In Person & Livestream Worship Service
Westport Presbyterian Church—September 24, 2023 11 a.m.
(A Unique Place and Space on the Planet Earth)
Little Sparrows, Paris, Jill Freedman, USA
(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: Partita on Christus, der ist mein Leben, P. 376 Johann Pachelbel
CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS:
Leader: It is through weakness and vulnerability that we learn empathy and compassion
People: And discover our souls.
Leader: Under the greatest adversity there exists the greatest potential for doing good,
People: Both for oneself and others.
Leader: 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.
Leader: 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
Leader: And find out why they are falling in.
People: Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
—Dali Llama and Bishop Desmond Tutu
*CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: All Who Love and Serve Your City GTG#351
CALL TO CONFESS OUR WEARINESS, DISCOURAGEMENT, DESPAIR, THEN COMMIT TO TRANSCEND THESE SELF DEFEATING MINDSETS:
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 universe whose 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
SUNG RESPONSE CELEBRATING GOD’S GRACE: Goodness Is Stronger than Evil GTG#750
PASSING OF PEACE:
Leader: The grace, peace, love and joy of Jesus Christ be with you!
People: And also with you!
Leader: Let us share the peace of Christ with one another.
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Matthew 20:1-16; Philippians 1:12-19, 25; Jonah 3:10-4:11
CHORAL ANTHEM: Be Thou My Vision Richard Shephard
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION:
Pastor: May the words of my mouth
People: And the meditations of our hearts
Pastor: Be acceptable to You,
Unison: O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.
MESSAGE: “Let God Be God” – Rev. Susan Hartley
CONGREGATION HYMN: Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound GTG#649
SUNG PREPARATION FOR PRAYER: Come, Bring Your Burdens to God (SING TWICE) GTG#851
PASTORAL PRAYER AND LORD’S PRAYER
OFFERTORY: Dona Nobis Pacem The Westport Choir
RESPONSIVE PRAYER OF DEDICATION:
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 That we’re going to be good servants of God
Leader: If we’re not whole inside ourselves. Amen.
– Michelle Obama
A WESTPORT WARM WELCOMING!!
• We are mourning the sudden death, August 26, of our beloved pastor REV. SCOTT MYERS. We welcome REV. SUSAN WESLEY HARTLEY who is leading our worship service today.
• 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, 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!
• 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!
• FREDitation—a centering prayer experience—is Monday, Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel (20 minutes)
• ZOOM BIBLE STUDY (meets every other week) continues this Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. We are studying the Gospel of Mark. Contact the church at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to receive the zoom link to be included.
• STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE meets on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the church 6 p.m.