A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

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April 21, 2019 6:15 a.m.

Easter Sunday Sunrise Service

Meditation by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

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Call to Worship

ONE:  At the break of dawn, a bird sings.

ALL:  The long night of darkness is over.

ONE:  The stone is rolled away.

ALL:  The tomb is empty.  

ONE:  The sun begins to shine.

ALL: The Son has risen!

ONE:  It’s a morning of glory,

ALL:  Of love overcoming death,

ONE:  Of women spreading Good News,

ALL: Of men turning from despair.

ONE:  It’s a morning of joy.

ALL:  For Easter has come again.

ONE:  Love is stronger than death,

ALL:  And we lift our voices in song.


Easter Prayer

Holy God, in the stillness of the dawn, with the sounds of nature awakening, open our ears and awaken our hearts that doubt might be rolled away, and the bright light of Easter joy dawn within us and all around us. Today we celebrate the Risen Lord!  Amen.


Easter Litany

ONE: Deep within ourselves we yearn to live fully each day.

ALL:  Deep within ourselves we hope death leads us into eternal life.

ONE: Thank God for Jesus of Nazareth who faithfully followed his inner voice all the way through death into resurrection.

ALL:  We appreciate God’s presence then and now. One: In life and in death, we are God’s people; body and soul, we care about the earth and our neighbors. All: We are carried through dark places into bright ones, and we learn to practice divine peace.

ONE: Christ is alive in our minds and in our senses All: Alleluia!

ALL:  Alleluia, Alleluia! Give thanks to the living Christ! Alleluia, Alleluia! Give praise to our God.

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April 21, 2019 10:00 a.m.

Easter Sunday

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"New Life"

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Centering Prayer

Yes. It can happen.

Yes. It can take place.

Yes. God can do it.

After all, the angel said "Do not be afraid."

After all, the tomb was found empty.  

After all, the Spirit, "will pray for you."  

After all, God wants peace and reconciliation.

After all, God's name is "justice."

After all, God is "liberation."

Yes. It can happen.

Yes. It can take place.

Yes. God can do it.  Amen.


Call to Worship

We are not eye-witnesses to an event, as were Mary and the disciples; we have not journeyed

through a dangerous city to seek answers or consolation; we have not seen angels gathering at the rim of this day, or wept in the garden this morning because we could not find Him.  But we are here to attest to a story that has not lost its power during twenty centuries of change and conflict.

We are here because those before us carried this story as if it were precious gold; cherished it as if it were the key to a hidden wisdom.  Sisters and brothers in Christ, take your places here today

in celebration and in awe. What you are about to hear again, has the capacity to change the world. Your very presence attests to the rising up of life from the tomb of despair, and to the uncontrollable power of God. It is Easter morning again, and we will celebrate.


Easter Prayer

If you were not risen, Lord Christ, to whom would we go to discover a radiance of the face of God?  If you were not risen, we would not be together seeking your communion.  We would not find in your presence forgiveness, wellspring of a new beginning.  If you were not risen, where would we draw the energy for following you right to the end of our existence, for choosing you again and anew? Praise God!  Alleluia! Amen!


Response Hymn #254




Preparation for the Word Hymn #239





That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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Scripture  

Isaiah 25:6-9

Matthew 28:1-10

Hymns

232 “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”

236 “The Strife Is O’er”

#245 "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"

Scripture  

Mark 16:1-8

Hymns

#245 "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"

#238 “Thine is the Glory”

Centering Prayer

We have gathered in this place to worship, because Jesus invites us to come.  We come as we are, with our faith and our doubts, with our successes and our failures, because Jesus invites us to come!  We come with what we have, bringing with us the events and experiences of this past week, because Jesus invites us to come. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: You come to us in unexpected places, in a crowded room, in a journey on a dusty road, in conversation, in the stillness.

ALL: You come in the midst of our doubt, our fear, our sorrow. You come in the power of the resurrection.  No pain and suffering is unknown to you.  You bring us peace.

ONE: And we pray for the places where there is no peace. Countries torn by war, refugees seeking homes, prisoners facing torture.  You bring peace.

ALL: Peace to the tensions and conflicts within us. To the regrets, the failure, the broken relationships, the lost friendships.  You bring peace.

ONE:  For you are a friend to us when we are alone, when we are lonely, unseen, you are there.  You bring us peace, and we pray that we too may become peacemakers.


Morning Prayer

God of the resurrection, we gather this morning as a community of believers, and to tell again and again the amazing news: Christ is risen!  Love is victorious over death!  You have given us new life in the name of your Son!  May our singing, praying, listening, and proclaiming be a testimony to the power of your love to make us a new creation as a community of faith.

We pray in the name of the risen Christ. Amen.


Response Hymn #254




Preparation for the Word Hymn #239


April 28, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Richard Pyke

"What's Missing?"

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That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Centering Prayer

We praise you, O God, for the meaning that you give to our lives in and through Jesus. He is the sign of your deep and everlasting love for the world and we rejoice in his promise to sustain us with his life. We praise you for filling our emptiness with his goodness.  May our worship and praise express our thanks, O God,  for your gift to us of the true bread from heaven— Jesus Christ, your Son, our living Lord. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Children of God, do you love the God who hovered over the face of the deep and called the worlds into being?

ALL:  Yes, you know that we do.

ONE: Then feed God's children. Children of God, do you love the God  who was revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ?

ALL:  Yes, you know that we do.

ONE:  Then take care of God's children.  Children of God, do you love the God  who breathes new life into us even as we gather this day?

ALL:  Yes, you know that we do.

ONE: Then feed God's children.


Prayer of Confession

We rejoice in the wonder of your resurrection, O Christ, but then tend to sink back into our old ways of thinking, behaving, responding to people’s needs. We can dance with the angels and all humankind on Easter Sunday, but the days following the Day of Resurrection cause us to slip back into apathy or despair. Forgive us when we so easily become distracted by our own cares and worries that we ignore the needs of others around us. Forgive us when we forget your power and love for us. Charge us up, O Lord! Set our hearts to dancing! Give us a spirit for rejoicing, willing hearts and hands for helping, voices for praising you forever! Amen.


Response Hymn #254




Assurance of Forgiveness

Sing! Shout! Rejoice! Jesus calls us to serve because of his love for us. He believes in us and all the gifts we have been given! Do not be afraid. Christ is with us always.


Preparation for the Word Hymn #239


May 5, 2019

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"As Long as it Takes"

Scripture

John 21:1-19

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That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Centering Prayer

Lord, the eyes of all look to You in hope, and You give them what they need.  You open Your hand and satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.  We, too, turn to You again, longing to be filled— to eat of the Bread of Life, to drink from Your life giving streams, to taste Your goodness and live.  May the time we spend together in Your presence nourish our hearts and minds; may it strengthen our relationship with You, and renew our commitment to live in this world as Your faithful disciples.  For You alone are God, the Source and Sustainer of life.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: In the darkest valley,

ALL: at the banquet table;

ONE: in the hard work of life,

ALL:  at the moments of ease;

ONE: in our day-to-day reality,

ALL:  at times set aside–

ONE: like this time, now–

ALL:  for worship, for listening, for paying attention;

ONE:  with every step we take:

ALL:  goodness and mercy follow us; our cups overflow.


Morning Prayer

Loving Shepherd, you know our names; you care for us.  When we face darkness and death, walk beside us.  When we hunger for your love, fill us with your presence.  When we are fearful,  feed us at your table.  May we dwell in the house of goodness and mercy  all the days of our lives. Amen.


Response Hymn #254





Preparation for the Word Hymn #239


May 12, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Dr. Robin Crawford

"Persued By Goodness and Mercy"

Scripture

Psalm 23

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That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Centering Prayer

God, we have come together here this day to hear your Word. May we listen carefully with discerning ears.  Help us to be open and truly receptive. We invite your Great Spirit to come into our lives and help us to respond as we move into greater paths of ministry and compassionate service. We pray, too, that this time of worship will renew our spirits and re-energize our lives as we follow our risen Lord.  Amen.


Call to Worship

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

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

ONE: In our society divided by power struggles and prejudice,

ALL:  We long for community where all people are honored and provided for.

ONE: With the honesty of our doubts and insecurities,

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


Morning Prayer

Loving God, we gather as your people, hungry for your word, longing for your touch, seeking your warm embrace. Breathe new life into our lives this day. Touch us and heal our brokenness. Fill our hearts with compassion and mercy. Empower us anew to be your witnesses in all the world. Amen.


Response Hymn #254





Preparation for the Word Hymn #239


May 19, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Geoff Browning

"What the Heck is a Peace Church?"

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That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Centering Prayer

With open arms you welcome all who call on your name – who acknowledge you as Lord, and look to you in faith. No one stands outside the circle of your mercy and love. And so we come to offer you our worship - to declare that you are our God, and that we are your people, called and chosen by you from the very beginning. Through the presence of your Holy Spirit open our eyes to see you here; open our minds to receive your truth, and our mouths to speak and sing your praise. For you alone are God - worthy of all praise and worship, now and to the end of time.

Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We gather on a day like any other day.

ALL: We gather on a day unlike any other day.

ONE: Come, brothers and sisters in Christ, touch and feel and taste and smell the sacred in this day. For this is the day which our Creator God has made. Let us rejoice and be oh, so glad in it!

Prayer of Confession

God of mercy, we place our trust in tangible things - things we can see and touch - and question whether you are really there.  Forgive us, Holy One, when we fail to recognize that you are always nearby, patiently waiting for us to recognize your presence and your glory.  Help us when we lose our way, and forgive us when we forget to whom we truly belong.  Lover of justice, open our eyes to see you; open our ears to hear you; open our hearts to love you; and open our hands to serve you.  Amen.


Response Hymn #254





Assurance of Forgiveness

When we cry to God, looking for favor in God’s sight, God answers: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”   In the power of the Spirit and in the name of Jesus, we are forgiven!  We will rest in God’s mercy!


Preparation for the Word Hymn #239



May 26, 2019

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Opening Doors"

Scripture

Acts 16:9-15

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That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Centering Prayer

O Christ, the Risen One, ascended into heaven, yet closer than our own breath, draw us into your presence.  Be near to us — near to our praises, our prayers, our words, our songs; near to our wonderings, our tentative answers, our hidden doubts, our deepest affirmations.  Be near to us this day, Risen Lord.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: We gather in this place, some empty, some filled, some whole, some broken:

ALL: Yearning for the Holy Spirit to fill us.

ONE: We come, with these ordinary people, who have shown us the way:

ALL: Trusting that God will continue to illumine our hearts.

ONE: We surround the Table of grace so we might be fed by the Bread of life:

ALL: That graced, we may serve others;  that healed, we may bring hope to the world.


Morning Prayer

Exalted God, you are the constant lover who never forsakes us; you are the mother who cradles her children; you are the teacher patiently repeating your words for us. We worship you.  Jesus Christ, in you we are convinced God loves us; through you, we are formed into your people; with you, we serve those the world has forgotten.  We follow you.  Holy Spirit, you are the power that gives us peace; you are the wisdom that reveals the broken in our midst.  We welcome you.  Amen.


Response Hymn #254






Preparation for the Word Hymn #239



June 2, 2019

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"You Are Witnesses of these Things"

Scripture

Acts 1:1-11

Luke 24:44-53

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Hymns

#263 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!

#273 He Is King of Kings

#275 A Mighty Fortress is Our God

That Easter day with joy was bright;

The sun shone out with fairer light

When, to their longing eyes restored,

The apostles saw their risen Lord.

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King!

To all the world glad news we bring;

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Archive - Eastertide 2019