The Promise of Easter

The Promise of Easter

Easter Sunday! Celebration of Jesus’ Timely Resurrection!
April 9, 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: Toccata—anon. Italian, 18th Century

Pastor: Christ rises while earth slumbers.
People: Christ rises where hope has died.
Pastor: Christ rises to those who fear the night.
People: Rekindles faith that once burned bright.
Pastor: Christ is risen. Christ is present.
People: Let Christ’s followers sustain the cheer.
Pastor: Let the world confirm the rumor.
People: Christ is present. God is here. (adapted from Shirley Erena Murray hymn text)

HYMN: Jesus Christ is Risen Today   GTG#232

Pastor: Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of people and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.
People: We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Pastor: We may have all come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
People: Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
Pastor: Almost always, the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better. We must use our time creatively.
People: Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Come into the peace of all the Creator’s beings Who do not burden their lives With forethought of grief and loss.
Here in this space and this time, Rest in the Grace of God’s Love. And be free of the sins which so closely cling. Amen.

HYMN: I Know the Lord Has Laid His Hands on Me STF #2139
BIBLE READING: John 20:1-18 Josh Stark
HYMN: Because You Live, O Christ GTG#249
BIBLE READING Mark 16:1-8 Josh Stark
ANTHEM: Alleluia, Amen—Thomas Norris

Pastor: May the words of my mouth
People: And the meditations of our hearts
Pastor: Be acceptable to you, O Lord
People: Our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen.

SERMON The Promise of Easter
HYMN: Christ Has Risen, Alleluia GTG#251
Easter Prayer Merged with Matthew 25 Prayer, Lord’s Prayer, Sung Response
HYMN: Be Not Afraid (sing twice) GTG#243
OFFERTORY: Alleluja—W. A. Mozart, Sarah Baxter, alto
                 Offering link


The message of Easter is that you can kill the messenger, But you cannot kill the message. You can crucify the Kingdom of God Communicator. But you cannot kill the Kingdom of God. You can try to silence the Beloved Community. But it will rise again with a stronger voice. Good Friday does not have the last word. Let us dedicate our giving to the reliable promise of Resurrection. Amen.

HYMN: Over My Head STF#2124
Over My Head (refrain) STF#2124
POSTLUDE: Fanfare—Jacques Lemmens

Bread, water, fruit, sandwich meat are always needed for the INTERRUPT HUNGER work we are doing Thanks to all who have been generously giving to this great work and to Westport Showers and Clothes Washing/Drying work. Thanks to everyone making WESTPORT SHOWERS happen this morning and people giving shoes, clothes, hats, coats! You make space for grace!

Today marks the first 1st Children’s Sunday School since the pandemic began. During worship with teachers in the redesigned 2nd floor Children’s Space, the teaching and 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 KCMO Board of Police Commissioner Dawn Kramer on April 18. 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) Committing to common sense gun reform and ban on sale of assault weapons….and more. Stan Morgan, Rev Scott, Marian Thomas, Karen Daniels (family member of first Black police chief of KCK, Boston Daniels), Brother John Anderson, Doug Kinney of St Elizabeth’s Catholic Church 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.

Thanks to all who supported the original Black History Play Only the Wounds and Weapons Have Changed by Jacqee Gafford and Rev Scott Myers at the Just Off Broadway Theater, total of 9 performances. We met James Baldwin and Beauford Delaney, Dr. Howard Thurman, Hazel Scott and Marian Anderson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Viola Liuzzo and Eleanor Roosevelt, Zinga and Fatima (recently stolen from West Africa), plus Kansas Citians Lucille Bluford and Leon Jordan. Best ticket sales ever for one of our plays as attendance grew in last two weekends.

FREDitation, a centering prayer experience has started on Mondays, 4:30 p.m. 20 minutes. Come and try out this spiritual practice that honors the name of the late Fred Culver.

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.


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