The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury
June 20, 2021
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Gift-giver, you call us together,
with our different gifts, our different ideas, our different tastes.
You call us together,
to share what makes us special, to build each other up, to serve each other in love.
You call us together,
knowing that we need all parts of the body if we are to be whole.
You call us together,
to sing, to pray, to listen, to speak. To be refreshed so that we can go out and serve.
You call us together in the name of the One
PRELUDE “Father Almighty” Gilbert Martin
CALL TO WORSHIP
Loud talkers and silent worriers, glad-handers and lonely wallflowers:
God gathers us together to be the Body of wonder and joy, of hope and healing.
Bystanders with hands shoved into our pockets, fraidy-cats whose feet are frozen in place:
Jesus calls us to carry grace to outsiders, to walk with all those left behind.
Kids who never offer answers in class, bashful folks whose tongues tie in knots:
The Spirit anoints us to speak up for the voiceless, to partner with the poor to discover their gifts.
CALL TO RECONCILIATION
We are afraid to join hands with others; we want to listen to those who speak falsely; we glibly offer silliness to those we love the most. Let us share with God how we have not been that Body we are made for, that God might reshape us into that holy community, even as we pray together, saying,
PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
Do we make you laugh or weep, Gracious God? We sing that we are one in your Spirit, but cannot tolerate those who disagree with us. We talk of being one Body, but fight over music or Bible versions or carpet colors. We affirm the giftedness of each person, but we heap honor on just a special few. Forgive us, Creative God, that we dismember your Body so easily. May the words of our mouths speak peace to the brokenness in our world; may the hopes of our hearts bring wonder to those in despair; and may our love embrace all who are around us, even as we have been welcomed by your grace in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Silence is observed
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Forgiven, we are filled by God’s Spirit, commissioned to be Christ’s hope, Christ’s people for the world.
Anointed, we can care for one another, weep with one another, serve one another, and live with one another. Thanks be to God. Amen. Amen.
PASSING OF THE PEACE OF CHRIST
In sharing the peace of Christ, we express the reconciliation, unity, and love that come only from God, and we open ourselves to the power of God’s love to heal our brokenness and make us agents of that love in the world. Since God has forgiven us in Christ, let us forgive one another. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you.
ANTHEM “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” M. Bevan
CHILDREN’S MESSAGE Laken Franchetti
(all children will remain in the sanctuary)
RECOGNITION OF GRADUATES
We are delighted to recognize high school graduates of Washington Township, West Deptford and Kingsway Regional, today.
It is our privilege to affirm these members of our congregation who have completed one phase of their lives and move with great expectations onto another.
High school graduates, please join us at the front of the sanctuary as your names are called.
A Liturgist reads the graduates’ names:
- Eric Campo will be attending Rowan University and will be majoring in Communications and Sports Media.
- Laken Franchetti will be attending Gettysburg College and will be have a double major in English and History with a concentration in Writing
- Aaron LeVan will be attending the University of Michigan and will be majoring in physics and engineering.
- Shelby McGovern will be joining the United States Air Force
- Megan Witherspoon will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology and will be majoring in Biomedical Science Major with Pre-Med Track.
The minister addresses the graduates:
Graduates, as you celebrate your achievements and prepare to begin new endeavors, be mindful of your grounding in faith, and of your vocation to serve God in all your life’s work and accomplishments.
Let us pray.
Gracious God, you bless your servants with many achievements. We give thanks especially for the milestones that will have attained in their upcoming graduations. As they begin new phases of their lives, may they also know your love and experience your peace in all the experiences they encounter.
Bless also the parents of these students who have raised their children and nourished them in the Christian faith. Give them strength in your continuing presence, and give them many joyful reunions with their sons and daughters who may be leaving home soon to begin new and varied ventures, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessing upon the graduates
Go out into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold 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 our God, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Presentation of Gifts
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE 1 Corinthians 12:27-31
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
SERMON Becky Schad, Second Year Student at Princeton Theological Seminary
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH The Apostles’ Creed
I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
THE COMMISSIONING OF BECKY SCHAD
God has called you to be a seminary student. Being a theological student requires energy, patience, commitment, hard work, and a heart for God’s work and God’s people. Do not enter into this responsibility easily or without thought, but joyfully and responsibly, recognizing that God always provides exactly what we need to answer God’s call in our lives.
I ask you to answer the following questions: Do you trust in Jesus Christ our Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church and through him believe in one God, Son, and Holy Spirit? —I do.
Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you? —I do.
Will you fulfill your calling in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions? —I do.
Will you be a student, leading others to know and love Jesus as Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God? —I do.
As a community of faith, will you encourage Becky, pray for her, support her, and honor her, as she seeks in deepening her knowledge of God and in preparation for ordained ministry? —We will.
ONE: (invite people to lay hands on one another) Let us pray.
God of grace, pour out your Holy Spirit on this your servant, that she may be a faithful theological student at the seminary. Give her ears to hear the Holy Spirit’s leading; Anoint her lips to speak your truth with power. In everything, give Becky the mind of Christ,
Who taught in deed as well as in word. Give her joy in the variety of work,
And a sure sense of your abiding presence for her work of ministry; Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The flowers are given in the glory and honor of God by Hazel Skinner in loving memory of Fred and Janet Bayer; and by Laken Franchetti in loving memory of Bruce Connell.
OFFERING OF TITHES & OFFERINGS
In wisdom, God provides every gift that we need to build up the church and be the body of Christ. Our Lord continually guides the church in every place by the Spirit. Help us to recognize each tool that we possess as the body God Christ that we may be genuine witnesses to the wholeness of Christ’s body. In gratitude, we offer our spiritual and financial gifts to support the ministry and mission of this congregation.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Generous Lord, though many different amounts and ways, when gathered up by you, our gifts become a food pantry, a rebuilt life, medicine for children, a caregiver to the lonely – your grace in action. In love we offer these gifts in the name of Jesus. Amen.
You are the hands and feet of God in Gloucester County. You are called to soothe suffering, to live with compassion, to build up God’s loving peace.
So, as you leave this place, how will you live?
We go from this place of worship to share the gifts we have been given. We go from this time of worship to build up the Body of Christ. We go from this holy space to carry the Holy to the world around us.
Go in love, go in peace, go with God.