A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Centering Prayer

Loving God, you formed us from the dust of the Earth and brought us to new life in Christ through the waters of baptism.  We ask you to change our hearts as we journey through these forty days of Lent.  Help us to see Jesus in everyone we meet, and to serve him in all persons, especially the poor, the sick, and the lonely.  By your grace, may our prayers and service this Lent help us grow closer to one another and to you.  We make this prayer to you in His name.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: For just such a time as this, we were made.  In the image of God, loving, grace-giving, and wise, we are created to be the hands, hearts, and feet of divinity.

ALL: We gather on this Ash Sunday, not because we must, not to puff ourselves up, but to start out on the journey leading to the resurrection.


Prayer of Confession

O God of life, we confess the ways we turn away from the fullness of life that you offer.

(Silence)

God of love, we confess the hatred we hold in our hearts.

(Silence)

God of compassion, we confess our indifference.

(Silence)

God of justice, we confess that our lives are linked to oppressive systems.

(Silence)

God of peace, we confess the violent movements of our hearts, the violent realities of our world. (Silence)

Holy God, we confess our sins to you.

(Silence)


Response




Assurance of Forgiveness

When we are joined to Christ, the past is finished; everything has become new. Every day our life is given back to us with hope. Accept the forgiving, renewing action of God in your life – and fully live. Amen.


Response Hymn #626




Imposition of Ashes


Preparation for the Word Hymn #205


March 10, 2019

Ash Sunday

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Wilderness Living"

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy,

Lord have mercy

As the deer pants for the water,

so my soul longs after you.

You alone are my heart's desire,

and I long to worship you.

Centering Prayer

In this sacred space, in these moments of stillness, our thoughts and silence are like incense.

Holy God, whose glory touches and transfigures the mind and the material, whose intimate, gentle Spirit embraces our vulnerability and fills our empty spaces with hope, may we know the deep calm that only You can give.  Through the mystery of absence and presence, come, fill us with Your emptiness, Your eternal silence.  Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Called to be God’s people, we gather in joy-filled celebration of our Creating God.

ALL:  We celebrate the Godly miracles of creation we experience every day and night.

ONE: Called to be a people of faith, we gather to praise our Eternal and Loving God.

ALL: Faithful God, we gather to give our thanks that your promises are totally reliable.

ONE: Called to be a people of hope and trust, we gather to give thanks for God’s care and compassion towards people who are vulnerable to life’s fears and stresses.

ALL: Justice-loving God, we give thanks that your love and mercy are the source and power behind God’s commitments to the created world and towards all humanity; and especially towards vulnerable, dispossessed, and isolated people in our midst. Amen.


Prayer of Invocation

O Wise God, You have come to us in the form of a vulnerable child; You teach us that the last are first and the first, last; You lead us on a Way to new life that leads through death. Truly your wisdom is different than ours!  Meet us in this place and teach us your foolish wisdom and your vulnerable power; give us joy to receive it fully and courage to live it foolishly, through Jesus Christ, your Wisdom and Word. Amen.


Response Hymn #205



Preparation for the Word Hymn #626


March 17, 2019

Second Sunday of Lent

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"How Are You?"

Live in charity and steadfast love,

Live in charity; God will dwell with you.

As the deer pants for the water,

so my soul longs after you.

You alone are my heart's desire,

and I long to worship you.

(placeholder)

Live in charity and steadfast love,

Live in charity; God will dwell with you.

Centering Prayer

Good and gracious God, we seek you. We thirst for you. Without your presence, we are as a dry and weary land with no water. Together, we lift up our spirits and call on your name that you might abide with us.  Bless this our worship of you, that we might sing for joy under the shadow of your wings. Amen.


Call to Worship

Only the hungry search for bread.  Only the thirsty look for water.  This is a place for those who are hungry and thirsty in spirit.  Only those who ache for meaning will pursue it.  Only those who yearn for a deeper life will seek it.  This is a place for those who ache and yearn for something more.  So let us come here today with our hunger and thirst, our unsatisfied longings, our heart-felt yearnings, and let the God of life satisfy our souls.


Morning Prayer

With those who live in dry and weary lands, who know what it is to hunger and to thirst, we pray.

We pray that we may learn what it is to hunger for you, to thirst for justice, so all may have daily bread.  Amen.


Response Hymn #205



Preparation for the Word Hymn #626


March 24, 2019

Third Sunday of Lent

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Changing the Script"

Live in charity and steadfast love,

Live in charity; God will dwell with you.

As the deer pants for the water,

so my soul longs after you.

You alone are my heart's desire,

and I long to worship you.

(placeholder)

Centering Prayer

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 truth and real life. 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. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Lent is a coming home,

ALL: Home to what really matters,

ONE: Home to a place of acceptance and love,

ALL: Home to a table of plenty,

ONE: Home from many journeys,

ALL: Home from bitter defeat,

ONE: Home from tearing losses,

ALL: Home to find our center,

ONE: Home to rest in God,

ALL: Home to sing praise to the One who welcomes us home.


Prayer of Confession

Merciful God, you love us with a profound, outrageous love, and you generously give to us all that you have. Yet we fail to appreciate you or to respond in gratitude to your love. Like the younger brother, we stubbornly choose our selfish ambition rather than receive your wise counsel. We pursue the pleasures of this world, believing that they will make us happy, only to discover that we’re left with poverty of both soul and spirit. Or, like the elder brother, we hold ourselves aloof and apart, judging others and withholding compassion and mercy. Neither of these brothers understood that their truest treasure lay in their relationship with the Father — and that is our sin as well. We ask for your forgiveness and your grace, merciful God, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Response Hymn #205



Assurance of Forgiveness

Yet while we are still far off, God sees us and is filled with compassion. God runs toward us to puts God’s arms around us and give us the kiss of welcome and grace. Friends, believe the good news: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Amen.


Preparation for the Word Hymn #626


March 31, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Welcome Home"

Scripture

Luke 15: 1-32

Live in charity and steadfast love,

Live in charity; God will dwell with you.

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you.

You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship you.

(placeholder)

Centering Prayer

Holy God, you are deserving of the very best we have to offer: the devotion of our hearts, the place of honor in our priorities and the first fruits of our labors. We enter this place and space of worship, asking you to be in our midst, to speak your message of love and mercy, conviction and challenge to us. We welcome your Spirit, knowing that in so doing, we abandon control and open ourselves in faith and trust to your purposes and plan, rather than our own. Come, Holy Creator, we pray. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: The Lord makes a way through the rough waters of life.  

ALL: God provides us with fresh starts and new paths to journey together. Behold! God is doing a new thing!  

ONE: We will celebrate God’s new creations in our midst!


Lenten Prayer

God of all new things; God of Spring, and fragrant flowers, and unexpected snow; God of hope and new life, bless us, we pray, this day.  God of all things passing away, God of old and yesterday, the One who is with us in our despair and fear,  God who sighs and weeps, God

who wipes away our tears, hear us when we pray. Incline your ear to our words, silent shouting cries, mournful whispers.

Be gentle with our hard hearts. Be gentle. Be gentle. Anoint us with your touch.  The softness of your love breaks into our hardness and opens us anew: a new thing, a new life, new sight.  Anoint us, Holy One and fill us with you loving touch.  Fill us that we can touch in your love and fill others.  Fill us gently.  Fill us. In your name we pray. Amen


Response Hymn #205



Preparation for the Word Hymn #626


April 7, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Lent and Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"The Unexpected God"

Live in charity and steadfast love,

Live in charity; God will dwell with you.

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you.

You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship you.

(placeholder)

Centering Prayer

As the people spread their coats and palm branches on the ground to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, so we welcome him into our lives this morning. King of Glory, King of Peace, Servant King, reign in our hearts and lives this day and all days, that we might praise your holy name. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.


Call to Worship

ONE: We come to prepare for the holiest of weeks.

ALL: We will journey through praise, with joy on our lips; we will travel through betrayal and death,  cradling hope deep in our hearts.

ONE: Jesus leads us through this week, and we will follow, for he is the life we long for,  he is the Word who sustains us.

ALL: We wave palm branches in anticipation,  we lay our love before him, to cushion his walk .

ONE: Setting aside all power, glory, and might, he comes: modeling humility and obedience for all of us.

ALL: Hosanna! Hosanna!  Blessed is the One who brings us  the kingdom of God.


Prayer for Palm Sunday

God of the cross, tottering down the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey, you are not the savior we expect.  Your power doesn’t look like the power we want our God to have.  Your wisdom makes no sense to us.  We are happy to join the crowd, waving branches, but not so sure we want to follow you through this Holy Week: into the temple courts, into the upper room, into the Garden of Gethsemane to the high priest’s house, to the assembly of elders: to Pilate, to Herod, to the place of The Skull, to the foot of the cross.  We need you to go with us on this journey.  Grant us clear vision, courageous hearts, persistent steps.  Even though we know what this week will bring, we sing: Hosanna, hosanna.  Save us, we beseech you! Amen.

April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday

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Archive - Lent 2019