Celebration of Holy Communion & Holy Community Westport Presbyterian Church—September 3, 2023 11 a.m.
(A Unique Place and Space on the Planet Earth)
(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: Largo George Frideric Handel, arr. Noel Rawsthorne
UNISON CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS—in an indigenous spiritual voice and language of North America:
(Drumbeat) May the sound of the drum awaken us to our deep souls! May the drumbeat signal a global awakening! (Drumbeat) May the drumbeat signal a global awakening to the earth’s voice. May we love the earth as we love ourselves (Drumbeat) May we love Earth Maker and Sky Maker as we love ourselves May the natural world’s voice calm us and comfort us.(Drumbeat)Be still and know how deeply we are loved by Earth Maker and Sky Maker. (Drumbeat) Dah—nay—toe) Now we are finished. We love I hi do’ hah, (I-hee-DOE-hah!) Our Mother Earth. (Drumbeat)
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land GTG#62
UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND COMMITMENT:
Sometimes, we are learning that we have to hold hands, light one candle. Walk forward into the darkness, even when we don’t know what the next step will bring. Walking by faith is not easy, We are sometimes frightened, discouraged or just plain tired. But faith will take us places where we never thought we could go. No one knows just what we are becoming, But we know one thing for sure! There is no turning back for people who are following the one whom we name Light of the World!
–adapted from a reflection by Rev. William Barber, leader of Moral Mondays and the New Poor Peoples Campaign
AFFIRMING OF HEALING, SAVING POWER OF GOD: Jesus, We Are Here (English and Shona stanzas) GTG#392
PASSING OF PEACE:
Pastor: The peace of Christ be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Let us share the peace of Christ with each other.
BIBLE READINGS: Exodus 3: 1-15; First Corinthians 3: 4-9; Deuteronomy 34: 5-7
ANTHEM: When Christ Broke Bread; Carol Muehlig
SERMON: “Reprise. Continuing Our Journey with God” -Rev. Susan Hartley
SUNG PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION: Deep in the Shadows GTG#50
SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION:
Pastor: Let’s gather around this planet friendly, holy table, With holy bread & drink
People: The promise of Christ coming alive among us
Pastor: This is the welcome table of God where all who intend to experience the non-physical experience spiritual dimension of life—
People: And live in relationships of freedom and peace with neighbors!
Pastor: Hunger no more! Come to eat! Here, all who longs for otherwise elusive grace
People: May enjoy the strong love of God in Jesus Christ.
Pastor: Here you are embraced and held by Self Emptying Love!—
People: One of God’s great and holy names!
Pastor: Come to drink, you are invited into this holy mystery.
People: We are ready!
Pastor: Jesus said: “I am the bread of life. All who come to me shall not hunger, and all who believe in me shall never be thirsty.”
People: We are hungry for Your Love, O God, We are thirsty for Your Deep Peace, OLamb of God. We seek an unusual gift— an experience of wonder and joy.
Pastor: Come in, Holy Spirit. Open our eyes to the mystery of The living Christ’s presence in our midst. Through the broken bread…
People: We are becoming the Body of Christ—
Pastor: Feeding the hungry!
People: Giving showers and clothes to people who are homeless and extremely poor!
Pastor: Becoming anti-racist! Getting into Good Trouble!
People: Let us praise and pray to God by singing an African hymn!
CONGREGATIONAL SUNG PRAYER: Come, Bring Your Burdens to God GTG#851
Pastor: Lift up names of people we wish to pray for, concluding with The Lord’s Prayer (Glory to God, page 35)…
BREAKING & SHARING OF BREAD, POURING & SHARING OF WINE
Pastor: The Grace, Peace, Love and Joy of Jesus Christ be with you.
People: And also with you.
Pastor: Let us pray the prayer of thanksgiving together….
ALL: Gracious, loving God, You have called us to become a body of Christ. Thank you for filling us amidst hunger &thirst. Now send us into the world to do the great work You have called us to do—Find the lost & lonely! Heal wounded souls!
Free people, including ourselves, who are not at all free! Give compassion to the vulnerable & marginalized! Love Beauty, Planet & Sky, persist in resisting evil, share by how we live the Message of Jesus, Who is The Light in the World. Amen.
OFFERTORY: The Lord’s Prayer Albert Hay Malotte; Emma Witbolsfeugen, soprano
UNISON PRAYER OF DEDICATION:
Here in the busy city, now let the church be seen, where lesser gods are worshipped In money and machine; where news is but sensation, the Good News hardly heard. Now let the church take action In living out the word! Here in the busy city God walks on every street In generous or greedy, the honest or the cheat, And daily we must offer The good that goes unpriced With vigor and with vision The lifestyle of the Christ.
–Shirley Erena Murray
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: Here I Am, Lord (I, the Lord of Sea and Sky) GTG#69
BENEDICTION – The Serenity Prayer: God grant us the serenity to accept the things we can not change, The courage to change the things we can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE: Here I Am, Lord (refrain only) GTG#69
POSTLUDE: Doxology Bradley Sowash
A WESTPORT WELCOMING!!
• We are mourning the sudden death, August 26, of our beloved pastor REV. SCOTT MYERS. A celebration of Rev. Scott’s life will be held here on Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 pm and will be Livestreamed and recorded for those who can not be with us in person. The published his obituary is at this link.
• For the next 3 weeks, Session has invited REV. SUSAN WESLEY HARTLEY to preach and lead worship on September 3 & 17 and REV. JENNIFER BAER, stated clerk and resource presbyter of Heartland Presbytery, to preach and lead worship on September 10. Rev. Hartley was Associate Pastor, part-time at Westport Presbyterian from 1989-1991, moved back to the area June 28, and has been attending WPC worship many Sundays since July 2 and participating in our Zoom Bible study. After these 3 weeks session will make more interim/ transitional pastoral arrangements.
• If you need pastoral care, please contact the church office. Rev. Eric Garbision has volunteered to be on call and available to the congregation.
• Bread, Buns, Fruit, Water, Meat, Peanut Butter are needed for our INTERRUPT HUNGER work.
• WESTPORT SHOWERS happens on Sundays & Thursday nights. Men’s boxer brief underwear needed. Men’s and Women’s shoes. Backpacks!
• Children’s Sunday School is back in action in the redesigned 2nd floor Children’s Space, teaching & learning will emphasize Care for the Earth, Sky and all God’s creation. 11:00 am.
• Friendship Time before and after worship with snacks and coffee. Starts at 10:20 am in the main hallway. Continues after worship. Time for spontaneous friendship interaction.
• Scott was delighted to display Stan Morgan’s art exhibit at our church. Tell your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers to come and see the amazing lifetime works of this great artist and human being!
• FREDitation—a centering prayer experience—is Monday 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel (20 minutes)
• Zoom Bible study is every other week, so it will be next week, not this week. Contact the church at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to receive the zoom link to be included.