Conjuring Up Freedom

Conjuring Up Freedom

Second Sunday of Epiphany
Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Service
Westport Presbyterian Church—January 15, 2023, 11:00 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)

PRELUDE: My Lord, What a Morning—setting by Edwin T. Childs

Pastor: A man went forth with gifts.
People: He was a prose poem.
Pastor: He was a tragic grace.
People: He was a warm music.
Pastor: He tried to heal the vivid volcanoes.
People: His ashes are reading the world.
Pastor: The Dream still wishes to anoint
People: The barricades of faith and control.
Pastor: His word still burns the center of the sun
People: Above the thousands
Pastor: The word was Justice
People: Justice!
Pastor: It was spoken.
People: It shall be spoken.
Pastor: So it shall be done. –Gwendolyn Brooks, poem honoring Dr. King

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN:  Lift Every Voice and Sing    #339 GtG

Pastor: God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus.
People: Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds,
Pastor: And love our neighbors as we love ourselves,
People: Even our enemy neighbors.
Pastor: And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension,
People: When the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail,
Pastor: To be with us in our going out and our coming in,
People: In our rising up and in our lying down,
Pastor: In our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow,
People: Until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn. Amen.

SUNG BLESSED ASSURANCE OF GOD’S ACTIVE GRACE:  Lead Me, Guide Me (sing twice)    #740 GtG
BIBLE READINGS: Luke 3:15-22—Exodus 1:8-14—Exodus 3:1-8a Jennifer Weiman
ANTHEM: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me—Roderick Williams

Pastor: May the words of my mouth
People: And the meditations of our hearts
Pastor: Be acceptable to you, O Lord
People: Our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

SERMON: Conjuring Up Freedom
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: We Shall Overcome #379GtG
SUNG RESPONSE: Come, Bring Your Burdens to God #851GtG
OFFERTORY: Precious Lord, Take My Hand—Thomas Dorsey; Luke Gilmore, tenor
                 Offering link


Pastor: For guiding star and surprising epiphany!
People: For circling sky and talking streams!
Pastor: Four the four leggeds and the two leggeds!
People: Winged ones! Crawling ones! Swimming ones!
Pastor: For earth’s holy places! For soul’s silent spaces!
People: And all God’s surprising, shining graces!
Pastor: For Jesus’ parable and Mary’s singing prayer!
People: For Miriam’s dance and for Martin’s dream!
Pastor: For John Lewis’ good troubling
People: And for Martin’s long marching!
Pastor: And for You—Generous Creator!
People: We are ever in wonder and constantly thankful! Amen.

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: Soon and Very Soon (stanzas 1-3) #384 GtG

Pastor: Eternal God!
People: Out of whose mind this great cosmic universe was born,
Pastor: We love You.
People: Help us to see what is high, noble and good.
Pastor: Help us in this moment of difficult decision.
People: Help us to work with renewed vigor for a warless world,
Pastor: A more equitable distribution of wealth,
People: And a brother
Pastor: And sisterhood
People: That transcends race or color. Amen.
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE: Soon and Very Soon(stanza 4) #384GtG
POSTLUDE: Jesus Is a Rock in a Weary Land—setting, Edwin T. Childs

Tomorrow the Westport Center for the Arts presents the Annual MLK Holiday Concert featuring the Doug Talley Quartet at 12:00 p.m. Soloist: Lisa Henry leading “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Special MLK Holiday poem by Taylor Brown. Free. Donations welcomed.

Love and Sympathy and Strong Prayers to Carly Simon and Drew and the whole family in the death of Carly’s brother, Darrell Newman. We pray for Carly as she grieves and for power for her as she continues to provide home care to her sister-in-law, Sue Newman. “Be still and know that I am God.”


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