A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Centering Prayer

Come, O Holy Spirit, O Sanctifying Spirit, fill our hearts, fill our lives with the feel of your fiery presence, so that all we do, all that we are, comes from you within us.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: O God, as we worship you, lead us into life in all of its fullness.

ALL: Help us to worship with all we are and have.

ONE: Let our laughter and our tears be instruments of prayer.

ALL: Let our loves and our delights emerge as shining hope.  And let the light of the world be here within us until we radiate the love that is Christ.


Prayer of Confession

Redeeming God, you are waiting for us, for we are slow to make room in our hearts for the Christ Child.  Your stars are shining, and the angels' songs are praising.  Yet we are in no hurry to hear the message of peace and goodwill, to sing "Glory" with the angels, to leave our sheep on the hillside, and come with haste to find incarnation.  Redeeming God, forgive our unbelief, forgive our lack of wonder, forgive our denying the birth in our midst.  Open us to your miracle, let us hear again the message of love that Jesus Christ is born.  Let us respond with joyous hearts, glorifying and praising God for all that we have heard and seen.  Amen.


Response: Hymn #113



Assurance of Forgiveness

God sent Jesus not to judge us, but to save us. God accepts both our courage and our fears. In the name of Christ, your sins are forgiven. Dare to accept the gift of a new beginning.


Response: Hymn #155


January 5, 2020

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"Plans!"

Hymns

#110 Love Has Come

#132 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

#134 Joy to the World

Raise a song of gladness, peoples of the earth.

Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to ev'ry heart.

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to ev'ry heart!

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to ev'ry heart!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Centering Prayer

Come, O Holy Spirit, O Sanctifying Spirit, fill our hearts, fill our lives with the feel of your fiery presence, so that all we do, all that we are, comes from you within us.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: O God, as we worship you, lead us into life in all of its fullness.

ALL: Help us to worship with all we are and have.

ONE: Let our laughter and our tears be instruments of prayer.

ALL: Let our loves and our delights emerge as shining hope.  And let the light of the world be here within us until we radiate the love that is Christ.


Prayer of Confession

Redeeming God, you are waiting for us, for we are slow to make room in our hearts for the Christ Child.  Your stars are shining, and the angels' songs are praising.  Yet we are in no hurry to hear the message of peace and goodwill, to sing "Glory" with the angels, to leave our sheep on the hillside, and come with haste to find incarnation.  Redeeming God, forgive our unbelief, forgive our lack of wonder, forgive our denying the birth in our midst.  Open us to your miracle, let us hear again the message of love that Jesus Christ is born.  Let us respond with joyous hearts, glorifying and praising God for all that we have heard and seen.  Amen.


Response: Hymn #113



Assurance of Forgiveness

God sent Jesus not to judge us, but to save us. God accepts both our courage and our fears. In the name of Christ, your sins are forgiven. Dare to accept the gift of a new beginning.


Response: Hymn #155




Closing Prayer

Lord God, who has called us your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils and joys unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

January 12, 2020

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"What's Real?"

Hymns

#151 We Three Kings

#459 O Word of God Incarnate

#156 Sing of God Made Manifest

Raise a song of gladness, peoples of the earth.

Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to ev'ry heart.

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to ev'ry heart!

Alleluia, alleluia, joy to ev'ry heart!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

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Centering Prayer

God of the faithful, we give thanks for your abundant blessings. Thank you for our fathers and mothers in the faith who, sometimes with significant risk, stood up for their beliefs.  Give us the courage to speak out and speak up, that we might share Your merciful love and grow in grace.  In Your holy name, we pray.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: O God, as we worship you, lead us into life in all of its fullness.

ALL: Help us to worship with all we are and have.

ONE: Let our laughter and our tears be instruments of prayer.

ALL: Let our loves and our delights emerge as shining hope.  And let the light of the world be here within us until we radiate the love that is Christ.


Prayer of Confession

Redeeming God, you are waiting for us, for we are slow to make room in our hearts for the Christ Child.  Your stars are shining, and the angels' songs are praising.  Yet we are in no hurry to hear the message of peace and goodwill, to sing "Glory" with the angels, to leave our sheep on the hillside, and come with haste to find incarnation.  Redeeming God, forgive our unbelief, forgive our lack of wonder, forgive our denying the birth in our midst.  Open us to your miracle, let us hear again the message of love that Jesus Christ is born.  Let us respond with joyous hearts, glorifying and praising God for all that we have heard and seen.  Amen.


Response: Hymn #183




Assurance of Forgiveness

God sent Jesus not to judge us, but to save us. God accepts both our courage and our fears. In the name of Christ, your sins are forgiven. Dare to accept the gift of a new beginning.


Response: Hymn #161


Closing Prayer

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

May we go in Peace.  Amen.

January 19, 2020

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"Witness"

Hymns

#377 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

# 379 We Shall Overcome

#835 Just a Coser Walk with Thee

Come and join the song, women, children, men.

Jesus makes us free to live again!

Come to me, O weary trav'ler,

Come to me with your distress;

Come to me, you heavy burdened;

Come to me and find your rest.

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Centering Prayer

God, you are the source of our life. Gather us now together, we pray. Form us into a holy community of your own people. Mold us by the breath of your holy spirit, reveal in this corporate body the face of your anointed Christ. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We worship the God who inhabits our world and indwells our lives. We need not look up to find God,

ALL: we need only look around: within ourselves, beyond ourselves, into the eyes of another.

ONE:We need not listen for distant thunder to find God,

ALL: 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 Confession

Holy and uncontainable God, for trying to contain you, forgive us. Loving and limitless God, for trying to limit you, forgive us. Gracious and boundless God, for trying to bind you, forgive us. Sometimes we are foolish enough to believe that it is to our advantage to reduce you to something we can comprehend. Forgive us, Almighty God. Amen.


Response: Hymn #183




Assurance of Forgiveness

God sent Jesus not to judge us, but to save us. God accepts both our courage and our fears. In the name of Christ, your sins are forgiven. Dare to accept the gift of a new beginning.


Response: Hymn #161


Prayer of Dedication

All that we give we dedicate to your glory. All that we keep, we commit to your care, for we are only stewards of your bounty. Bless what we give and what we keep, for all is your creation. Amen.


Closing Charge

Because Christ lives, because the Spirit flourishes, the headline reads: Grace, mercy, and peace are yours.  The news is good.  Accept it with joy and serve God gladly.  Amen.

January 26, 2020

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"Only Christ"

Hymns

#32 I Sing the Mighty Power of God

#492 You Belog to Christ

#547 Go, My Children, with My Blessing

Come and join the song, women, children, men.

Jesus makes us free to live again!

Come to me, O weary trav'ler,

Come to me with your distress;

Come to me, you heavy burdened;

Come to me and find your rest.

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‘Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good.’ --Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from Nazi-occupied-Europe


Centering Prayer

i thank you god for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.(e.e.cummings)  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We worship the God who inhabits our world and indwells our lives. We need not look up to find God,

ALL: we need only look around: within ourselves, beyond ourselves, into the eyes of another.

ONE:We need not listen for distant thunder to find God,

ALL: 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 Confession

God, we sometimes chop our world and our lives into pieces, accepting some parts and rejecting others. We have made ourselves the judges of which hopes, which people, which nations are acceptable, forgetting that you are the only judge.  We have denied, repressed, ignored, or condemned all the pieces of your world that we don’t like.  In our souls and on our earth we have left brokenness where you created wholeness.  Merciful God, forgive us our sin.  Amen.


Response: Hymn #183




Assurance of Forgiveness

Neither this world nor your life is so broken that God cannot restore it to wholeness. Trust and believe that, after separation, reconciliation is possible. God does show us the way home. In the name of Christ Jesus, your sin is forgiven.


Response: Hymn #161


Closing Charge

The way is long, let us go together.

The way is difficult, let us help each other.

The way is joyful, let us share it.

The way is Christ’s, for Christ is the Way, let us follow.

The way is open before us, let us go!

February 2, 2020

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"It's Not What You Think"

Hymns

#12 “Immortal, Ivisible, God Only Wise

#826 Lift High the Cross

#11 Source andSovereign, Rock and Cloud

Come and join the song, women, children, men.

Jesus makes us free to live again!

Come to me, O weary trav'ler,

Come to me with your distress;

Come to me, you heavy burdened;

Come to me and find your rest.

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Centering Prayer

“When the child plays hide and seek, he thinks that hiding his eyes means hiding all his body.  We make the same mistake when we play with God.  If he is not in our egos, he is gone for sure.  But hide-and-seek is the Creator’s game: hiding in his seeking, waking in his sleeping, moving from body to spirit to mind without leaving any of them.  He is coming, ready or not.  When we pout, he thunders in our pouting places.”  -Sara Hong


Call to Worship

ONE: Let us worship the eternal God, the Source of love and life, who creates us.

PEOPLE:  Let us worship Jesus Christ, the risen one, who lives among us.

ONE: Let us worship the Spirit, the Holy Fire, who renews us.

ALL: To the one triune God be praise in all times and places, through the grace of Jesus Christ.


Prayer of Confession

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. Save us from all that would hinder us from remembering that love. Make us responsive always with kind and compassionate Christ-like hearts.  Amen.


Response: Hymn #183




Assurance of Forgiveness

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and of death.


Response: Hymn #161


Closing Charge

We praise you, O God, for being with us in this special time and place.  Send us forth with courage to be witnesses of your work in the world.  Let us not forget your name or power; let us not miss your glory in the mundane; let us not trample on holy ground, through Christ we pray. Amen.

February 9, 2020

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"Perspective"

Hymns

#1 Holy, Holy, Holy

#224 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

#353 My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

Come and join the song, women, children, men.

Jesus makes us free to live again!

Come to me, O weary trav'ler,

Come to me with your distress;

Come to me, you heavy burdened;

Come to me and find your rest.

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Centering Prayer

Mighty God, stay with us always, as we worship and as we share the risk and challenge of living our faith.  By your powerful Spirit, turn our fear to courage and our confusion to confidence.  Your glory shines in the face of Christ.  Shine in our hearts and lives.  May your name be praised, glorious God.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: This is sabbath – we seek deep within our restful selves for re-creation.

ALL: This is Sunday – we celebrate the bright resurrection and its good news.

ONE: This is the day which God has made.

ALL: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Prayer of Confession

God of remembrance, do not forget your mercy.  Remind us of your desire for us to share the fullness of life with all your children.  We forget those who deserve our gratitude.  We take our friendships too much for granted.  We too often do not remember the right gesture until it is too late.  Make us thankful and generous with all that has been given us.  Restore us to the joy of your salvation.  Amen.


Response: Hymn #183




Assurance of Forgiveness

There is no chasm that cannot be bridged, no loss that cannot be recovered, no mistake that cannot be forgiven, no life that cannot be redeemed – by the grace of God in Christ Jesus. May you assuredly know that you are forgiven and the ability to begin again is yours. Glory be to the Holy One who can make all things new!  Amen.


Response: Hymn #161


Closing Charge

Like a rock, God is under our feet. Like a roof, God is over our heads. Like the horizon, God is beyond us. Like water in a pitcher, God is within us and in the pouring out of us. Like a pebble in the sea, we are in God. Let us go out and change our world as God has changed our lives.  Amen.

February 16, 2020

Sermon by Reverend Debra McGuire

"Servants"

Scripture  

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Hymns

#681 This is the Day the Lord Hath Made

#36 “For the Fruit of All Creation”

#545 “Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace”


Come and join the song, women, children, men.

Jesus makes us free to live again!

Come to me, O weary trav'ler,

Come to me with your distress;

Come to me, you heavy burdened;

Come to me and find your rest.

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