05/16/21

WELCOME to Westminster Church Online!

We are glad that you are here this morning. We hope this time of worship nurtures
your faith enlivens your spirit and engages your mind as we celebrate God’s
love and healing for the world with the resurrection of Christ, our Risen Lord.

Before you begin, remember to download and print the 05.16.21 – Bulletin for Ascension Sunday
Then grab your Bible, a cup of tea or coffee, and prepare your heart for worship.

If this is your first Sunday with us, welcome! We’re glad you choose to worship with us.
Please take a moment to fill out the online Friendship Form and let us know.

READ THE SERMON

7th Sunday of Easter / The Ascension of the Lord
May 16, 2021
Rev. Denise Clark-Jones

“AS GOD INTENDED”

Psalm 148 commands all of creation to praise the Lord, including the animals: “Wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens” (vs. 10-13). The poetry of Christopher Smart, set to music by Benjamin Brittain in his famous choral work, “Rejoice in the Lamb,” explores how all creatures praise God by doing what
God created them to do. This is what our scripture readings during the Easter Season call us to do — to be who we are intended to be, made in the image of God and citizens of the kingdom of God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

As part of our worship this week, the Quartet of Westminster will present the Festival Cantata, “Rejoice in the Lamb” by Benjamin Britten as part of the Sermon.  The work dates from 1943 and was written on commission from St. Matthew’s Church, Northampton, England in celebration of the parish’s 50th anniversary.  It is a fifteen-minute masterpiece that takes its text from the massive poem of Christopher Smart (1722-1771) called “Jubilate Agno”.  Essentially it is a celebration of the world and all God’s creatures who, in their own way, praise God in their very being.  Smart was one of the great poets of his time … deeply religious and most insightful into the nature of things and their relationship to God.  Smart’s genius bordered on insanity at times, and much of his poetry was written on the walls of his cell in a London insane asylum.  Although there are incomprehensible parts of this epic poem (some 300 pages), much of it is inspired and uses the English language in most creative ways to praise God.  The composer took excerpts from the best of the poem and created this lovely cantata.  Come, join us as we praise God in the musical art. The Quartet has worked diligently to prepare this offering … we pray it will be a blessing as you listen as it has been a blessing as we have prepared it.  See you in church!  

Let us know that you joined us by filling out the Friendship Form below.
Then share with us your favorite part of today’s online worship experience!
Whether that was something from the music or the message, we’d love to hear.
Visit our Facebook to let us know.

JOIN US AT 11 AM THIS MORNING FOR SOME CONVERSATION.
We have a computer set up so those who are unable to join us in person can still fellowship with the church family.

Join Zoom Fellowship:  https://zoom.us/j/970970631
Meeting ID: 970 970 631               Dial in to talk: 1-312-626-6799
Password: FELLOWSHIP

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us
comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us
to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.