A More Light Congregation

Bethany Presbyterian Church

This Week in Worship

Centering Prayer

Loving God, call us together as your people; transform us with your love. Transform our hearts, that we may love generously. Transform our eyes, that we may see your grace. Transform our hands, that we may serve others. Transform our spirits, that we may be the body of Christ, gathered to worship and sent out to serve. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Gathered in this holy moment, we come, eager to listen and act.

ALL: Here in this safe space, we are slow to speak and slow to anger.

ONE: As God’s own beloved ones, we welcome God’s Word,

ALL: Planted in our lives, pushing to grow in us.

ONE: So let us worship the Giver of Life.

ALL: Offering our best gifts to honor the One who gives us life,

ONE: Let us turn expectant hearts to hear and act on Good News!


Prayer of Confession

ONE: When the busyness of our lives erodes the intentions of our hearts, Merciful God,

ALL: Forgive us.

ONE: When our personal agendas take precedence over reaching out to others, Merciful God,

ALL: Forgive us.

ONE: When we keep putting off being more active “doers of the word”, Merciful God,

ALL: Forgive us.

ONE: When we resist change, knowing that our acting and thinking are limited by our prejudice and ignorance, Merciful God,

ALL: Forgive us.

ONE: When we only half-listen to those who cry out to be fully heard, Merciful God,

ALL: Forgive us.

     (silence)

ALL: Gracious and merciful God,  forgive us for past faults and help us in the present and future to make ourselves more available to the hurting world that surrounds us - the world that begins on our doorsteps.  Equip us to be patient and compassionate listeners,  proclaiming the gospel not in overbearing ways but sensitively and lovingly. Strengthen us with the Holy Spirit to be fruitful and active witnesses to Jesus in all we do and say.


Call and Response




Assurance of Forgiveness

ONE: As we become doers of the word and not merely hearers, we discover that it is “in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving of ourselves that we receive” - sure evidence of “the implanted word that has the power to save our souls” – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

ALL: Thanks be to God!


Preparation for the Word Hymn #701




September 2, 2018

Celebration of Holy Communion

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Searching the Heart"

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)

Centering Prayer

Come, Lord, come down, come in, come among us. Enter into our darkness with your light.  

Come fill our emptiness with your presence. Dispel the clouds and reveal your glory.  Come refresh, renew, restore us. Come Lord, come down, come in, come among us. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: From the corners of worry and fear, from the shadows where we huddle with our doubts,

ALL: God calls us to this place of sanctuary where we can draw from Love's deep wells.

ONE: In every moment where we look for strength to continue, in every time we wonder if faith is worth it,

ALL: Jesus calls us to this time  where we can welcome the peace given to us.

ONE: In every person who embraces us with acceptance, in every touch that offers healing and hope,

ALL: The Spirit calls us to see those around us as God's beloved, our sisters and brothers of grace.


Prayer for Justice

ONE: Pray for those who are hungry

ALL: Pray harder for those who will not feed them.

ONE: Pray for those who struggle each week to pay their bills.

ALL: Pray harder for the wealthy who do not care.

ONE: Pray for those who are homeless.

ALL: Pray harder for those who deny them shelter.

ONE: Pray for the sick and lonely

ALL: Pray harder for those who will not give them comfort.

ONE: Pray for those who cry out for dignity.

ALL: Pray harder for those who will not listen.

ONE: Pray for those oppressed by unjust wages.

ALL: Pray harder for those who exploit them.

ONE: Pray for those who bear the yoke of prejudice.

ALL: Pray harder for those who discriminate against them.

ONE: Pray for those whose basic needs are denied.

ALL: Pray harder for public officials who cater to the greedy and ignore those bound unjustly. Amen.


Response Hymn #494





Preparation for the Word Hymn #701




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September 9, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Crumbs, Conversation, and Getting Caught with our Compassion Down"

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou font of live, thou light of all,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn, unfilled, to heed thy call

Centering Prayer

To you, O God, we lift up our souls. To you we offer our praise and prayer, our worship and thanksgiving, even our very lives. Make your ways known to us. Show us the path on which we should walk. Lead us in your truth and teach us. For you alone are the God who saves, the God in whom we trust; and the One on whom we wait. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: They went to Jesus, and he asked them,

ALL: Who do you say I am?

ONE: They answered,

ALL: You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma of which we find meaning in our interpersonal relationships.

ONE: And Jesus said,

ALL: What?

ONE: Faith doesn’t have to be that hard.  Life doesn’t have to be that difficult.

ALL: Sometimes, we just have to live God’s love. Sometimes, we just have to live what we believe. And so we are here, simply, to sing, to celebrate, to worship God!


Morning Prayer

Merciful God, you call us to follow; to turn away from our own selfish interests, and to take up our cross and follow after you , even if the path is difficult to see, or is heading in a direction

we would never have chosen for ourselves. Forgive us for being so quick to question and

so hesitant to follow.  Help us to see with the eyes of faith, rather than from our own human point of view. Teach us to follow without fear, knowing that you are always with us, leading the way.

Amen.


Response Hymn #494





Preparation for the Word Hymn #701




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September 16, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Who Do You Say That I Am?"

Scripture  

Mark 8:27-38


Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou font of live, thou light of all,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn, unfilled, to heed thy call

Centering Prayer

O God, you call us to follow Jesus Christ as his disciples. We meet this morning to learn more about how to do this. Help us as we worship to again understand who Jesus was and is. May we learn from the faithful witness of others just what true discipleship looks like. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: Jesus calls us to servant ministry.

ALL: We must be willing to help others, not counting the cost or rewards.

ONE: Pretense, disharmony, greed have no place in discipleship.

ALL: Serving God means receiving each person as though they were a beloved child.

ONE: Lord, help us to truly become your disciples.

ALL: Create in us hearts for ministries of compassion and kindness. Amen.


Morning Prayer

God of patience and mercy, we come to you, offering “lip service” to serving you, but when things get difficult; when we are called to do something that is hard for us, we shy away from the call and the opportunity. We turn our back on service out of fear of failure. Forgive us, gracious Lord. Heal our fears and our weaknesses. Strengthen us and give us courage to truly be your disciples, not counting the rewards, but rejoicing in the work. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen


Response Hymn #494





Preparation for the Word Hymn #701




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September 23, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Connect the Dots"

Scripture  

Mark 9:30-37


Hymns

#305 “Come Sing, O Church, in Joy!”

#616 “Our God Is an Awesome God”

# 632 “People of the Lord“

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou font of live, thou light of all,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn, unfilled, to heed thy call

Centering Prayer

Liberating God, we seek your journey. With parted waters, set us free. With cloud and fire, guide us. With gushing waters, quench our thirst. With food from heaven, feed us. Draw us out with joy and singing, that we might know your ways. Amen.


Call to Worship

ONE: In the midst of the desert heat, God heard the cries of the people.

ALL: Help us, Lord, please help us.

ONE: Manna was given and water gushed forth from a rock.

ALL: Lord, have mercy upon us.

ONE: In the midst of the deserts of fear and frustration, God will provide for our needs.

ALL: Lord, come to us and heal us. Amen.


Prayer of Invocation

Lord, whether we have come to you from long ago, or have just come to you now, you reach out with love and blessing for each one of us. Help us remember your mercy and your love and offer greetings and blessings to each other in your name. Amen


Response Hymn #494





Preparation for the Word Hymn #701




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September 30, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Robin Crawford

"Getting a Mouthful"

Hymns

33 “Praise the Lord! God's Glories Show”

692 “Spirit, Open My Heart”

65 “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou font of live, thou light of all,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn, unfilled, to heed thy call

Centering Prayer

O Holy maker of all, we ask your blessing on every creature

gathered here today, the large and the small. 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

ONE: ‘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 Job)

ALL: Amen.


Prayer of Thanks and Confession

ONE: Lord, for all the animals in the whole wide world,

ALL: We thank you, God!

ONE: Lord, for all the fun and friendship we have with animals,

ALL: We thank you, God!

ONE: Lord, for all the times we have hurt or neglected animals,

ALL: We are sorry.

ONE: Lord, for all the times we have used poisons that have killed animals

ALL: We are sorry.

ONE: Lord, for all the times we have destroyed the homes of animals in the forests, oceans, or fields,

ALL: We are sorry.


Response Hymn #494





Celebration of World Communion


Brief Thoughts on Animals by Reverend Kathryn Pyke


Blessing and Remembrance of Animals Who Have Died


Blessing of All the Animals


Benediction and Charge

ALL: 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.

ONE: Go out into the world, my horizontal and vertical brothers and sisters in Christ. In the name of the Creator, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

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October 7, 2018

World Communion Day

and Blessing of the Animals

Scripture  

Genesis 2:18-20a


Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou font of live, thou light of all,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn, unfilled, to heed thy call

Centering Prayer

O Lord my God, teach my heart this day where and how to see you, where and how to find you.

You have made me and remade me, and you have bestowed on me all the good things I possess,

and still I do not know you.  I have not yet done that for which I was made. Teach me to seek you, for I cannot seek you unless you teach me, or find you unless you show yourself to me.  Let me seek you in my desire, let me desire you in my seeking.  Let me find you by loving you, let me love you when I find you.  Amen.

~ written by St. Anselm


Call to Worship

ONE: We look in the mirror and what do we see?

ALL: We see people who try to be faithful,  even as questions and struggles challenge our faith.

ONE:  We look in the mirror and how do we see?

ALL: We see with hearts which are open to God's love, with lives which seek to trust when all the evidence tells us not to be so foolish.

ONE: We look in the mirror and who do we see?

ALL: We see Jesus, the One who struggles with the questions we raise, who models faithfulness for all who would follow.


Morning Prayer

Holy One, the world is a discouraging place. The cries of injustice almost drown out your voice.

The cries of pain almost smother the voice of hope found in you.  The cries of oppression and marginalization, starvation and death, are almost too much to bear - so much so, that we have become numb.  Ease the pain, the cries, the noise of the world, so that we can hear your voice

and find hope and encouragement to act justly in this world and to do the work you have called us to.  In the name of Christ, whose voice calls to us above the noise and cries, a voice that calls us to new life, we pray. Amen


Response Hymn #494





Preparation for the Word Hymn #701





Prayer of Commitment

Here is my breath: full and eternal within the moment, then deflating and dying.  It is everything and it is gone.  I might live forever if I didn’t have to exhale so often.  What must I do to inherit eternal life, O God?  Breathe in and breathe out.  Use your breath - do not hold it in fear or with selfishness.  In every moment, life is forever.  See: you have your inheritance. Use it.  Here is my breath: in and out, eternal and dying.  I will give everything until it is gone.  Amen.

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October 14, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Seeing With Our Eyes"

Scripture  

Mark 10: 17-31


Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou font of live, thou light of all,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn, unfilled, to heed thy call

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Gathering Meditation

Lord, you know how many times I thought I knew how to run my life, how to fix their problems, and how you should answer prayer.  But each time, through trauma or tragedy, hardship or hard times, you remind me how much I don't know about your will. Though I may not like it at the time, please remind me that you are God and I am not.  Ask me questions I can't answer.  Give me answers I can't comprehend.  Remind me that you laid the earth's foundation.  That you speak and the winds obey.  That you squeeze the clouds 'til rain falls. Then, give me the good sense to hold my peace and meditate upon what you've just said.


Call to Worship

ONE: Praise God in the sanctuary!

ALL: Bless the Lord, O my soul.

ONE:  Look at God! Robed in majesty. Clothed with honor. Dressed in glory. Garments of wonderful light.

ALL: Bless the Lord, O my soul.

ONE: Look at God! Flung heaven across the sky. Walks on the clouds. Rides on the wind. Speaks through fire. No one is greater than our God!

ALL: Bless the Lord.


Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, we confess that too often we clamor for attention. Me! Me! Look at how important I am. That's what our actions say. Like James and John, we pray selfish prayers, for power, for position, for prestige -- for what? So that people will say how great we are? Teach us that true greatness comes from humble service. Show us how to roll up our sleeves, dig in, and lend a hand -- even when no one else will. Preoccupy us with humility; then greatness can come when we least expect it. Give us the grace to live as humble servants. Amen.


Call & Response




     (silence)


Words of Assurance

Know that Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve, hears our prayers. Know that this same Jesus hears and forgives us. Walk with lifted heads and bowed hearts. Go now as humble children of God, ready and willing to serve.


Preparation for the Word Hymn #701




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October 21, 2018

Sermon by Reverend Kathryn Pyke

"Remembering the Story"

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary,

Pure and holy, tried and true;

With thanksgiving,

I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

Lord, have mercy (Lord, have mercy)

Christ, have mercy (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy  (Lord, have mercy)