A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Evening Prayer

Crucified and Sovereign Jesus,  we confess that we have been untrue to you.  Like Peter, we have denied you,  stood with our neighbors and acted as though we never knew you. You did not leave us, even when we betrayed your love and sacrifice. We break our promises, but your word is never broken.  Forgive us for being weak in the face of adversity and conflict,  for fleeing when the going gets tough,  for forsaking you.  You must have the last word – and it is “Father, forgive them.”

Hymn #219 He Never Said a Mumblin' Word

The Gospel of Luke 23:1-12

Hymn: Jesus Walked That Lonesome Valley

Good Friday Drama

• Herod

     Jesus’ Followers Respond:

• Simon Peter     • Martha, Lazarus' sister      • Mary Magdalene

• Pontius Pilate

     Jesus’ Followers Respond:

• Sarah, and her son, Eli     • A demon-possessed man, cured by Jesus

Affirmation of Faith

Christ Jesus you hung upon a cross and died for us so that we might live for you.  Your body was broken and your blood shed so that we might be healed and made whole,  You were faithful unto death so that we might be faithful unto life.

Your last command was that we might love one another - one family together from every tribe and nation; a new creation united through your sacrifice, redeemed by your blood, healed by your love, united by your covenant of peace.

In your death may we find life

Hymn #228 ”Were You There”

Depart in Silence

March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday


March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Knowing Where to Look"

Call to Worship

One: Keep watch, people of God

All: On this night, Jesus humbled himself to wash our feet and instructed us to follow his example.

One: Keep watch, people of God.

All: On this night, Jesus commanded us to love one another as he loves us.

One: Keep watch, people of God.

All: On this night, he invited us to eat the bread of heaven, his body, and drink the cup of salvation, his blood.

One: Keep watch, people of God.

All: On this night, he agonized in prayer for us.

One: Keep watch, people of God.

All: On this night, we betrayed him.

One: Keep watch, people of God.

All: On this night, we denied him.

One: Keep watch, people of God. Watch and pray.

Response: Hymn #471

O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer. When I call, answer me.

O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer. Come and listen to me.

O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer. When I call, answer me.

O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer. Come and listen to me.

O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer. When I call, answer me.

O Lord, hear my prayer. O Lord, hear my prayer. Come and listen to me.

The Journey to the Cross - Prayer Stations

• Anointing     • Hand washing     • Fear and Denial     

• The Seder Meal     • Garden of Gethsemane

Sharing  the Lord's Supper

Depart in Silence

March 13, 2016

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Just Say Thank You!"


#196 “All Glory, Laud and Honor”

#200 “A Cheering, Chanting, Dizzy Crowd”

#93 “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”

Call to Worship

Let us enter the city with God today,

And sing hosannas to our king,

Let us turn our backs on the powers that grasp and control,

And open our hearts to the son of God riding on a donkey.

Let us join his parade,

Surrounded by outcasts and prostitutes, the blind and the leper.

Let us follow the one who brought freedom and peace,

And walk in solidarity with the abandoned and oppressed.

Let us shout for joy at Christ’s coming and join his disciples,

Welcoming the broken, healing the sick, dining with outcasts.

Let us touch and see as God draws near,

Riding in triumph towards the Cross.

Prayer of Invocation

We have come to meet you today, Jesus.

We don’t know quite what to expect.

We think we know what we need,

how you can meet our needs.

But we come humbly, laying our coats before you.

It’s your call.

Reveal to us who you are,

how you can be a Savior in our lives, a Savior in our world today.

Come Lord Jesus!


John 12:1-8

March 6, 2016

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"It's All a Matter of Perspective"



#214 “You Are My Refuge, Faithful God”

#201 “A Prophet-Woman Broke a Jar”

#215 “What Wondrous Love Is This”


Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Prayer of Preparation

We come into your presence, O Lord, with so many burdens and concerns on our hearts. Help us to be open to your words of healing and restoration. Bring us closer to you. Enable us to discern your will for us that we may serve you more faithfully by serving others in need.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: When all we have hoped for and trusted in has let us down;

All: There is the Christ who reaches out to us.

One: When the world seems dark and despair threatens to close in upon us;

All: There is Christ, reaching out for us.

One: Come and let us worship the Lord who is always ready to reach out to us.

All: We humbly come before the Lord in hope and faith.

Prayer of Confession

An Offering of Confession because we have preserved our joy in manna jars for the long winter of despair, storing them in the dark corners of our souls, we have forgotten its gritty taste; because we have put a tight lid on our joy, and put it in the back of the pantry, we have forgotten how it can tickle our noses; because we are so busy prattling pious platitudes about the poor, the least, the lost, we ignore your words which anoint them as your children; because we have put up the shutters and storm doors to keep your future from sneaking in, we have missed the sweet breeze carrying your hope to us; because we are who we are, restore us, Holy Grace, and make us a fragrant offering to the world.  Amen.

Promise of Forgiveness

God, give us new opportunities each day to start fresh and new. Through God’s Spirit we are empowered to celebrate life fully and to appreciate all the gifts of life, especially family and friends. God, in this moment, may we be empowered to start over, fresh and new. Amen.


#413 “Come into God’s Presence”

#22 “God of the Sparrow”

#418 “Softly and Tenderly, Jesus is Calling”

February 28, 2016

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Seeing Things Differently"

Prayer of Preparation

How incredible is your love, O God! We have been made new in your love and reconciled to you and to each other in peace and joy. Be with us this day as we hear your words of comfort and hope. Guide our lives that we may serve you more fully all of our days.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: Come home, home to the embrace of God.  

All: We are walking the Lenten path from past errors to future possibilities.  We are walking from haunting memories to a new day. We are walking from troubling fears to a new hope.  

One: Come home, taste the goodness of God, hear the love of God, feel God's tender grace.  

All: We are walking toward wholeness. W  e are on the path of joy, and our hearts are filled with thanks and praise.  

One: Come home this day; dwell with Christ in this holy place and in God's amazing grace.

Prayer of Confession

Lord, it is interesting how easy it is for us to identify with today’s scripture about the “Prodigal Son”. Some of us are easily reminded of our own selfishness and stubbornness when we willfully sought our own way. Others are reminded about how angry we were when others were not held accountable for their actions, when we have been so careful not to displease anyone. Still others can identify with the father, who, feeling the loss of his son, welcomes him home again, reminding the brother that he has always been in the love and care of the Father. We hear this story and it’s a pleasant memory. But do we really understand what it is about? Do we know that we have also been stubborn and selfish, angry and unforgiving, sorrowful and caught between two conflicting factions? We are no different from these characters, in our own unique way. Yet, in God’s infinite love, we also are forgiven and healed. We are called to turn our lives back to God’s care, which is always extended to us. Forgive us and heal us, gracious God. Open our hearts and our spirits to truly receive the blessings of your healing love. For it is in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, that we pray. Amen.


February 21, 2016

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Re-Imaging God"


#305 “Come, Sing O, Church in Joy!”

#192 “Lord, the Light of Your Love Is Shining”

#307 “God of Grace and God of Glory”

Prayer of Preparation

Open our eyes, our ears, our hearts and spirits this morning, Lord, that we may be healed of our faithlessness, freed from our fears and anxieties, and placed on the pathways that lead to peace and service to you.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: We gather as God's people in a world divided and distressed.  

All: Yet we gather as one people, united by God.  

One: We gather as God's people, journeying to Jerusalem.  

All: Yet we gather as one people, steadfastly traveling forward together.

One: We gather as God's people, frightened by whirlpools of worry which spin us out of control.  

All: Yet we gather as one people following in the unfailing steps of Jesus the Christ, whose name we praise.

Prayer of Confession

To you, loving God, we raise our questions. Why is a young man struck with bone cancer? Why must young women be afraid on our city streets? Why is war seen as a method of solving problems? Why can't we protect our children from violence and illness? Do you really hear our cries?  Tender God, we have let the questions build into a wall that hides your healing light and your abiding compassion. We have let fear cripple our hope and your promise of companionship. Let your wind breathe hope into our questions. Let your everlasting arms bring comfort and strength to our fearful faith. Remind us again of your Easter possibilities. Through Christ we pray. Amen.



#401 “Here in This Place”

#7 “Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth”

#43 “You Who Dwell in the Shelter of the Lord”

February 14, 2016

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Trust: Why is it So Difficult?"

Prayer of Preparation

Father God, Mother God, you call us to this place. You lure us into this place of encounter; where we meet kindred spirits and call them friends; where we sense a larger dimension and name it Mystery; where we feel loved and welcomed and call it home. Here and now, help us to let go of worry and anxiety and open ourselves to your gentle hand that will lead us to you and the life you promise. Mother God, Father God, you call us to be here, and you welcome us home. We are grateful and blessed and ready to give ourselves in praise and service.

Call to Worship

One: Lent is a time of waiting for life.

All: And yet there is living to do in the meantime.

One: Abraham and Sarah waited long for a child.

All: They longed for a son, an heir, a continuation of their lineage.

One: God called Abraham and Sarah to be patient;

All: Like they were, Lent calls us to sit in a place of patient trust.

One: While we wait, we remember the words of the Psalmist:  The Lord is our light and our salvation.

All: Whom shall we fear?

One: The Lord is the stronghold of our life.

All: Of whom shall we be afraid?

One: Come, the Lenten journey continues...

Prayer of Confession

Jerusalem is where you are leading us.  Jerusalem - the city that kills prophets. You call us to take part in your work  but it is scary work, work that might upset people  because it upsets the status quo.  We often choose easier tasks,  tasks that do not upset the water,  because we are fearful and do not trust your care.  “Give us easier things to do,” we ask.  “Don’t make us sacrifice,” we beg.  “Call someone else,” we plea.  Gracious God, hear our confession  and erase these questions from our hearts.  Give us questions that ask what lies ahead  in your paths of justice and righteousness.



Genesis 3:1-8

(from The Message)

Luke 4:1-13



#826 “Lift High the Cross”

#291 “Spirit”

#65 “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”

Prayer of Preparation

In these forty days  you lead us into the desert of repentance,  that in this pilgrimage of prayer,  we might learn to be your people once more.  In fasting and service  you bring us back to your heart.  You open our eyes to your presence in the world  and you free our hands   to lead others to the radiant splendor of your mercy.  Be with us in these journey days, for without you we are lost and will perish.  We place our trust and faith in you alone.  Amen.

Call to Worship

One: This is the season of Lent, a season to remember the sufferings of Jesus Christ.  

All: A season to remember that to follow Christ is to take up our crosses and to be servants of all.

One: A season to remember Jesus' question, "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?"

All: A season to ask ourselves how we, like Simon the Cyrene, might help to bear the cross.

One: A season to ask ourselves how we, like Pilate and Caiaphas and the crowd, continue to nail Christ to the tree.

All: A season to ask ourselves how we, like Peter, are afraid and turn away.

One: A season to ask ourselves what we, like the woman with the fine ointment, have to offer.

All: A season to watch and wait with Christ, that we may have courage in the hour of testing.

Prayer of Confession

God of wilderness people whose children often traveled confused and fearful, we confess our own wanderings in sorrow, sadness and doubt. We know how it feels to be lost, hurt, troubled. It seems often that we are wandering scared from all that threatens us. Desperate for survival, we settle for only half-hearted attempts at life. Forgive our reckless measures to find security. Forgive our lack of trust in you. Give us a large measure of your spiritual nourishment so that even in the great difficulties, we will flourish in your grace. Amen.  

Archive - Lent 2016