June 21, 2020

First Presbyterian Church of Wappingers Falls

Pentecost 3A – June 21, 2020

Father’s Day


You may choose one leader or take turns among those gathered.
Click on the links for the hymns to listen or sing along.

Prelude God of Our Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvNCNuilJ4s

Opening Sentences
O Lord, open my lips.                                                             Psalm 51:15

  And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Through our baptism, we are dead to sin.                               Romans 6:3, 11
Now we are alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Opening Hymn We Wait the Peaceful Kingdom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYT_bWkcOKM

CALL TO WORSHIP            Psalm 86: Hear My Prayer
Hear my prayer, Holy One—
   for I am poor in spirit and miserable.
Keep watch over my life
  for I depend on you.
Gladden the soul of your servant
   to you I lift up my heart.
Let me see you in your beautiful world
  and in the hearts of those who do your will.

Teach me your way, O God,
  and I will walk in your truth.
Knit my heart to your Heart
  that I may I know I am with you.

I will thank you, Creator, Sustainer, with all my heart
   and honor and seek you all my days.
For great is your love toward me.
   You have delivered me from my pit.

You have helped me in trouble.
  You are slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.                                 –Christine Robinson
Turn to me, and have mercy on me.                                                            http://doubterpsalms.blogspot.com/
  give strength to your servant and
  save your faithful child.

Silent Prayer

Prayer of the Day
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve;
 to give and not to count the cost;
 to fight and not to heed the wounds;
 to toil and not to seek for rest;
 to toil labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will;
 through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 one God, now and forever. Amen.

Scripture Reading:  Genesis 21:8-21
Silent Reflection

Hymn Where Cross The Crowded Ways of Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCSGuz7gR2U

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 10:24-3
The Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.
Silent Reflection

Shared Reflection on the Scripture
These are difficult texts to read on any day, but are particularly difficult on Father’s Day.  One scholar calls this story of Hagar and Ishmael a “text of terror.”  This gospel passage rocks people’s world.  There is no easy way to read these scriptures today.  They challenge our notions of God being “nice” and Jesus being our comforter.
In both of these passages, God/Jesus is not “nice” or “manageable” or “safe.”
In our first lesson, God tells Abraham to listen to Sarah’s jealous demand that he cast Hagar, the slave woman whom she had “given” to Abraham to ensure that he would have an heir, along with his own toddler son, into the desert, with little more than a canteen and a sandwich.  And he does.  It is only when Hagar gives up completely and surrenders her son to death that God hears the child’s cries and sends an angel to save them.
But Ishmael is beloved, too.  And he has a future.  Abraham is reassured. Hagar is watched over by angels and shown how to live in the wilderness.  Ishmael is treasured, and he grows up to become a patriarch of a nation, just like his brother, Isaac.  Both boys fulfill the covenant that God made with Abraham.

In the gospel story, Jesus declares that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword; to set family members against one another, to bring huge disruption to the status quo.  What will cause this disruption?  Fidelity to the gospel message; a willingness to stand up for what is right, good, just, godly; speaking out against violence, greed, all the systems that lead to suffering and death.
This message still rings true today, with the many ways we are divided from one another, over issues that affect the lives of the vulnerable, some of which have roots in this story of Abraham, Hagar, Sarah and their sons.

Questions to consider today:
What do they say about who we are?
What do they tell us about the place of conflict in our faith lives?
Why are these stories fundamental to our faith?  What are we to take away from this fact? 
Staying with these stories is difficult.  It is supposed to be.  There are important truths to be learned from reading and reflecting on them.  Should you want to talk about them, please call me.
– Pastor Margery

(When reflection time is concluded, Leader invites those gathered to join the responsive prayer below.) 

Canticle of Zechariah                                      Luke 1:68-79
Refrain:  You have come to your people and set them free.

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel;
 you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty Savior,
 born of the house of your servant, David. R

Through your holy prophets, you promised of old
 to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us,
 to show mercy to our forebears, and to remember your holy covenant. R

This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham:
 to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
 free to worship you without fear,
 holy and righteous before you, all the days of our life. R

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
 for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
 to give God’s people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. R

In the tender compassion of our God
 the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
 to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
 and to guide our feet into the way of peace. R

Prayers of Thanksgiving & Intercession
If you would like to share them with the congregation, please call or email the church office.
Holy God, One-in-Three and Three-in-One, hear us as we pray for your blessing, saying:
 Holy, triune God, have mercy on us.

Especially we thank you for
 the mission and ministry of the church,
 especially for General Assembly commissioners and advisory delegates…
 every service that proclaims your love…
 the people and relationships that sustain us…
 our calling to daily discipleship…
 signs of new life and hope…
 all who care for creation; and work for justice and peace for all people…
 (specific prayers of thanks may be spoken here.)

Merciful God of might, renew this weary world,
 heal the hurts of all your children,
 and bring about your peace for all in Christ Jesus, the living Lord.
Especially we pray for
 The church of Jesus Christ in every land…
 The stewardship and healing of creation…
 Friends and family members…
 Neighbors in special need…
 All who serve your mission in the world…
 Leaders, to lead with righteousness and compassion…
 All who grieve and lament loss of justice, freedom and life…
(specific prayers of intercession may be spoken here.)

After a brief silence, the leader concludes the time of prayer:
All this we ask of you, Lord God, through Jesus Christ our Savior,
 and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Concluding Hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW_-XPE-zec

Dismissal                                                                  Matthew 9:37, 10:7
The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.
Go, and proclaim the good news, “the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Proclaim it in word and deed.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Share with one another a Sign of Peace.  May peace be with you this day.

In honor of all the Fathers on Fathers’ Day, enjoy this hymn:
Postlude Faith of Our Fathers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RziT4wJMrGQ


State of Emergency:
During the Coronavirus State of Emergency declared by the 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

NOTE: There will NOT be a Free Community Dinner on July 4th.

Re-Opening The Church:
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 further information about what this experience will entail, as we will be required to drastically alter our typical worship service to ensure safety for gathered.
Questions? Email us at fpcwf2800@gmail.com or leave a voicemail message at (845)297-2800.

To Our Congregation,
As a member of the Re-Opening Team, working towards opening the church, I have put together some questions to get feedback from our church members about how meaningful the church is in your life. 

1. What, if anything do you feel you are spiritually missing from your church experience in light of our present situation?

2. There was little response to the questions posed in the May 24th, Sunday Morning Prayer Service bulletin announcements. What, do you think would have motivated you to respond to the questions?

3. Is what the church doing by sending you the Morning Prayer Services, helping you maintain your spiritual connection to God and your connection to your church family?

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Dalila Ames

Prayer requests:
You may email us at fpcwf2800@gmail.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 mail you important information.

 “At morning prayer, we give thanks for the gift of new life in Christ and seek God’s grace for the day ahead.”
This service was adapted from resources in: Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church (USA), 2018.