God’s Promise: Bulletin by Pastor Katy Stenta

October 25
God’s Promise to David
2 Samuel 7:1-17
Luke 1:30-33 Opt. Psalm 89:1-6


Call to Worship (Psalm 89)

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever

With my mouth, I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations

I declare that your steadfast love is established forever

Your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens

Great is Thy Faithfulness

2 Samuel 7: 8-16

(1 finger) Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 

(2 fingers) I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 

(3 fingers) And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; 

(4 fingers) and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies.

(5 fingers) Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, 

(6 fingers) I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 

(7 fingers) He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

(Pastor Katy) I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 

(8 fingers) But I will not take* my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 

(9 fingers) Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me;* your throne shall be established for ever.

Children’s Sermon 

Sermon  Life-giving Covenants Pastor Katy

Lord some days I cry out like David “Will you hide yourself forever?” and I remember how short my time is. Lord please give us the signs we need to know that we are loved and beloved. It is so hard to remember when we see the world is suffering. And help us know how to respond to those in the margins, the hungry and the homeless, the sick and the helpless. Help us to build up all that is good we pray. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by 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 Power and the Glory Forever. Amen.

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

More Narrative Lectionary Resources

Seeds: Narrative Lectionary Resource 9/16


Resource: By Pastor Katy Stenta, solo pastor of a bigger on the inside Church New Covenant Presbyterian in Albany, NY


Genesis 12

Matthew 28:19-20

Additional Scripture: Matthew 5-7, Psalm 115

Meditative Thought And the Lord said Go Go into the world and tell the good news, for what is news if you keep it to yourself? 

Call to Worship:

This is the day that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice

This is the church that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice

Bless and be a blessing, this is the covenant that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice and be glad in it


Call to Worship

Lord we like it here.

Go into the world 

We are happy with the Church

Make more disciples and include all nations, sexualities and genders

What can we do to make certain they are Christian?

Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit

Call to Worship

Bles the Lord, all the people

Praise God’s Holy Name

Blessings are given to us by God

And they never run out, so let us be blessed and be a blessing to all

Prayer of Confession: Holy One, we confess that we do not count our blessings, instead we hoard them, thinking they run out or are like pie. Remind us that blessings are not pie, they are like seeds or a cup overflowing or a banquet for all people. Give us the vision of how your blessings work we pray, and forgive us when we stumble or forget. In your Holy Name we pray. Amen

Prayer of Confession: God most high, forgive our sins we pray. Reclaim us as your baptized children, remind us of your love and mercy. You were the God of Abraham and Sarah, you blessed them and promised to always be their God. Be our God, teach us to be your people we pray in the name or your son. Amen

Prayer of Confession: Heavenly God, we confess that we do not know how to bless one another. On our worst days we give gossip and judgement to one another. On our best days we share food and money with one another. But blessings are harder. Teach us how to bless one another. Reveal to us your blessings in the rainbow, the taste of the bread and the cup and the splashing of the baptismal waters, so we might begin to bless one another again, we pray together in the name of Christ. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Go forth, proclaiming the blessings of Jesus Christ, practice forgiveness as you are forgiven in Jesus Christ.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, infinite grace for each and and every one of us. Let us proclaim the truth to one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven

Assurance of Pardon: Amazing Grace, how sweet the song, that saves wretch like me. Know the truth, once you were lost to love, but now you are found in the grace of Jesus Christ, know that you are completely forgiven in the name of Jesus.

Eucharist Prayer: Source of all blessings, you breathed life into earth and then formed an everlasting covenant with Noah to nurture us with rainbows, and with Abraham and Sarah to spread your blessing throughout the universe of stars. You then blessed us with Jesus Christ, your only son who insisted on blessing the young and old, the poor and the rich, the sick and the well. Jesus’ continuous blessings overflowed even into the last meal that he has with his disciples, where he took bread, blessed it, broke and said “This is my body broken for you do this in remembrance of me” and then he shared that blessing in the bread to feed all present. Then in the same way, Jesus took the cup and in the same way blessed it and said “this is the blood of my new covenant, poured out for each of you. Whenever you eat this bread and your drink this cup, you proclaim my death until I return.” Bless this bread and cup with your most Holy Spirit, we pray, so we might be nourished to continued your work of blessings as we go forth, we pray. Amen.

Prayer Dedication/Ending Prayer Bless be the one who binds us together, reminding us to love one another through sharing our blessing. Send us forth as true disciples of hope and sharing we pray. Amen

Food for Thought

Agnus 1

Comic: https://www.agnusday.org/comics/16/genesis-121-4Matthew28v16to20_2014.jpg

comic: https://www.agnusday.org/comics/625/matthew-28-16-20-2014

Holy Ghost

Comic: http://adventuresoftheholyghost.tumblr.com/page/2


John Calvin “All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.”

Mr. Rogers “The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.”

The following reflection on the Beatitudes comes from Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian, in “We Belong to the Land” (pp 143 – 144).

Knowing Aramaic, the language of Jesus, has greatly enriched my understanding of Jesus’ teachings. Because the Bible as we know it is a translation of a translation, we sometimes get a wrong impression. For
example, we are used to hearing the Beatitudes expressed passively:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
“Blessed” is the translation of the word MAKARIOI, used in the Greek New Testament. However, when I look further back to Jesus’ Aramaic, I find that the original word was ASHRAY, from the verb YASHAR. ASHRAY does not have this passive quality to it at all. Instead, it means “to set yourself on the right way for the right goal; to turn around, repent; to become straight or righteous.”
How could I go to a persecuted young man in a Palestinian refugee camp, for instance, and say, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” or “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” That man would revile me, say neither I nor my God understood his plight, and he would be right.
When I understand Jesus’ words in the Aramaic, I translate like this:
Get up, go ahead, do something, move, you who are hungry and thirsty for justice,
for you shall be satisfied.
Get up, go ahead, do something, move, you peacemakers,
for you shall be called children of God.
To me this reflects Jesus’ words and teachings much more accurately. I can hear him saying, “Get your hands dirty to build a human society for human beings; otherwise, others will torture and murder the poor, the voiceless, and the powerless.” Christianity is not passive but active, energetic, alive, going beyond despair.
One day two bats fell into a pot of milk. The pessimistic bat said, “What can I do? Will I struggle and sink, and die so very tired? I will not die tired.” He sank and drowned immediately. The optimistic bat said, “I will strive to the end, and at least they will say I tried everything.” She struggled and struggled, trying to fly, until she fainted. Later she awakened and found herself resting safely on a big roll of butter. This is not giving in to despair, but going beyond despair.
“Get up, go ahead, do something, move,” Jesus said to his disciples.


Taize: Bless the Lord My Soul

Bless Be The Tie that Binds

Lord I Wanna Be a Christian In My Heart

Amazing Grace

As For Me and My House, we will serve the Lord

Bless Be the Tie that Binds

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine

Lord Dismiss Us with Your Blessing

Great Is They Faithfulness

The God of Abraham Promise

God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand

Craft Ideas: God’s promises as knots with rainbow beads in a bracelet, Decorate tissue boxes and remind people to “Bless and be a Blessing,” Crayon draw a lot of white stars on black paper, Draw white stars on white paper and then watercolor paint over it for it to “appear,” Start a gratefulness chain writing down so you can “Count your blessings” together


I will be your #God, You will be #my People–this is my promise to you

Sermon Snippet: The Presbyterians of the United States have been almost embarassingly blessed in the past, so to feel anything but hope now would be…foolish (Tom Are) So the promise that we need to know, the one that we have trouble with, but the promise that God continues to make through Abraham, Moses and in Christ, the promise that is sealed into each of us at our baptism, the one that is so hard to believe when religion and worship changes. God’s simple promise is this no matter what: I will be your God, and you will be my people. Isaiah 42: 5-7. 2 Cor 2:15 & 3:18

Baptized Ash: The Stars, the moon & me

We are brief, like flowers, like a breath of air.

We are mortal, here one moment and gone the next.

It is amazing to think that the same God who is eternal, the one who created rocks and trees that last hundreds or thousands of years, the ones who crafted the heavens that seem to be billions of years old created us as temporal beings.


“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them? ” Ps 8:3

Death is real for us–it is a real part of our existence, but we our lives matter. God created us and then God sent Christ to us. Even though we are not perfect and live only a short while.

Christ baptized us, marking us, tagging us as His. Like writing a name on the bottom of a favorite toy, we are marked. Marked by the cross, reminded that God takes care of us and is particularly present to us. When we are baptized, we die with Christ, we rise with him, and we live into the fact that we are the be-loved children of God–adopted into God’s family, covenanted through Christ.

And this is important because our lives are short.

And we are not perfect–my 6 year old son has just realized he is not perfect, and he never will be. He shuts himself up in his room and cries about it. When he makes a mistake, he mourns it.

And because bad things happen in our lives, we have to deal with real things and real evil and God knows that we have to deal with all this.

Do you know what I do when my son cries forlornly all alone?

I go to him, I sit with him, I hug him and comfort him. I tell him I will love him no matter what. I know he’s not perfect, and that’s ok, because I love him.

Isn’t that what God did when we were sad, broken and alone ever-realizing our imperfection. God gathers us in Her arms, hugs & comforts us and tells us–we are not perfect, but God loves us no matter what–God loved us when we were Ash and will love us when we become Ash again.

Us humans wish we were perfect, but God made us something better than perfect–God made us loved.