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Faith & Worship
This weekend, South Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, will celebrate the beginning of the second decade of selling its building and implementing its Acts of Faith community, a throwback to a first-century model of being the church.
“For more than 50 years, Call to Worship and its precursor journals have fostered deep dialogue among pastors, musicians, and scholars around the theology and practice of worship,” said the Rev. Dr. David Gambrell, associate for worship with the Presbyterian Mission Agency, who sees the new website as an opportunity to expand these conversations in digital spaces and draw in fresh perspectives.
A weekly infusion of Taylor Swift music has proven memorable and meaningful at Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.
Ahead of Sunday’s lectionary reading about the resourcefulness of Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah, Presbyterian hymnwriter the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette offers free of charge to any faith community while worshiping “There Came a Time in Egypt,” a hymn to the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation” that also “relates the kindness that we should share with refugees and immigrants to the holy disobedience of the Egyptian midwives to the orders of Pharaoh,” as Gillette puts it.
Nearly 60 members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national staff joined the Rev. Irvin Porter and Ruling Elder Carla Alexander of Brook Presbyterian Church in Hillburn, New York, Wednesday for an online chapel service celebrating the gifts of the world’s Indigenous population, estimated to be 476 million people living in 90 countries.
Concluding her week-long journey through biblical accounts starting with the letter “c” — Creation, crisis, covenant and Christ came before — the Rev. DeEtte Decker, the preacher during Synod School last week and the communications director for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, concluded worship on Friday with more alliteration: the church as co-creator.
Communion was served to those attending Synod School worship on Thursday. The elements — a small round cracker and a green grape — were distributed in compostable plant starch sandwich bags.
A time for children during worship Wednesday at Synod School saw about two dozen children make pinky promises before God and the 500 or so people assembled.
“Hey,” a middle school improv class member playing the serpent in the Genesis 3 account told the Garden of Eden’s first female inhabitant during Synod School worship on Tuesday, “I see you’re interested in that tree over there.”
Closing with “Beautiful Things” by the artist Michael Gungor as performed by Synod School musicians, Monday’s worship service held in Schaller Memorial Chapel at Buena Vista University explored how Creation came about and what an act that occurred 4.5 billion years ago means for us today.