A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Centering Prayer

Lord of justice and mercy, we come to you this day seeking your healing and reconciling love. Help us to be open to your word, your presence, your compassion.  Clear our hearts of those things which block your will.  Keep us focused on your enabling power so that we, having been healed, may more fully serve you.  Amen.


Call to Worship

Oh God, We come before you today with gratitude: Gratitude for the opportunity to share with each other and to give to each other.  Gratitude for the example of Jesus, who teaches us to love our neighbors and serve those around us.  Please open our eyes to new visions of service and faithful living.  Thank you for the opportunity to expand our hearts, our communities, and our lives through your grace.  Amen.


Prayer of Wondering

Lord, we come before you today knowing what it is that you require of us but wondering how to achieve these things you ask of us.  As we continue to ask ourselves how to better serve you and one another, guide us, support us, and encourage us.  Guide us in making the right choice.  Support us as we work to follow those decisions.  Encourage us so that we may always be asking the questions and striving to find the answers.  In your name we pray. Amen.


Response Hymn #286





Preparation for the Word Hymn #300





Prayer of Commitment

Our call is;

To do justice: Lord, open our eyes and hearts to those around us.  Let us see the hurts and questions and doubts in each other.  Let us respond with compassion, empathy and kindness.

To love kindness: Lord, let us show kindness to each other, not just on Sunday mornings, but everyday.  In traffic, at our jobs, with our children and parents, enemies and families.

To walk humbly:  Lord, show us the way to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  To be the people of God's peace.  Let us walk your path while serving you.  Amen.

July 14, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Drawing Near"

Breathe on me, breath of God; Fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love,

And do what thou wouldst do.

We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord;

We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord,

Ane we pry that all unity may one day be restored:

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love;

Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

Centering Prayer

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.


Call to Worship

ONE: Blessed be the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!

ALL: Praise be to God, the Giver of many gifts!

ONE: Our help is in God’s name, the One who calls us here.

ALL: We come with songs of praise, with prayers too deep for words.

ONE: Blessed be the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!

ALL: Blessed be the Lord!


Morning Prayer

Christ Jesus, we come into your presence from many different places.  We come with songs of joy and shouts of gratitude.  We come carrying heavy burdens and sighs of suffering.  As you welcome us into your house, lift our burdens and receive our praise.  Salt us with your grace

and flavor us with your mercy.  Bind us together, that we may be at peace with one another and be strengthened to go forth in service to the world.  In your holy name, we pray. Amen.


Response Hymn #286





Preparation for the Word Hymn #300




July 21, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Offering a Cup of Cold Water"

Scripture

Mark 9:38-50

Breathe on me, breath of God; Fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love,

And do what thou wouldst do.

We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord;

We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord,

Ane we pry that all unity may one day be restored:

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love;

Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

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Centering Prayer

To you, O God, we lift up our souls.  To you we offer our praise and prayer, our worship and thanksgiving, even our very lives.  Make your ways known to us.  Show us the path on which we should walk.  Lead us in your truth and teach us.  For you alone are the God who saves, the God in whom we trust; and the One on whom we wait. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We are met in the presence of God

ALL: And we do not meet alone.

ONE: With the angels in the highest heaven

ALL:  We gather to worship the Lord.

ONE:  With Abraham and Sarah

ALL: We gather to worship the Lord.

ONE: With the saints of every age

ALL: We gather to worship the Lord.

ONE: We embark on our own journey of faith

ALL: God’s Holy name be praised.

ONE: God makes of us a great people

ALL: God’s Holy name be praised.

ONE:In the desert and in the den, in barrio and basilica

ALL:God’s Holy name be praised.W

ONE:We journey in the presence of God.

ALL: And we do not journey alone.


Morning Prayer

Christ Jesus, we come into your presence from many different places.  We come with songs of joy and shouts of gratitude.  We come carrying heavy burdens and sighs of suffering.  As you welcome us into your house, lift our burdens and receive our praise.  Salt us with your grace

and flavor us with your mercy.  Bind us together, that we may be at peace with one another and be strengthened to go forth in service to the world.  In your holy name, we pray. Amen.


Response Hymn #286





Preparation for the Word Hymn #300




July 28, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Go, And Be a Blessing"

Breathe on me, breath of God; Fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love,

And do what thou wouldst do.

We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord;

We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord,

Ane we pry that all unity may one day be restored:

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love;

Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

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Centering Prayer

There are as many ways to pray as there are people.  There are as many ways to worship as there are people.  All of them are good.  The point is to do it.  In our time together, let us open our hearts to God as we pray.  Let us open our hearts to God as we worship.  Amen.


Call to Worship

Our help is in the name of the Lord our God, the Maker of heaven and earth, who comes to our aid in times of need, who gives us the courage to do what we know is right, who invites us to turn away from the influences of the world around us and confess God alone as Savior and Lord.  This is our God.  Amen.


Prayer of Confession

ONE: From the comfort of our Western and prosperous lives,

MANY: We come hungry for a better world for all.

ONE: In a world beset by power struggles and prejudice,

MANY: We confess that as much as we long for community where all people are honored and provided for, we have lost our way.

ONE: In a world where children are separated from their mothers and fathers,

MANY: We confess that we don’t know how to help, that our arms are not long enough to embrace all those in need.

ONE: With the honesty of our doubts and insecurities,

MANY: We rejoice in your love for us and all creation as we seek your blessing to restore us to wholeness.


Response Hymn #842






Assurance of Forgiveness:

The Lord offers us words of forgiveness.  We are a forgiven people, bound together in God’s love. We are the body of Christ, forgiven and free.


Preparation for the Word Hymn #437




August 4, 2019

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Geoff Browning

"What Do You Mean, 'Resist Not Evil'?"

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

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Centering Prayer

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, that we might apprehend the Holy, and more importantly, that the Holy might apprehend us.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Come, all you who are struggling.

ALL: Come, all you who are crippled by pain and suffering.

ONE: Come to worship a God who heals your pain.

ALL: Come to worship a God who gives forgiveness.  Let us worship God, who sets us free and gives us new life!


Prayer of Invocation

Lord God, whose power and mercy have extended to all ends of creation, pour your love on us this day that we might be healed and be made ready to serve you by serving others.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437




Responsive Psalm

ONE: Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear my voice!  Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

ONE: If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

ALL: But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

ONE: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

ALL: My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

ONE: O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.

ALL: It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

August 11, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"Live Your Life"

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

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Centering Prayer

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


Call to Worship

ONE: With friends and strangers, with family and neighbors, we gather:

ALL: Come among us, Healing God, with that love which never ends.

ONE: With faith reaching out to touch, with hearts straining to trust, we hope:

ALL: Come among us, Friend of the broken, with your compassion which makes us whole.

ONE: With word and wonder, with silence and song, we wait:

ALL: Come among us, Dryer of our tears, to lift us to our feet to follow you.


Morning Prayer and Litany

ONE: God asks, "Am I a God nearby and not a God far off? Who can hide so that I cannot see them? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back from the deceit of their own hearts?" Where are the places in our lives where we resist turning to God?

(silence)

ONE: When we resist your call to open our hearts to allow the power of your words to enter:

ALL: God have mercy.

ONE: When we close our eyes to hard and unexpected possibilities of houses being divided,

ALL: Christ have mercy.

ONE: When we let fear overwhelm us, and cling to the security of what we know, instead of risking new steps toward your freedom and justice:

ALL: God have mercy. Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



August 18, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"Under the Hammer"

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

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Centering Prayer

Holy God, when we gather in your name, we are changed.  There is no way around it. We cannot come together in your presence and not be moved.  So, today we surrender to your moving and to the ways you desire to change us.  Let this hour together be sacred, and may your name be made great.  You are holy, worthy and full of glory.  We are humbled to be in your presence.  Receive our worship as an offering of praise.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Creator God, you call us to hospitality; to give as generously to others as you have given to us.

ALL: For there are angels among us.

ONE: Loving God, you call us to give you glory in the compassion we show to one another.

ALL: To love without judgment, of ourselves or of others.

ONE: We gather as one Body, seeking to walk in the way you have set for us.

ALL: We gather as one Body, to worship the one who is Love.


Prayer of Adoration

Hospitable God, you invite us to a banquet where the last may be first, and the humble and the mighty trade places.  Let us share your abundance with no fear of scarcity; let us greet strangers as angels you have sent!  Send your Spirit now so that we may find a place at your table and welcome others with radical hospitality.  In the name of Jesus, Guest at all our tables, we pray. Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



August 25, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"The Hammer and the Bell"

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

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Centering Prayer

Gracious God, though we are many, we have come together with one purpose – to worship you with scripture and song, with prayer and sacrament. We witness that we are members of one another and wait for your word spoken clearly in our midst. May your presence be among us in this hour: touch us with tenderness and strengthen us into commitment, through Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Call to Worship

Creating God, we gather in your name to worship you. We give thanks that there is a small spark of God within us. Kindle that small spark into a flame of love and service. Sustaining God, we gather in your name to worship you.


Prayer of Confession

Compassionate God, greet us with your grace this day, for we need you. We cannot save ourselves. Though we may be frantic with activity, our efforts do not yield peace, peace as you can give. Today we would be quiet enough to hear your voice. Today we would be still enough to feel your touch. Help us to find that place where we can receive as well as give, wait as well as act, and listen as well as speak. Our whole world needs your peace. Let us come before you and learn your ways, laying down our weapons and feeding the hungry. Come to us now, through Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Assurance of Forgiveness

ONE: The good news is that Christ calls us to new life and enables us to begin again and again and again and again. Friends, believe the good news of the gospel.

ALL: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!


Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



September 1, 2019

Celebration of Holy Communion

Meditation by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

Scripture

Luke 14: 7-14

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

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Centering Prayer

Almighty God, still our worries and quiet our minds. Help us to set aside our everyday concerns so that we might bring our whole selves to worship you this morning. Open our ears to hear your word, our mouths to praise you, and our hearts to be filled with your Spirit.  Amen.


Call to Worship

The God who speaks comfort to us calls us here. The God who addresses us with tenderness meets us here. The God who guides us with gentleness cares for us here. We come to prepare a way, for the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it.


Prayer of Invocation

God of our ancestors, you were their help in ages past.  There is no other to whom we can turn.  We ask you, Lord, to stay our hearts on this thought, in the midst of our fleeting and hectic hours.  In you, there is no shadow of turning; over all our change, you have watched unchanged.  Open our eyes to your everlasting presence now, that we may together be still and know that you are God.  Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



September 8, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"Holding Secrets"

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

(placeholder)

Centering Prayer

O Lord my God, I believe in you, Creator, Christ, 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.


Call to Worship

ONE: We come as seekers,

ALL: Unsure of what we seek.

ONE: We come as followers,

ALL: Not understanding the One we follow.

ONE: We come to worship,

ALL: Even though we don’t know how.

ONE: Holy One, by your grace,M

ALL: Meet us where we are. Meet us here. Meet us now.


Morning Prayer

Patient Lord, we schedule our lives down to the very second.  We crowd in as much activity as we can, and then wonder why we are so stressed out and tired.  We are afraid to miss out on anything.  And when it comes time to be with others, we spend our time worrying about details rather than longing for the visit.  Forgive us when we get so caught up in the details and miss the opportunity to sit at your feet, learning, listening, growing in our faith.  Slow us down, just a bit, so that we can see the wonders you have placed before us, and truly enjoy and share the blessings you have given to us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



September 15, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"Getting It Sort of Right"

Hymns

#395 Blessed Jesus, at Your Word

#187 Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us

#12 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation;

In God I trust; in God I trust.

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

You are the Christ, giver of mercy!

You are the Lord, giver of mercy!

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