Monday, May 29, 2006

Pentecost - B

Call to Worship

The Day of Pentecost is here:
the day when the flames of faith
dance in our hearts.

The Day of Pentecost is here:
the day when our babbling speech
becomes the Good News for the world.
The Day of Pentecost is here:
the day when compassion
is seared into our souls.
The Day of Pentecost is here:
let the people of God rejoice. Alleluia!

Prayer of the Day

Spirit of the Living God,
dance with us on this day.
Come, Whirlwind of Wonder!
Sing to the groaning of creation.
Come, still small voice of Hope!
Enflame us with your passion for justice.
Come, Liberator of the Least!
Purify us of our grasping greediness.
Come, Advocate of selfless living!
Silence our gossiping tongues.
Come, Harmony of God's Heart!
Wind of God, blow through us;
Fire of God, burn within us;
Tongue of God, speak to us
on this day of renewal and birth,
even as we pray as Jesus teaches us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

Feel the Spirit of God moving in your soul. Listen
to the Spirit speaking to you of hope and wholeness.
Trust the promises God has made that new life is
our inheritance. Join me as we open ourselves to
God's healing Spirit, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession

Spirit of God:
you come, aflame with new life,
but our apathy threatens to douse your passion;
you come, on fire with love,
yet we limit our affections to a select few;
you come, surging with new dreams and new hopes,
but we still cling to the old ways of living;
you come, glowing with the vision of the kingdom,
yet we close our eyes to your future.

Forgive us, Spirit of Truth, forgive us.
Come to us, anew, this day:
to shatter our hardened hearts with your tenderness;
to set our souls on fire with your love;
to send us into a world which aches
for the new joy, the new hope, the new life
offered in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

With a gentle breeze God enflames our spirits;
with a strong wind, God reminds us of our
need to forgive and be forgiven. Like a cleansing
storm, God takes away our past, revealing the
fresh, new life which is ours.
Awakened, refreshed, renewed, made whole:
now we can dance with the wind, singing our
praises to the One who gives life to all.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving


The Lord of Pentecost be with you.
P: And also with you.
People of Pentecost, lift your hearts
to the Spirit moving in your midst.
We open our hearts to the Breath of God
which fills us with hope and grace.
Daughters and sons of the Holy One,
lift your joy to our God.
We sing the song of Pentecost
in the language of of every heart -
praise and thanksgiving to our God!

In the shadows of chaos
you breathed, Creator God,
your Spirit moving over the waters of life.
You opened your hands,
filling all creation with goodness and beauty.
You gathered up earth's dust,
shaping us in your image,
filling our lungs with Spirit's life.
But drunk on the new wine
of human arrogance and desire,
we listened to the competing voices
of evil, sin, and death,
believing they spoke the truth.
With sighs too deep for words,
you continued to call us home,
speaking through teachers and prophets.
When we hid our faces from you,
you looked upon us in compassion,
and sent Jesus Christ
to restore us to life with you.

And so, with your people here on earth,
and with the company of heaven,
in every language, and in every heart,
we glorify your name, singing:

Sanctus

Holy are you, God of beginnings and endings,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Lord.
At his baptism,
the Spirit named him your Beloved;
in the wilderness,
the Spirit strengthened him
to withstand the seductions of the Evil One;
Spirit-anointed for ministry,
Jesus sang good news to the poor,
set free those imprisoned by despair,
gave sight to the blind
and fed the hungry,
blessed little children,
and ate with sinners.
When his service of tender mercies
was finished,
he went to the Cross,
suffering and dying for all humanity,
and was raised to new life,
as a promise to all your children.

As we come to this Table,
we remember his promise to always be with us.
Baptized by the Holy Spirit,
and purified in the fire of obedience,
we sing of that faith which is ours:

Memorial Acclamation

As Christ promised,
you have poured out your Holy Spirit
upon your people
and upon the gifts of the bread and the cup.
As we offer our thanks to you
for the gift of the Spirit
in our lives and in the world,
may the flames of Pentecost
kindle compassion in our hearts;
may the tongues of fire
ignite our calls for justice for all people;
may the good news
spoken in every tongue and every place,
unite us in service to others
and in faith in you.

Then, when the groaning of creation
is turned to hymns of praise,
and all people gather around your Table
on that great and glorious Day,
we will sing our joy to you
through all eternity:
God in Community, Holy in One.
Amen.

Blessing

God's glory has filled our hearts!
We will go to empty ourselves
for others.
Christ has given himself for us!
We will go to give ourselves
to everyone in need.
The Spirit gifts us with new life!
We will go to be a blessing
to everyone we meet.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Thom

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Easter 7-B

Call to Worship

From comfortable pews,
from tricycle seats,
from easy chairs in front of TVs:
God gathers us in
to give us the words
to proclaim the gospel.
At kitchen sinks,
at laptops and blackboards,
at nursing stations:
Christ calls us to share
in serving all creation.
In communities gathered to pray,
in memories of those who served,
in families grilling in the backyard:
The Holy Spirit fills us
with God's joy.

Prayer of the Day


We do not notice,
Holy God,
but you give us:
time,
so we can think
about your Word;
silence,
so it may fill
our emptiness;
wisdom,
so we may know
the path to walk.

We do not notice,
Risen Christ,
how you have not given
just a piece of yourself,
or a portion of your grace,
but all of who you are:
for us -
and yet,
you regard US
as God's amazing gift
to you!

We do not notice,
Nourishing Spirit,
how you remove our fears,
simply by sitting with us
and holding our hearts;
or how you swirl around us,
pulling us deeper and deeper
into love, grace and peace,
until we find ourselves
rooted forever in the One
who watches over us forever.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as we have been taught,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

We gather as God's people, believing the promises
fulfilled in Christ. We do not need to confess out
of dread or fear, but in trust that God is faithful
to forgive us and make us new. Join me as we pray,
saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession

How foolish we are, Calling God,
to think we could be happy
when we sit in seduction's comfortable seats,
and scoff at your call to discipleship;
or run down the easy streets of sin,
rather than following Jesus;
or idolize the celebrities and superstars,
and not see you in those who wait on us
in stores, restaurants, and sport arenas.

Forgive us, Author of Life.
Keep us from our silly selfishness
as we seek to become
those branches children can climb on;
as we hope to provide shade
for fellow pilgrims;
as we long to be continually nourished
by the Living Water of Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior.

Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

We are no longer blown about in
the winds of the world, we are grounded,
yesterday, today, tomorrow in God's
forgiveness, hope and love.
Today, tomorrow, forever: we can bear
fresh fruit, sharing God's peace and joy
with everyone we meet. Thanks be to
God, we are forgiven! Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Easter 6-B

Call to Worship

We gather to worship the One
who crafted creation out of chaos:
Our cries of joy join
with the choirs of the universe.
We gather to lift our praises
to the God who gives us voice:
We bring the songs which have echoed
in our hearts all week long.
We gather as the children of God,
our joy unbroken in God's love:
young and old, tone deaf and perfect-pitched,
lift the new, new songs of faith.

Prayer of the Day

You raise your hand
and gently begin
the concerto of creation:
birds carry the melody
while stars keep the beat;
mountains dance in merriment
and little children clap
their hands with joy.
Love's Composer,
our new songs are lifted to you.

The old, old song
is made new in our hearts:
Christ is Risen!
Sing Alleluia!
And you invite us
to sing it to a world
deafened by despair
and haunted
by the tunes of terror.
Lord of the Dance,
our new songs are lifted to you.

Believing we cannot
carry a tune,
we hesitate to join in
the chorus of praise
sung by all creation.
So, you softly and gently
hum the melody in our hearts
until they burst with joy,
raising a rousing chorus
of "Amazing Grace."
Music-making Spirit,
our new songs are lifted to you.

Every song, old and new,
is offered to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we lift the prayer Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation


Beautiful music, every note perfect, joining
together in graceful harmony - this is what we
imagine our lives to be. Yet, our love is flat,
our anger sharp. Let us confess how we struggle
to keep the measured beat of God's life-giving
melody in our lives, even as we pray together,

Unison Prayer of Confession

Joy-giving God, we know who we are: people who
hear the harmony of your gace and love in our souls,
but who sing off-key to others. We want to learn new
songs, but those haunting tunes of the past run through
our heads. We long to make a joyful noise to you, but
the hurts inflicted on us, and the pain we have caused
others, silence our voices.

Sing to us, Conductor of Grace: sing to us of your
forgiveness, of your hope, of your love for us. Strike
a chord of humility in our hearts that our eyes would
see all you have done for us; and in seeing, we might
believe how much you love us; and in believing, we
would echo that new song of hope and life in Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

Listen to the melody of the good news: Christ
is risen, bringing joy into the world. The One
who was dead now lives, and wraps us in the
delight of life forever with our God.
Now, our dirge has turned to joy;
our requiem has been rewritten as a hymn of hope;
our lament is lost in a cantata of praise.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 08, 2006

Easter 5-B

Call to Worship

Here, in this place of worship,
with the congregation of the faithful:
We lay down our fears,
to boldly sing God's praises.
Here, in the vineyard of the Lord,
with our sisters and brothers in Christ:
Grandparents tell stories of faith
to little ones sitting on their laps.

Here, where God waits
to serve us at the Table:
we shall be filled with love
so we can go to serve others.

Prayer of the Day

Like a mother
sending her children
off to school each day,
you watch us walk down
the streets of the kingdom,
trusting and believing
we will bear fruit;

like a mother
softly lullabying her baby to sleep,
you let us snuggle in your lap
as you softly sing to us
of grace and hope;

like a mother
asking a neighbor
over for coffee,
you invite us
to enter into your heart.

God of Abiding Love,
hear us as we pray as Jesus has taught us:
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

The seeds of grace, hope, joy and love are planted
deep within us, so they can bear fruit in our lives.
But we resist staying connected to the Vine, thinking
we can flourish on our own. Let us confess our sins,
so we can once more feel God abiding in us.

Unison Prayer of Confession

Mother of Compassion:
called to be one body,
we fragment ourselves into a million selfish pieces;
your children of love,
we insist on the right to hate our sisters and brothers;
though your Perfect Love was broken for us,
we are afraid to be give of ourselves to the world.

Abide in us, Vine Grower.
Forgive us of our sins, so we may live boldly, love
fearlessly, and proclaim unceasingly that Jesus Christ
is our Lord and Savior.


Silent prayer may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

Do you feel it - there in your hearts?
God's love is alive, beating, breathing - in you!
Because God abides in us, we can live for others,
allowing God's love to bear fruit in us. Thanks
be to God. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, May 01, 2006

Easter 4 - B

Call to Worship

We gather in the presence of our God:
where grieving people
and children with skinned knees
have their tears wiped away.
We gather as the little children of God:
to worship the One
who provides what we need,
not what we want.
We gather around the Table of God:
to taste the goodness of God,
to drink deeply from God's mercy.

Prayer of the Day

Lead us, Creation's Architect,
into all those places
where we will discover your hope
waiting to nourish and restore
our famished souls.

Lead us, Shepherd of little children,
into all those places
where we may have the joy
of filling the emptiness of others
with your goodness.

Lead us, Spirit of Goodness,
into all those places
where deeds of kindness
and hands overflowing with mercy
speak louder than platitudes.

God in Community, Holy in One,
lead us into your kingdom
as we pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

Knowing how easy it is to wander from the paths
of right living; aware of all the shadowed valleys
we wander; remembering how we have failed
to place our trust in God - how can we not come
to God with our confessions? Please join me as
we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession

Comfort of your people: we confess the emptiness
of our souls which sends us searching for all those
things which cannot nourish us. Our restless longing
for the goods of the world fill us with every lust and
envy. Our belief that still waters are stagnant causes
us to thirst for whitewater thrills and adventures. Our
trust in the hollow promises of our culture turns us
away from the shelter you offer to us.

Forgive us, Goodness Incarnate. Call us back from
our wayward lives, so we may find rest in your heart,
healing from your hands, and life together in Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

This is the good news: God will walk with us
in every moment, God will fill us with goodness
and mercy, God will bring us home to live forever.
Anointed with grace and forgiveness, our lives
overflow with love for all people. Thanks be
to God. Amen.


The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

May God be with you.
And also with you.
Beloved of God,
lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One
who leads us where we need to go.
One: Beloved of God,
give thanks to the Lord our God.
Our praise is continually offered
to our Heart, our Shepherd, our God.

Holy God,
Planter of green pastures
where we might be fed;
Pooler of waters
which nourish us forever;
Shaper of paths
which lead us into your presence:
all that you made is beautiful and good
and given to those created in your image.
Sadly, our wisdom leads us
to choose hunger
over the feast you prepare for us;
we thirst in the deserts
when we could drink deeply
from your grace;
we stumble off those paths
leading to your holy presence.
Yet you continue to seek us out,
bring us home to your kingdom,
preparing a feast
for those who will not respond
to your gracious invitation.

Therefore, we lift our voices to you day and night,
with those gathered around your throne
and with those who struggle to be faithful today,
singing your praise and our thanksgiving:

Sanctus

Holy are you, Shepherd of all people,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
one with you in every respect.
For your name's sake,
he left the green pastures
to climb the garbage heap of Golgotha;
he waded out of the living waters
to be drenched with the abuse of the world;
he wandered the streets of the kingdom
covered with the dust of sin and death
to lead us into the kingdom of joy.

As we seek to follow the Good Shepherd
into all the places he would lead us,
we celebrate that mystery we call faith:

Memorial Acclamation

Pour out your Holy Spirit
upon these gifts of the bread and the cup
you have prepared for your Table.
As the bread which is broken
makes us whole,
and the cup overflows with your grace,
so pour us out for others:
so we may offer shelter
to those who have no home;
so we may comfort those
whose hearts are broken by the world;
so we may share food
with all who ache from hunger;
so we may guide the thirsty
to the pools of life we have found.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours,
Shepherd of the ages. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman