June 21, 2020 — Third Sunday After Pentecost (Father's Day)

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

The Spirit gathers us into one community. 
We hear the good news: the reign of God has come near.
The Spirit baptizes us into a new creation.
Come, Holy Spirit, wash us clean from fear, greed, and division.
The Spirit ignites our imaginations with visions of true freedom.
Empower us, reforming Spirit, so we speak and live words of truth and life. 

 

GATHERING HYMN NO. 482                                     Baptized in Water                                                BUNESSAN

 

CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF GOD'S GRACE

CALL TO CONFESSION

We struggle daily with that human tendency to always do wrong, say hurtful things, turn our back to others. But God will never hold our sins against us or our foolish nature. Let us confess to our God, who frees us forever from judgement. 

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

In baptism, we are promised new life, Spirit of grace, yet we continue to focus on those old ways which are so comfortable and seductive. You assure us of our value in your sight and promise to never abandon us. Yet we act out of a spirit of timidity and not courage. We live as if our discipleship does not have life or death consequences for ourselves and for others. We keep silent when we should speak and say much that ought not ever leave our lips. 

Forgive us, we pray, for the times we allowed injustice to go unchecked and inequity to persist without even a word of protest. In your mercy forgive what we have done and left undone. Give us the strength to take up whatever task you give us, and the faith to be willing to lose our lives for others, so we might find life forever with you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

This is the good news: God hears our prayers, our cries, our hearts. And, in Jesus Christ, we receive new life. We are free, free to walk in the Light of the Lord. 

So, this is what we will do. We will open our hearts to God's grace; we will live as people who have died to sin and who live for Christ. Amen. 

 

PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION

 

SCRIPTURE                                                                Matthew 10:26–39

26"So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 

32"Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. 

34"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36and one's' foes will be members of one's own household. 

37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 

 

SERMON                                                         Piercing Words of Truth                                             Dr. Enikő Ferenczy

 

HYMN NO. 693                                                    Though I May Speak                                                GIFT OF LOVE

1 Though I may speak with bravest fire,
and have the gift to all inspire,
and have not love, my words are vain,
as sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

 

2 Though I may give all I possess,
and striving so my love profess,
but not be given by love within, 
the profit soon turns strangely thin.

 

3 Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control;
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed. 

 

PRAYER OF THE PEOPLE

Holy One,

As we continue to navigate the unfamiliar waters of a pandemic and the all too familiar storms of long entrenched inequity, we admit we are afraid. We name our deepest anxieties before you, knowing that you know them before we speak them. You tell us that even the hairs on our heads are counted and therefore we pour out our hearts before you, trusting not only that you will hear our cries, but that you will answer them. 

Hear our cries on behalf of the oppressed and the exploited... let justice roll down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Hear our cries of lament on behalf of those whose losses are too many to name and too heavy to continue to carry... give to them your easy yoke and your light burden. 

Hear our cries of grief as we join with our siblings who mourn... comfort them until they see you face-to-face and crying and death are no more.

Hear our cries for the sick and suffering, the lonely and the shunned... heal them, restore them, help us to seek them out and bring them home in your name.

Hear our cries for those we love, those we are called to love, those we find it difficult to love... grant us your Spirit of strength and wisdom so that we can live in the commandment we know, the greatest commandment to love you with all we have and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

Breathe on us now, Breath of Life, assuring us of your presence with us and your power working through us. In confidence that perfect love casts out fear, we commit to seeking to live with unafraid faith, proclaiming boldly the good news of Jesus Christ that will set us all free. May it be so. Amen. 

 

INVITATION TO OFFERING

Your faithful stewardship makes our continued ministries at Westminster possible. We invite you to mail your gifts to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 353 E. Pine St, Wooster, OH 44691, Attn: Financial Secretary. 

 

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

We offer our gifts to you, as well as our lives, Loving God, so they might find their way to those who need your grace, your hope, your joy, and your peace in their lives. Amen. 

 

CLOSING HYMN NO. 339                                       Lift Every Voice and Sing                            LIFT EVERY VOICE

 

BENEDICTION

 

Notes: Prayer of confession and Prayer of the people adapted from Jill Duffield. 

 

Thank you to those who contributed to this worship service: Rich Drushal, Josie Drushal, Ali Sloan, Avery Sloan, JW Sloan. 

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