God is with Us in the Hard

God is with Us in the Hard

Westport Presbyterian Church—September 10, 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: Voluntary on “Forest Green”   -Jason Krug


Pastor: It is through weakness and vulnerability that we learn empathy and compassion
People: And discover our souls.
Pastor: Under the greatest adversity there exists the greatest potential for doing good,
People: Both for oneself and others.
Pastor: The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another.
People: Each time we help, or harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world.
Pastor: There comes a time when we need to stop just pulling people out of the river.
People: We need to dedicate ourselves to going upstream
Pastor: And find out why they are falling in.
People: Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
—Dali Llama and Bishop Desmond Tutu

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: What Is This Place   Glory to God #404


The concern which I lay bare before You today is:
Whatever disaffection there is between me and those who are or have been very close to me— I would seek the root or cause of such disaffection, and with the illumination of Your mind, O God, to understand it.
I give myself to Your scrutiny that, whatever there may be in me that is responsible for what has happened, I will acknowledge.
Where I have wronged or given offense deliberately or without intention, I seek a face-to-face forgiveness.
What I can undo I am willing to try; what I cannot undo, with that I seek to make my peace.
How to do these things, what techniques to use, with what spirit— for these I need and seek Your wisdom and strength, O God.
Whatever disaffection there is between me and those who are or have been very close to me, I lay bare before You.
– by the Reverend Howard Thurman from the Harvard Square Library

AFFIRMING OF HEALING, SAVING POWER OF GOD: Halle, Halle, Hallelujah! (Refrain Only, SING TWICE)   GTG #591


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 12: 1-14; Romans 13: 8-14

ANTHEM: Lift Your Light   -Mary MacDonald

SERMON: “God is with Us in the Hard”   -Rev. Jen Baer


SUNG RESPONSE TO PRAYER:   Come, Bring Your Burdens to God (SING TWICE)  GTG #851


OFFERTORY:   Open the Gates of the Temple   Phoebe C. Knapp
Sarah Baxter, alto
                 Offering link


Our attitude toward God becomes thanksgiving. Our understanding of ourselves becomes humility. Our response to our brothers and sisters is from the posture of servanthood: we incarnate and convey to them God’s mercy.
– Clarence Jordan, Cotton Patch Parables of Liberation (1976) from Sojourners

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN:   My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout   GTG #100


SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE:   Lead Me, Guide Me (refrain only, SING TWICE)   GTG #740

POSTLUDE:   Toccata on “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”  -J. Wayne Kerr


  • We are mourning the sudden death, August 26, of our beloved pastor Scott Myers. Session has invited Rev. Jennifer Baer, Stated Clerk and Resource Presbyter of Heartland Presbytery, to preach and lead worship today and Rev. Susan Wesley Hartley to preach and lead worship on September 17. 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.  Session will then 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. Smile.
  • 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!


  • FREDitationa centering prayer experience—is Monday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel (20 minutes)
  • SESSION will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Room.
  • Zoom Bible study continues this Wednesday, 13 at 6:30 p.m. We are studying the Gospel of Mark. Contact the church at info@westportpresbyterian.org if you’d like to receive the zoom link to be included.
  • WESTPORT CENTER FOR THE ARTS’ BROWN BAG CONCERT SERIES begins the Friday, Sept. 15 at 12 noon in the Sanctuary with “BRITANNIC VOYAGE – Music from England and Scotland” The Brookside String Quartet – Alex Shum, Francesca Manheim, Kent Brauninger, and Larry Figg and Thomas Aber, bass and contra alto clarinets.
  • THE GIFT OF TROOST ARTIST SHOWCASE featuring local Aspiring Black Artists (who have recieved Troost 39 Community Grants) OPENING RECEPTION is here Friday, Sept. 15 from 6-8 pm. Show runs Sept. 15-22. Monday-Friday 5-8 pm, Saturday 11am-6 pm, & Sunday 2-5 pm.


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