A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

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Archive - Epiphany 2017

January 8, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Letting Our Light Shine"

Prayer of Preparation

Gracious and all loving God, you call to us across deep waters and dark places. Yours is the light that guides us and the voice that we follow. We pray that you would reveal yourself to us as we worship you. May those without hope be encouraged; those who are sad, cheered; those who are seeking, find you; and may all things be according to your will. In the name of your beloved Son we pray.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: In the very beginning, God separated the darkness and the light. God called the Light "Day" and the Darkness, God called "Night".

All: We were once people who dwelled in darkness, but God has given us the true Light, Jesus Christ.

One: God has blessed us and adopted us as God’s own beloved children, through the sacrament of Baptism.

All: The water of baptism brings to us healing and reconciliation; it is a symbol of nourishment and cleansing.

One: This day is the day of the remembrance of Jesus’ Baptism.

All: As we hear the words of his baptism, let us be reminded of our own adoption as children of God.

Prayer of Confession

We are incredibly stubborn, O Lord. We have entered the season in which Your Light has been given to the world, your blessings have been poured out on the world, and yet all we can think about is our own problems, our own needs, our own desires. Help us to desire you, Lord. Help us to yearn for your presence. Pour your baptismal waters over us again, cleansing us from our self-pity and arrogance. Nourish and heal us so that we may joyfully serve you. Wash away our jealousy, greed, and all negative thoughts and behaviors that stand in the way of our truly being the people you have called us to be. Again let us receive the blessings offered in creation, in the birth and baptism of Jesus, and in the ministry of the saints of light. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.


#388 “Come All You People”

#525 “Let Us Break Bread Together"

#616 “Our God is an Awesome God”

January 15, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Listening, Sharing, Inviting"

Prayer of Preparation

O God, we come before you as a people gathered to behold the Christ, a light dawned that cannot be extinguished. In this new year, we offer special thanks for this community of faith

and your faithful presence. Help us to see more clearly your glorious light, that we will open our hearts to your reign on earth and dedicate our lives to your service.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: Listen up, everyone! God has given us work to do.

All: God has called each of us before we were even born.

One: It was God who named us.

All: It is God who claims us.

One: The light of God’s love shines in us.

All: Let’s shine God’s love into all the world!

Morning Prayer

God of Isaiah, you are our God, too. You spoke to the prophets, but your message did not end with them. There is still work to be done, and we pray to hear your call afresh. Help us joyfully claim our role as your beloved servants, knowing that you provide all that we need to do our work. You walked with us before we were even born, and you continue to hold us by the hand each and every day of our lives. We pray with the confidence of those who have been filled with your light. We pray with the assurance of those who have been called into fellowship with your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


#18 “Hallelujah! Sing praise to Your Creator”

#174 “Come and Seek the Ways of Wisdom”

#295 “Go to the World! Go into all the Earth”


January 22, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Richard Pyke

"Remembering Selma"

Prayer of Preparation

Loving God, you call us by name and claim us as your people. As we start fresh and new at the beginning of the year, renew us in your love. By the waters of our baptism, claim us anew through the mighty power of your great Spirit. May your love and promise shine brightly over all the world and bring us and all the nations into a family of peace and compassion.

Call to Worship

One: Wade into the waters of love;

All: Step into the rivers of blessing.

One: Here, find the renewing streams of mercy.

All: Here, taste the wonder of God's goodness.

One: Feel the waters of life;

All: Know the joy of baptism;

One: See the springs of eternal life;

All: Sing of the triumph of God's blessing.

Prayer of Confession

God, you create all things. You bear all things, you hope all things, you endure all things. Each of your creatures, all of your children are members of your body. All partake of your promise. Open your heaven and descend like a dove upon the world; make plain your hidden plan, your mysterious purpose for our lives. Standing in the waters of our baptism, we await your presence.


#700 “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”

#729 ”Lord, I Want to Be a Christian”

#379 “We Shall Overcome”


January 29, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Being in the Right Place, at the Right Time"

Prayer of Preparation

Holy God, in this season that commemorates the life and ministry of Jesus, remind us that his ministry is always and ever actively reaching out toward us. And in this hour of worship, help us to be open to the challenges of his words, the power of his healing, and the opportunity to labor alongside him as both Savior and friend. Amen.

Call to Worship

One: Christ is calling us as disciples

All: Lord Jesus, let us follow you faithfully.

One: We will be led into fields of mission and service.

All: Lord Jesus, where you lead us, we will go.

One: Listen for Christ’s call to you.

All: We are ready to serve the Lord. Amen.

Prayer of Invocation

O God, you are our light and our salvation. Living in your presence, we have nothing to fear. Open our hearts to your word this day. As we hear the story of the call of the first disciples, make us ready to follow Jesus on whatever path he leads us. Cast aside our fears and doubts, and teach us to trust wholly in you. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.


“Christ is Made the Sure Foundation”

#726 “Will You Come and Follow Me”

#853 “We Are Marching in the Light of God”


February 4, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Robin Crawford

"Let it Shine"

Prayer of Preparation

God of all peoples, we come into your sanctuary to worship you. We come into your sanctuary to be counted among all your children. We come into your sanctuary to sing praises and to worship you. Let this be a special time that renews us and reminds us of your calling on our lives.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: God said, "Let there be light."

All: And there was light.

One: Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."

All: And the light shone in the darkness.

One: Jesus said, "You are the light of the world.

All: And the light shall not be quenched.

Prayer of Confession

God, you placed me in the world to be its salt.

I have been afraid of committing myself, afraid of being stained by the world.

I did not want to hear what "they" might have to say. And my salt dissolved as if in water.

Forgive me, Jesus.

God, you placed me in the world to be its light. I was afraid of the shadows, afraid of poverty.

I did not want to know other people's struggles. And my light slowly faded away.

Forgive me, Jesus.

God, you placed me in the world to live in the community.

Thus you taught me to love, to share in life,

To struggle for bread and justice, Your truth incarnate in my life.

So be it, Jesus.  Amen.


#314 "Longing for Light, We Wait in Darkness"

“This Little Light of Mine”

#501 “Feed Us, Lord”

#307 “God of Grace and God of Glory”


February 12, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Tearing Down Walls"

Prayer of Preparation

Loving God, as we worship you today, let not our hearts be as hard as stone, but make us soft and pliable as clay. Let not our minds be armored as a fortress but make us as open as an

archway. Let us not cling to preconceived assumptions, but relax our hands to let go of all to which we grasp. Set us free to hold whatever you might send us.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: The Spirit of the Lord is upon us!

All: God has anointed us to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,

One: to set the oppressed free.

All: Let us worship the God of justice and peace.

Prayer of Invocation

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.


#774 “There is Now a New Creation”

#771 “What is the World Like”

#772 “Live into Hope”


Prayer of Preparation

Bless us, O God, with a reverent sense of your presence, that we may be at peace and may worship you with all our mind and spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Call to Worship

Come, you scattered and torn. Here find hope. Come, you scared and lonely. Here find love. Come, you tired and tense. Here, find rest. Come, you confused and searching. Here find guidance. Come, happy or sad. Here join the song. Here let your lives be embraced by God’s grace.

Prayer of Invocation

Lord, open unto me -

Open unto me—light for my darkness.

Open unto me—courage for my fear.

Open unto me—hope for my despair.

Open unto me—peace for my turmoil.

Open unto me—joy for my sorrow.

Open unto me—strength for my weakness.

Open unto me—wisdom for my confusion.

Open unto me—forgiveness for my sins.

Open unto me—love for my hates.

Open unto me—thy Self for my self.

Lord, Lord, open unto me!


Matthew 5:38-48

(The Message)  (NRSV)



#305 “Come Sing, O Church, in Joy!”

#182 “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”

#839 “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!”

February 19, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Joining the Revolution"

Prayer of Preparation

Listen and hear, O people of God:

The Light of God shines brightly in a dark world.

Let the prophetic Word of the Lord light our way.

May the Spirit of God move among us this day!


Call to Worship

One: We do not know what to say,

All: For we are afraid.

One: But a cloud overshadows us,

All: And a voice comes to us—

One: “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”

All: Lord, we listen today!

Prayer of Invocation

O Holy One, on mountaintops and valley floors you reveal to us the light of your love. Our heart’s desire is to bask in the amazing glory of the divine presence. With each encounter we are changed and transformed. Draw us nearer that we might receive a double portion of your Holy Spirit. Help us, O Holy One, to live our lives as a reflection of divine glory. May we walk among our brothers and sisters as a blessing, bearing light into dark places, hope to displace despair, and love that casts out hate. Our world is hurting and we need the followers of Jesus to follow more closely. Maybe then we will hear your voice speaking to us and saying, ... “listen to my Child, the Beloved!” Amen.



#172 “Blest Are They”

#451 “Open My Eyes, That I May See”

#12 “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”

February 26, 2017

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Coming Off the Mountaintop"