A THANKSGIVING SERVICE

A THANKSGIVING SERVICE

WESTPORT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
ORDER OF WORSHIP
A THANKSGIVING SERVICE – CELEBRATING MANY STREAMS OF GRATITUDE
GUEST WORSHIP LEADER: Micah Rose Emerson
November 20, 2022 11 am

(Video will be posted LIVE on the church’s FB page at 11am and then cross-posted here.  If the video doesn’t load properly here, you should be able to click on the Watch on Facebook link and watch as a guest, even if you don’t have Facebook)

INTROIT: Cherokee Morning Song- Josh Stark
UNISON CALL TO WORSHIP:

Grandparent, Great Mystery, once more behold us on earth and lean to hear our feeble voices. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer. All things belong to you the two-leggeds, the four-leggeds, the wings of the air and all green things that live. Day in and day out, forever, you are the life of things. Therefore, we are sending a voice, Great Mystery, our Grandparent, forgetting nothing you have made, the stars of the universe and the grasses of the earth. The Great Spirit is everywhere; The Great Spirit hears whatever is in our minds and our hearts. And it is not necessary to speak to The Great Spirit in a loud voice. The power of a thing or an act is in the meaning and the understanding. You have set the powers of the four directions to cross each other. The good road and the road of difficulties you have made to cross; and where they cross, the place is holy.

–adapted from the words of Black Elk, an Olglala Lakota who survived both the Battle of Little Big Horn (at age 12) and the Massacre of Wounded Knee (at age 26). Black Elk saw no contradiction in embracing what he found valid in both his tribal traditions concerning Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit or Great Mystery) and those of Christianity. 

HYMN of Gratitude (African American):   Over My Head  STF#2148
PRAYER: (WE RECALL IN UNISON THE WORDS OF CHIEF OREN LYONS -HAUDENOSAUNEE/ IROQUOIS- FROM HIS ADDRESS TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE OUTSET OF THE YEAR OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, DECEMBER 10, 1992):

We are instructed to make every decision on behalf of the seventh generation to come. We are instructed to give thanks for All That Sustains Us. We are instructed to be generous and to share equally with our brothers and sisters
so that all may be content. We are instructed to respect and love our Elders, to serve them in their declining years, to cherish one another. We are instructed to love our children, indeed, to love ALL children. Even though you and I are in different boats, you in your boat and we in our canoe, we share the same River of Life. What befalls me, befalls you.
And downstream, in this River of Life, our children will pay for our selfishness, for our greed, and for our lack of vision.
We can still alter our course. It is NOT too late. We still have options. We need the courage to change our values
to the regeneration of our families, the life that surrounds us. We must join hands with the rest of Creation
and speak of Common Sense, Responsibility, Brotherhood, and PEACE. On behalf of the Indigenous People of the Great Turtle Island, I give my appreciation and thanks. Dah ney’ to. Now I am finished. We love I hi do’ hah (I-hee-DOE-hah!)
our Mother Earth.

HYMN OF PRAISE (Caribbean): Halle, Halle, Hallelujah!  GTG#591
THE SPIRITUALITY OF THANKSGIVING:
FIRST, WE READ SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS FROM THE HAUDENOSAUNEE (IROQUOIS) THANKSGIVING ADDRESS.

Leader: The Iroquois Thanksgiving Address is a prayer of gratitude dating back more than 1,000 years. It is still spoken at many Iroquois ceremonial, social and governmental gatherings, and is often recited by traditional Haudenosaunee at the start and end of each day. Ohenton Karihwatehkwen means “The Words That Come Before All Else.”
People: Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

Leader: We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life.
People: She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

Leader: We now turn our thoughts to the Trees.
People: The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

Leader: We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe.
People: They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

ANCIENT JEWISH EXPRESSIONS OF THANKSGIVING: Psalm 100, 111, 146
CHORAL ANTHEM: At the Name of Jesus Richard Waters
HYMN (German Thanksgiving for Harvest): Now Thank We All Our God  GTG#643
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION:

Leader: May the words of my mouth
People: And the meditations of our hearts
Unison: Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, Our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen.

SERMON given by Micah Rose Emerson
HYMN of Thanksgiving for God’s presence in our lives:  Amazing Grace (stanzas 1-5 plus Cherokee stanza)  GTG#649
WELCOMING
MORNING PRAYER, LORD’S PRAYER 
CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE: Come, Bring Your Burdens to God (SING TWICE)  GTG#851
OFFERTORY SOLO: Give Me Jesus Moses Hogan, Luke Gilmore, tenor
                 Offering link

RESPONSIVE PRAYER OF DEDICATION – SHAWNEE TRAVELING SONG:

Leader: I am walking upon the earth; the earth is my mother.
People: Wherever I walk, I am home.
Leader: I am walking with the people who love me; their love surrounds me.
People: Wherever I walk, I am loved.
Leader: I am walking on the circle of Creator; Creator above, Creator below.
People: Wherever I walk, I am with Creator.
Leader: I am walking upon the earth with people who love me on the circle of Creator.
People: I am always home.
Leader: I am always loved.
People: I am with Creator.

HYMN of gratitude for the people who have worked, prayed, struggled, lived with the intention to create the kingdom of God:  Bring Forth the Kingdom of God  #2190
BLESSING THOUGHTS FROM THE HAUDENOSAUNEE THANKSGIVING ADDRESS:

Leader: We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky.
People: She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

Leader: We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages.
People: When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

Leader: Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation.
People: Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.
ALL: Now our minds are one.

POSTLUDE: Now Thank We All Our God Justin Heinrich Knecht

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
• We WELCOME Micah Rose Emerson who is leading worship today while Rev. Scott Myers is on vacation. He will return on Tue. Nov. 22. If you have pastoral needs, please contact the church office. A pastor will be on call.
• Our 2023 PLEDGE DRIVE continues. Respond to God’s love and grace in your life as you are able. Our goal is $115,000 (a $10,000 increase over what was pledged for 2022). We have received $92,264 in pledges so far.
• Calling all bakers and helpers! Our HOLIDAY COOKIE SALE returns Saturday, Dec. 17 from 11:30-2:30 pm. We need volunteers who are willing to bake a few dozen cookies and/or work a shift on the day of the sale! Sign up if you can help! The sale is a fundraiser to support the church’s Westport Concert Series. Also pick up a flyer and help us spread the word!
• We will have an ADVENT CHOIR SERVICE on Sunday, Dec. 18. Want to join the choir for this special service? Contact our music director Emily Davidson. Practice will be after the church the 2 Sundays prior.
• WESTPORT SHOWERS WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE. We need to restock our winter clothing items for our clothing closet. We especially need Men’s Coats (Large & Extra Large), gloves, hats, warm socks, tennis shoes, backpacks & blankets.
• We are involved in the STEPTOE LIVES coalition, an effort to preserve and honor the history of Black Westport—the historic African American community that became strong just west of the church, around St. Luke’s Hospital and Embassy Suites and to the west of there. The most immediate effort is to change the name of 43rd Terrace back to its original name, Steptoe Street. We meet again on Thursday, Dec. 1 if you are interested. Zoom meetings.
• The church office will be closed Thursday and Friday for the THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY. We will have sack lunches this week Monday-Wednesday only. Westport Showers will operate as normal on Sunday.

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