A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

May 20, 2018

Pentecost Sunday

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"A New Language"

Scripture  

Acts 2:1-21

Centering Prayer

On Pentecost Day long ago, your great Spirit came upon the saints in Jerusalem. May your Spirit come upon us and this community of faith here this day. We welcome the flame and light of your Spirit here in this place today. Renew us with an energized faith and affirm us as your people here to worship and celebrate with strength, courage, and hope in Christ.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Spirit of the living God, visit us again on this day of Pentecost.

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit.

ONE: With rushing wind that sweeps away all barriers,  

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit.  

ONE: With tongues of fire that set our hearts aflame,  

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit.  

ONE: With speech that unites the Babel of our tongues,  

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit.

ONE: With love that overlaps the boundaries of race and nation,

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit.  

ONE: With power from above to make our weakness strong,

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit.


Prayer of Invocation

Move among us, Spirit, and gather us together with you.  Take our many selves – our lives, our loves, our ideas, our questions, our speech, our silence – and unite us as your people.  Give us the gifts of perception and understanding, so that even as we dream your dreams and see your visions, we may be able to witness to your presence in our common life.  Amen.


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288


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.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Centering Prayer

O God, whose holiness is not limited to grand cathedrals or saintly persons, spectacular mountains or mountain-moving leaders; O God, whose holiness is often discovered in simple everyday places and simple everyday folk, plant Your holiness in this place, in us now.  Grow us this hour, that we might flower, right where we are, with the beauty of Your holiness. This we pray.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We have come to worship God, the living God,

ALL: Who calls prophets and teachers to bear witness. One: We have come to praise God, the almighty God, All: Who answers the forces of hatred and hurt with the power of grace.

ONE: We have come to worship God, all-gracious God,

ALL: Who chooses even you and me, to receive and carry the Word of life and hope. All glory to God!


Prayer of Adoration

The Word you spoke, and keep speaking, O God is the life, the sustenance, of all that is – seen and unseen.  The Life you gave, and keep giving, O Christ, is the recreation, the renewed birth

of every broken, wounded and sinful creature.  The breath you breathed, and keep breathing, O Spirit, is the inspiration for creativity, compassion and community that connects and unites all that God has made.  Life-giving, Life-restoring, Life-fulfilling God, our worship seeks to honor you, our hearts are devoted to you, and our lives are completely given over to you.  Amen.


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




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May 27, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"Thanks"

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.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Centering Prayer

Something made the hairs stand up on our necks.  Was it you, O God?  Was it you that we saw blowing over the water?  Was it you that we heard moving through those feet?  Was it you that we felt in the beating of our own hearts?  Was it you that called our names?

Come, O God. Come to search us. Come to know us again.  We were knit in your womb.

We have tried to count your works.  Come, O God, so that we can hear you calling our names.  Here and now.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: What do you do, when God calls?

ALL: Wake up. Listen. Act.

ONE: What do you do when God asks you to do something difficult?

ALL: Wake up. Listen. Act.

ONE: What do you do when God asks you to do something impossible?

ALL: Wake up. Listen. Act.  Because with God, nothing is impossible.

ONE: Even changing ourselves?

ALL: Even changing the world. Wake up. Listen. Act.

ONE: And, with all this living,

ALL: we worship God.


Prayer of Invocation

As we turn aside from all else... speak Lord, your servants are listening.

As we declare our faith... speak Lord, your servants are listening.

As we acknowledge our need... speak Lord, your servants are listening.

As we search for wisdom... speak Lord, your servants are listening.

As we listen for your call... speak Lord, your servants are listening.

As we lift up our hearts... speak Lord, your servants are listening.

Amen.


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




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June 3, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Holy Listening"

Scripture  

I Samuel 3:1-19

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.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Centering Prayer

Lord, we want to follow you wherever you lead.  Reach out to us this day, stirring our souls and spirits with the winds of your power that we may faithfully be your disciples.  For we ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: To the fisherman Jesus said:

ALL: “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

ONE: To the tax collector Jesus said:

ALL: “Follow me.”

ONE: To the rich man Jesus said:

ALL: “Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

ONE: At the last supper Jesus said:

ALL: “Follow me.”

ONE: To you, and to me, and to all of us Jesus says:

ALL: “Follow me!”


Prayer of Commitment

Jesus, you have called us: Come, follow me, take up your cross, deny yourself and live.  Jesus, I am willing though I am weak; I'll trust you, and I'll go where you lead.

I will follow,

I will follow,

I will follow where you lead.

Jesus, you have shown us how we should live: in sacrifice, humility and love.

Jesus, I am willing though I am weak; I'll follow you with your Spirit in me.


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




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June 10, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"What is God Doing in Your Life Today?"

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.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Centering Prayer

In this sacred space, in these moments of stillness, our thoughts and silence are like incense.

Holy God, whose glory touches and transfigures the mind and the material, whose intimate, gentle Spirit embraces our vulnerability and fills our empty saes with hope, may we know the deep calm that only You can give.  Through the mystery of absence and presence, come, fill us with Your emptiness, your eternal silence.  Amen.


Call to Worship

We worship the God who inhabits our world and indwells our lives.  We need not look up to find God, we need only to look around: within ourselves, beyond ourselves, into the eyes of another.

We need not listen for a distant thunder to find God, we need only listen to the music of life, the words of children, the questions of the curious, the rhythm of a heartbeat.  We worship the God who inhabits our world and who indwells our lives.


Prayer of Invocation

God of justice, peace and righteousness, come into our midst this morning. Breathe your breath,

your Spirit of prophecy, your energy, your enlivening, your imagination on us.  Wake us up, open our eyes. Unplug our ears that we might hear, that we might see, that we might grieve, that we might dream, that we might follow the ways of your extraordinary kingdom.  Amen


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




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June 17, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Mission: Possible"

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.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Centering Prayer

Loving God, whose light brings hope to the world, send your

Holy Spirit to illumine our way on your bright path, so that we may live in harmony with our neighbors from every nation until you gather all earthly migrants into your heavenly Kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: In a world that cries out, “Fear me!”

ALL: We will listen to Jesus’ words, “Don’t be afraid!”

ONE: In a world that wants us to hate the other...

ALL: We will live Jesus’ call to,  “Love God.  Love your neighbor, as you love yourself.”

ONE: In a world that radicalizes...

ALL: We, too, will be radical.  Radical with our hospitality.  Radical with our hope.  

        Radical with our love.

ONE: Then come to this place, ready to be who we are called to be.

ALL: Let us gather together and worship God.


Prayer of Transformation

Lord, I was a pile of ash and you made me a light for the world.

I was a stone, and you made me salt for the earth.

I was as lifeless as clay and you made me part of the Body of Christ.

I was sinful and you made me holy.

I was nothing and you made me part of everything.

Lord, in you I am transformed and transformed still again.

When the discouraged cry for hope, make me hope.

When the hungry cry for bread, make me bread.

When the thirsty cry for water, make me water.

When the suffering cry for help, make me help.

When the sick cry for healing, make me healing.

When the bound cry for freedom, make me freedom.

When the outcasts cry for love, make me love.

Lord who is hope who is bread and water,

who is help and healing, who is freedom, and who is love,

transform me anew, and so keep me close to you, as you transform the world.

Amen.


Call and Response




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




Prayer for the Courage to do Justice

O Lord, open our eyes that we may see the needs of refugees; open our ears that we may hear people's cries for justice; open our hearts that we may assist sojourners near and far. Show us where love, hope and faith are needed. Use us as ministers of your healing. Let us not be afraid to protect the weak because of the anger of the strong, or to defend the poor because of the power of the rich. Sustain us so that in these coming days we may be able to do some work of peace for you. We ask these things in your blessed name. Amen.

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June 24, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"We Choose Welcome, Not Fear"

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)

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 your embrace. 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


Litany of Confession

ONE: When we resist your call to open our hearts to allow the freshness of your grace to enter:

ALL: God have mercy.

ONE: When we close our eyes to your new and unexpected possibilities of healing and reconciliation.

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.


Call and Response




Assurance of Grace

ONE: God's mercies are fresh every morning.  In Christ God offers forgiving grace and welcome into a community of trust, abundance, and hope. Let us give thanks for the mercy of God, and pass the peace of Christ in community among us.


Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




Hymn "When Jesus went to Egypt"


















Text: Copyright © June 2018 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Biblical references:  Matthew 2:12-18; Isaiah 49:15; 66:13; Luke 15:11-32; Matthew 25:31–46

Tune: Hans Leo Hassler, 1601 (O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)

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July 1, 2018

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Known and Named"

Scripture  

Mark 5:21-43

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)

(1) When Jesus went to Egypt,

Safe on his mother’s arm,

His parents stayed beside him

To keep him safe from harm.

And when they crossed the border,

They were allowed to be

Together – seeking refuge –

A Holy Family.

(2) O God, we pray for children

And families coming here

Now facing separation,

And filled with grief and fear.

For children, loved and treasured,

Are ripped from loving kin.

This deed, by any measure,

Is torture. It’s a sin!

(3) O God, you’re like a mother

Who won’t forsake her own.

You’re like a loving father

Who welcomes his son home.

Now give us, by your Spirit,

The strength to challenge wrong,

To seek the best for children,

And keep all families strong.

Centering Prayer

Lord of mystery and community, you have called us here this day to remind us of the mission journey you set before us. Help us to pay attention to the words of Jesus as he sent out his disciples on a mission of healing and compassion. Remind us that success is not measured in the cures, but in the striving. Enable us to truly be your disciples in this world. 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.


Prayer of Commitment

God of gods and King of kings;  you called and anointed David,  you called and blessed Paul,  and through your Son Jesus, you called the twelve to follow. In our time you have called us. Enable us to trust you above all voices, beyond all of our prejudices and fears. Give us courage to follow and serve you among all of our neighbors and with one another in the body of Christ.


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




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July 8, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Going Together"

Scripture  

Mark 6:1-13

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

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.

Centering Prayer

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.

Do justly, now.

Love mercy, now.

Walk humbly, now.

You are not obligated to complete the work,

but neither are you free to abandon it.

(The Talmud)


Call to Worship

This is the day

that the Lord has made.

We will rejoice and be glad in it!


Prayer of Praise

Your love, O God, is an active love:

engaged, involved, immersed.

Your love, O God, is seen in what you do, not just in what you say:

in the blessing of children, in the meals with outcasts,

in the touching of the untouchable,

in your presence, and your self-giving,

in your opening of the way to life to all who will come;

And your love, O God, is expressed through people like us:

as we share our wealth in simplicity and generosity;

as we share wholeness in care and healing of the sick and broken;

as we share hospitality by being truly present to the lonely, the imprisoned, and the marginalized

as we share peace in kindness, listening, and acceptance with those who challenge us,

confront us, and threaten us.

As you have loved us in incarnate action, O God,

may we learn to be little incarnations

through whom your love is expressed and experienced in action.

Amen


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288





Closing Charge

What does the Lord require of you,

To do justice, and love kindness,

and walk humbly with your God.

(Micah 6:8)

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July 15, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Geoff Browning

"The Church of the Maladjusted"

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

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.

Centering Prayer

Come with your questions, come with your awe!  For the God who broods over the chaos meets us in this place. Come with your energy, come with your weariness! For the God who breathes new life into the dust meets us in this place. Come with your sadness, come with your joy!  For the God who dared to become human meets us in this place. Amen


Call to Worship

ONE: Some of us are exhausted.

ALL: We come to rest.

ONE: Some of us are curious about Jesus.

ALL: We come to learn.

ONE: Some of us are hungry.

ALL: We come to be fed.

ONE: Some of us are disoriented.

ALL: We come to pray.

ONE: Some of us are broken.

ALL: We come to be healed.

ONE: We gather around you this morning, O Christ.

ALL: Teach us, feed us, hear us, heal us.

ONE: Grant us your peace. Amen.


Morning 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.


Response Hymn #286




Preparation for the Word Hymn #288




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July 22, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"No Time Even to Eat"

Scripture  

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

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.