A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Centering Prayer

It is good to be together in the presence of the Lord! God, we welcome you to this place. We know that, apart from you, all that we try to do, say or sing will sound like noise. Instead, we ask that you guide us in our words, guide us in our prayers and guide us in our worship -- that all that is said, sung and done in this place will bring you the great glory you deserve. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We come together as seekers,

ALL: That we might learn what God would have us do and where God would have us go.

ONE: We come together to renew our faith.

ALL: That we might bring hope to others. To the God who is the source of goodness and love, let us sing our praise!


Morning Prayer

Generous God, you gave us our voices, no two the same.  You take and touch our lives and they can become extraordinary.  In your Church you have gathered us, in your community of common folk and complainers, prophets and puzzled people, you have called us and made a place for us.  So let what we say and do here, what we ponder and decide here, be real for us and honest to you, as you prepare us for life in the world you declare good. Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



September 22, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"The Limits of Being Shrewd"

Scripture

Luke 16:1-13

Hymns

#412 God, Reveal Your Presence

#724 “O Jesus, I Have Promised”

#298 “Lord, You Give the Great Commission”


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!

Centering Prayer

Loving God, we gather this day to seek you with our whole hearts, minds and souls. Teach us to know you better and love you more dearly that we might serve you more faithfully.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: The world cries to us in its distress. How shall we answer?

ALL: We cannot pass by as though nothing is wrong.

ONE: How shall we answer?

ALL: We cannot become so focused on ourselves that others mean nothing to us.

ONE: How shall we answer?

ALL: We shall be the neighbor in service, reconciliation, and compassion wherever we can.


Prayer of Invocation

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 that block your will. Keep us focused on your enabling power so that we, having been healed, may more fully serve you. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.


Response Hymn #842






Preparation for the Word Hymn #437



September 29, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"Same Old Complaint, Amazing Solution"

Hymns

# 402 How Lovely, Lord

#793 O Christ, the Healer

#804 Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart!


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, we pray for your peace and love to fill us this morning as we gather around your table. Open our hearts and minds that we might hear you speaking to us in the Word spoken, sung, and read.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Sing to the Lord, whose mercy is from everlasting to everlasting!

ALL: But how can we sing the Lord’s song when so many are without?

ONE: Sing to the Lord, whose faithfulness renews us every morning!

ALL: But how can we sing the Lord’s song when so many are struggling?

ONE: Sing to the Lord, who has not forgotten the melodies of freedom and life!

ALL: Let us remember the joy of the Lord, and sing a new song together!


Prayer of Confession

Almighty God: You have called us to one table, but we have pursued our own course. You have promised us the abundance of all creation, but in our greed, and in our envy, the world goes without. You have promised us the bread of life itself, but in our pride, and in our arrogance, the world goes hungry. You have promised us the waters of peace and justice, but in our violence, and in our discord, the world goes thirsty. And now we are famished, too, Lord. Have mercy on us. Forgive us, again. Transform us, at this table, and for this table, and send us from this table as servants of your righteousness, by the power of your Son, our Lord. Amen.


Assurance of Forgiveness

Even when our cups run dry, God’s grace overflows.  Even when our plates are empty, God’s generosity overflows.  And even when our hearts feel barren, God’s love overflows. Friends, we have been called and claimed by the God of all things, and by the abundance of God’s grace,  and by the power of God’s love,  we are forgiven.  Go in peace.


Response Hymn #752






Preparation for the Word Hymn #753



October 6, 2019

World Communion Day

Sermon by Reverend Geoff Browning

""Fight, Flight or Turn the Other Cheek”

Hymns

#506 Look Who Gathers at Christ’s Table

#504 We Come as Guests Invited

#530 One Bread, One Body

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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Centering Prayer

Creator God, we ask your blessing on every creature gathered here today.  May they live peacefully in praise of you.  Bless us all to love your creation, and revere its sacredness.  We ask this blessing in the name of the one who was, is, and always will be, our Creator, to whom every creature belongs.  Amen.


Call to Worship

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ...and the fish of the sea will declare to you. In God’s hand is the life of every living thing.” (From the book of Job)


Morning Prayer

O God, you are the source and loving sustainer of all that lives - of species endangered as well as those newly discovered and named, of those in the wild and those who live with us.  Called as we are to wisely care for this diverse and imperiled web of life, let us again offer ourselves as advocates, donors, and active stewards; being reverent and mindful toward all creation.  Water, earth, and sky are home to us all.  We accept God's call, in the name of the Good Shepherd. Amen.


Response Hymn #752






Preparation for the Word Hymn #753





Blessing and Remembrance of Pets Who Have Died

Blessing of all Animals


Closing Charge

Go out into the world, love one another. Cherish our animal family, protest against abuse and neglect of our animals; exercise stewardship of ALL creation, so that ALL can experience God’s Shalom.

October 13, 2019

Blessing of the Animals

Message by Elder Pam Matthews

"Notes on Compassion"

Hymns

#15 All Creatures of Our God and King

37 Let All Things Now Living

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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Centering Prayer

Good and 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, 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, we pray, that we might seek the Holy and more importantly, that the Holy might seek us. Amen.


Call to Worship

Drawn by God’s presence, we gather;

Inspired by God’s spirit, we worship;

Empowered by God’s grace, we live;

Opened by God’s love, we share.


Morning Prayer

Loving and forgiving God, we are in conflict!  We want to be followers of Christ, but we cling to our own desires and plans.  We want to be filled with joy, but we are beset with worry and anxiety.  We long for a vibrant prayer life, but our busy lives leave us tired and afraid of solitude.  We confess that we succumb to the allures of this world - having more, doing more, running faster and harder - and all the while, we fail to see the needs of our neighbors and ignore the needs of our own souls.  Renew within us hearts that are open to receive your grace.  Refresh our spirits by the cleansing rain of your love.  Rekindle within us faith, compassion and generosity.  We ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.


Response Hymn #752






Preparation for the Word Hymn #753



October 20, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Deb Maguire

"Easy Come”

Hymns

#681 This is the Day

#33 Praise the Lord! God’s Glories Show

#263 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!


Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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Centering Prayer

Ever-calling God, we give thanks that you have gathered us into your church and graced us with your faithful presence.  We ponder our history, ancient and still developing.  Grant us the vision to be a part of a church that will bring ever more joy and justice to the world.  Continue to gather us into Jesus’ vision and dream that your faithful people may be one in you.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: This is the day the Lord has made Let us be glad and rejoice in it!

ALL: What does God have in store for us?

ONE: God seeks to form our lives anew, as lives of love and service.

ALL: We are ready to hear God’s word and do God’s will.

ONE: Open our eyes, our ears, our hearts to your awesome love, O God.

ALL: Come, O Lord, and transform our lives.


Morning 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.


Response Hymn #752






Preparation for the Word Hymn #753



October 27, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Deb Maguire

"Easy Go"

Hymns

#451 Open My Eyes, That I May See

#700 I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me

#546 Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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Centering Prayer

God of all people, of all times, we are here seeking your presence, in our time of remembrance. We honor those who have gone before us, and at the same time, we come seeking you, O God, who was a constant companion, a source of strength for those we honor.  We, too, need your guiding presence as we live our lives; we pray your Spirit will be felt by all who are gathered here this morning.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We remember, O God...

ALL: The countless saints of history who have blazed a trail of courage through time.

ONE: We remember, O God...

ALL: The tender touch of loved ones, the example of heroes, the healing words of comforters, the remarkable acts of fearless ones.

ONE: We remember, O God...

ALL: The gentle strength of grandparents, the loyalty of friends, the kindness of strangers, the joy of children, the sacrifice of parents.

ONE: We remember in every time and place the saints of God who have shown us the Lord.

ALL: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us worship God with joy!


Prayer of Confession

When we are called saints, the idea jars us, for we are not saintly people.  But we are seekers after God’s will, those who have been powerfully claimed by Jesus Christ.  Remembering who we are intended to be, we come before you, O God, confessing that which separates us from you and others.  We come seeking forgiveness, healing, and empowerment. Amen.


Response Hymn #752




Assurance of Forgiveness

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.  In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!


Preparation for the Word Hymn #753




Naming of the Honored Dead

November 2, 2019

All Saints Day and Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Garry Cox

"The Power of Remembering"

Hymns

#326 For All he Saints

#819 Be Still My Soul

#805 Come Sing to God

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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Centering Prayer

Are any among you suffering?  Pray.  Are any cheerful?  Sing songs of praise.  Are any of you sick?  Call for the elders of the church and have them pray over you, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.  The prayer of the faithful will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.  Amen. (James 5:13-16)


Call to Worship

LEADER: Bless the Lord, O my soul!

PEOPLE: And all that is within me, bless God’s holy name!

LEADER: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all God’s benefits.

PEOPLE: The Lord forgives all our iniquity, and heals all our diseases.

LEADER: The Lord redeems us from the pit,

PEOPLE: And crowns us with steadfast love and mercy.

LEADER: God satisfies us with good as long as we live,

PEOPLE: So that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

ALL: Let us worship God.


Morning Prayer

O God, you are infinite, eternal and unchangeable, glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth.  Your works everywhere praise you, and your glory is revealed in Jesus Christ our Savior.  Therefore we praise you, blessed and holy Trinity, one God, forever and ever.  

Hear us, O God, as we silently pray to you with thanksgiving for who you are in our lives...

(silence)

Hear us, O God, as we silently pray to you with thanksgiving for all you have done in our lives...

(silence)

For we pray in the name of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Response Hymn #752




Preparation for the Word Hymn #753




Closing Prayer

Lord, you invite all who are burdened to come to you. Allow your healing hand to heal us.  Touch our souls with your compassion for others.  Touch our hearts with your courage and infinite love for all.  Touch our minds with your wisdom.  Teach us to reach out to you in all our needs, and help us to lead others to you by our example.  Most loving heart of Jesus, bring us health in body, mind and spirit that we may serve you with all our strength. Touch gently this life you have created, and this faith community you have given us, now and forever. Amen.

Adapted from a prayer used by the Priests and Brothers of the Sacred Heart at the Sacred Heart Monastery in Hales Corners, WI

November 9, 2019

All Saints Day and Celebration of Holy Communion

Meditation by Reverend Dr. Janet Bower

"Remembering Our Song"

Hymns

#34 Bless the Lord, My Soul and Being

#778 As Pants the Deer for Living Streams

#542 God Be with You Till We Meet Again

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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Centering Prayer

For the healing love you have offered to us; for the patience you have with us; for your presence that will never fail, we give you thanks, O God.  Draw us near to you this day that we may grow in our faith and service to you by serving others.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: In deep gratitude we come to worship God.

ALL:  We recognize God as the source of all goodness.

ONE:  All good gifts come from the Spirit of God:

ALL: love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, and gentleness are all of God.

ONE: We come with grateful hearts, not for things, but for who God is.

ALL: We gather to show our gratitude in song and prayer.


Morning Prayer

Ever-present God, you meet us in the borderlands, in places neither here nor there, at times when we are well out of our comfort zone; even if we don't know where we're going, when we feel most lost, you are there.  Thank you, God.  You meet each of us where we are and many of us in our need - people marginalized by illness, not wanting to be a burden, those who see their poverty or problems as unacceptable, feeling rejected, with faltering self-worth.  It was in the borderlands that Jesus met a band of lepers - whose livelihood was begging, whose status was untouchable - and touched their lives with hope.  And it was the Samaritan, the one most of all an outsider, who turned back to give thanks.  We thank you for all we can learn from our sisters and brothers who live on the edge - in poverty, in the borderlands - about gratitude, grace, and healing hope.  Thank you God.  Amen.


Response Hymn #752




Preparation for the Word Hymn #753




November 17, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Deb McGuire

"A Radish is a Radish"

Hymns

#407 Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers

#77 Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old

#727 Will You Let Me Be Your Servant

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where these is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

(Translation: "Grant us peace")

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