April 2, 2018 @ 7:17 pm

04.01.18 Easter Surprise


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Read along with John 20:1-18


This podcast includes the entirety of our Easter Sunday worship service celebrating Christ's resurrection, particularly: 

- Pastor Allison Bauer's sermon "Easter Surprise" based on John 20:1-18

- Dr. Stan Workman's leadership of the day's music by the Second Pres Chancel Choir and special brass, timpani, and glockenspiel. 


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March 31, 2018 @ 12:46 am

03.30.18 Good Friday


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Read along John 18-19

Held at the traditional hour of Jesus' death on Good Friday, Pastor Allison Bauer reads through the crucifixion story as found in John 18-19 while Dr. Stan Workman provides musical meditations in this tenebrae service.

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March 29, 2018 @ 10:43 pm

03.25.18 The Palms and the Passion

IMG_8018.jpg  IMG_8020.jpg 

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Read along with the story of Christ's passion in Mark 14-15.

This podcast contains the second half of our "The Palms and the Passion" Sunday from Sun, March 25. It alternates between readings from Mark's gospel and musical responses by the Second Pres Chancel Choir under the direction of Dr. Stan Workman. 

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March 24, 2018 @ 10:35 pm

03.18.18 Covenant 5: Renewing Wedding Vows


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Read along with Jeremiah 31:31-34.  


Included in this podcast: 

1. Prayer for illumination

2. The Epistle reading - Hebrews 5:5-10 

3. The Psalter - Psalm 119:9-16 

4. The Gospel reading - John 12:20-33  

5. Anthem of the day: "Write Your Blessed Name" (Words: Thomas a Kempis/Music: K. Lee Scott) 

6. Old Testament reading - Jeremiah 31:31-34 

7. The Sermon 

8. Hymn "Long Ago God Reached in Love" 

9. Covenant Renewal Service: Renewing Wedding Vows" 


Sermon excerpt: 

Jeremiah portrays God as a spouse whose heart has been broken by an unfaithful partner. Though God was faithful to his part of the covenant, the people failed to live up to theirs and so the covenant is broken.

But God is not willing to abandon this broken relationship. Instead he decides recommit to the people he loves. God says, “I will be their God and they shall be my people.” It is God’s own resolve and love for the people that overrides the painful nullification of the covenant.[i] God yearns for an enduring relationship with “this recalcitrant and unresponsive people.”[ii]


[i] Texts for Preaching, p. 231.

[ii] Texts for Preaching, p. 231.

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March 15, 2018 @ 1:49 am

03.11.18 Covenant 4: Ordination


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Read along with Ephesians 2:1-10


Included in this podcast: 

1. Old Testament reading: Numbers 21:4-9 

2. The Psalter: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

3. Gospel reading: John 3:14-21

4. Anthem: "God So Loved the World" (John Stainer) 

5. Epistle reading: Ephesians 2:1-10 

6. Covenant Renewal Service: Celebrating Ordination 


Sermon excerpt: 

It is my hope that spending this season of Lent reflecting on God’s faithfulness to the everlasting covenants he has made with us will encourage each one of us to recommit ourselves to living up to our side of the covenant as faithfully as we can.

Seen through this lens, the “after” picture of being made alive in Christ in Ephesians 2 is part of our response to God’s covenant: a pledge to become who God has made us to be – one created in Christ Jesus for good works to bring God glory.  

In this morning’s “covenant renewal service,” we will particularly celebrate the good works that are done in the name of Christ Jesus by those who have been ordained as leaders in the congregation. In this way, ordination is one of the ways we are able to choose to do good works out of gratitude for God’s grace as a sign of our faithfulness to God’s covenant.

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March 8, 2018 @ 8:55 pm

03.04.18 Covenant 3: Church Membership


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Read along with Exodus 20:1-17


In this podcast: 

1. Epistle readng: 1 Corinthians 8:18-25 

2. The Psalter: Psalm 19 

3. Gospel reading: John 2:13-22 

4. Anthem of the Day: "King of Glory, King of Peace" (words by George Herbert; music by Eric Thiman) 

5. Old Testament reading: Exodus 20:1-17

6. The sermon 

7. Covenant renewal service: recognizing long-time Second Pres members 

8. Sung response: "All Are Welcome" 

9. Unison Prayer 


Sermon synopsis

What if, instead of a giant checklist of do's and don'ts, the 10 Commandments are actually a mission statement for God's people, defining who they are and what they value? 

If you read it that way, then the 10 Commandments mean this: “Above all things, we value a relationship with God, whom we know as the one who brought us out of slavery; we will worship no other except the Lord our God.”

It means, “We are a community of faith that values the holiness of Sabbath. God has given us good work to do for six days but on the seventh, we shall rest because God rested on the seventh day.”

And it means, “We will not ‘think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think,’ and will honor others above ourselves. We will speak well of our neighbors and value them for who they are, not for the things they possess.”

In essence, it means, “We will love others as God has loved us.”  

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February 27, 2018 @ 9:41 pm

Covenant 2: Remembering Our Baptism


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Read along with Genesis 17:1-16


Included in this podcast: 

1. Prayer of illumination 

2. Epistle reading: Romans 4:13-25 

3. The Psalter: Psalm 22:23-31 

4. Gospel reading: Mark 8:31-38 

5. Old Testament reading: Genesis 17:1-16

6. Hymn "To Abraham and Sarah" 

7. The sermon

8. Covenant renewal service: remembering and renewing our baptism 

Covenant-keeping God, I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will. Put me to doing; put me to suffering. Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you. Let me be full; let me be empty. Let me have all things; let me have nothing. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are mine, and I am yours. Amen.


Sermon excerpt: 

There is something beautiful and true about the image of a helpless baby being drawn into the family of God through the waters of baptism. It’s a reminder that all of us, sinners saved by God’s grace, are weak and unable to save ourselves but willingly put ourselves in the loving hands of our God.[1]

It is good for us, from time to time, to be reminded of the promises that were made at our baptisms, and to make those same promises again as our faith grows deeper and our knowledge of Jesus Christ becomes more intimate.

[1] "Presbyterian Questions, Presbyterian Answers," Donald McKim, p. 81.

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February 21, 2018 @ 9:54 pm

Covenant 1: Profession of Faith


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Read along with Genesis 9:8-17.  


In this podcast: 

1. Prayer of illumination 

2. Epistle reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22 

3. Chanting Psalm 25:1-10 

4. Gospel reading: Mark 1:9-15 

5. Anthem of the day: "Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days" (Erik Meyer) 

6. Old Testament reading: Genesis 9:8-17

7. Sermon: "Covenant 1: Profession of Faith" 

8. Covenant Renewal Service 


Sermon excerpt: 

There is an ominous quality to this season of the church year, as we once again remember how Jesus walked through the lonesome valley all the way to the cross; an ominous quality reflected in the Scripture passages appointed for each of the Sundays in Lent.

But there is a thin thread of hope and light running through those same lectionary passages, the flip side of Lent, you might say.

And it is the hope found in the covenants God makes us with.

Henri Nouwen writes, “When God makes a covenant with us, God says: ‘I will love you with an everlasting love. I will be faithful to you, even when you run away from me, reject me, or betray me.’”[i]

[i] Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey.


Covenant Renewal Service 

Opening litany
Leader: Our lives are full of choices but one choice informs all the others: who will be our God?
People: Who has been with us from before the beginning? Who has loved us and blessed us and sent us on our way? Who will celebrate with us when we have finished running the race and seek the comfort of eternity?
Leader: The holy One, the God of the covenant.
People: We choose this day to place our whole trust in the Holy One. We choose this day to commit our talents and resources to the One who first gave them to us. We choose this day to love the One who loved us first.
ALL:  And today we renew the covenant you made with us: the promise that you will be our God and we will be your people.

Sung response

Unison Prayer  
Covenant-keeping God, I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will. Put me to doing; put me to suffering. Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you. Let me be full; let me be empty. Let me have all things; let me have nothing. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are mine, and I am yours. Amen.

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February 19, 2018 @ 12:11 am

02.17.18 Saving What We Love


On Sat, Feb. 17, 2018 the Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of Scioto Valley met for their winter gathering at the First Presbyterian Church in Waverly, OH. 


The first half of the gathering featured a three-guest panel of leaders from Pike County answering questions concerning the current drug epidemic and what role the church can play in supporting the recovery movement. (This portion was open to the public and several community members were in attendance.) 


Following the panel and a lovely soup and salad lunch, they gathered for worship led by Rev. Allison T. Bauer, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Portsmouth, OH. 


In this podcast, you can listen to or download the audio from the sermon portion of the service. 

Read along with the Old Testament reading: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Read along with the New Testament reading: Romans 12:3-13.

Sermon: "Saving What We Love" 


Rev. Allison T. Bauer’s sermon, “Saving What We Love”
Sat, Feb 17, 2018   Presbyterian Women Gathering  (Waverly, First)

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2527336/quotes/?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

Johann Hari. Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. Bloomsbury USA. 2015

For a summary of Chasing the Scream, see Hari’s TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong/transcript (transcript included)     

Frederick Buechner. Quote about compassion found on   http://www.frederickbuechner.com/quote-of-the-day/2016/11/15/compassion.
Originally published in his books Wishful Thinking and Beyond Words.    

Holly Christine Hayes. From Basement to Sanctuary: Finding God’s Healing Power Through the Twelve Steps. WestBowPress. 2017.  

Kristin Schell. The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard. Thomas Nelson. 2017.

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February 12, 2018 @ 8:42 pm

02.11.18 Spiritual Geography: The Mountaintop (Transfiguration)


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Read along with Mark 9:2-9


In this podcast: 

1. Prayer of illumination 

2. OT reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12 

3. The Psalter: Psalm 50 responsive reading 

4. Epistle reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 

5. Anthem of the day: "Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies" (T. Frederick H. Candyln) 

6. NT reading: Mark 9:2-9 

7. Sermon "Spiritual Geography: The Mountaintop" (Transfiguration Sunday) 


Sermon excerpt

In that moment, they are able to forget the news Jesus shared with them the week before: the news that the Son of Man must undergo much suffering, be killed, and rise again. For a few moments, they are no longer haunted by Jesus’ teaching that to follow him is to deny oneself, to pick up one’s cross and follow him. Follow him all the way to the cross.

The disciples are reluctant to leave this holy mountaintop moment. Everything in them wants to cling to the glory of these moments when everything fits.

But Jesus knows that they can’t stay on the mountaintop. His road comes down the mountain and leads into the depths of suffering before the final revelation of glory. 

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