Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

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[CHPC] Trinity Sunday [2008-05-18]

"And remember: I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b)

    I came in with Kelsey and David, and they sat with Don Wells (from HDS).  One of the Prelude hymns was "How Can I Keep from Singing?" which Kelsey actually didn't recognize, whereas it's one of the ones I consistently recognize from.  (Coming from a nondenominational background, my hymn familiarity is... interesting.)



[One] God so loves the world;
[All] The sparrows, the mountain lions, the fish and the people.
[One] God so loves the world;
[All] In success and failure, in sickness and health, in mediocrity and extraordinary.  [The failure of parallelism totally bothered me, so I said "extraordinaity" on the fly, even though on reflection it should be "extraordinariness."]
[One] God so loves the world;
[All] Enough to become one of us, enough to suffer along with us, enough to offer new life for us.
[One] God so loves the world;
[All] Let us worship God.

    Holy, One, in the beginning your Spirit brooded over the chaos and brought to birth all the beauty and abundance of creation.  You created humankind in the image of your own faithful love and desire, dressing us in glorious splendor and entrusting the care of the earth into our hands.  You breathed your very breath into your creation, redeemed us and continue to sustain us all our days.  Gather us know as your Pentecost People, breathing fresh life into our bodies that we may be your breath of life in a world that desperately needs your care.

HYMN #558 "O How Glorious, Full of Wonder"



Trinue God of boundless love, your everlasting love is for all people, nations, and races, for all are created in your image.  Your good news of great joy is for all people. Yet our history is marked by separation and segregation.  We come confessing our sin to you and to each other.  We come seeking your reconciliation and wholeness in the midst of our brokenness.  As you are one in three, so knit all your people into one people, a seamless garment of many colors.  We pray in the name of the Christ, who died to set us free.  Amen.

    Karl talked about how we are loved...how God wants us to have wholeness, reconciliation, and renewal.



    Gusti had a napkin (white, for Trinity Sunday :) -- Karl insisted on red pulpit drapes &c 'cause Pentecost ... she was asking the kids about the napkin, and one of them said it was "boring," and she turned to Karl and said, "you win") and the napkin ring, when you took it off the napkin, was in fact 3 interconnected rings.
    Gusti's two major points were:
* God is relational
* Spirit is breath (every time we breathe, we are connected to God)

    Gusti talked about YHWH and how if you try to pronounce that, it's just your breath.  So when she translated this passage, she translated that as "God of Breath."
On the day when the God of Breath
made earth and heaven,
when every shrub of the field
was not yet in the earth
and every seed of the field
had not yet sprung up---
because the God of Breath
had not caused it to rain upon the earth,
and there was not humanity to work the humus,
but a mist ascended from the earth
and would irrigate all the face of the humus---
then the God of Breath
formed the human dust
from the humus
and breathed in its nostrils
a breath of life,
and it became a human---
a living breathing body.

And the God of Breath
planted a garden in Eden in the East,
and there God put the human
which God had formed.
And the God of Breath
caused every beautiful
and fruitful tree that exists
to sprout from the soul,
as well as a tree of
the knowledge of good and evil.

SCRIPTURE READING  Matthew 26:16-20

SERMON "Breathing As Pentecost People"
    Gusti opened by talking about saying goodbye to loved ones -- something that's very salient for this congregation as it's graduation time plus one of the long-time members died recently.  She talked about how here the disciples are saying goodbye for a second time and how hard that must be.
    "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."  She said she hears these as words of comfort -- that Jesus is saying he has everything under control.  But then you would expect them to be followed by a word of assurance or a word of sorrow, and instead he puts them to work (gives them the Great Commission).  "This is not what I learned in pastoral care."
    But then after that, they get, "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."  She said, "There is never 'goodbye.'  There is only 'God be with you' " (I of course recognize that "goodbye" is an abbreviation of that very statement).

I appreciated this sermon a lot -- the reminder that in our sorrow there is still work to be done, but that God is with us in all these things.

I bind unto myself this day
the strong name of the Trinity.

The creator's gifts of earth and sky
the flowing creeks of fertile land,
the winter sun and summer moon,
the roaring sea and golden sand.

I bind unto myself this day
the Christ who wears our human clay.

The baby sleeping in a stall,
the Healer touching our disease,
the Man of love upon the Cross,
the risen Friend who hears our pleas.

I bind unto myself this day
the Spirit who is here to stay.

The Breath that makes the broken whole,
the Truth that flows like liquid light,
the Wind that sweeps my dusty soul,
the Fire that warms the darkest night.

I bind unto myself this day
the Fellowship that's our mainstay.

The Grace that holds us all in thrall,
the Love that links us one and all,
the Peace that sweeps away our fears,
the Joy that wipes away all tears.

From now unto infinity,
The strong name of the Trinity.

    (© B D Prewer. Inspired by St Patrick)
HYMN #550 "O God, as with a Potter's Hand"

    Liz said something about being hesitant about bringing politics to church or something, but she wanted to pray for the Democratic Party.  I said, "We could pray for both parties."  She was good with that.  She talked about hoping that there wouldn't be divisiveness ... and basically saying she hoped the Democrats would win in November but trying to be circumspect in saying that.  I said, "We can pray for a positive outcome in June [I had meant the Democratic National Convention, which I realized lated is in August, but since the primaries end in June I feel it still stands] and in November."  Later in the conversation, I added, "And we can pray for substantive debate that doesn't descend into personal attacks."
    I loved that she was so open to my contributions -- that she wanted help in making it an inclusive and encompassing prayer.  She (and Gusti) actually thanked me after the service.

Congregational Response

Holy Parent, Loving Savior, Empowering Spirit, we offer our gifts to you because we know we need you so desperately.  Captivate us, call us, and fill us with your breath that we may carry your eternal life into this world you love so dearly.  Amen.

HYMN #32 "God of the Sparrow, God of the Whale"

RESPONSE #77 (v.1) "Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing"
Lord, dismiss us with your blessing.
Fill our hearts with joy and peace;
Let us each, your love possessing,
Triumph in redeeming grace.
Oh, refresh us; oh, refresh us,
Traveling through this wilderness.

The Call to Worship is adapted from Katherine Hawker, "John 3:16 -- Reimagined (1997)," Images for Trinity Sunday, http://liturgyoutside.net/TrinitySunday.html
The Opening Prayer is adapted from Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources, http://www.laughingbird.net/ComingWeeks.html
The Prayer of Confession is adapted from "Worship Resources for Trinity Sunday: A Sacred Conversation About Race," Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), www.pcusa.org/racialjustice
The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from John van de Laar, "A Desperate World" http://www.sacredise.com/pages/Seasonal/trinity/prayers/desperate.htm


We had Coffee Hour outside (Kristy's Great idea).
Tags: church: somerville: clarendon hill presb

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