Earth Day Sunday—3rd Sunday of Easter
April 23, 2023, 11:00 am
(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: Imagine—words and music by John Lennon, arr. Glenda Austin
CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS: 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.
HYMN: Touch the Earth Lightly GTG#713
CALL TO CONFESSION AND COMMITMENT
Leader: We have forgotten who we are. We have alienated ourselves from the unfolding of the cosmos. We have become estranged from the movements of the earth. We have turned our backs on the cycles of life.
People: We have forgotten who we are. We have sought only our own security. We have exploited simply for our own ends. We have distorted our knowledge. We have abused our power.
Leader: We have forgotten who we are. Now the land is barren. And the waters are poisoned. And the air is polluted.
People: We have forgotten who we are. Now the forests are dying. And the creatures are disappearing. And humans are despairing.
Leader: We ask forgiveness
People: We ask for the gift of remembering
Leader: We ask for the strength to change.
All: We have forgotten who we are.
TIME FOR SILENT MEDITATION (30 seconds, concluded by ringing of gong)
RESPONSIVE INVITATION TO ENJOY GOD’S CREATIVE GRACE: Shawnee Traveling Song—spoken
Leader: I am walking upon the earth; the earth is my mother.
People: Wherever I walk, I am home.
Leader: I am walking with the people who love me; their love surrounds me.
People: Wherever I walk, I am loved.
Leader: I am walking on the circle of Creator; Creator above, Creator below.
People: Wherever I walk, I am with Creator.
Leader: I am walking upon the earth with people who love me on the circle of Creator.
People: I am always home.
Leader: I am always loved.
People: I am with Creator.
SUNG RESPONSE: The Little Blue Top
BIBLE READINGS: Deuteronomy 11:11-12(The Message)Romans 8:19-25 (The Message)
ANTHEM: The Disciples Knew the Lord Jesus—Mark Schweizer
DIALOGUE SERMON: The Healing of Earth and Sky Jim Turner & Rev Scott
HYMN: I Am Your Mother STF#2059
PRAYER: Earth Day Prayer, Lord’s Prayer (no sung response today)
OFFERTORY: Beautiful City (from GODSPELL (2011 revival version), Stephen Schwartz; Luke Gilmore, tenor
UNISON PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Pastor: Beauty is before me, and beauty is behind me.
People: Above and below me hovers the beautiful.
Pastor: I am surrounded by it.
People: I am immersed in it.
Pastor: In my youth I am aware of it,
People: And in old age I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
Pastor: May the Beauty of The One Who is Everywhere Make our giving God’s holy grail.
HYMN: We Are Marching in the Light of God (1. marching, 2. dancing, 3. praying, 4. singing) GTG#853
BENEDICTION (with drum)
Leader: May the sound of the drum awaken you to your deep soul!
People: May the drumbeat signal a global awakening!
Leader: May the drumbeat signal a global awakening to the earth’s voice.
People: May you love the earth as you love yourself.
Leader: May you love Earth and Sky Maker as you love yourself.
People: Let the natural world’s voice calm you and comfort You.
Leader: Help you understand how deeply you are loved by Earth and Sky Maker.
SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE: We Are Marching in the Light of God (Siyahamba stanza) GTG#853
POSTLUDE: The Unclouded Day—Josiah Kelley Alwood, arr. Joel Raney
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY NEWS
- Bread, Buns and Fruit are needed for the INTERRUPT HUNGER work we are doing.
- Thanks to all who are generously giving to Westport Showers and Clothes Washing/Drying work. Thanks to everyone making WESTPORT SHOWERS happen on Sundays and on Thursday nights. You make space for grace! We need men’s pants in all sizes!
- Children’s Sunday School has restarted! During worship with teachers 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 start time.
- The #GoodTrouble KC team will be meeting with two Majors in the KCPD soon, and, we hope, the lawyer for the Board of Police Commissioners—and the leadrers of the Fraternal Order of Police once again. We are discussing and thinking together with policing leaders about 1) How to hire and promote more Black and Brown police officers, especially women, 2) How to achieve an audit that will change what Police Chief Stacey Graves herself has called “the good ol’ boy” culture in the KCPD, 3) Working for Local control 4) Police leaders committing to common sense gun reform and ban on sale of assault weapons. Karen Daniels (family member of first Black police chief of KCK, Boston Daniels), Brother John Anderson, Doug Kinney of St Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Stan Morgan, Rev Scott, Marian Thomas are the catalysts for this DIALOGUE experimental method of social change and transformation.
- We are committed to Steptoe Lives in an effort to honor and preserve WHAT remains of the historic Black Westport community of Steptoe. A major event now being planned is Juneteenth in Steptoe, on the Sunday afternoon, June 18, 4 pm, the day before the new national holiday. Events will be held in the neighborhood (parade with drill team), at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church (music and Dancing Word) and here at Westport Presby (film) Want to join in the effort? Stan Morgan, Rev Scott and Mary Jo Draper, our church’s electronic newsletter publisher, and Taylor Brown, Westport Center for the Arts Executive Director, are participating so far.
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.
- Following a friendly, well conceived, one hour presentation by Rev. Carlton Johnson (spiritual leader in our national church, African American leader of the Vital Congregations Initiative, 20 year music leader in churches)—our church elders decided to commit to this 3 year initiative, which we hope will help us meet the challenges of this post pandemic time. Illustrations of VCI thinking: 1. Pay attention to the needs of people walking in the door. These needs are holy. 2) A church’s vitality or lack of vitality is the community’s assessment, not the church’s self assessment. This initiative starts with Session, and, in time, includes the congregation.
- Rev Scott will be on vacation this week. Call the church office if you have any pastoral needs. A pastor will be available. Next Sunday’s service, a service of Singing and Spiritual Readings that express a spirituality of liberation of women, LGBTQ leaders, John “GoodTrouble” Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer –“I’m sick & tired of being sick and tired!”—will be led by the Quartet and Music Director. Siyahamba! Don’t miss it!