The Service of Worship of the FPCU in Trumansburg, October 11, 2020

The Prelude

Scripture for Preparation 

The Welcome, News and Announcements

While the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community was never very high, we have proceeded with an abundance of caution towards reopening for indoor worship this morning. Under NYS Forward Guidelines, indoor religious services have been allowed for several months at 33% building capacity. However, we have elected to conduct Tent Services outdoors throughout the summer. While we cannot reduce the probability of infection from COVID-19 to zero, we can take reasonable precautions.

What do we know now about COVID-19?

·         The number of active cases in Tompkins County is very low, and even with students returning to Cornell, the number of active cases is now rapidly dropping.

·         COVID-19 virus dies after prolonged exposure to air. There is no evidence that the virus survives more than 72 hours on surfaces.

·         Wearing masks is considered to be a very effective measure for preventing spread of COVID-19 as most transmission occurs through breathing respiratory aerosols of an infected individual.

·         Outbreaks traced to churches, weddings and funerals have always involved services that include singing, hugging and handshaking without distancing or mask-wearing.

Given the status of COVID-19 infections in our community, the knowledge we now have about how the virus is spread, precautions that we know are effective, and NYS guidelines (https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/ReligiousandFuneralServicesSummaryGuidance.pdf), with thee following precautions, we have entered into this august building. We are

·         A congregation eager to share the love of Christ with each other and the community through word, deed, music and prayer.

·         Careful congregants entering and exiting through different doors to minimize close contact with each other.

·         Wearing masks, and sharing health info

·         Enhanced ventilation and air sterilization. It may be colder than usual inside the sanctuary. There is no dress code for church so wear what is comfortable and keeps you warm.

·        Shaking hands and group singing is not allowed at this time. Humming, clapping, percussion and expressions of joy are welcome!

·         Vocal soloists and wind musicians will perform behind a clear plexiglass shield to prevent movement of aerosols.  We are grateful to Larry Postle for building the iso-panel. As per NYS Guidelines, performers must be 12 feet away from the audience.

·         Offering boxes are located at the back of the church and will not be passed.

While we know these restrictions are not “normal” and may be unpleasant, we feel that the joy and camaraderie from the worship experience is worth any discomfort. And we know that these conditions will not be permanent. New York State and Trumansburg, in particular, are in a very good place when it comes to the prevalence of COVID-19. It is time to open our doors to those who feel comfortable coming together for worship with these abundant precautions in place.

The Introit

The Call to Worship                                                                                   Gayle Miller

Leader: God of mystery: you surprise us with your grace and disturb our complacency with your truth.

People: We give you our thanks and praise for your loving kindness.

Leader: May those who are hungry be fed. May children be nurtured, and may empty souls find a spiritual wellspring.

People: We give you our thanks and praise for your loving kindness.

Leader: May your Spirit guide us as we struggle to make a positive difference in society.

People: We give you our thanks and praise for your loving kindness.

Leader: We pray all this in the name of Jesus, our friend and counsellor, teacher and healer. Amen.

Prayer of Confession                                                                                    Gayle Miller

God of our journeying, inviting us to travel with you, forgive us when we cling to outworn security, afraid to let go of what is safe and familiar. Give us courage to take the risk of answering your call into joyous adventure. Help us to know the subtle way your light shines within us. Amen.

Hymn #367  “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”

Come, ye thankful people, come
Raise the song of harvest home
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied
Come to God’s own temple, come
Raise the song of harvest home

All the world is God’s own field
Fruit as praise to God we yield
Wheat and tares together sown
Are to joy or sorrow grown
First the blade and then the ear
Then the full corn shall appear
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be

For the Lord our God shall come
And shall take the harvest home
From the field shall in that day
All offenses purge away
Giving angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast
But the fruitful ears to store
In the garner evermore

Even so, Lord, quickly come
Bring thy final harvest home
Gather thou thy people in
Free from sorrow, free from sin
There, forever purified
In thy presence to abide
Come, with all Thine angels, come
Raise the glorious harvest home

The New Testament Lesson       1 Corinthians 13:12         Gayle Miller

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (Translation: The Message.)

Hymn #661, “Why Should I Feel Discouraged?”

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me

I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches
I know He watches
I know He watches me

I sing because I´m happy
I sing because I´m free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
He watches me
I know
He watches
Me

We Proclaim God’s Word

The Hebrew Scripture Reading        Song of Solomon 5:1                             

I went to my garden, dear friend, best lover!
    breathed the sweet fragrance.
I ate the fruit and honey,
    I drank the nectar and wine.

Celebrate with me, friends!
    Raise your glasses—“To life! To love!”

Prayer of Illumination                                                                                      

Sermon      “On Transparency”               

Organ Music for Meditation

We Respond to God’s Word

The Offertory

**The Doxology

**The Unison Prayer of Dedication 

Thank you, God, for the generosity that enables us to share. We are rich in so many ways. Help us to empty ourselves of pretense, even as we pour out gifts of gratitude. We dedicate our offerings and ourselves to shaping that community you intend, in the spirit of Christ. Amen.

The Joys and Concerns 

The People’s Silent, Intercessory and the Lord’s Prayer

…Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name,    

    your kingdom come, your 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 the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen   

We Go Forth in God’s Name

**The Charge and Benediction

**The Sending Hymn “Go Now In Peace” 

Go now in peace. Never be afraid.
God will go with you each hour of every day.
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know He will guide you in all you do.
Go now in love, and show you believe.
Reach out to others so all the world can see.
God will be there watching from above.
Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

**Postlude


Attributions

Call to Worship reprinted from Seasons of the Spirit; Invocation adapted and reprinted from Bare Feet and Buttercups, Unison Prayer of Dedication reprinted from Fresh Winds of the Spirit, Book 2 by Lavon Bayler.

The hymns for today are from The Presbyterian Hymnal, Westminster Press, 1990.

After the Sending Hymn, congregants will exit the church the same way they came in.  Please wait for the usher to tap your pew.  In the meantime and while waiting, please avail yourselves of the handsanitizer in the pews. 

·         We understand that an important part of church is greeting each other and catching up on news. We ask that this occur outside in the front or side lawn after church using proper distancing and masks. Speaking to each other inside without distancing poses the greatest risk that we will face, so we want to avoid this. Continue to wear your mask when speaking to others outside.

Please sign up to be greeters. The job of a greeter is to greet folks as they come to the front door. To smile, to welcome and to hold the door open for those who come.  To be a greeter, you have to endure the weather on the porch.  Dress warmly, wear your goulashes.  You don’t have to bring an umbrella as we will have an umbrella available for you to use in the narthex.

·         Coffee hour will remain on hiatus for the time-being.

Do You Have Ideas You Would Like to Share with the Session? Comment cards are in the pews.  Please fill them out and place in the offering box.  One way to catch up to any Session member or with Interim Dan is to go to your e-news and click on the hyperlinked email address of anyone with who you wish to speak. 

Helpful Information:

•          Need a hearing device for Worship? – You can get one at the rear of the Sanctuary at the sound booth

•          Prayer Requests and announcements for the Bulletin/FPCU Family News should be sent to Administrative Assistant Kristin Parry at FPCUlysses@gmail.com

•          Reservations for the Chapel should be made through Kristin Parry at 315-283-3137 or FPCUlysses@gmail.com                 

•          Contact Information changes should be sent to Clerk of Session Kris Alling at krisalling56@gmail.com

Helpful Information (Continued)

•          Birthday Calendar Updates should be sent to Linda Andrew at lka@ottcmail.com

•          To sign up to be a liturgist, usher, or greeter, please see the sign-up sheets in the Chapel.

In alphabetical order:

Kristen Parry, Administrator

Joseph Pepper, Music Director

Joseph Pepper and Sandra Wayman, Accompanists

The Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Russell, Interim Pastor

69 East Main Street, P.O. Box 597, Trumansburg, NY  14886

Web Address:   www.fpcu.info

Email Address:   FPCUlysses@gmail.com

Telephone:   607-387-8185

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