Virtual worship service to be made available to congregations


PC(USA) leadership and staff record service based on the Matthew 25 vision

By Melody K. Smith | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — In time for Reign of Christ Sunday (Sunday, November 22, 2020), a prerecorded complete worship service will be made available for congregations to use on that day or any day. The worship service will be based on the Matthew 25 vision and draws from the Worship in a Matthew 25 Church resource available on the Matthew 25 website.

The worship resource opens with a nod toward the beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. And blessed is the church that serves with the love of God to eradicate systemic poverty.”

The service will also include the new Matthew 25 hymn, “Jesus, Be With Us,” sharing the vision of Matthew 25 through images and song.

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will bring the sermon, and the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will bring the blessing and charge.

“The Reign of Christ ends our marking of Ordinary Time after the Day of Pentecost and moves us to the threshold of Advent, the season of hope for Christ’s coming again at the end of time,” said Moffett. “This celebration is not just about what was, but what is to come and from where our life, our light and our redemption comes. May this worship help us to give our whole selves, all in for Christ’s ongoing work of compassion, justice and peace.”

Other participants will include the Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020), the Rev. Gregory Bentley and Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart; and special music from Carter Anderson, William McConnell and Mondre Moffett.

The video will be shared at for viewing and downloading by Nov. 18, 2020. Congregations are welcome to use the video however and whenever they like. The planning team hopes that congregations find it helpful during a busy season of virtual and in-person worship services.

Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this Scripture passage, both the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.

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