Worship January 24, 2021

Sherri Sinders – quilt, Linda Ediger – banner, Sara Stucky – painting, David Toews – ceramic turtle, Pastor Rose Marie  – poetry book, Randall Kaufman – cross

Spirituality and the Arts 3:   Shall we Dance?

Prelude “Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God” Performed by Jubilate Ringers and Ben Smeaton, percussion

Prayer for Peace & Lighting of Peace Candle

God of Love, We’ve Known Division
God of love, we’ve known division and we’ve seen its awful cost.
We have struggled as a nation, and there’s much that we have lost.
We have been a house divided — and, divided, we can’t stand.
May our nation be united; give us peace throughout this land.

Turn us, Lord, from what divides us — fear that drives us far apart,
greed that leads to great injustice, racist ways that break your heart.
May we seek what brings together — hearts that bear each other’s pain,
care and mercy toward our neighbors, love that welcomes strangers in.

May we all, in conversation, speak the truth and listen well.
May we hear, across this nation, stories others have to tell.
May we learn from other cultures and be blessed by their worldview;
May we serve with one another — loving others, loving you.

You have challenged us to goodness; you have shown a kinder way.
It’s your love that now inspires us as we seek a better day.
May we end our harsh division; may we stop the hate and fear.
Make us one, Lord, as a nation; may we be united here.

                                                – Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2020, used by permission

-moment of silence-

Call to Worship[i]       

Laugh! Children of God!

Let tears of joy baptize your eyes and your cheeks.

Give God thanks and celebrate!

It’s great to be alive!

It’s great to be alive!

Dance! Children of God!

Lose yourself in the choreography of the Spirit.

Life is a dance and God is the orchestra.

It’s great to be alive!

It’s great to be alive!

Embrace! Children of God!

Open your arms and feel close to each other.

It is in our openness where life takes on meaning.

It’s great to be alive!

Give God thanks and celebrate!

It’s great to be alive!

-John. W. Howell

[i] Reprinted by permission of the publishers from Touch Holiness, ed. Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi. ©1990 by The Pilgram Press.


Opening Praise  (Note the difference between body movements in these.  Both songs are from Africa, the first sung by a (mostly) white high school choir, the second an African worship service.)

Asithi: Amen (South African Hymn)  HWB 64

Sizohamba naye (Swaziland)   STJ 78 Cape town Christian tabernacle choir

Sharing and Prayer  (see top of sermon attached to this email)                                        

The Lord’s Prayer, liturgical dance

Children’s Story        “David dances before the Lord”

Scripture        Exodus 15:20-21; 2 Samuel 6:12-23

20 Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Exods 12 It was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes. 20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!” 21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord, that I have danced before the Lord. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Sermon   “Shall we dance?” – Pastor Rose Marie (attached to email)

Hymn of Response  I am the Lord of the Dance (Sing & Rejoice 67)

The video is a ballet, almost portrayed as a 100% upbeat celebratory dance. It doesn’t seem to adequately display all of the emotion that go with the words.  I invite you to listen to the music and make some of your own body movements that express the words of this song.

Benediction    STJ 158

From where we are to where you need us,

Jesus, now lead on.

From the security of what we know to the adventure of what you will reveal,

Jesus now lead on.

To refashion the fabric of this world until it resembles the shape of your kingdom,

Jesus, now lead on.

Because good things have been prepared for those who love God,

Jesus, no lead on. Amen.

Postlude Cotuit Federated Church Tambourine Band – When the Saints Go Marching In