Transfiguration Sunday (Year C)

Call to Worship

Leader: Come to the mountain, you people of God.
All: We come to hear God's Word.
Leader: Come, choir members, to sing God's greatness.
Choir: for the Lord is righteous and just!
Leader: Come, you adults, to proclaim God's goodness,
Adults: for the Lord is the Holy One!
Leader: Come, you youth and children, to proclaim God's brilliance,
Youth: for the Lord is clothed with light!
Leader: Come, you people, to the mountain of God
All: for we are gathered to worship our Lord!

Prayer of the Day

God of all Brilliance,
we follow you to the mountain
and stand in awe of your presence.
The Son that has been born to us
is now the King that shines before us.
Gather us as your people
that we might worship within your light.
May that light illuminate our journey
that we may follow with sure feet
and prepare for the Lenten journey ahead.  Amen.

Call to Confession

Let us gather before our shining savior
to confess our sins that we might be forgiven.


Holy God,
when you call us to hope and to act with great boldness,
we tremble at your presence and cover our eyes.
We are afraid of what we will see
for your greatness unveils our weakness,
your justice unveils our brokenness,
and your holiness unveils our stained past.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
Giver of all grace, forgive us our sins.
Give us the strength to renounce that which hides you from us.
Give us the wisdom to execute justice and righteousness.
Give us the courage to uncover our hearts
that we might see the grace of your Son
and not lose heart. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Friends, hear the Good News of the Gospel:
the brilliance of Christ's presence before us
outshines the darkness of our sin.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Alleluia!  Amen!

Prayer for Illumination

Reveal your presence to us this day,
O God of light, love, and glory.
As you did to your servants at the foot of the mountain,
send your Spirit to show us your story.
May the brilliance of your face illuminate this place
as we dare to proclaim your Word
and may we, your people, be never unable
to tell all of that we have heard. Amen.

Prayers of the People

Let us pray to our God, saying:  
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

Creating God, you called your servants Adam and Eve on a journey to live.
You called your servants Abraham and Sarah on a journey to trust.
You called your servants Ruth and Naomi on a journey to love.
You called your servants David and Solomon on a journey to lead.
You called your servants Ezra and Nehemiah on a journey to rebuild.
For as long as you have spoken you have called us to a journey.
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

Your Son called his disciples to follow him on a journey to the cross;
a road to save, a road to heal, a road to love.
He called his disciples to a mountain where you sealed him with your light;
a light to sustain him for the long road ahead.
You call us to walk with him on that same road.
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

Your Holy Spirit called the church to proclaim your word of life.
Women and men, young and old, all were called and all were commissioned.
We who are [name of worshiping community] are part of that same journey.
The journey of Moses, the journey of Elijah, the journey of Christ,
each was a response to your call and we pray for the courage to do the same.
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

Gracious God, we thank you for this mountain.
We thank you for this light.
We, your people, stand in awe of your brilliance and your magnificence.
You alone are our God and you alone are our light in the darkness.
We, your people, thank you for your presence with us on this holy mountain.
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

Healing God, we thank you for the valley ahead.
We thank you for your guidance.
We, your people, are no strangers to valleys
and we pray for your presence for those of us in valleys of all kind.
Valleys of....
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

God of all grace, we pray especially this day for....
Holy God, lead us on the journey forward.

Hear us, Gracious God, as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Good and gracious God,
you have met us on many mountains:
on the mountain of Sinai,
you gave Moses and your people the law;
on the mountain of Carmel,
you defeated the prophets of Baal and brought down fire from heaven;
on the mountain in Matthew’s gospel,
you gave us the beatitudes and other precious wisdom;
and on the mountain of Tabor,
your beloved Child was transfigured before our eyes.
We give you thanks for the mountaintop experiences in our lives,
for the moments when your presence cannot be ignored.

Upon this mountain, this day, with all of creation,
and with people in all times and places,
we join the everlasting chorus:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and 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.

But your Child did not remain on the mountain that day.
He came down and met the people in the valleys of their lives:
valleys of despair and valleys of poverty,
valleys of injustice and valleys of economic imbalance,
valleys of hunger, hopelessness, and heartbreak.

After spending time with God’s beloved children in their valleys,
Jesus was raised up again, but this time on a cross.

We remember how Jesus gathered with his friends on the night he was betrayed.
How he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:
“take, eat, do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, he took the cup and, pouring it, said:
“this is the cup of salvation, shed in my blood, for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
For as long as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the resurrection of our living savior until he comes again.

Together, we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

As you turn us toward the season of Lent,
and prepare us for the journey to the cross,
guide us, Gracious God, that we might follow you
to the places you are calling us to go.
May this meal nourish us for the road ahead.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
all glory and honor are yours, Triune God. Amen.


Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.