Created to Embody Love

Created to Embody Love

April 21, 2024 

PRELUDE:   Nuvole Bianche (White Clouds);       Ludovico Einaudi
RESPONSIVE SCRIPTURE READING:  The Message      Genesis 1: 1-25      The Story of Creation 

Leader:     First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.
People:    God spoke: “Light!”    And light appeared.   God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night.  It was evening, it was morning—
            Day One.
Leader:     God spoke: “Sky! In the middle of the waters;  separate water from water!”   God made sky. He separated the water under sky from the water above sky.  And there it was: he named sky the Heavens;  It was evening, it was morning—
            Day Two.
People:    God spoke: “Separate! Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place;  Land, appear!” And there it was.  God named the land Earth. He named the pooled water Ocean.  God saw that it was good.
Leader:     God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants, Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.” And there it was.  Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties, And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.  God saw that it was good. It was evening, it was morning—
            Day Three.
People:    God spoke: “Lights! Come out!   Shine in Heaven’s sky!  Separate Day from Night. Mark seasons and days and years, Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.” And there it was.
Leader:     God spoke: “Lights! Come out!    Shine in Heaven’s sky! Separate Day from Night.    Mark seasons and days and years, Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.”    And there it was.
            Day Four.
People:    God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!    Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!” God created the huge whales,    all the swarm of life in the waters, And every kind and species of flying birds.    God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!    Birds, reproduce on Earth!”
It was evening, it was morning—
            Day Five.
Leader:     God spoke: “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind:  cattle and reptiles and wild animals—all kinds.” And there it was:  wild animals of every kind,  Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug. God saw that it was good. 

OPENING HYMN:  God of the Sparrow   GTG#22
UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION:      Genesis 1: 26-28 

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”  God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

ASSURANCE OF PARDON:      Genesis 1: 29-31      Genesis 2: 1-4

Then God said, “I’ve given you every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth And every kind of fruit-bearing tree, given them to you for food.  To all animals and all birds, everything that moves and breathes, I give whatever grows out of the ground for food.” And there it was. God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!  It was evening, it was morning—
            Day Six.
Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail.
By the seventh day God had finished his work.
            On the seventh day he rested from all his work.  God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day Because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done.
            This is the story of how it all started, of Heaven and Earth when they were created. 

SUNG RESPONSE:   Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Works   GTG#21

Pastor:      Christ is Risen. May the love, joy and peace of the risen Christ be with us.
People:    Christ is Risen Indeed. Let us share the love, joy, and peace of the risen Christ with one another.

SOLO:   Sheep May Safely Graze ;   J. S. Bach;  Benjamin Ruiz, tenor

May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You, O God, our rock and redeemer. 

SCRIPTURE READING:   Zechariah 11:  1-3, 15-17a    1 John 4: 16b- 21
MESSAGE:   Created to Embody Love
RESPONSIVE PRAYER:   Psalm 23 as prayed by the Psalmist and the Sheep 

Leader:      Lord, You are my shepherd, I have everything that I need. You let me feed in green pastures.
People:      I love eating green grass!
Leader:      You lead me to quiet, fresh water.
People:      I can drown in fast-running waters, so I depend on You to lead me to still water.
Leader:      You restore my soul. You lead me in right paths for your name’s sake.
People:      I get lost easily when I wander off the path, and I might get stuck!
Leader:      Even if I walk through the darkest valley, I’m not afraid because You are with me.
People:      Wild animals like wolves scare me – I see their hungry eyes shining in the darkness!  But I’m not afraid.
Leader:      Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.
People:      You beat back the wild animals with Your rod, and pull me from dangerous places with your staff.
Leader:      You prepare a feast for me where all my enemies can see me.
People:      I can graze on fresh grass safely in spite of those wild animals watching me.
Leader:      You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
People:      When thorns prick and sharp rocks cut, you heal my hurts with soothing oil.
Leader:      I know that Your goodness and love will always be with me, and I will be safe in Your house as long as I live.
People:      You know my name and will call me into the safe sheepfold today and every day as long as I live.

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN:   God the Sculptor of the Mountains   GTG#5
SUNG PREPARATION FOR PRAYER:   Come, Bring Your Burdens to God (SING TWICE)   GTG#851
THE LORD’S PRAYER (Mother, Father God who art in heaven…)
OFFERTORY CHORAL ANTHEM:     Where Once There Lay Dragons                         Kenton Coe

Where once there lay dragons, tall grasses shall grow;
Where once there lay wasteland, a pathway shall go;
Where once there lay desert, there shall flow a spring;
O ransomed of Zion, with joy you shall sing.

As once you were fearful, you now are made calm;
As once you were wounded, you now have a balm;
As once you were feeble, you now are made strong;
As once you were silent, you now have a song.

Be strong and fear not, for your God will come!
For sweet songs of gladness shall sound on each tongue
When sorrow and sadness shall all flee away!
Prepare now, O Zion, to greet this new day! 

CLOSING HYMN: Fairest Lord Jesus   GTG#630
BENEDICTION RESPONSE:  You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (Stanzas 1 & 3)   GTG#274
POSTLUDE:   My Shepherd Will Supply My Need/O God, Beyond all Praising  Thomas Keesecker 



  • WELCOME! MEMBERS! NEWCOMERS! FRIENDS! We are so glad you could join us for worship today!
  • VISITORS, please take a moment to let us know you were here by picking up an attendance card (in the pews) and filling out whatever information you would like to share with us.
  • WELCOME FAMILIES! Children’s Sunday School is back in action in the redesigned 2nd floor Children’s Space, Sunday mornings during the 1st half of worship, beginning at 11:00 am.


  • Bread, Buns, Fruit, Water, Meat, Peanut Butter, Cheese are always 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! Coats, Sweatshirts, Warm Clothes for this cold weather!
  • WESTPORT SHOWERS is looking for additional volunteers to help with Sunday mornings. With the increase in guests, we would like to have teams of 2 volunteers upstairs working together at the door and 2 downstairs working in the shower/laundry room each Sunday. You would be working with experienced volunteers who can train you in what is needed. If you would like to help, and are willing to volunteer 1 Sunday morning a month, reach out to Drew Irwin or Allison Rozga for more information.
  • WEEKDAY LUNCH VOLUNTEERS. We could use a few more people to help with making weekday lunches. We currently have openings on Mondays and Wednesdays (to make lunches to be given out on Tuesdays & Thursdays). Please contact the church office for more information.
  • Mission & Outreach is hosting a DE-ESCALATION TRAINING on Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. in the Fellowship Room. This workshop will help us think about ways to respond to conflict and defuse high stress situations. Everyone is welcome to attend! 

INREACH & OUTREACH IN THE COMING WEEK:  (All Events are at the Church, 201 Westport Rd – unless noted)

  • Monday, Apr. 22              4:30 p.m.         FREDitation – a centering prayer experience – 20 min (Chapel)
  •                                         6:30 p.m.         Men’s AA Meeting (Storefront)
  •                                         7:30 p.m.         Boy Scout Troop 60 (Westport Rising Room)
  • Tuesday, Apr. 23              6:00 p.m.         Irish Dance (Westport Rising Room)
  • Wednesday, Apr. 24         6:00 p.m.         De-Escalation Training Workshop (Fellowship Room)
  • Thursday, Apr. 25             5:30 p.m.         Westport Showers – For Women, Trans, & Gender Non-conforming people (Basement)
  • Friday, Apr. 26                  10:00 a.m.       Children’s Mercy TIES Group (Fellowship Room)
  • Saturday, Apr. 27              8:30 a.m.         Living Integrated (Men’s Support Group) (Storefront)
  •                                          10 a.m.             Cub Scouts (Westport Rising Room)
  •                                          10 a.m.             WCA Board Meeting (Fellowship Room)
  • Sunday, Apr. 28                 8-9:30 a.m.      Westport Showers (Fellowship Room & Basement)
  •                                           11:00 a.m.       Service of the Lord’s Day (Sanctuary)
  •                                                                  Children’s Sunday School (Upstairs Children’s Room)
  •                                           12:15 p.m.       Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)


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