View Online | Sunday Worship Service with guest preacher, Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey

Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 8:00 am to 9:00 am
All are welcome!
Office of Religious Life

Join us for worship on Sunday, September 20, 2020 with Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Associate Prof. of Constructive Theology, Meadville Lombard Theological School. The service will have magnificent music provided Penna Rose, Director of Chapel Music and by Eric Plutz, University Organist.

The recorded service is available at 8am here Chapel Sunday Service .

This service will remain archived after the premiere (along with concerts and other amazing programs), and we encourage you to return to them whenever you might find that to be helpful.  The bulletin for this service is below.

Bulletin for September 20, 2020: Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Invitatory: Basse et Dessus de Trompette (from Suite du Premier Ton) by Louis Nicolas Clérambault (1676-1749)

Welcome and Announcements: Dean Boden

Call to Worship: Alexandra Miller-Knaack

Reading: Psalm 25: 1-9 - To you, O God, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame do not let my enemies exult over me.  Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O God; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O God, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O God!

Good and upright is God; therefore God instructs sinners in the way. God leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble God’s way.

Anthem: Priidite, poklonimsya (from All-Night Vigil) by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Lyrics: Come, let us worship God, our King. Come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God. Come, let us worship and fall down before the very Christ, our King and our God. Come, let us worship and fall down before him.

Reading: Judith 7:19 – 32 - The Israelites then cried out to God, for their courage failed, because all their enemies had surrounded them, and there was no way of escape from them. The whole Assyrian army, their infantry, chariots, and cavalry, surrounded them for thirty-four days, until all the water containers of every inhabitant of Bethulia were empty; their cisterns were going dry, and on no day did they have enough water to drink, for their drinking water was rationed. Their children were listless, and the women and young men fainted from thirst and were collapsing in the streets of the town and in the gateways; they no longer had any strength.  Then all the people, the young men, the women, and the children, gathered around Uzziah and the rulers of the town and cried out with a loud voice, and said before all the elders, ‘Let God judge between you and us! You have done us a great injury in not making peace with the Assyrians. For now we have no one to help us; God has sold us into their hands, to be strewn before them in thirst and exhaustion. Now summon them and surrender the whole town as booty to the army of Holofernes and to all his forces. For it would be better for us to be captured by them. We shall indeed become slaves, but our lives will be spared, and we shall not witness our little ones dying before our eyes, and our wives and children drawing their last breath. We call to witness against you heaven and earth and our God, the Sovereign of our ancestors, who punishes us for our sins and the sins of our ancestors; do today the things that we have described!’  Then great and general lamentation arose throughout the assembly, and they cried out to God with a loud voice. But Uzziah said to them, ‘Courage, my brothers and sisters! Let us hold out for five days more; by that time our God will turn holy mercy to us again, for God will not forsake us utterly. But if these days pass by, and no help comes for us, I will do as you say.’  Then he dismissed the people to their various posts, and they went up on the walls and towers of their town. The women and children he sent home. In the town they were in great misery.

Sermon: “Fainting from Thirst” by Dr. Pamela Lightsey

Hymn: Come, Labor On (Ora Labora)

Lyrics: Come, labor on.  Who dares stand idle on the harvest plain while all around us waves the golden grain? And to each servant does the Savior say, “Go work today.”

Come, labor on. Away with gloomy doubts and faithless fear! No one so weak but may do service here; though feeble agents, may we all fulfill God’s righteous will.

Come, labor on. No time for rest, till glows the western sky, till the long shadows o’er the pathway lie, and a glad sound comes with the setting sun, “Well done, well done.”

Pastoral Prayer by Dean Thames

Lord’s Prayer: 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Princeton: O Eternal God, the source of life and light for all peoples, we pray you would endow this University with your grace and wisdom: give inspiration and understanding to those who teach and to those who learn; grant vision to its trustees and administrators; to all who work here and to all who bear her name give your guiding Spirit of sacrificial courage and loving service.  Amen.

Anthem: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (Tamworth) fromMelodious Accord and arranged by Alice Parker (b. 1925)


Voluntary: Toccata Giocosa by William Mathias (1934-1992)

University Chapel Staff: The Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D., Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; The Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel; Penna Rose, Director of Chapel Music; Eric Plutz, University Organist; Elizabeth Powers, Chapel Administrator; Alexandra Miller-Knaack, Seminarian Intern; Edgar Gomez, Sexton; Lisa McGurr, Sexton

The University Chapel is a welcoming community of faith.  We gather to sing God's praises, to hear God's living Word, to seek justice, and to proclaim God's love for all people.

Dr. Pamela Lightsey has a stellar history as a senior administrator and scholar in higher education. She currently serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Meadville Lombard Theological School and Associate Professor of Constructive Theology. Before her appointment at Meadville, she was Associate Dean at Boston University School of Theology. She is also an ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Lightsey is a womanist theologian who has lectured at schools within and outside the continental United States. She has served as co-chair of the American Academy of Religion's Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Group. She is currently a member of the Workgroup on Constructive Theology. Dr. Lightsey is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army. She served as a member of the original executive committee for the Soul Repair Project, which studies the role of moral injury in military veterans. 

As an activist, Dr. Lightsey has worked within the LGBTQ community to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy, and to ensure marriage equality. She continues to critique churches for homophobic polity, liturgy, and homiletics. Pamela was on the ground protesting against excessive police force during the first 21 days of unrest in Ferguson and across one year was one of several livestreamers providing ongoing broadcasts. Her work is the largest video archive of this historic time captured live by a solo African American theologian in the country. Dr. Lightsey has consistently collaborated with activist-colleagues in the movement for the liberation of Black lives, those addressing violence against Black transwomen, and institutional racism on college campuses. Leading up to the Presidential election of 2020, she formed Blaque Political Collection, a team of activists whose sole purpose is educating and encouraging Black LGBTQIA+ persons to exercise their right to vote.

As ordained clergy, Rev. Dr. Lightsey is among the leading voices fighting for LGBTQ rights in the United Methodist Church. She was the first out queer lesbian African American ordained elder in full connection in the denomination. As United Methodism faces schism, Rev. Dr. Lightsey - understanding the subtle work of racism in times of crisis - is coordinating with other LGBTQ persons of color to ensure their lives are not made subordinate to the needs of white LGBTQ persons.

Pamela’s several publications include the full manuscript, “Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology” (Wipf and Stock, 2015), Transforming Service: Reflections of Student Services Professionals in Theological Education. Editors Shonda R. Jones & Pamela R. Lightsey. (Wipf and Stock, 2020), “Blinking Red: The Escalation of a Militarized Police Force and Its Challenges to Black Communities” (Lexington Books, 2019), “He Is Black and We are Queer” in Albert Cleage Jr and the Black Madonna and Child (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).”

Pamela is the mother of two adult children and one adult goddaughter, who she helped raise. They and their children are her central sources of joy and hope.

Calendar: Today - Sunday, September 20, 2020. 10:00 A.M.  eastern time.  A zoom discussion with our preacher will be held.  All are invited to reflect further with Dr. Lightsey on her sermon’s themes.  The link is

Sunday, September 27, 2020, University Chapel Service.  The preacher will be Dean Boden.

For additional information please visit or call 609-258-3047.

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View Online | Sunday Worship Service with Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel

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