A Drama & Spirituality Message

A Drama & Spirituality Message

In Person & Livestream Worship Service—a Service to Seeking Souls!
Westport Presbyterian Church—The Phoenix is Rising!—July 16, 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:  Rondeau: Les Baricades Mistérieuses—François Couperin

It is not known why Couperin titled this piece “The Mysterious Barricades”. However, some musicologists posit that this may be a metaphor for the “thin places” between the physical and spiritual worlds.


Leader: For Christ Light guiding! For Holy Spirit Bird descending!
People: For emerging miracles— glad surprising!
Leader For sky circling and streams singing!
People: For four leggeds talking and two leggeds walking!
Leader: Winged ones flying! Hopping ones hopping!
People: All creatures crawling, creeping, paddling and diving!
Leader For earth’s holy places! For soul’s silent spaces! People: And all God’s surprising, healing graces! Leader: For Jesus’ parables and Sister Mary’s singing prayer! People: For Miriam’s dancing and for Martin’s unfinished dream! Leader: For the church’s now needed, New Reformation,People: And mystic Howard Thurman’s rhythmic meditations!
Leader: Let us all, in our minds’ imagination
People Gather in timely preparation!
Leader: It’s a Holy Ghost liberation celebration!

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: Somebody’s Knockin’ at Your Door  GTG#728

—Taylor Brown

Leader: I now know that God is able!
People: To give us interior resources to face life’s storms.
Leader: Let this affirmation be our ringing cry.
People: It will give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future.
Leader: It will give our tired feet new strength as we strive toward the city of freedom.
People: When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds,
Leader: And our nights become darker than a hundred midnights—
People: Let us remember that there is a Power in the universewhose name is God.
Leader: God is able to make a way out of no way,
People: And transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
Leader: This is our hope for becoming new persons.
People: This is our mandate for seeking to make a better world.
Leader This is why we keep returning to answer the call to worship a God
People: Who will be at our side forever. Amen.
–Dr King, from the sermon “Our God is Able” after the family’s home was bombed

BLESSED ASSURANCE OF GOD’S ACTIVE GRACE:  Halle, Halle, Hallelujah (sing twice)   GTG#591
BIBLE READINGS: Psalm 119: 105-112 Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
ANTHEM  Prayer of Hildegard—text, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179); music, Barbara Wallace

Fire of the Spirit, life of the lives of creatures,
Spiral of sanctity, bond of all natures;
Glow of charity, lights of clarity,
Taste of sweetness to sinners, be with us and hear us.
Composer of all things, light of all the risen,
Key of salvation, release from the dark prison:
Hope in disquietness, breath of consciousness,
Joy in glory, our Savior, be with us and hear us.

Pastor: May the words of our mouths
People: And the meditations of our hearts All: Be acceptable in Your sight, Our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

MESSAGE:  A Drama and Spirituality Message including the Voices Of Dr. Howard Thurman—pioneering entertainer Hazel Scott—and opera and spirituals superstar, Marian Anderson (from the stage play Only the Wounds and Weapons Have Changed by Jacquee Gafford and Scott Myers)—Rev Scott and Taylor Brown
CONGREGATIONAL HYMNHow Firm a Foundation   GTG#463
SUNG PREPARATION FOR PRAYER:   Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying  GTG#469
Merged Pastoral Prayer/Matthew 25 Prayer, Lord’s Prayer
OFFERTORY: How Beautiful—Twila Paris, arr. Lloyd Larson Luke Gilmore, tenor

Leader: Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church. People: He was out there fighting injustice, Leader: And speaking truth to power every single day.People: He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption Leader: To the least, the last, and the lost. People: And our charge is to find Him Leader: Everywhere, every day by how we live our lives. People: So we can’t fool ourselves into thinking Leader: That we’re going to be good servants of God Leader: If we’re not whole inside ourselves. Amen. — –Michelle Obama

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: We Are Marching in the Light of God   GTG#853  (Marching, singing, praying, dancing)
SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE:  We Are Marching in the Light of God   GTG#853 (Siyahamba stanza)
POSTLUDE:   Träumerei, op. 15, no. 7: Robert Schumann



• Welcome back to our consummate Livestream Production Manager, Deanna Capps.
• Welcome to Ms. Taylor Brown who is joining Rev Scott in leading today’s worship service. Taylor is Executive Director of Westport Center for the Arts. She also works full time for CarMax, was for some time Executive Director of Arts Tech downtown, also the leader of Kids Team Up for Art; and Taylor is an artist in her own right, with a special commitment to fabric arts.
• We are saddened by the death of Roy Fester. Roy was a beloved member here, an inspiration for Westport Showers, a friendly spirit to all. A Reflection and Celebration of his life will be scheduled sometime in the near future. “God bless your soul, Roy!”
• Bread, Buns, Fruit, Water, Meat, Peanut Butter are needed for our INTERRUPT HUNGER work. WESTPORT SHOWERS happen on Sundays & Thursday nights.We need men’s pants in all sizes! Men’s shoes!Shorts! Thanks to all who are making this happen all the time!
• Children’s Sunday School is taking a break until August 6th 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. On Easter Sunday the Westport Rising Children’s Sunday School was re-born after the pandemic! Teachers are focusing on care for the earth in our Sunday School classes.
• 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. Smile.
• FREDitation—a Centering Prayer experience is at 4:30 p.m. here in the sanctuary.
• ZOOM WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY, 6:30 P.M. We are studying the Gospel of Mark and have reached the Holy Week narrative. Ask Rev Scott for the Zoom link. 75 minutes.



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