The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury

March 27, 2022
Fourth Sunday in Lent
9:30 a.m.



God of wilderness and water, Your Son was baptized and tempted as we are. Guide us through this season That we may not avoid struggle, But open ourselves to blessing, Through the cleansing depths of repentance And the heaven- rendering words of the Spirit. Amen.

PRELUDE               Prelude on “Bethany”                    Franklin Ashdown


We gather to share in our love of God.
Lord, open our hearts and let us share your Good News.
We gather to share our witness to God’s goodness
Lord, let out lives bear witness through service to your people.
We gather to praise God whose love is eternal.
Lord, open our hearts today to sing your praises. Amen

*HYMN No. 189 “O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair”

1 O wondrous sight, O vision fair
of glory that the church shall share,
which Christ upon the mountain shows,
where brighter than the sun he glows!

2 From age to age the tale declare,
how with the three disciples there,
where Moses and Elijah meet,
the Lord holds converse high and sweet.

3 The law and prophets there have place,
two chosen witnesses of grace;
the Father’s voice from out the cloud
proclaims his only Son aloud.

4 With shining face and bright array
Christ deigns to manifest today
what glory shall be theirs above
who joy in God with perfect love.

5 And faithful hearts are raised on high
by this great vision’s mystery,
for which in joyful strains we raise
the voice of prayer, the hymn of praise. 


As people of God we are called to restore relationships with one another and with God. Our own humanity, feelings, desires, and sins separate us from each other and God. Restoring these relationships begins by humbling ourselves and confessing our part in the broken relationship. Hear us as we silently confess our sins toward God and one another…


Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy, forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. 

Silence is observed


Rejoice and be glad! Our God is full of mercy, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. Through Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Dare to believe in the gift of a new beginning, and be at peace.

*RESPONSE No. 565 “Holy Holy Holy”

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power, God of might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest,
hosanna in the highest.


Since God has forgiven us in Christ, let us forgive one another. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you.

ANTHEM                 “Lamb of God”                      Mark Patterson



Prepare our hearts, O God, to accept you Word. Silence in us any voices but your own, so that we may hear your Word and also do it; through Christ our Lord. Amen.  

SCRIPTURE   Luke 12:22-24

22 He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

Psalm 137: 1-4

1 By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 On the willows[a] there
we hung up our harps.
3 For there our captors
asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How could we sing the Lord’s song
in a foreign land?

SERMON                  “Being Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.”

Rev. Dr. Sean Chow

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH       A portion of the Brief Statement of Faith

We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God.  Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.  Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition, Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world.  God raised this Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal. Amen.

*HYMN No. 210 “Lord, Why Have You Forsaken Me”

1 Lord, why have you forsaken me,
and why are you so far away
from my complaint and my distress
poured out before you night and day?

2 Yet you are holy, and the songs
of praise of Israel are your throne;
when our ancestors called on you,
you saved them, rescued all your own.

3 But I am mocked and put to scorn.
All those who see me laugh and say,
“You trust in God, so let us see
the help of God to whom you pray.”

4 Yet you, O Lord, have been my God
and only hope since I was born.
With trouble near me, none can help.
My Savior, leave me not forlorn. 


Holy God, as we continue to contemplate the season of Lent, we are mindful of the lengths to which you would go for the love of humankind. We are floating on a sea of grace greater than we can ask or imagine. As we gather in the name of Jesus Christ to pray, we are mindful that he taught us to pray for these things …

We pray for this world, which you have made and loved, and where you are at work for redemption. We pray for the leaders of the world, the leaders of other nations and our own. Your way in the world is one of wholeness and peace; the world longs for your shalom. Guide leaders to work for the common good of their own nations and the whole world. Shorten the distances between us. Compel countries with compassion. Make us whole, O Lord.

And likewise, we pray for the city where we live. For those in our midst who struggle with the strains of life, we offer our prayers. For those who live with unemployment and underemployment, for those without housing or substandard housing, for those who live with addiction, and mental and emotional illness, for victims of violence, particularly gun violence, for all of these, and for those unnamed yet known to you, we offer our prayers. You know the measure of grace that is needed in each life, and so we commend our prayers to your care.

Finally, O Lord, we pray for ourselves. You have called each of us to lives marked with your grace, sustained by your power, to be a blessing to the world. We all need to be inspired and sustained, and so we give you thanks for the communities of faith that have guided and nurtured us. We pray for the church universal, for the Presbyterian Church, and for this particular body of faith. May each of these be the mother of faith that our lives may proclaim the one crucified and risen. Hear our prayers as we pray the words our savior taught us, “Our Father…”

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy 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.



Lord, it’s a small gesture; pulling coins or bills out of our pockets, writing a check. It almost makes no sound as it drops into the offering plate. But it is the sound of our hears opening, giving you the fruit of our labor. It is our collective offering of love, a weekly deposit in the account of your faithfulness. We do this in the name of Jesus. Amen.



Praise God, from whom all blessing flow, Praise God, all creatures here below.  Alleluia, Alleluia Praise God in Jesus fully known; Creator, Word and Spirit one. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.


As we offer our treasure and hearts to you, O God, may they be used to pass on the promise of hope, of peace, of life, of community to all in need of your gifts and presence in their lives. Amen.  

*HYMN No. 193 “Jesus, Take Us To The Mountain”

1 Jesus, take us to the mountain,
where, with Peter, James, and John,
we are dazzled by your glory,
light as blinding as the sun.
There prepare us for the night
by the vision of that sight.

2 What do you want us to see there,
that your close companions saw?
Your divinity revealed there
fills us with the selfsame awe.
Clothed in flesh like ours you go,
matched to meet our deadliest foe.

3 What do you want us to hear there,
that your dear disciples heard?
Once again the voice from heaven
says of the Incarnate Word,
“Listen, listen, everyone:
this is my beloved Son.”

4 Take us to that other mountain
where we see you glorified,
where you shouted “It is finished!”
where for all the world you died.
Hear the stunned centurion:
“Truly this was God’s own Son!”

5 We who have beheld your glory,
risen and ascended Lord,
cannot help but tell the story,
all that we have seen and heard;
say with Peter, James, and John:
“You are God’s beloved Son!”


The flowers are given to the glory and honor of God by Connie & Andy Tighe in loving memory of Kevin Tighe

Rev. Dr. Sean Chow headshotRev. Dr. Sean Chow will be facilitating this officer training event on Sunday, March 27th.  Sean is a former member of the Presbytery for Southern New Jersey and is the Associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities for Training and Leadership Cohorts for the Presbyterian Church. He resources and consults with regional denomination bodies, churches, and church plants as they launch new creative expressions of church.

He is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University (2005), Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary (2009) and a Doctor of Ministry at New York Theological Seminary (2022). Through it all there is an inner desire is to be a part of a God driven movement that impacts the world for God’s glory. His aim is to prepare, equip, and sustain leaders to do the work in which God calls them. He is a frequent speaker to churches, committees, gatherings, and conferences.

Sean and his family live in Southern California where he can be found on a local tennis court having reconnected to an old passion.