May 24, 2020 — Seventh Sunday of Easter

PRELUDE

Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Schuyler Thornton, Flute 

CHRISTOPH GLUCK

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord.
O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens; listen, God sends
out God's voice, the Lord's mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel; and whose
power is in the skies.
Awesome is God in the sanctuary, the God of Israel; the Lord
gives power and strength to God's people. Blessed be God! 
Psalm 68:32–35

 

GATHERING HYMN

Joyful, Joyful

arr. SHAIMAN/GOODMAN

 

Joyful, Joyful, Lord we adore Thee
God of glory, Lord of Love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Hail Thee as the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sins and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light of day.

 

Joyful, Joyful, Lord we adore Thee
An' in my life, I put none before Thee
Cuz since I was a youngster I came to know
That you was the only way to go.
So I had to grow an' come to an understandin'
That I'm down with the King so now I'm demandin'
That you tell me who you down with, see
Cus all I know is that I'm down with G-O-D
You down with G-O-D? (Yeah, you know me)

 

Come and join the chorus, the mighty, mighty chorus
Which the morning stars begun
The Father of Love is reigning o'er us
And (By the way), What have you done for Him lately?

 

He watches over everything, so we sing
Joyful, Joyful, Lord we adore Thee...

 

We need you, come right away
Today, we need you, I'm here to say

 

Fill us with the Light of day.  

 

CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF GOD'S GRACE

 

CALL TO CONFESSION

God, we humble ourselves before you. The burden of our sin is too heavy to carry and too big to hide. We rejoice in your promise of mercy and forgiveness. Hear us as we name that which we no longer want to have dominion over us. Hear us and set us free. 

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord, you pray that your followers will be one as you and the One who sent you are one, and yet we divide into factions, demonize those with whom we disagree and fail to show the world we are yours through our love of one another. We are to be your witnesses to the ends of the earth, revealing your mercy and enacting your compassion. Instead we keep silent when we should speak and speak when we ought to remain silent. 

Forgive us for our failure to take risks for your sake. 

Grant us your grace and embolden us to share it, forgiving others as we have been forgiven. 

(Silent prayer)

Amen. 

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

Friends, Christ restores, supports, strengthens and establishes us. Believe the good news, through Jesus Christ we are forgiven! Thanks be to God. 
1 Peter 5:10

 

SPECIAL MUSIC                                              "Meditation" from Thais                                           JULES MASSENET
                                                                          Schuyler Thornton, Flute

 

PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION

God, we cast our anxieties on you, knowing that you care for us. Send your Spirit to open our hearts, settle our minds, and grant us discernment. May your living Word come alive in us. Amen. 

 

SCRIPTURE

Acts 1:6–14

So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. 

 

HOMILY

 

HYMN NO. 246                                                            Christ is Alive!                                                                 TRURO

 

 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

New life in Christ takes shape in a community in which people know that God loves and accepts them in spite of what they are. They therefore accept themselves and love others, knowing that no one has any ground on which to stand, except God's grace. Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

 

PRAYER OF THE PEOPLE

Loving God, knowing that Christ prays for us, we join our hearts and voices in his prayers for the world. We come before you seeking to ask the right questions, discern your answers and do your will. We cast our anxieties on you, knowing you care for us. 

Merciful God, knowing that our ways are not your ways, we humble ourselves and ask for your guidance. As we struggle with how to navigate these turbulent and frightening times, we pray that you would help us to make choices that glorify you and demonstrate our love for our neighbors. Help us to look to the interest of others as we begin to venture from our homes again. Do not let us be a stumbling block to the well-being of the vulnerable and weaker among us. 

Gracious God, knowing that you refuse to leave us alone, that you run out to meet us when we make the slightest turn toward you, that you rejoice whenever a lost one is found, we pray for those in greatest need of your strength and courage. Comfort those who mourn. Bind up the brokenhearted. Feed the hungry. Set the captives free. Enliven us with the Spirit so that we may be the light and salt we are called to be in your world. 

Almighty God, knowing that you can do abundantly more than we can ever hope or imagine, we are bold to ask you for the desires of our hearts. You know our deepest needs before we even name them. You send your Son that we might have abundant life and our joy might be complete. Resting in your promises, we set aside our worry and open our mouths in praise. Help us to give thanks in all circumstances, confident that you hold us in the palm of your hand and will never let us go. 

Generous God, knowing that there is no end to your goodness, we pray to do your will, no matter where it takes us or what it requires of us. You give us the power of the Holy Spirit to be your witnesses to the ends of the earth, Free us from whatever prevents us from being welcoming, generous and loving. Make us one in our service to our Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen. 

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

 

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

 

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen. 

 

INVITATION TO OFFERING

How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need? Remembering God's great love for the world, let us offer our lives to the Lord. 1 John 3:16–17

 

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.

 

OFFERTORY                                                            Ashokan Farewell                                                       JAY UNGAR
                                                                              Schuyler Thornton, Flute

 

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

Gracious God, often our anxieties and fear overwhelm our desire to trust you. We give in to worry and suppress the Spirit's urging to be generous and open-hearted. But today, in faith, we offer you these resources, knowing you will take them, bless them, multiply them and use them to meet the world's needs. May this offering help ease the pain of those wondering if there really is enough for everyone. We thank you for the ability to participate in your life-giving work. Today, on Memorial Day weekend, we especially thank you and honor the sacrifice of those in our society who have given their utmost, even their lives, to keep us safe so that we can have peaceful and abundant lives. In Christ's name we pray. Amen. 

 

CLOSING HYMN NO. 450                                          Be Thou My Vision                                                      SLANE

 

1 Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

 

2 Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee on

 

3 High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heav'n's Sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

 

CHARGE AND BENEDICTION

Go out into the world in peace. Have courage! Hold fast to what is good. Return no one evil for evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, help the suffering. Honor all people. Love and serve the Lord your God, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Jesus Christ, that all may come to know and experience God's love and peace through you. Amen. 

 

POSTLUDE                                                                Hymn to the Fallen                                         JOHN WILLIAMS

 

Thank you to those who participated in the creation of this worship service. 

Joel Chupp
Gracie DeLollis 
Pastor Enikő Ferenczy 
Ken Shafer 
Barbara Tartir 
Pong Thiemmedh 
Schuyler Thornton
Bill Weiss 
Cheryl Weiss 

 

*The prayers were adapted from Rev. Jill Duffield, editor of the Presbyterian Outlook

 

Schuyler Thorntonflute, joined the OLO orchestra in 2019. She recently played for the Off-Broadway revival of No Strings. Schuyler was principal flute and orchestra manager at the College Light Opera Company for four seasons, and has performed with Rockbridge Symphony, Waynesboro Symphony, Sewanee Music Festival, Rutgers Opera Theatre, and Southern Virginia Opera. She was a featured performer at the NY, NJ, and WI Flute Fairs, and is treasurer of the NJ Flute Society. An active teacher, she has published several articles on pedagogy in Flute Talk and The Instrumentalist, and is on faculty at Rutgers Community Arts. Raised in Allentown, NJ, Schuyler earned her BM in performance and BA in government from Lawrence University, her MM in performance from James Madison University, and will receive her DMA in performance in December 2020 under the tutelage of Bart Feller at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts. 
Recent Sermons
Recent Newsletters
Sign Up For Updates

Give Now

Westminster accepts electronic donations through the Presbyterian Mission Exchange