This Sunday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. we commemorate Calvary’s Anniversary and Reformation Sunday with the Sacrament of Holy Communion, special hymns, colors, liturgy and the sermon What to Do When the Lights Go Out.
It is fitting on Reformation Sunday, that we celebrate our church’s anniversary. Today marks two hundred and eleven years of devout worship and faithful service. Founded in 1807 as the First Presbyterian Church, the congregation now worships in its third building on this site. Its name was changed to Calvary in 1958.
Many of this morning’s prayers come from worship services from past years.
The following sections highlight key elements of today’s special service:
Our worship style is traditional, but always contemporary in spirit, friendly, relaxed, and graciously welcoming. The service includes contributions from members and clergy alike who lead us in a weekly expression of our faith with warm greetings, fine music, a children’s sermon and sermons aimed at helping us understand how the teachings of the Bible can be applied to our lives today.
About the Sermon
The sermon,What to Do When the Lights Go Out is based on readings from Isaiah 60:1-3, 19-22 and Romans 13:8-14.
Paul tells us to “put on the Armor of Light” and Isaiah says, “the Lord will be your everlasting Light.” But, what happens when we feel too far from light or too tired and too weary to wear that armor of light? As we gather to celebrate an anniversary, we also gather to celebrate the role of God’s church as a collection of people dedicated to being the armor of light in challenging and shady times. We gather to encounter a sense of relief in knowing that the light we are called to wear comes to us from a steadfast and an ever-present God who shows us what to do when the lights go out.
Student Pastor Ben Fitzgerald-Fye will be preaching and Rev. Dan Little will preside over the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
The Prayer of the Day
Lord God Almighty, in the beginning, by your Word, you created the light, send forth your light and truth to guide us. Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, deliver us from darkness and let us see you, the truth. Holy Spirit of God, guide us into all truth, and assure us that we are children of God.Holy and blessed Trinity, we worship and adore you in your eternal glory, majesty, and truth. Amen. – from October 9, 1988 bulletin
How Great Thou Art
“How Great Thou Art” is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian. It was translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own. The composition was set to a Russian melody. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades. “How Great Thou Art” was ranked second (after “Amazing Grace”) on a list of the favorite hymns of all time in a survey by Christianity Today magazine in 2001.
Let Us Build a House-All are Welcome
The text and music for this hymn were written by Marty Haugen, an American composer of liturgical music, in 1994. Originally, this hymn was written for a church dedication; however, the notes in the Glory to God hymnal remind us that, “The building is at best a vessel for the essential love and hope, life and faith, peace and justice, hospitality and nurture that form the worshipping community.”
God, Be the Love to Search and Keep Me
This is a current hymn, written in 2004; but, it is a hymn deeply anchored in the history and tradition of the church. The words of this hymn, attributed in part to St. Patrick, reflect a particular prayer style in the Celtic tradition known as loricaa Latin word for “armor” or “breastplate.” There are many prayers that arise from a word of mouth tradition of praying these kinds of breastplate prayers to petition God for both presence and protection. These prayers can often be found in traditions that pray to particular saints.
Today’s liturgical color:
Red is the color of fire, which symbolizes the presence of God. From God’s presence at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-31) to the establishment of this church, we celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit.
Following the service, we welcome all to join us for fellowship and refreshments in the Chalice Room, next the the Sanctuary.
About Reformation Sunday
As Christians, our faith began with the followers of Jesus. But the beginning of our Christian faith as Presbyterian is in the Reformation. The Reformation marks something significant for us in this part of the universal church: the coalescence of our focus on the Holy Spirit’s ongoing reform of us as a church and as individuals. Martin Luther helps us to understand and acknowledge that the institution of the church is not equal to God. We are called to worship the triune God alone, to claim Jesus Christ as Lord of the church, and to seek the ongoing sanctification of the Holy Spirit. (excerpt from the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Commemorate Reformation 500 (2017))