A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

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January 10, 2021

Celebration of Holy Communion

Reverend Debra McGuire

Music Director - Jessica Reddell-Popovich

Liturgist - Bonnie Morgan

“A journey can become a sacred thing: Make sure, before you go, to take the time to bless your going forth, to free your heart of ballast so that the compass of your soul might direct you toward the territories of spirit where you will discover more of your hidden life, and the urgencies that deserve to claim you. May you travel in an awakened way, gathered wisely into your inner ground; that you may not waste the invitations which wait along the way to transform you.”

“The Traveler” John O’Donohue


Chimes

Centering Prayer

Light of Christ, awaken us this hour to the glory of your presence in our midst.  Shine among us in such a way that the darkness without and within may be pushed back, such that we might truly see what is really real.  Help us to recognize our sin for what it is.  Enable us to behold the world as you created it to be, as you created us to be.  Empower us to move from darkness to light, from sin to new life.  May your light within us shine through into worship this day, as all days.  This we pray in the name of the Word made flesh, the light which is the light of all people, Jesus Christ. Amen. 1


Welcome


Introit          "Down To The River To Pray"   Traditional


Call to Worship 2

ONE: Arise! Shine! The light you have been waiting for is here!

ALL: Darkness has been banished!

ONE: God's light of hope floods the earth.

ALL: God's light comes to us all.

ONE: Lord, make us ready to journey to this Light.

ALL: Prepare our hearts to receive this Light. Amen.


Hymn 744 Arise, Your Light is Come!


Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, we would like to be among those who saw the coming of the Christ Child, those who dropped all that they were doing and traveled to worship the coming of God's love into this world. We would like to be those who cared for God in infant vulnerability; who tickled and cuddled and comforted the growing child, that he might know love and safety.

And yet, merciful God, we must recognize all the times we are more like Herod. Whenever we, in our actions or in our inactions, find our own need for control more compelling than the needs of others for health and safety. Whenever we cling to the security of our privilege, rather thanstanding up for the rights of the oppressed. Whenever we are complicit in the harming of innocents for the sake of profit, or power, or because we fear to know, and to change, the injustices of this world.

Loving God, we confess our sins against you and one another, and pray that you will fill us with your light, that we may live our lives as true disciples in your name, without counting the cost. In the name of Christ, the one who showed us the way, we pray. Amen.


Response Hymn 425

Son of God, whose heart is peace, Son of God, most holy,

To your presence we have come; give us now your love.


Words of Assurance 3

ONE: God's light is present in this world. Present in the Christ child, born to lead us out of darkness. Present in the star, in all that guides us to love.

ALL:  God's light is in the world, and the darkness did not overcome it. God's grace is in the world, and our mis-steps will not overcome it. We are loved, we are forgiven. Alleluia! Amen.



Sharing the Peace

ONE: The peace of Christ be with you.

RESPONSE:  And also with you.


Response Hymn 155

Raise of song of gladness, peoples of the earth.

Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart.

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!


Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

ONE: This is the word of the Lord.

RESPONSE:  Thanks be to God.


Anthem       "Let It Be Known"   Brady, Smith, and Weeks


Sermon:  "What Would It Take?" Reverend Debra McGuire


Hymn 152 What Star Is This, with Beams So Bright


Invitation to the Offering

In this season of light we are reminded of how bright our lives are when we are able to give of our time, our love, our money, our care and concern, and our very presence. We welcome the chance to give to another and to our church. When you mail your offerings to the church we are not only able to keep our ministries operating and our budget intact, but we also receive the joy of hearing from you. We thank you for your continual giving to our community at Bethany.


Offertory "Coventry Carol"   15th Century English carol


Prayer of Dedication

Generous God, through your Son, Jesus Christ, you have shown us what it means to love. And you call us to follow your example—to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Continue to write your law of love on our hearts. Give us an unwavering passion for justice, and a tenacious faith that will not rest until the hungry are fed, the oppressed find relief, and the outsider finds a welcome. Bless what we give and bless what we keep, that all may be used for your glory. Amen.


Prayers of the People


The Sacrament of Holy Communion


Preparation of the Table


Invitation and Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

LEADER: The Lord be with you

PEOPLE: And also with you

LEADER: Lift up your hearts

PEOPLE: We lift them up to the Lord

LEADER: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

PEOPLE: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

LEADER: Let us pray.  Almighty and ever-living God...


Words of Institution


Sharing of the Cup and Bread


Prayer of Thanksgiving


Prayers of the People

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.


Hymn 159 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem


Announcements


Closing Benediction 4

May this holy season be for each of us a time of moving beyond what is “reasonable” and toward the star of wonder; moving beyond grasping tight to what we have to unclenching our hands and letting go, following the Light where it leads; moving beyond competition toward cooperation, seeing that all humans are sisters and brothers; moving beyond the anxiety of small concerns towards the joys of justice and peace.

May the transforming acceptance of Mary and Joseph, the imagination of the shepherds, and the persistence of the wise men guide us as we seek the Truth, always moving toward the Divine promise, always aware God can be hidden in the frailest among us, always open to the unexpected flash of Grace, to the showing forth of that Love that embraces us all.


Postlude “Golden Gate Waltz”      Barbara Arens

1 Peter Haynes

2 Nancy C. Townley

3 Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy

4 Adapted by J.M. Deren from "Blessings and Benedictions,"

by W.L. Wallace in Shine On, Star of Bethlehem  Education for Justice

Centering Prayer

God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus.  Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors.  And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn.  Amen.1


Welcome


Introit       “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”    Thomas Dorsey, Arr. Sheldon Curry


Call to Worship 2

ONE: Creating God, we gather in your name to worship you. We give thanks that there is a small spark of God within us.

ALL: Kindle that small spark into a flame of love and service.

ONE: Sustaining God, we gather in your name to worship you. We celebrate the loving presence of God in our life.

ALL: May God’s loving presence be a strong influence in our life.

ONE: Nurturing God, we gather in your name to worship you.

We rejoice that God teaches us about love and forgiveness.

ALL: As we grow in faith, trust and love for God, may our worship, witness and service bring honour to God’s Holy Name. Amen.


Hymn 463 How Firm a Foundation


Prayer of Confession

Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us.  We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ.  We often give in order to receive.  We love our friends and hate our enemies.  We go the first mile but dare not travel the second.  We forgive but dare not forget.  And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you.  But thou, O God, have mercy upon us.  Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be.  Give us the intelligence to know your will.  Give us the courage to do your will.  Give us the devotion to love your will.  In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen. 1


Response Hymn 425

Son of God, whose heart is peace, Son of God, most holy,

To your presence we have come; give us now your love.


Words of Assurance 3

You are loved. Love is the Way. When you love God, you love others. When you truly lay down your life for others, you lay down your life for God. Give yourself to God by serving others. Know that in God’s love there is forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. Amen.



Sharing the Peace

ONE: The peace of Christ be with you.

RESPONSE:  And also with you.


Response Hymn 155

Raise of song of gladness, peoples of the earth.

Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart.

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!


Gospel Reading: John 1:43-51

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 139:1-6;13-18

ONE: This is the word of the Lord.

RESPONSE:  Thanks be to God.


Anthem       “I Will Follow You”  Darcy Stanley


Sermon:  "Who Came Before You?"  Reverend Debra McGuire


Hymn 720 Jesus Calls Us


Invitation to the Offering

God has abundantly blessed us and called us to be a community that honors each other and to be servants to others with joy. We rejoice in what we have been given and in what is ours to give. When you mail your offerings to the church we are not only able to keep our ministries operating and our budget intact, but we also receive the joy of hearing from you. We thank you for your continual giving to our community at Bethany.


Offertory “What Good Can Come From Nazareth”  Wesley/Carolyn Gillette


Prayer of Dedication

Generous God, through your Son, Jesus Christ, you have shown us what it means to love. And you call us to follow your example—to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Continue to write your law of love on our hearts. Give us an unwavering passion for justice, and a tenacious faith that will not rest until the hungry are fed, the oppressed find relief, and the outsider finds a welcome. Bless what we give and bless what we keep, that all may be used for your glory. Amen.


Prayers of the People


The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.


Hymn 726 Will You Come and Follow Me  verses 1,2,5


Announcements


Closing Benediction 1

Lord... We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children - Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow - will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.


Postlude “Battle Hymn of the Republic” William Steffe

1 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

2 Joan Stott

3 Rev. Mindi


January 17, 2021

Reverend Debra McGuire

Music Director - Jessica Reddell-Popovich

Liturgist - Ken Henry

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“You are more than the softening touch placed upon our calloused hearts. You are the constant tumbling waves slowly smoothing our roughened stones. You are yeast within the flour of sorrows enabling our lost happiness to rise again. You are spirit-filled chlorophyll greening our ever- developing virtues. Wherever you make your dwelling, necessary change is ready to follow.” 1


Centering Prayer

Holy One, God of all Creation, you call us to be your people, to carry your vision in this time and place, to go where you send us to help welcome your amazing good news.  As we gather in the presence of the risen Christ to spread the news that your realm is near, fill us with your Holy Spirit, O God of all Creation.  Fill us with your glorious Spirit, that we may share your good news with a world in need. Amen. 2


Welcome


Introit       America”   Samuel Francis Smith


Call to Worship 3

ONE: Jesus calls us to praise and prayer, to song and silence;

ALL: Jesus calls us to worship.

ONE: Jesus calls us to hearing and healing, to service and solidarity;

ALL: Jesus calls us to love.

ONE: Jesus calls us to advocacy and action, to protest and provision;

ALL: Jesus calls us to justice.

ONE: Let us heed the call of Christ.

ALL: Let us worship together with joy.


Hymn 410 God Is Calling Through the Whisper


Prayer of Confession 4

Almighty and everlasting God, we know that your love is over every creature whom your hands have made.  We know that your only wish is not to destroy but to save, not to condemn but to forgive.  And we know that, to receive your forgiveness, we need only bring a penitent and contrite heart.  Save us from all that would hinder us from having an authentic and humble relationship with you.  Grant that with our repentance we may be truly forgiven, so that as we experience your graciousness and compassion, we find your love great enough to cover all of our sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.


Response Hymn 425

Son of God, whose heart is peace, Son of God, most holy,

To your presence we have come; give us now your love.


Words of Assurance 5

ONE: The one who calls us to this place calls us to reconciliation through grace. God will not deny a repentant heart or an open spirit. Know that you are forgiven and walk in the new way that is made known to you in God’s love.

ALL:  Amen.



Sharing the Peace

ONE: The peace of Christ be with you.

RESPONSE:  And also with you.


Response Hymn 155

Raise of song of gladness, peoples of the earth.

Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart.

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to every heart!


Scripture Reading: Mark 1:14-20

ONE: This is the word of the Lord.

RESPONSE:  Thanks be to God.


Anthem       “Walk on Faith”    Mike Reid, arr. Craig Bray


Sermon:  Reverend Debra McGuire


Hymn 751 From the Nets of Our Labor (verses 1, 4, 6)


Invitation to the Offering

God has shown us the meaning of generosity in the beautiful diversity of creation, in the overflowing love of Jesus Christ, in the never-ending gift of the Holy Spirit. God has abundantly blessed us and called us to be a community that honors each other, to be servants to others with joy, to share our love and material possessions. When you mail your offerings to the church we are not only able to keep our ministries operating and our budget intact, but we also receive the joy of hearing from you. We thank you for your continual giving to our community at Bethany.


Offertory Venetian Boat Song, Op.30, No. 6    Felix Mendelssohn


Prayer of Dedication

Generous God, through your Son, Jesus Christ, you have shown us what it means to love. And you call us to follow your example—to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Continue to write your law of love on our hearts. Give us an unwavering passion for justice, and a tenacious faith that will not rest until the hungry are fed, the oppressed find relief, and the outsider finds a welcome. Bless what we give and bless what we keep, that all may be used for your glory. Amen.


Prayers of the People


The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.


Hymn 721 Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore


Announcements


Closing Benediction 6

We go now, following where Christ calls us and proclaiming the message God gives us.  We wait in hope for God, desiring to avoid becoming bound up in the business of the world, but living in readiness for the inbreaking of the Kingdom.  May God be our haven and our glory; May Christ Jesus give us courage for his mission; and may the Spirit embrace our souls in God’s silence. We go in peace to love and serve the Lord.


Postlude

1 Fragments of Your Ancient Name

2 The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012

3 Joanna Harader

4 William Barclay

5 Rev. Madison Shockley

6 © 2003 Nathan Nettleton


January 24, 2021

Reverend Debra McGuire

Music Director - Jessica Reddell-Popovich

Liturgist - Craig Bray

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