March 15, 2020 @ 8:30 pm

Sun, March 15, 2020 “Unwanted Sabbath”


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

Sun, March 15, 2020 

Rev. Allison T. Bauer, Pastor 
Dr. Stan Workman, Director of Music 

Download the complete bulletin here.


In this podcast ... 


Prayer of Illumination 

Old Testament reading  Exodus 17:1-7 

The Psalter  Psalm 95 

The Epistle reading  Romans 5:1-11 


The Anthem "Come to the Water"  (John Foley/Lynda Hassleler) 

Oh let all who thirst 
Let them come to the water. 
And let all who have nothing, 
Let them come to the Lord. 
Without money, without price, 
Why should you pay the price, 
Except for the Lord? 

And let all who seek, 
Let them come to the water. 
And let all who have nothing, 
Let them come to the Lord. 
Without money, without strife, 
Why should you spend your life, 
Except for the Lord? 

And let all who toil, 
Let them come to the water. 
And let all who are weary, 
Let them come to the Lord. 
All who labor without rest, 
How can your soul find rest, 
Except for the Lord? 

And let all the poor, 
Let them come to the water. 
Bring the ones who are laden, 
Bring them all to the Lord. 
Bring the children without might. 
Easy the load and light, 
Come to the Lord. 

The Gospel reading  John 4:5-42 

The Sermon "Unwanted Sabbath" 



Hymn: "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" 

Affirmation of Faith - The Apostles' Creed 

Prayers of the People & the Lord's Prayer 

Stewardship Invitation

The Offertory


Prayer of Dedication 



Hymn: "Come, Thou Fount" 

Benediction: "Pandemic" (a poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar)

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Benediction response "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again" 

The Postlude 

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November 15, 2019 @ 7:02 pm

11.03.19 “Preaching Hope” (All Saints’ Sunday)


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

All Saints' Sunday - remembering the saints of the church who have passed away 


Unlike our usual sermon podcast, this episode presents the entire service of the day, including the sacrament of communion. The sermon is based on Ephesians 1:15-23 and is called, "Preaching Hope." 

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November 14, 2019 @ 10:00 pm

11.13.19 Prayer Experiment


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 


In this week's PRAYER EXPERIMENT, we revisit last week's experiment! (We are trying to create new prayer habits, after all!) 

Pastor Allison collected another round of quotes about prayer, and we read through them asking which quotes spoke to our hearts either because they described how we felt or what we aspired to.

Then we tried analyzing Psalm 25 using the ACTS model of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication). The ACTS model is a helpful way of constructing a written prayer. It can be useful for verbal prayers too, but we're focusing on writing prayers for right now. 

We explained to the person who was here this week but missed last week that our goal/homework, was to write a prayer using the words of Psalm 25 (or some other psalm) to be used as the "Prayers of the People" in worship. 

We read the prayer we wrote together last week and agreed to each write our own before our next gathering. 


Happy listening! 


Download the guide to follow along with the conversation: 

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November 13, 2019 @ 11:38 pm

11.06.19 Prayer Experiment

Weds, Oct 6 

Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 



In this installment of PRAYER EXPERIMENTS, we embrace the spirit of magazines and Facebook quizzes to discover our "prayer types!" using quotes from about prayer.  

Then we talk about the ACTS model of prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. 

THEN we write a group ACTS prayer using the words of Psalm 19 as our inspiration. 


Homework: write your own prayer to be used on Sunday as the "Prayers of the People!" 

Link to guide: 


Here's the text of the prayer we wrote together using Psalm 19 as a guide:

Dear Lord, 

We see the heavens telling of your glory in the dewdrop on the pine needle, the sun breaking through the trees, and the waves crashing on the sand - powerful and gentle. 

Use your glory to powerfully clear our hidden faults; keep our hearts gentle, resisting the temptation to transgress against you. 

The Law of the Lord revives our souls. We are grateful for all the ways you enlighten our eyes, and our hearts rejoice in your glory. 

In our times of prayer and prayer experiments, let the words of our mouths and the prayers that we feel (that have no words), be acceptable to you, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. 

In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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October 29, 2019 @ 6:20 pm

10.27.19 “Where Your Treasure Is”


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

"Where Your Treasure Is" 


Included in this podcast: 

Prayer for Illumination 

Old Testament reading  Joel 2:23-32 

The Psalter - Psalm 65:1-13 

Epistle reading  2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 


The Anthem "Fight the Good Fight" (John Gardner) 


Gospel reading  Luke 12:22-34 

Sermon "Where Your Treasure Is" 


Sermon excerpt: 

Your heart follows your money.

Think about it. If you buy a new car, suddenly you love driving and look for every excuse to take someone somewhere. Buy a new house, and you want to have everyone over. Buy some new clothes or shoes, and you wear them the next day, even if they’re not the most weather-appropriate choices.

Your heart follows your money, specifically how you spend your money.

And “Jesus does not need your money. But he desperately wants your heart. Jesus knows that the key to having your heart is through your money.”ii 



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October 25, 2019 @ 7:29 pm

10.23.19 Prayer Experiment #2


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

Prayer Experiment#2

(Wednesdays at 5:30pm - 801 Waller St, Portsmouth OH 45662) 


Before we started recording, we reflected on last week's prayer experiments, sharing what was helpful and what wasn't. Some who struggle with staying focused or paying attention especially appreciated the physical cues of crossing their thumbs in a way that was not natural or praying with palms up helped to keep their mind focused. Others said even if they didn't actually pray more regularly, they THOUGHT about praying much more than usual. And we decided that's a great first step! 

We also had a discussion about creating a designated prayer space in our homes - a "prayer chair" or space - where we would have all the tools we would need for structuring a prayer time. 

Of course, prayer can happen at any time and any location, but if your goal is to be more regular or faithful in your prayer life, a structure can help you to be more disciplined. That's part of what we're focusing on in the beginning: creating a regular practice of prayer within the rhythm of our day.  


Experiment #2  The Daily Examen 

Today's topic is the "daily examen," "a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience."
The framework used for a simple daily examen in this podcast comes from the book, Sleeping with BreadThe handout below includes a more detailed format that can also be followed. 


Download this handout to follow along with the experiments:

One of the group members led the evening prayer using a service from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. As soon as I get that service, I will upload it so you can follow along with that at the end of the podcast. 

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October 22, 2019 @ 9:00 pm

10.20.19 “The Sun Always Rises”


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

Since our organ was feeling under the weather, we worshiped in the chapel. And I must have been a little preoccupied because I forgot to turn off the recording, so this podcast includes most of the service, including the lovely acoustic piano service music provided by Dr. Stan Workman during the offering. Enjoy! 


Included in this podcast: 

Prayer for Illumination 

The Epistle reading  2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:5 

The Psalter  Psalm 121 

The Gospel reading  Luke 18:1-8 


The Anthem  "Come Thou Fount" (Craig Courtney) 

The Old Testament reading  Genesis 32:22-31  

The Sermon "The Sun Always Rises" 


Sermon excerpt: 

Being a follower of Jesus Christ does not protect us from dark nights of the soul. Our faith in God does not protect us from having loved ones die suddenly or marriages ending badly or keep terrible accidents from happening. We will be tested, and we will struggle to meet the challenge of that test.

In fact, those who open their hearts to Jesus also open their hearts to the world and will inevitably have those hearts broken again and again. One of my favorite authors writes, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

Being a follower of Jesus Christ does not protect us from the terrible things that will happen … but our belief in the faithfulness of God even in the darkest times gives us one more reason to keep going, to keep believing, to keep fighting.

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October 17, 2019 @ 8:41 pm

10.16.19 Prayer Experiment #1


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

The experiment begins! As a response to requests about learning some "new-to-us" ways of praying, here's our first adventure with prayer experiments! 


Experiment #1  How physical posture can trigger your brain when it's time to pray 

- crossing your thumbs 

- hands palms up resting on your legs 


Experiment #2  Summarizing a Scripture passage in 6 words or less 

- the practice of discerning the heart of a Scripture passage and listening for God's voice 


Download this handout to follow along with the experiments: 

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October 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

10.03.19 “Seek the Shalom of the City”


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

"Seek the Shalom of the City" 


In this podcast: 

Prayer for Illumination 

Gospel reading  Luke 17:11-19 

The Psalter - Psalm 66:1-12 

The Epistle reading  1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 

The Anthem  "A Repeating Alleluia" 


Old Testament reading  Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 

Sermon  "Seeking the Shalom of the City" 


Sermon excerpt: 

So, if we are to assume that these words God gave to the Israelites are words being spoken to us again today by the power of the Holy Spirit, what are we to do with them?

I wonder about all the ways we’re already seeking the shalom of this city, but we’ve never thought about them in this way before.

When you serve in a community group or a non-profit, you’re seeking the shalom of the city.

When you run a business or a doctor’s office, you’re seeking the shalom of the city.

When you teach in a school or a university, when you make music or make art, when you pack hygiene kits or weekend food backpacks or buy presents for kids at Christmas or give to God’s Pantry, you’re seeking the shalom of the city.

When you do any of these things in the name of Jesus Christ – whether you actually speak his name out loud or not – you are seeking the wholeness and completeness and prosperity of the city.

But ... 

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October 6, 2019 @ 9:30 pm

10.06.19 “Something Small and Hidden”


Second Presbyterian Church + Portsmouth, OH 

"Something Small and Hidden" 


Prayer of Illumination 

Old Testament reading  1 Kings 17:8-16 

Epistle reading  Acts 2:37-47 

Gospel reading  Matthew 13:31-34 


Sermon "Something Small and Hidden" 


Sermon excerpt: 

" ... we realize that mustard seeds and yeast are in fact the oddest of choices as ways of describing the kingdom of heaven.

First of all, a mustard plant is actually classified as an invasive weed, so if it shows up in your yard, it behooves you to get rid of it ASAP because it will take over all your other plants.

And second of all, in biblical times they didn’t actually use yeast as we know it today; instead it something called “leaven” which is described as a “rotting, molding lump of bread” used to start a new loaf of bread, kind of like a sourdough starter.

You know what that means, right? Jesus is saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like an invasive weed and moldy bread.” And that can only lead us to ask the question, “What in the world was Jesus thinking?” 

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