Order of Worship
Let us be as open vessels that God’s spirit may enter.
The Community Gathers: Experience God’s presence in the assembly. Please greet one another with joy and welcome new friends into our community of love.
You are welcome here…come and worship!
Focus: “She is so bright and glorious that you cannot look at her face or her garments for the splendor with which she shines. But she is with everyone and in everyone, and so beautiful is her secret that no person can know the sweetness with which she sustains people, and spares them in inscrutable mercy.” ― Hildegard von Bingen
Gathering Music: Bring Many Names (by Carlton Young) -Michelle Currie
Call To Worship: (Corinthians 12:4-6 (Common English Bible).
One: There are different spiritual gifts,
Many: but the same Spirit.
One: There are many of us,
Many: but the same Spirit who gives to us all.
One: There are different ministries,
Many: and the same Holy One.
One: There are many places for us to serve,
Many: and the same Creator who calls to us all.
One: There are different activities,
Many: but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.
One: There are many of us,
Many: and one Gentle Spirit who calls and equips us for service.
Opening Hymn: Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness *See Lyric Insert
Opening Prayer: Eternal Mother, Gentle Sister, you are the foundation that enables everything we build to stand. You have given gifts to all women and men to bless and serve each other. You provide all your sons and daughters with gifts to carry out the mission you have designed for us. Speak clearly to us as today, so that we may discern your direction for our lives. Remind us that everything we need is found in you. May your peace, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Awakening: Long Before the Night (by Carolyn McDade) -Michelle Currie
Readings and Scripture: A Litany to honor women, Galatians 3:25-29, Acts 18:1-4, 24-26 Peter McPheeters
Sermon: She Who Is Eternal Love Rev. Paula Norbert
Music: Meditative ~ Mothering You Gave Me Birth (Text by Jean Janzen/Music by Carolyn Jennings) -Michelle Currie
Musical call to Prayer: Michelle Currie
Prayers of the People:
by Rev. Dr. Denise Kingdom Grier
God of Eve, grant life …
God of Zipporah, grant courage …
God of Deborah, grant justice …
God of Rahab, grant protection …
God of Mary Magdalene, grant deliverance …
God of the Samaritan Woman, grant refreshment …
God of the Mother of Jesus, grant favor …
By the Hand of Spirit, who proceeds from our loving Creator and Jesus, Amen.
Closing Music: Sing A New Song unto the Lord *See Lyric Insert
God’s gifts and mercies have been lavished upon us with abundance.
These gifts and mercies have been taken up by many faithful people,
and this day we celebrate the faithful women who have used their gifts
and shared God’s mercies with us.
May we, inspired by our Mother God, our Sister Spirit,
and the faithful women in our lives,
go forth from this place, ready to serve, ready to listen,
ready to answer the Divine call. Amen.
Postlude: Go In Peace
SPIRIT, SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS (Lyrics)
Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free.
Spirit, spirit of gentleness, stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.
You moved on the water, you called to the deep, then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep
And over the eons you called to each thing, awake from the slumbers and rise on your wings.
You swept though the desert, you stung with the sand, and you goaded your people with a law and a land
When they were confounded with idols and lies, then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.
You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill, then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still
And down in the city, you called once again, when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.
You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes, from the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams.
Our women see visions, our men clear their eyes, with bold new decisions your people arise.
SING A NEW SONG UNTO THE LORD (Lyrics)
Sing a new song unto the lord; let your song be sung from mountain’s high.
Sing a new song unto the lord: singing hallelujah!
Shout with gladness! Dance for joy! O come before the Lord.
And play for God on glad tambourines, and let your trumpet sound.
Glad my soul my soul for I have seen the glory of the Lord.
The trumpety sounds; the dead shall be raised. I know my savior reins.
A litany to honor women
This litany is adapted by Rev. Liz Testa from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
We walk in the company of the women who have gone before,
Mothers and sisters of the faith, both named and unnamed,
Testifying with ferocity and faith to the Spirit of Wisdom and Healing.
They are the judges, the prophets, the martyrs, the warriors, poets, lovers and Saints Who are near to us in the shadow of awareness, in the crevices of memory, in the landscape of our dreams.
We walk in the company of Deborah,
who judged the Israelites with authority and strength.
We walk in the company of Esther, who used her position as Queen
to ensure the welfare of her people.
We walk in the company of you whose names have been lost and silenced,
who kept and cradled the wisdom of the ages.
We walk in the company of the woman with the flow of blood,
who audaciously sought her healing and release.
We walk in the company of Mary Magdalene,
who wept at the empty tomb until the risen Christ appeared.
We walk in the company of Phoebe,
who led an early church in the empire of Rome.
We walk in the company of Perpetua of Carthage,
whose witness in the third century led to her martyrdom.
We walk in the company of Saint Christina the Astonishing,
who resisted death with persistence and wonder.
We walk in the company of Julian of Norwich,
who wed imagination and theology proclaiming “all shall be well.”
We walk in the company of Sojourner Truth, who stood against oppression,
righteously declaring “ain’t I a woman!” in 1852.
We walk in the company of the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,
who turned their grief to strength, standing together to remember
“the disappeared” children of war with a holy indignation.
We walk in the company of Alice Walker,
who named the lavender hue of womanish strength.
We walk in the company of Ida Scudder,
who saw the critical need for women’s health care in India, got trained as a doctor, and transformed the system by building medical facilities and schools there.
We walk in the company of all Mothers and Sisters of the faith,
who teach us to resist evil with boldness,
to lead with wisdom and strength,
and to heal with compassion and love.
We walk in the company of one another.
In Jesus’s name we pray.
New Living Translation
24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[a] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[b] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings[c] in God’s own image.
In the image of God,… male and female, God created them.
New Revised Standard Version
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.