of the ways we dismiss or disdain others who think or act or look differently from ourselves. At our best,

All: We celebrate the unity we create in the midst of our diversity. We are so quick to look down on the defect or sin of another. At our best, we affirm the inherent beauty, worth, and dignity of every person.  We insist that our way and view are the only ones.

At our best, we remember: there are many paths to the sacred. The spiritual paths of all persons are among them.  We get caught up in categories, presumptions, and stereotypes around and within us.

At our best, we know: the choice is whether or not to live an authentic life.  We so often want to pull the covers over our heads or keep our “peculiarities” hidden.

At our best, we acknowledge: being genuine and authentic is a courageous and spiritual act.

At our best, we commit ourselves: we support each person's spiritual journey leading to wholeness. We hold fast to the promising truth that we are one human family.

At our best, we remind ourselves: no one is free when others are oppressed.


Assurance of Forgiveness

The One who breathed life into our lungs continues to be present with us. God, who has made us reflective of God's own image, has forgiven us all and made us new creations. Therefore, since our sins are forgiven, let us be present with love and peace, honoring and upholding the dignity of all we meet, knowing we see reflections of God's image all around.

     

(silence)


Response Hymn #616




Preparation for the Word




Affirmation of Faith

Today, Bethany Presbyterian Church, a More Light Congregation, re-affirms and celebrates its commitment to being the kind of open doors and arms into which persons of any variety or persuasion may be warmly received, regardless of circumstance or human condition; and, reaching out to the community so it may be known: Every person is invited to “come as one is,” raising hearts, hands and voices in thanksgiving and praise to God, maker of each of us, every one: a unique expression of unspeakable love!


Closing Charge

Go out into the world in peace; have courage; hold on to what is good;

return no person evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help the suffering, honor all people, love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.


Benediction

(Unison) Gracious God, may Your gifts of love transform and enliven us that we may live lives of thanksgiving. May Your presence among us provoke such longing for Your realm that we will never be satisfied until the whole earth knows Your justice, Your peace, and Your love. Amen.

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Hymns

In Every Place Where God is Praised

Community of Christ

From Wisdom Emerging

Our God is an awesome God

Who reigns from heaven above

With wisdom, power and love

Our God is an awesome God.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine.

Word of God and inward light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

  June 25, 2017                                                                                                                 Worship Notes

Shining More Light on Diversity

Sermon by Ananda Barclay,

Co-Moderator of More Light Presbyterians

Prayer of Preparation

God, the encourager, God, the compassionate,

God, the merciful, holy, blessed: Disturb us.

Rouse us from our sleep.  Lift us into consciousness of your presence. Change us, move us, mold us for the better; so that, at the sound of your voice, at the call of our name, we will never be the same. May our worship do this and so much more.


Call to Worship

One: God calls us to a feast!

All: The table is set, and we will come from east and west,  from north and south to sit at Christ’s table.

One: Compassion, love, and grace are poured out like fine wine.

All: We come to share our stories and Your story, to share our hope and our pain,  to share our wisdom and our laughter.

One: The table is set, so come let us worship God together!


Morning Prayer

Our God, you have given us in your word the stories of persons who needed to leave their homelands— Abraham, Sarah, Ruth, Moses. Help us to remember  that when we speak of immigrants and refugees, we speak of Christ. In the One who had no place to lay his head, and in the least of his brothers and sisters,  you come to us again, a stranger seeking refuge. We confess that we often turn away. You have chosen that the life of Jesus be filled with events of unplanned travel and flight from enemies. You have shown us through the modeling of Jesus  how we are called to relate to persons from different nations and cultures. You have called us to be teachers of your word. We ask you, our God, to open our minds and hearts to the challenge and invitation to model your perfect example of love.  Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #616




Preparation for the Word




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July 2, 2017                                                                                                                

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Even a Cup"

Hymns

#388 “Come All You People”

#507 “Come to the Table of Grace”

340 “This is My Song”


Our God is an awesome God

Who reigns from heaven above

With wisdom, power and love

Our God is an awesome God.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine.

Word of God and inward light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

Prayer of Preparation

Miraculous God, come to us now, even as your Son came to those first disciples on the shores of Galilee.  Speak your peace to our hearts.  Touch us with your Holy Spirit.  Reveal your word,  that we may hear your message this day, and live as your disciples in the days and years to come.  In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.


Call to Worship

One: In the midst of life’s storms, God is there.

All: What have we to fear?

One: In the darkness and terror, God is with us.

All: Of whom shall we be afraid?

One: Rise up, people of God, for you are loved and saved.  

All: Thanks be to God who cares deeply for us.


Prayer of Confession

Lord, help me to relax. Take from me the tension  that makes peace impossible. Take from me the fears  that do not allow me to venture. Take from me the worries  that blind my sight. Take from me the distress  that hides your joy. Help me to know  that I am with you, that I am in your care, that I am in your love, that you and I are one. Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #616




Preparation for the Word




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July 8, 2017                                                                                                                 Worship Notes

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"We Still Have to Get in that Darn Boat"

Scripture  

Mark 4:35-41

Hymns

#267 “Come, Christians, Join to Sing”

#450 “Be Thou My Vision”

#853 “We Are Marching in the Light of God”

Our God is an awesome God

Who reigns from heaven above

With wisdom, power and love

Our God is an awesome God.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine.

Word of God and inward light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

Prayer of Preparation

Loving God, we are yours.  We come as we are, with our cares and concerns.  We long to touch you and find healing in your embrace.  Strengthen our faith and heal our brokenness, that we may worship you with joy.  Amen.


Call to Worship

We call now all the people of God to come -- men, women and children, come!  Come and worship your king!  Fill this place with song!  Give glory to the one true God who is over all, and in all and through all!  People of God, come!  Come and worship!


Morning Prayer

They risked it all to come to him:

Jairus risked his pride, kneeling to a carpenter, begging for his daughter’s life;

The woman with the blood risked shame and disgrace heaped upon her by the crowd.

O Christ, we are just like Jairus.  And we bleed like the woman. We want to touch you with the faith you give us.  Heal us.  Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #616




Preparation for the Word




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July 16, 2017                                                                                                                

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Being Known and Named"

Hymns

#401 “Gather Us In”

#796 “We Come to You for Healing, Lord”

366 “Love Diving, All Loves Excelling”

Our God is an awesome God

Who reigns from heaven above

With wisdom, power and love

Our God is an awesome God.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine.

Word of God and inward light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight.

Scripture  

Mark 5:21-43

Prayer of Preparation

O God, we still our hearts. We do not know what words you will speak to us today, but we open ourselves to receive your truth. We want to see you, to know you more and to receive your love and to respond in worship. Our songs, our words, our actions are for you and you alone. Guide us, Spirit, as we worship today. Change us because we have been in your presence. Amen.


Call to Worship

One: Take off your shoes!

All: We are standing on holy ground.

One: Shake off the dust!

All: We are ready to start afresh.

One: Let us worship God and receive Christ’s teachings, that we may be renewed and strengthened to share God’s love with the world.


Morning Prayer

God of grace and powerful weakness, at times your ministry was ignored, rejected, belittled, and unwelcome.  Trusting that we, too, are called to be prophets, fill us with your Spirit, and support us by your gentle hands, that we may persevere in speaking your word and living our faith. Amen.


(silence)


Response Hymn #616




Preparation for the Word




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July 23, 2017                                                                                                              

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Sensing, Inviting & Participating"

Scripture  

Mark 6:1-13

Hymns

#365 “God Reigns! Let Earth Rejoice!”

#796 “We Come to You for Healing, Lord”

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



Our God is an awesome God

Who reigns from heaven above

With wisdom, power and love

Our God is an awesome God.

Holy Spirit, truth divine,

Dawn upon this soul of mine.

Word of God and inward light,

Wake my spirit, clear my sight.