Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for May 12
Rev. Layton Williams, preaching

A word that Presbyterians often use to describe the way we do church is “connectional.” This means that we don’t just exist in isolated congregations, but that we are connected to regional and even national communities and ministry efforts. It also means that we’re a whole body of Christ that partners together (on a really big scale) to do God’s will and to spread good news to a world in need.

I have loved being a part of our connectional Presbyterian community. It has allowed me to meet so many wonderful colleagues in ministry. As pastor at Sunnyvale, I have the privilege of connecting our community with some of these good folks. So, I hope you’ll come this Sunday and hear our preacher, Rev. Layton Williams.

Layton served as a pastoral resident at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, where we partnered together on young adult ministry and non-traditional worship. She has been involved in leading efforts to more fully include and honor LGBTQI+ persons in the PC(USA). She is an author, poet, and blogger – and she’s spent time working as a writer and editor building public engagement with Sojourners (a Christian social justice publication and advocacy organization).

Layton is going to lead us in worship and ask us to consider, even more deeply, what it means to be connected as the body of Christ. What might God be wanting to do in us, and through us?

Theme for Sunday

“The hands of the Almighty are so often to be found at the ends of our own arms.”

—Sister Monica Joan, Call The Midwife
Questions for Reflection
  • What does it mean to be the body of Christ in the world today? What does it mean to be Jesus' hands and feet?
  • How does Peter have the power to resurrect Tabitha? What power do we have in Christ? Or, asked differently, how is God able to use us and work through us? Do we sell short our responsibility in this regard by focusing on our limited power/capability?
Acts 9:36-43

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.
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