Sept 12 Creation by the Word

Living Into this God Given World: God Gives Creation

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

John 1:1-5

Psalm 33: 1-12

Call to Worship

God you created all the things

Combining the Light with the Darkness, the Sky and the Earth, the Water with the Land

God, you are not a God of singularities, but combinations, yielding all kinds of crops and animals and sunsets

And you saw that this was good.

Let us rejoice in the manifest glory of your creation today and everyday!

Let us praise God, mysterious, manifold and and always creating. Glory to our God, the creator!

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that sometimes we ignore the manifold of your creation. It is hard to imagine that you created so much that you needed to rest aftewards. It is hard for us to imagine that you hallowed every aspect of creation. It is hard to imagine that you designed the earth out of abundance so that every single being should have enough. We confess that we are very limited in our understanding of your creation. Forgive us, teach us to have a better understanding of your creation we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God promises God’s mercies are new every morning. Let us tell one another the good news today. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication/Day: God as you first shaped the world and breathed life into it, we ask for your continued inspiration and shaping. Grant us the gentle breeze of your your Holy Spirit, especially when we are weary and out of breath, to cool and inspire us. Continue to minister to us in your gentle way as we go into the world, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Children: Play with Legos, Cooties or some other interchangeable toys, discuss how many variations there are, discuss how God made so many varieties of the earth. Talk about the our human job to do science discover, create and name things with God as “Co-creators.” Read God Gave Us You.

Hymns: “Spirit” “This is My Father’s World” “God of the Sparrow” “Morning Has Broken”

More Narrative Lectionary Year 4 Fall Resources

(If you appreciate my work donations for my Creative Writing Doctorate in Ministry accepted for my GoFundMe here)

Being Human

An experiment in poetry

Thanks to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary

By Katy Stenta 

The story gets more fantastic

The more we tell it

It gets bigger

Even when we make it more concise

The better adjective, the simple adverb

The timing

All of which can be 

drilled down

to this thing called perfect


But the human being

Exists outside of perfection

There is no perfect time to be human

There is no perfect relationship 

No perfect creation

made by human hands

Humankind works so hard to tell its story

Because maybe if we describe our faith

more perfectly, more people will follow it

Why do we chase perfection? 

Why do we want the feeling of 

having the exact words

to shape how our experiences exist—

Do we not then pretend that our experiences are 

unembodied? 

Do we not want to be lost in a fantastic story

precisely because we have struggled too?

Do we not experience our lives as Science Fiction?

Too technical to explain, too human to let go 

of our essence.

I think I prefer Science Fiction to Perfection. 

Bulletin Genesis 2

God With US

More Narrative Lectionary Resources

Creation and Fall: Bulletin & Confessions in the Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17, 3:1-8
Luke 11:4 Opt Psalm 18:31-36

Prelude The Warrior is a Child Twila Paris
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tu0vJg3RSA

Opening Prayer (1)
O Creator God,
open us to a new awakening, a new beginning,
where we look through the lens of the goodness of Your creation,
experiencing all possibilities in You.

Turn us away from the negative lens, and lead us to the light.
In the name of Jesus, who leads us into life, and the Spirit who sustains us,
we pray. Amen.

Call to Worship (from Psalm 33:6-9 Good News Version) (2)
6The Lord created the heavens by his command,    the sun, moon, and stars by his spoken word.
8 Worship the Lord, all the earth!    Honor him, all peoples of the world!7 He gathered all the seas into one place;    he shut up the ocean depths in storerooms.
8 Worship the Lord, all the earth!    Honor him, all peoples of the world!9 When he spoke, the world was created;    at his command everything appeared.
8Worship the Lord, all the earth!    Honor him, all peoples of the world!

Opening Hymn How Great Thou Art https://youtu.be/1NnLRMWj1Z0?t=22 (3)
O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonderConsider all the worlds Thy Hands have madeI see the stars, I hear the rolling thunderThy power throughout the universe displayed

CHORUS: Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art (repeat the two lines)

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin CHORUS (interlude)

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow with humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art CHORUS
God calls us to repentance and new life.
Let us confess together our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Prayer of Confession (4)
Gracious God,
You are always looking out for us: finding us when we wander away, waiting for us when we are stubborn, loving us when we can’t love ourselves, welcoming us when the world has turned us away, comforting us when we are hurting.

We forget that we should live that way, too. We forget that what everyone needs most is a hand to hold, a place to belong, a word of hope. Forgive us, Lord, and remake us in your image.
(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness
God calls us as light in the darkness, a voice for the powerless, grace in the midst of chaos, and a reminder of divine love. Thanks be to God for the Good News:
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)
Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries

Hymn of Dedication Fight the Good Fight https://youtu.be/2oxRRxtQdaE?t=3 (5)

  • Doxology (Blue, #592) Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY
  • Prayer of Dedication (6)
    Creator God,
    As we are made in Your image, we give You thanks for the seed of creativity 
    You planted within each person. We praise you for the clean lines of the sculpture, the complexity of the concerto, the beauty of the poet’s words. We thank you also for the simple gifts of daily life: gracious words, soft hearts, impassioned actions. Make these gifts and all of our lives live up to who you create us to be. In the name of the One who was, who is, and who is to come, Amen.

Prayer for Illumination He Lives https://youtu.be/MLKGO5FzDsY?t=89 (7)
In all the world around me I see Christ’s loving care
And though my heart grow weary, I never will despair
I know that he is leading through all the stormy blast
The day of His appearing will come at last.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.

Old Testament Scripture: Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17; 3:1-8

New Testament Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Message The Run of Your Life Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl

Confession of Faith (2 Timothy 4:6-8, New Living Bible ) (8)
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me— the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. Thanks be to God!


*Closing Hymn Now Thank We All Our God https://youtu.be/6g0BSC7eNXQ (9)
1 Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices;who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our waywith countless gifts of love, and still is ours today
2 O may this gracious God through all our life be near us,with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us,preserve us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed,and free us from all ills till heaven we possess.
3 All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,the Son and Spirit blest, who reign in highest heaveneternal triune God, whom heaven and earth adore;for thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
*Charge and Benediction

Postlude Make My Life a Prayer to You Keith Green https://youtu.be/PNww8F6G9U8?list=PLF0C522B84843C1D4

(1) Adapted. from a prayer written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-olution.org

(2) Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

(3) Tune: © 1949, 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust CIO. All rights in the USA its territories and possessions, except print rights, administered by Capitol CMG Publishing. USA, North and Central American print rights and all Canadian and South American rights administered by Hope Publishing Company. All other North and Central American rights administered by the Stuart Hine Trust CIO. Rest of the world rights administered by Integrity Music Europe. Text: © 1949, 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust CIO. All rights in the USA its territories and possessions, except print rights, administered by Capitol CMG Publishing. USA, North and Central American print rights and all Canadian and South American rights administered by Hope Publishing Company. All other North and Central American rights administered by the Stuart Hine Trust CIO. Rest of the world rights administered by Integrity Music Europe.

(4) Adapted from prayer from The Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS 66208, found at https://www.villagepres.org/uploads/3/1/1/5/31151741/vpc_bulletin_06_05_16_readers.pdf

(5) Music © OCP.

(6) Inspired by a prayer written by Jennifer G. Brownell and posted on RevGalBlogPals.
http://revgalblogpals.org/2016/01/23/with-thanks-for-creativity-saturday-prayer/

(7) Words and Music ©1990 Belwin M

(8) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

(9) Words and Music – ©OCP

More Narrative Lectionary Resources

#God & #Dragons…God loves monsters…..YAYYYYYY

https://medium.com/@theboyonthebike/god-loves-monsters-4f727db3d046

Beautiful Theology over at theboyonthebike

“The monster was not a threat to God. And while Job had become a threat to his friends, he wasn’t a threat to God either. The creature that the world called “monster,” God called “friend.” The beautiful part then is that the people the world calls “monster” (because their appearance, their story, their otherness feels monstrous to those around them) are the ones that God calls friend. All the things that made Leviathan so frightening to everyone else were what made Leviathan delightful to God. God celebrated all the wild things about Leviathan that made everyone else recoil in horror.”

“In fact, in an especially strange turn of the poem, in some translations God not only celebrates Leviathan — but identifies with Leviathan. Watch how God seems to casually move between how people respond to Leviathan and how they actually respond to Him in Job 41.9–11:”

Loneliness & Church

Churches feel like lonely places. It is clear to me that one of the reasons that big churches do so well is because they don’t feel lonely, at least not immediately

•I have no doubt there are many reasons to explore about why churches are having trouble…therefore I am only tackling this one

But walking into an empty-ish church of mostly older age feels…lonely….

The loneliness is everywhere; and worse its palpable.

Here is the thing, pastors talk about this a lot…pastors tend to be lonely but little is talked about the layperson’s loneliness. The feeling that “we aren’t in this religion thing together” any more–we are in it alone.

Perhaps that is why the Spiritual but not religious label hits so hard….What do you mean you can do your religious thing by yourself? Where does that leave us…and me?

Religion can be a lonely place to be right now

I just watched Breuggeman’s Prophetic Preaching on the Old Testament which is wonderful

And he talks about how Prophetic Preaching is the breaking of the totalism (or hegemony), which is a SILENCE that leads to VIOLENCE with an outside voice

Good News is so important

Hope is so important

God is not a God who wants us to have to live and die and do everything alone.

Don’t let the emptiness of the church trick you.

Aren’t we the people of the empty tomb?

Aren’t we the people of the empty cross?

Didn’t God make the world out of the emptiness?

Didn’t God create space within God’s very self to give birth to us?

Didn’t God empty out her very self in the personhood of Jesus Christ to give us new and better life?
Churches don’t have to be lonely…don’t buy into it. The lie of death, the lie of not changing, the lie of security and worries about looks and judgements…..don’t believe these lies

God creates…we are called to create and be CREATIVE with God

To me that work is fulfilling, not lonely at all…

Behold I make all things new!

@ealperin #CisG…

@ealperin #CisGaze is when my mom says “Why change what God has given you?” When, in fact, my God says, “Oh, no! I’m not finished making you, yet.” #YESALLWOMEN

Yesallwomen, cisgaze, God, creation