Call to Worship
We gather in the presence of God:
who knows us when we wake up
and when we go to sleep,
and in all the moments in between.
We gather in the house of God:
who has created a family for us,
here as well as in Aleppo,
We gather to be the people of God:
who appeals to us to follow
in love, in faith, in service.
Prayer of the Day
Eternal God our Potter:
you come to us
before we come to you.
You send your Heart,
Jesus Christ, to us
before our hearts
are turned to you.
You send your Spirit to us,
when our spirits
wander far from you.
You set a Table for us,
when our souls are hungry,
when our hearts are empty.
God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray
as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
Our sins are not to be hidden from God. Rather, we bring them into the Light and lay them on the Table, trusting in the One who shaped us for goodness and will transform our brokenness into wholeness. Please join me as we pray, saying,
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
Searching God, we are so attached to our possessions, we have trouble sharing them. We are so connected to our pleasures that we cannot feel the pain of those around us. We are so stuck on ourselves, we cannot sense our souls slipping away into the shadows.
Most merciful God: loosen us from the grip of the world, so we may feel your healing touch. Sever us from our sin, so your Spirit might bind us to you. Reshape us, redeem us, renew us, so we may take up our crosses and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
The God who calls us is the God who created us; the God who formed us is the God who forgives us. This is the Good News - we are God's new creation.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are reshaped, renewed, forgiven. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Some bear crosses hollowed out by hunger, some carry crosses called injustice. Sometimes our abundance is a cross which we struggle to bear. But as we learn to follow you, as we seek to be as generous as you, we discover that we can gift others with hope, with grace, and with peace. Receive our offerings this day, so they might bless your children in every way imaginable. This we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Potter of life be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who reshapes them into grace.
People of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
We praise the One who has shaped us for love and service.
With joy we praise you,
You stooped down and took the clay
lying on earth's floor,
shaping us in your image.
But we wondered
what it would be like
to follow our own paths
and detached ourselves from your side.
We counted the cost
of being your children,
and found it to be too much for us.
We pondered your words
and found them useless for our lives.
But you did not take your hands from us,
but continue to recreate us,
to reshape us, to redeem us.
Giver of breath, shaper of words,
all the living find voice to praise you,
as we celebrate with the people
of every time and place,
singing to your glory:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God who shapes us
with hands of grace and hope.
Your wonder works of creation praise your name.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes,
appealing to us on the basis of love.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, Redeeming God,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior.
Traveling with us,
he points out the paths
we are to walk.
When he could command
us to do whatever he wants,
he appeals to us
to follow his example.
Whatever wrong we have done,
whatever good we have failed to do,
Christ charges them to his account,
that we might be counted
as your beloved children.
So, as we come to the Table of grace and hope,
we remember that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, having counted the cost.
Christ was raised, the foundation of resurrection being set in place.
Christ will come, refreshing our hearts for all eternity.
Spirit of the Living God,
renew us with this bread and this cup
which have been set aside for sacred us,
even as you refresh our hearts.
Fill us with all the goodness of the kingdom,
that we may do good for Christ
as we serve others:
in the ways in which we treat our families;
in our willingness to draw
the outcast to our side;
in our efforts to be your healing hands
to the sick and grieving.
Then, here at the Table and beyond;
here in this moment, and through eternity:
remind us that we are always with you,
God of all places and times,
Christ of those who suffer,
Spirit of justice and hope:
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
It is God who has formed us as a community of faith.
Now, we will go to find and serve our sisters and brothers.
It is Jesus who has knit us together as partners in grace.
Now, we will go to bear the burdens of those around us.
It is the Spirit who gives us the words we need.
Now, we will go to speak for justice and hope for all.
(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman