First Presbyterian Church of Wappingers Falls
Today’s worship service is provided by the former Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly, the Reverend Ciny Kohlmann. You are invited to join this worship service with Presbyterians all over the country and celebrate our connectedness today. Please note that this is a communion service. You will want to have communion elements ready prior to beginning worship.
WE GATHER IN THE LORD’S NAME PRELUDE Rev. Dr. Burns Stanfield “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”
CALL TO WORSHIP Rev. Joseph Chu One: Come to me, Jesus says. All who are weary, All: Come to me. One: And you, who carry heavy loads, All: Come to me. One: For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. All: Let us draw near to Jesus, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. GtG 183 Come to Me O Weary Traveler:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb2L2YIR1LQ
PRAYER OF THE DAY Rev. Chu O Lord our God, we give you thanksfor the grace that is at work in usthrough the gift of our baptism—the sign of your threefold name, the communion of your faithful people,the promise of your glorious realm. By the power of your Holy Spirit, poured out upon us in baptism,let your grace and peace grow in us, until we gather at your heavenly throneto give you thanks and praise forever;through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
HYMN “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise ”Ruling Elder William McConnell (Lyrics) Immortal, Invisible, God Only WiseImmortal, invisible, God only wise,in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might:thy justice, like mountains high soaring above;thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.To all, life though givest, to both great and small.In all life thou livest, the true life of all.We blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree,then wither and perish; but naught changest thee.Thou reignest in glory; thou dwellest in light.Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight.All praise we would render; O help us to see’tis only the splendor of light hideth thee
CONFESSION AND PARDON Ruling Elder Luci Duckson-Bramble
Written by the Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell, 6-10-2020PRAYER OF CONFESSIONOne: Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.Lord, hear my voice.Let your ears be attentiveto my cry for mercy. (Psalm 130:1–2)
All: When I fall on my knees,with my face to the rising sun,O Lord, have mercy on me.One: O God, we make this confession in your presenceand in the presence of those whom we have sinned against.We confess that we have broken your community by what we have done,and by what we have left undone.Through long years of neglect and denialwe have perpetuated brokenness through our inaction.We say, “I wasn’t there” or “I wasn’t alive then” or “You cannot blame me.”All: When I fall on my knees,with my face to the rising sun,O Lord, have mercy on me.One: We confess that we have benefited from a broken communitywithout acknowledging our own complicity.We claim that the acts of past generations have nothing to do with us.We say, “That was then,”yet we stand on the shoulders of those who went before,those who made excuses for inaction,enforced separation,and participated in death.All: When I fall on my knees,with my face to the rising sun,O Lord, have mercy on me.One: We confess that we have reinforced a broken community.Even as we celebrate that we are created in your image,our inherent racism denies that Black and Brown people are created in your image.Because we have consistently violated the sacred bonds of your covenant, O God,we now confess and reject the sin of systemic racism.We have sinned against you and your children.All: When I fall on my knees,with my face to the rising sun,O Lord, have mercy on me.One: We confess that we have perpetuated a broken community,when your covenant, O God is with all people.We have perpetuated a broken covenant by our silence,our fearfulness, and our helplessness as we enjoy our privilege.This day we say the names of those we have sinned against:Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin,and far too many others, whose names we say in the silence of our own hearts.All: When I fall on my knees,with my face to the rising sun,O Lord, have mercy on me.
One: We give you thanks and praise, O God,
that you do not hold our sin against us. We pray for your forgiveness.
We pray for the forgiveness of those whom we have wronged
generation after generation even up to this day.
Through your gift of Jesus Christ, we declare today
that we reject the sin of racism and will commit our lives to ending evil.
We will live as you would have us live:
as people baptized into a covenant community of grace and love.
All: You have shown us what is good.
And what do you, O Lord, require of us?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with you
all the days of our lives. (Micah 6:8, paraphrased)
When I fall on my knees,
with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.
MOMENT FOR SILENT CONFESSION
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
One: God’s compassion is over all of creation; God’s mercy covers us
and gives us new life.
All: Thanks be to God! In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, gloria, alleluia, alleluia!
THE WORDPRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION Rev. Cindy Kohlmann
you show us the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy.
Speak to us now
as the Scripture is read and proclaimed,
that we may know your presence
and be filled with gladness in our hearts. Amen.
Psalm 145:8–20, New Revised Standard Version
One: The Word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
SERMON Rev. KohlmannBased on Psalm 145:8-19
Preached by the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann
The description of who God is in this Psalm is one that I know that I have
returned to on more than one occasion. “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow
to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” I keep that description of who God is
close to me, especially in the days when I feel like I need a little more mercy and
steadfast love. In the days when I’m sure that my actions or my words do more
to merit God’s anger than God’s grace.
These words that describe the One who has called us, the One that we know
through Jesus, these words are comforting to us. But as I read them, I think that
perhaps they are meant to also be challenging to us.
After all, we know, we believe, we profess that we, humankind, has been created
in God’s image. Each one of us bears that divine mark in the very depths of who
we are. Our God, who has breathed breath into our lungs, put that fingerprint on
So if these words describe who God is, aren’t they also describing, at least in
part, who we are meant to be? If this is who God is, gracious and merciful, slow
to anger and abounding in steadfast love, then isn’t that part of who God is
imprinted upon us? Upon our deepest selves?
It is not enough to give thanks for God’s mercy and love. We are also meant to
live into that image which is woven into who we are.
So what would it mean for us, as followers of Jesus Christ, to claim these words
as part of the divine image that lives in us? What would it mean for us to begin
to apply these words to our lives? To our words? To our actions?
Instead of simply finding comfort in the fact that the One who is Creator of
heaven and earth is merciful and gracious and slow to anger and abounding in
steadfast love, what if we could begin to say that of one another?
Across this body of Christ that spans the earth, what if we could begin to say of
one another: we do indeed know they are Christians by their love, the steadfast
love that endures forever, that is the very image of the love God has for the
I think you might see where I’m going with this. This whole Psalm is a psalm of
praise for who God is and how God acts and how God cares for God’s creation.
This whole psalm is leading us to raise our voices in gratitude and thanksgiving,
in awe for God’s majesty, for God’s provision, for God’s care.
But if the divine image of God that is a thumbprint on our hearts and souls, if
that is meant to help us live in a way that reflects that image, then I would say
the words of the psalm giving praise for all of God’s works are also meant as a
call to us.
We are the hands and feet of Christ. We are the body of Christ here on earth. We
are the ones who are told to love God with all of who we are and to love our
neighbors as ourselves. We are the ones tasked with bringing God’s kingdom
where all are fully welcome, here on earth.
And so these words in this psalm extolling God’s creation, praising God’s
majesty, are also words that call us, the church, the body of Christ, to action.
“All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless
you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, tell of your power to make
known to all people your mighty deeds and the glorious splendor of your
kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures
throughout all generations.”
Now, my friends, as followers of Jesus, we long for the day when God’s
kingdom will be fully established here on earth, and in fact, in just a little while,
we will pray together with languages from across this world for that very thing.
Thy will be done, thy kingdom come, on earth. We know, we know that in order
for this beautiful kingdom where glory reigns eternal, in order for this beautiful
place where all are gathered in, in order for that to come to pass, we, we are the
ones who are to be at work.
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Pray therefore to
the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the harvest field.” Who do you think
Jesus meant? Us! We are the workers meant to do God’s will and establish
God’s beloved, eternal, never-ending kingdom here on earth.
It’s not to be some far-off thing, it’s not supposed to be something we only see
when we die, because God created this world and called it not just good, but
very good. God created this world so that people may have abundant life here
The fact that that abundant life is out of reach for millions across this planet is
not God’s design. No. That is our work. And because that is our work, because
that is the way we divide this beautiful planet, because of the way we decide
who gets what, because that has been our work, because we are the ones who
have put these systems and structures into place, that press so many down
while lifting just a few up, because that is what we have done for generations, it
is also our work to undo that.
“Is not this the fast I choose,” the prophet Isaiah speaks in God’s voice. “Is not
this the fast I choose, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to break every yoke?”
That is meant to be here and now, on this earth, in this world, in our very flesh
It’s not a heavenly prize, it is an earthly promise.
And so the words of the rest of this psalm call us as followers of Jesus Christ,
call us as bearers of the divine image, call us as breathers of the Spirit that
empowers and sends us out; the words of this psalm tell us what it is we are to
“The Lord is faithful in all God’s words, gracious in all God’s deeds. The Lord
upholds all who are falling, raises up all who are bowed down.”
Well, let’s apply this. The followers of the Lord, you, me, the body of Christ, we
are faithful in all our words and gracious in all our deeds. The body of Christ, the
followers of Jesus uphold all who are falling and raise up all who are bowed
Can we say that? Can we say that with truth in our hearts? Can we say that and
know in our bones that to the best of our ability, with our every breath, that we
have been committed to this?
Not many of us, and I include myself in that. Not many of us can say that.
For we turn on the news or walk out into our streets and we see the evidence of
people who have fallen down, and who society and the church have turned
away from. We see evidence each and every day of people who have been
pushed aside as if they are worth less, and never invited back “in.” Never given
space to live and thrive as God intends.
Our health crisis, the global pandemic we find ourselves in, is just the most
recent case in point. Hundreds of thousands have died, for lack of access to
appropriate medical care, for lack of access to appropriate protection for those
who have sought to offer care. People in communities and neighborhoods here
in the United States have died because their neighborhood hospitals are underequipped,because they live in poorer areas. Areas where Black, Indigenous,
People of Color live. That don’t have the same funding as the shiny, metropolitan
The current crisis we find ourselves in tells us, shows us, that we cannot claim
the words of this psalm as true in the body of Christ. We have not upheld those
who are falling, we have not raised up those who are bowed down, we have not
handed out food to all who are hungry. Instead, we hold it back. We pretend that
some are more worthy than others, even though God never, never intended that
What would it look like if we, as the church, took these words in this psalm as a
challenge? Took these words in this psalm as a clear picture of who we are
called to be as followers of Jesus Christ in the world today. What if we took this
psalm and paired it with the parables from Matthew 25 to help us understand
what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves, as people who love our
Almighty God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength.
This psalm is called a Psalm of Praise but I offer it to you today as a call to
action. Yes, it is praise for who God is, how God interacts with us and God’s
beautiful creation, it is praise of what God intends this world to be, but for us,
followers of Jesus Christ, it is a call to action. We are the ones being called out
in this psalm to put our hands to the plow, to put our feet on the ground, to
follow where Jesus has led. We are being called out to be faithful, in tangible
ways, to be faithful in ways that begin to change the world.
In our Matthew 25 foci, to build congregational vitality, dismantle structural
racism, and eradicate systemic poverty, don’t you hear the words of the psalm
calling out that this is what our good God intends? Don’t you hear in the words
of this psalm that God’s kingdom is a place where all have enough, where all are
fed, all have clean water to drink, all have appropriate clothing to wear, all have
access to healthcare and education, all are welcome. No one is a stranger, no
one is imprisoned, no one is forgotten or marginalized or pressed down.
My friends, this is indeed a matter of life and death. For our neighbors who have
already died from COVID-19, and for those who fear this illness because they
know that death is the most likely outcome, what does it mean for us to be
gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love?
My friends, this is a matter of life and death because we have heard the names,
we have said them ourselves, of those who have died because God’s kingdom is
not fully established here on this earth, and all people are not raised up. No,
instead too many of our siblings are pressed down literally, with knees on their
necks and in their backs.
We know this is a matter of life and death for the millions who are food insecure
here in the United States as well as around the world.
If we are to be faithful, if we are to live into the image of God that is stamped on
the very center of who we are, if we are to indeed be followers of Jesus Christ,
living into his great commission to teach people to obey all he has commanded
us, if these are the things we long for, then this psalm calls us to put our actions
behind our words, to put our money where our mouth is, to not be silent
As followers of Jesus Christ, this is who we are supposed to be. Just in all our
ways, kind in all our doings, near to all who call out, and fulfilling the desires for
life, full life, abundant life, freedom, full freedom with no strings attached, and
joy, joy, peace, hope, for all. This is who we are called to be. By God’s grace,
may we be courageous. May we be called out.
HYMN “This Is My Song”
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program Virtual Choir
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwFiD4xpo84&t=1967s (Lyrics) This Is My Song This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine. This is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine; but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine. My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine. But other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. So hear my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine. This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms: thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done. Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him, and hearts united learn to live as one. So hear my prayer, O God of all the nations: myself I give thee; let thy will be done
GtG 531 Seed Scattered and Sown:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HGiozLMJTk
LIFE OF THE CHURCH PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION Rev. Dr. Amaury Tañon-Santos
O God, we come before you seeking answers,
we come before you seeking what the faithful way forward is.
O Lord, I ask that you reveal to us a true and tried method,
you know that all methods we have tried to make this world we live in
a just and welcoming and equitable world continues to fall short.
I pray that you grant us wisdom,
I pray that you grant us fortitude.
The work to dismantle the structures that perpetuate rejection,
discrimination, and oppression require commitment.
We come before you seeking healing,
we come before you wanting that our whole beings be made whole.
At the same time,
it is more for the people who are intentionally
and structurally left out of quality health and social services.
Perhaps, O God, we should pray that you
inspire the church in the ways and means we already have at hand
to restore the dignity and integrity of all of your creation.
We bring before you all of the concerns that take space
in the minds and hearts and spirits of
every single person that my voice reaches.
We know you pay attention to every voice,
that voice that comes out,
and perhaps even more,
that voice we keep within.
In your mercy, hear us,
but also remind us that your church has everything it needs
to heal the sick,
raise the dead,
cleanse those with skin diseases,
and throw out demons.
Remind us that your church is your co-worker in the work
of restoring the dignity of your creation.
Remind us, O Jesus, once again.
And at whose invitation, we are bold to pray, saying:
THE LORD’S PRAYER Many Languages
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever.
INVITATION TO OFFERING Rev. T.J. DeMarco
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,
to present yourselves as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God, all creatures high and low. Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise God in Jesus fully known: Creator, Word, and Spirit one.
Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
THE EUCHARIST Revs. Kohlmann and DeMarco
INVITATION TO THE LORD’S TABLE
This is the joyful feast of the people of God.
They will come from east and west,
and from north and south,
and sit at the table in the kingdom of God.
Our Savior invites those who are drawn to him
To share the feast which he has prepared.
One: The Lord be with you.
All: And with your Spirit.
One: Lift up your hearts;
All: We lift them up unto the Lord.
One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Let us pray,
It is truly right and our greatest joy
to give you thanks and praise,
O Lord our God, creator and ruler of the universe.
In your wisdom, you made all things
and sustain them by your power.
You formed us in your image,
setting us in this world to love and to serve you,
and to live in peace with your whole creation.
When we rebelled against you
refusing to trust and obey,
you did not reject us,
but still claimed us as your own.
You sent prophets to call us back to your way.
Then in the fullness of time,
out of your great love for the world,
you sent your only Son to be one of us,
to redeem us and heal our brokenness.
Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with choirs of angels,
with prophets, apostles, and martyrs,
and with all the faithful of every time and place,
who forever sing to the glory of your name:
All: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your Glory,
Glory be to you O Lord most high
The Lord Jesus, on the night that he was betrayed
,took bread broke it and after giving thanks gave it to his disciples, saying:
This is my body, broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way he took the cup, saying:
Take this all of you and drink .This is the cup of my blood.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in remembrance of me.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
All: Christ has died.
Christ has risen.
Christ will come again.
SHARING OF THE ELEMENTS
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
All: Holy Spirit, you have filled us with your life.
Christ our Savior, you have embraced us in your love.
God our Mother, you have fed us with your grace.
Now send us out into your beloved world
to share your life, your love, your grace with all.
Blessing and honor and glory to you,
holy, holy, holy Lord. Amen.
THE BLESSING Rev. Kohlmann
And so go out, to live faithfully, to love truly, and to be, in word and deed, ambassadors of the love of Christ.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you, now and always. Amen.
GtG 79 Light Dawns on a Weary World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QmwXPtr6L8GtG 80 You Shall Go Out With Joy:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unWnWSgoSt0
In the Lord I’ll be Thankful:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAx8gjQrsOY
My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKZg_ZB4SkU
Participants (in order of appearance)
Edited by Benjamin Chicka, Communications Coordinator,Presbytery of Boston
The Rev. Dr. Burns Stanfield, Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church, South Boston, Presbytery of Boston
The Rev. Joseph Chu, Stated Clerk for the Eastern Korean American Presbytery
Ruling Elder William McConnell, Mission Engagement Advisor, Central Region, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Ruling Elder Luci Duckson-Bramble, Presbytery of Long Island
The Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, Resource Presbyter, Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England, Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly
The Rev. Dr. Amaury Tañon-Santos, Synod Networker, Synod of the Northeast
The Rev. T.J. DeMarco, Stated Clerk for the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England, Pastor of Woodbury Presbyterian Church, RI
The Lord’s Prayer:
Cantonese Chinese, Samson Tso
Cebuano Visayan (Philippines), Gideon and Rachel Alegado
Kiswahili, Josephine Mutuota
Malagasy, Herilala Razafinime
Spanish, Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri
Afrikaans, Rothea Kornelius
Taiwanese, Lihwen Lin
Korean, Kyungmoon Yoon
Indonesian, Jelty Ochotan
Portuguese, Paulo Lima
Thank you to the Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell for supplying the Prayer of Confession and to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program for their hymn project, “This Is My Song.”
State of Emergency:
During the Coronavirus State of Emergency declared by Governor Cuomo, all gatherings are cancelled.
The Food Pantry will remain open on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.
The Free Community Dinner will make take-out meals available on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month during the state of emergency; please call to reserve yours at our next dinner on July 18th.
Re-Opening The Church On July 12th:
The session has voted to return to the church building for worship as of July 12th, as long as we have met state requirements before that date. Keep watch for information just mailed regarding New York State protocols for what will happen for everyone’s health and safety beginning now.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail message at (845)297-2800.
You may email us at email@example.com or leave a voicemail message at (845)297-2800.
We will send out an email list during the week.
If you would like to pray with someone, you may call Pastor Margery at (914)539-5323.
Pastor Laurie will be available 3-5 PM on weekdays, as well. You can reach her at (845)632-1124.
Please let us know how else we can support your spiritual needs during this time.
Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves:
Please make plans for how you will continue to honor your pledges during this time.
You may wish to send a check to the church office by mail or make your contribution using online banking.
While we navigate this disruptive time as a church community, it is important that we maintain our ability to pay our bills. Thank you for your generosity!
Email Addresses: If you do not have your own email address, please call us with a family member or friend’s email address who will receive emails from us for you in the event that we are unable to mail you important information.