Reformed and always reforming– caught by surprise

Reformed and always reforming– caught by surprise

Westport Presbyterian Church — October 29, 2023 11 a.m.
Reformation Sunday Worship Service

(Video will be posted LIVE on the church’s FB page at 11am and then cross-posted here ASAP.  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: Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott Johann Walter
CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS (based on Psalm 1):

Leader: Happy are those who do not take the path that sinners tread.
People: Our delight is in the law of the Lord.
Leader: May we be like trees planted by streams of God’s living water.
People: May our lives bear good fruit, loving God and loving neighbor.

*CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God   GTG#275

Leader: Sin betrays us and our God. Repentence redeems and restores.
Let us confess our sins together:
ALL: Eternal God, your law commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Too often we prioritize our own interests above the health and welfare of others. We betray You and our best selves by living without regard for the ways our actions harm our neighbors in need and the planet entrusted to our care. Open our hearts to love. Open our minds to honestly acknowledge our role in wrongdoing. Forgive us and return us to your way of righteousness. Amen.


Leader: Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone; a new life has begun. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace. Amen.


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 each other.

SCRIPTURE READINGS: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 15-18; 1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8; Matthew 22: 34-46
CHORAL ANTHEM: Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies Kyle Johnson

Pastor: Let the words of my mouth
People: And the meditations of our hearts
Pastor: Be acceptable to You,
People: O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

MESSAGE: “Reformed and always reforming– caught by surprise!” Rev. Susan Hartley
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from the Belhar Confession – Opposing Apartheid discrimination in South Africa):

Leader: We believe: That Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another;
People: that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; That through the working of God’s Spirit it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought: one which the people of God must continually be built up to attain;
Leader: that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted;
People: that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways: in that we love one another; that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind; have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit,
Leader: work for one cause, and share one hope; together come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ;
People: together are built up to the tature of Christ, to the new humanity; together know and bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness; pray together; together serve in this world; and together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.

CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: Called as Partners in Christ’s Service   GTG#761
 Come, Bring Your Burdens to God (SING TWICE)   GTG#851

God loves us and blesses us with abundance. God also calls us to love others and be generous with all we have been given. In gratitude to God, let us present our tithes and offerings.

OFFERTORY SOLO: Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child African American spiritual, Benjamin Ruiz, tenor arr. H. T. Burleigh
                 Offering link


Holy God, these offerings are only a portion of all that you have given us. We gratefully entrust these gifts to your care and Christ’s ministry. May these gifts reflect our love for our neighbors in need; blessing others as we have been blessed. Amen.


We do not leave this sanctuary and leave God behind. God’s law is clear. We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. May this commandment be ever before us; guiding us, inspiring us, Enabling us to be Christ’s body – his hands, his feet, his heart – in this, God’s world. May the grace hope, peace, and love of God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer be with us all, now and forever. Amen.

POSTLUDE: Hymn to Joy 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, teaching & learning will emphasize Care for the Earth, Sky and all God’s creation. Sunday mornings during the 1st half of worship, beginning at 11:00 am.
• We are mourning the sudden death, August 26, of our beloved pastor REV. SCOTT MYERS. We welcome REV. SUSAN 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! Jackets, Sweatshirts, Warm Clothes for this cold weather!
• Join us for 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.
• Stan Morgan’s art exhibit continues in our church gallery spaces. Tell your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers to come and see the amazing lifetime works of this great artist and human being!
• SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, November 26 will will be having a FRIENDSGIVING POTLUCK after church. Bring a thanksgiving dish to share!


Music Director………………………………………………………………………………Emily Davidson
Office Manager………………………………………………………………………………Deanna Capps
Custodians……………………………………………..Jose (Chico) Jimenez & Marisel Myers-Aronson

CONTACT INFORMATION: (church contact)

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(All Events are at the Church, 201 Westport Rd – unless noted)

Monday, Oct. 30 4:30 p.m. FREDitation – a centering prayer experience – 20 min (Chapel)
6:30 p.m. Men’s AA Meeting (Storefront)
7:00 p.m. Called Session Meeting (Zoom)
7:30 p.m. Boy Scout Troop 60 (Westport Rising Room)
Tuesday, Oct. 31 HALLOWEEN
7:00 p.m. Irish Dance (Westport Rising Room)
Wednesday, Nov. 1 ALL SAINTS’ DAY
Thursday, Nov. 2 5:30 p.m. Westport Showers – For Women, Trans, & Gender Non-conforming (Basement)
Friday, Nov. 3 11:00 a.m. Children’s Mercy Healthy Families Group (Fellowship Room)
Saturday, Nov. 4 8:30 a.m. Living Integrated (Men’s Support Group) (Storefront)
6:30 p.m. KC English Dance (Westport Rising Room)
Sunday, Nov. 5 8-9:30 a.m. Westport Showers (Fellowship Room & Basement)
10:20 a.m. Friendship Time – coffee & snacks – before & after worship (Fellowship Hallway)
11:00 a.m. Service of the Lord’s Day: Susan Hartley, worship leader (Sanctuary)
Children’s Sunday School (Upstairs Children’s Room)
12:15 p.m. Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)

On Thursday, November 2nd, Heartland Camps and Retreat Center will begin a new tradition – an annual Day of Caring to support our fantastic ministry. We aim to raise $30,000 to support the overnight camp programs and purchase Bibles we give to all first-time overnight campers. This project was started years ago by a group of staff alums who continue to give each year to provide these customized camp Bibles, so every camper has their own copy of the Gospel. The Bible’s cost has tripled since our last order, and these funds will keep this tradition alive.

Additionally, Heartland is committed to offering top-quality summer camp programs that every family can afford. That’s why the cost of each overnight camp is subsidized by 50% through the generous support of our friends like you. We have identified several generous donors who have pledged up to $15,000 in matching donations for this event! Please join them to impact all our campers’ lives by keeping camp affordable and purchasing the next set of first-time camper Bibles.

Heartland’s Day of Caring is November 2nd, and we can only hit our target of $30,000 with your help! We will update Facebook and Instagram throughout the day and offer exciting pop-up prizes. Visit to make a difference. Remember, every dollar up to $15,000 will be matched…will you help us get there?

THANK YOU! Blessings, Rich Swartwood, Director of Development. Heartland Camps and Retreat Center


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