The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury

June 6, 2021
Second Sunday after Pentecost
9:30 am


Holy God, Creator of Life, you call us out of our dark places, offering us the grace of new life. When we see nothing but hopelessness, you surprise us with the breath of your spirit. Call us out of our complacency and routines, set us free from our self-imposed bonds, and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace, In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray. Amen.

PRELUDE                   “Meditation on Beach Spring”                     Elizabeth Knope


I wait for the Lord, my soul waits.
Our hope is in God’s word.
My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning.
Our hope is in God’s word.

Click for: HYMN No. 529 “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether”


Jesus calls us to enter the joy of discipleship, the joy of following in his way.  But sin clings closely, and we struggle to respond fully to Christ’s invitation. Let us seek God’s forgiveness so that we may know more deeply the joy God intends.


God of perfect love, you continually bring forth life, transforming sadness to joy, and despair to hope. We are weak, but you are strong. Our ways are flawed, but your ways are true. We are seldom right, but you are never wrong. Forgive us, redeem us, transform us. Take away the sin that burdens us, and restore us to the people you would have us be, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Silence is observed


Relentlessly God seeks us out. With abundant grace and boundless mercy, God seeks us out. This is good news! In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!

Click for: RESPONSE  “Gloria Patria”


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                   “They Shall Soar Like Eagles”                      Laura Menzo

Owen Cunningham, flute soloist


(all children will remain in the sanctuary)


SCRIPTURE   1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord, 7 and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 Just as they have done to me,[a] from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. 9 Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

10 So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12 and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. 15 He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. 16 He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle[b] and donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to have a king over us, 20 so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

14 Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they sacrificed offerings of well-being before the Lord, and there Saul and all the Israelites rejoiced greatly.

SERMON       “So That We May Be Like Other Nations”

Dr. Ruben Rosario Rodriquez headshot

Rev. Dr. Ruben Rosario Rodriquez will be joining us for worship on Sunday morning.  Dr. Rosario is a professor of systematic theology at St. Louis University. He holds degrees from William & Mary College, Union Theological Seminary(NY), and Princeton Theological Seminary.  Ruben, originally from Puerto Rico, is married to Elizabeth Blake and they have two children: Rafe & Isabella.  Professor Rosario went to High School with Rev. Dr. Oehler in Hampton, VA.  It is a pleasure to have Ruben with us to celebrate our 300 years of ministry.

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.

Click for: HYMN No. 498  “Loaves Were Broken, Words Were Spoken”



Hear the gracious words of our Savior Jesus Christ:

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. No one who comes to me will I cast out.

This is the table of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not the table of this congregation or of any denomination or organization. It is the table of the Lord, the One who invites all to come and follow, who invites all to come and share in the feast.


Lord, it is good for us to give you thanks and praise. We thank you for creating the whole world. We thank you for your unending love for us, seen in the rainbows you place in the sky, and in the stories our faithful ancestors and prophets have placed in our hearts. We thank you for loving us despite our failures, despite our anger, despite our mistakes, and despite our doubt. We thank you for loving us broken folks so much that you sent your Beloved to be the face of that love for us, to walk with us, to teach us, to share in life with us. We thank you for sending him to the cross for us. And we thank you for raising him from the dead, to give us new life in you. We thank you for calling us together, to be the church, to pray for one another, to learn and serve together, and to witness together to your great glory. Therefore, join our voices with the choirs of angels and sinners and saints and the faithful and hopeful of every time and place in singing the glory of your name:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, how wonderful is the work of your hands! When sin had scarred the world, you entered into covenant to renew the whole creation. As a mother tenderly gathers her children, as a father joyfully welcomes his own, you embraced a people with love and filled them with a longing for a peace that would last and for a justice that would never fail. Therefore, this day we pray for peace in our world, for an end to violence and oppression, for leaders who will stand for justice, for enemies to lay down their weapons. Lord, we pray for peace for our neighbors, both near and very, very far, those who we name aloud or offer to you silently now…. (wait) …. O Lord, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, through countless generations your people hungered for the bread of freedom. From and for them you raised up Jesus, your Beloved, who healed the sick, offered life to outcasts and sinners, and with a love stronger than death, he went to the cross and rose again, opened his wide arms and offered us his spirit. So Lord, we pray now for those who are sick, those who are tired, those who are weary, those who feel left out, and those who are lonely. We pray for all those who seek you, your healing, your comfort and your love, by offering their names now, both aloud and silently…. (wait)… O Lord, hear our prayer.

God of Joy, we praise you for all the marvelous ways you are at work in our lives, in our congregation and in our community. We offer thanks for your presence in the hug of a sibling, the kiss of a partner, the cuddle of a child, the snuggle of a pet, and the smile of a stranger. We offer thanks to you for all the joys in our lives, naming them aloud and silently now…. (wait)…. O Lord, hear our prayer.

Eternal God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these your fist of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit, unite us with the living Christ, that we may be one in ministry, love and witness in every place. And as this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world. We pray all this using the words you taught us, saying:


Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.


On the night before our Lord Jesus died, he took bread, and after giving thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, he took the cup, saying: This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.



Loving God, you have given us a share in the one bread and the one cup and made us one with Christ. Help us to follow your way, and to bring your salvation and joy to all the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.



With gratitude for God’s faithfulness and with thanksgiving for all that we have received, let us bring our gifts to God.




O God, with faith and hope, we offer these gifts. Use them, even as you use us, to accomplish your purposes in Jesus Christ, the head of the church and the Lord of our lives. Amen.

Click for: HYMN No. 541 “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”


Let us go from this place trusting that God is with us and for us in every place.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus, the love of God and the companionship of the Holy Spirit be with you and abide with you this day and forevermore. Amen.