In Person and Livestream Worship Service
Westport Presbyterian Church—The Phoenix is Rising!—August 27, 2023
(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: We Are Marching in the Light of God (Siyahamba) GTG #853
RESPONSIVE CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS IN WORSHIP Earth—by Fred Culver
Pastor: EARTH, our home,
People: Rising above its moon,
Pastor: Delights and inspires everyone
People: Who sees it from space.
Pastor: Against intense cosmic black,
People: The blue speck evokes a deep response.
Pastor: No words express the urge to care for this tiny, fragile planet.
People: Experiencing the world as One
Pastor: Awakens a new consciousness.
People: Instead of boundaries of fear,
Pastor: A world celebrating diversity
People: Is beginning to dawn.
Pastor: Let’s create community based on the indescribable beauty of the Earth
People: And on the tremendous freedom of the human spirit.
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN All Things Bright and Beautiful GTG#20
UNISON CALL TO CONFESSION
Merciful God, your creatures cry – creation groans – but we turn away; we surround ourselves with noise. We are quick to excuse ourselves from responsibility: we are young; we are old; we are tired; we are busy. It is hard to imagine that we might make a difference. Life-giving God, wash us clean. Restore our imaginations and our hearts. Let our courage and compassion flow through our veins until we love with abandon and our hands reach out in blessing, for the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. Amen.
SUNG RESPONSE CELEBRATING GOD’S GRACE: Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying (sing twice) GTG#469
PASSING THE PEACE
Pastor: The grace, peace, love and joy of Jesus Christ be with you!
People: And also with you! Pastor: Let us share the peace of Christ with one another.
BIBLE READINGS: Psalm 24 and Roman 8:12-25
Pastor: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
ANTHEM When Morning Gilds the Skies- setting by Rachel AaronsToday we are joined by members of the Westport Choir.
Pastor: Let the words of my mouth
People: And the meditation of our hearts
Pastor: Be acceptable to You,
People: O LORD, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.
SERMON – Creation Groans – Rev. Carla Gentry
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN God of the Sparrow GTG#22
WELCOMING – Bob Russell
SUNG PREPARATION FOR PRAYER Jesus, We Are Here (English and Shona) GTG#392
Pastoral Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
OFFERTORY A Simple Song — from MASS, Leonard Bernstein Joshua Stark, bassLuke Gilmore, violin
RESPONSIVE PRAYER OF DEDICATION Shawnee Traveling Song—spoken
Pastor: I am walking upon the earth; the earth is my mother.
People: Wherever I walk, I am home.
Pastor I am walking with the people who love me; their love surrounds me.
People: Wherever I walk, I am loved.
Pastor: I am walking on the circle of Creator; Creator above, Creator below.
People: Wherever I walk, I am with Creator.
Pastor: I am walking upon the earth with people who love me on the circle of Creator.
People: I am always home.
Pastor: I am always loved.
People: I am with Creator.
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN For the Beauty of the Earth GTG#14
SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE Goodness is Stronger than Evil (Desmond Tutu) GTG#750
POSTLUDE It Is Well with My Soul –arranged for violin and accompaniment by K. L. Phillips—Luke Gilmore, violin
A WESTPORT WARM WELCOMING!!
• Welcome to our worship leader and preacher for the day, Carla Libby Gentry, a native of Northern Minnesota and graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Gentry has served on the national staff of the PCUSA before moving back to the Midwest with her husband Anthony, who is a native of Independence, MO, to care for aging relatives. Carla has served two churches in the Presbytery. Ruskin Heights and Belton. Gentry’s current ministry is as a hospice chaplain for Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, where she has served for the past 9 years. Carla has served on many Presbytery Committees and Commissions and is currently serving on the Commission on Ministry. When she is not working, Carla enjoys the company of her husband Anthony, their cat Dolly, and being outside in nature.
· Bread, Buns, Fruit, Meat, Peanut Butter, cheese are alays needed for our INTERRUPT HUNGER work.
· WESTPORT SHOWERS happen on Sundays & Thursday nights. Men’s underwear needed. Men’s and Women’s shoes. Backpacks!
· Children’s Sunday School is in the redesigned 2nd floor Children’s Space, teaching & learning emphasize Care for the Earth, Sky and all God’s creation. 11:00 a.m. Teachers are focusing on care for the earth in our Sunday School classes.
· We praise God for Stan Morgan’s art exhibit! 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. 20 minutes
· Rev. Scott passed away unexpectedly while on vacation in Colorado this weekend. There will be an emergency session meeting in the fellowship hall following today’s service. Prayers to his wife, daughters, family, friends and colleagues. Our hearts and our church are forever changed by his guiding light.