Tuesday, August 29, 2006

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - B/Proper 17

Call to Worship

Here, our Beloved speaks to us;
the voice of our Beloved sounds
in our hearts:
calling us to generous acts,
to share the gifts we have been given.
Now, our Beloved speaks to us;
the voice of our Beloved sounds
in our land:
calling us to generous acts,
to open our hearts to all in need.
In every place, in every moment,
our Beloved speaks to us;
the voice of our Beloved sounds
in all creation:
calling us to generous acts,
to stand with God's people:
the least, the lost, the little, the last.

Prayer of the Day

Light-giving God:
our praises spring up
like flowers on a spring day;
our songs of joy are lifted to you;
our hearts overflow with
your kindness and generosity.

Jesus, Beloved Child:
you look through the lattice of the world
at our lives, our hearts, our souls.
You speak to us with tenderness and strength,
calling us to come away from rigid legalism
to lives of grace and hope.

Truth-speaking Spirit:
we look in a mirror
and see God's child;
we walk away
and forget whose we are.
Move within us and reshape us
into God's beloved children,
living within that circle of blessing
called the kingdom.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray together,
as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation


Do we honor God only with our lips, while keeping
our hearts from the Holy One? Do we deceive
ourselves, thinking we are religious rather than
living faithful lives? Let us confess to God our
sin, trusting in the One who seeks to make us whole.

Unison Prayer of Confession

Holy One of leaders and little children, we hear
your words every day, but rarely live thim out. Our
anger roars like a flooded creek, but our forgiveness
drips like a rusty faucet. Our impetuous tongues
rush to judgment, while our words of hope sound
like a sluggish soundtrack. We listen with impatient
ears to the cries of the poor.

Father of Lights, may your mercy fall on us like a
summer shower on parched grass; may your hope
overflow our hearts; may your Beloved Child,
Jesus Christ, speak to us and call us to life.

Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

Listen and understand - the voice of the Beloved
speaks to us, implanting the word of hope, the
word of grace, the word of forgiveness into
our hearts.
We listen and understand. Every gift comes from
God, especially the gifts of mercy and love.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving


Beloved, may God be with you!
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts, Beloved of God.
We lift them to the One who loves
us beyond all expectations.
God's Beloved, let us offer our thanks
and praise to the Lord our God.
Our voices unite in joy and thanks
to the One who brings us hope and healing.

Our hearts overflow with praise and thanksgiving,
God, our God!
Your Beloved's voice spoke to chaos,
calling forth the flowers of grace
which bloom in our hearts.
Because you love righteousness,
you would anoint us
with the oil of joy
and clothe us in the robes
of mercy and goodness.
But we break your heart by embracing
the very wickedness you hate,
staining our lives with sin and death.
Still, you love us and seek us out,
for in Christ your grace has defeated sin
and the Risen Lord has opened the way
to life in your kingdom

So, we lift our voices in joy and hope,
singing with the choirs of angels in heaven,
and with all the faithful of every place and time,
singing of your glory forever:

Sanctus

Look, he comes!
Your Beloved Child,
Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, our Companion,
the joy of your Heart.
Gazing into our souls,
he sees our emptiness
and fills us with your grace;
listening to our pain,
he is quick to speak
healing and hope to us;
the perfect gift of life,
he declares that sin is past,
death is over and gone,
and resurrection blossoms
in our hearts forever.

As you have called him Beloved at his baptism,
and as you raised him from death
to give us life,
so we give ourselves to live for him
in grateful praise and service:

Memorial Acclamation

Generous God, pour out your Holy Spirit
upon those who gather around your Table,
and upon the gifts of the Bread and Cup.
As they are the body of your Servant
and the Spirit of your compassion,
may we become the healing and hope
the world longs for in our time.
As you touch our lips with your life,
may we be quick to speak of justice;
as you pour grace into our hearts,
may we be the doers of your Word,
those whose hands are stained
by generous acts of kindness:
feeding the hungry,
clothing the naked,
lifting the fallen to their feet,
comforting all who are broken.

Then, when your Spirit
unites us at your Table in heaven,
as we clasp hands with all your beloved,
we will sing your glory for all eternity:
God in Community, Holy in One.
Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 21, 2006

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - B

Call to Worship

Jesus said: 'I am the Bread of Life . . .
whoever eats this Bread will always live.'
This is a tough teaching,
too tough to swallow.
Jesus said: 'Whoever does not receive
the kingdom of God like a child
shall not enter it.'
This is a tough teaching,
too tough to hear.
Jesus said to all he met:
'Follow me.'
We have accepted Jesus,
and seek to be faithful,
no matter how tough it is
to follow him.

Prayer of the Day

Holy God,
Home of all who seek you:
may you find in our hearts paths to walk,
wandering with us through dark valleys,
dipping us in pools of living water,
lifting our faces to the grace
falling softly upon us.

Loving Lord,
Speaker of tough words:
we would wish for an easy life
as we follow you to our Home.
Help us to see that when we mop floors,
we find our meaning;
when we hammer nails,
we discover our hope;
when we embrace the sick,
we touch our healing.

Spirit of Strength,
Bearer of our prayers,
we would ask for:
the strength
to say 'yes'
when 'no' is on our lips;
the wisdom
to welcome all
into our hearts;
the longing
to be with you
always.

God in Community, Holy in one,
hear us as we pray together,
as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation


If it was easy to follow Jesus, we would not
need to ask for forgiveness. But it is tough -
tough to say 'yes,' tough to be graceful, tough
to be loving. Yet whatever we do, God loves
us enough to forgive us and to feed us with
the Bread of Life. Let us pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession

God, our sun and shield: we may long to be in
your house, but our deeds show how tough it is
for us to live there. Called to follow, we search
for paths to take us back to our old ways; given
the words of eternal life, we weakly proclaim the
gospel to others; offered the path of salvation
to walk upon, we stumble down the rocky roads
of our world.


Forgive us, Guardian of our lives. Strengthen
us with your Spirit, so we may follow Jesus Christ,
the One we have come to believe and know is our
Lord and Savior.

Silent prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

Today, receive the Bread of Life;
today, hear the words of eternal hope;
today, trust in the One who hears your prayers,
and showers grace and forgiveness upon you.
Today, we are set free to serve God's people,
and to sing God's praises. Thanks be to God.
Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 13, 2006

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B

Call to Worship

Give thanks to God!
We thank God for joy, for laughter,
for abundant blessings of every kind.
Give thanks to God
at all times and for everything!
We thank God, when we can and as we can,
for struggles, for solitude, for fears.
Give thanks to God
at all times and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We thank God that, in Christ,
our joys as well as our pain,
our losses as well as our laughter,
are in God's heart and hands.

Prayer of the Day

We honor you, Steadfast Love,
for the wonder of this day:
for sleep rubbed from our eyes,
for pulsing water which invigorates us,
for kids that pull us out of bed
(or vice versa).

We thank you, Christ our Lord,
for the joy of this day:
for cereal that crackles in our milk,
for coffee that perks our energy,
for cats that purr softly
and dogs that wag excitedly.

We praise you, Hope-filled Spirit,
for the blessings of this day:
grace,
waiting to tickle us
out of our gloominess;
wisdom,
hoping to lead us into
the abundant life of faith;
time,
whispering to us of your
eternal covenant with us.

Gratitude is in our hearts,
God in Community, Holy in ONe,
as we lift our voices in the prayer
Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation


In a world with much evil, God continues to work
for good. In a culture which worships foolishness,
God still offers wisdom as a gift. In a time filled
with lies, God's promises are true. In a society
obsessed with "reality," God's love is constant.
Let us come to the One who offers the Bread of
Life, the promise of redemption, and the grace of
forgiveness. Please join me as we pray,

Unison Prayer of Confession

You must shake your head in wonder at our ways,
Keeper of the Covenant. How can we say we want
wisdom, when we foolishly squander the knowledge
we have of your ways? How can we claim to follow
you, when we walk the slippery roads of the world not
caring where they lead us? How can we desire your
great and steadfast love, when the simple seductions
of our society are in full view every day?


How can you have mercy on such unwise and
unfaithful people, Perfect Wisdom? Yet, that is
exactly what you do: and our greed turns to
gratitude, our pettiness to praise, our tantrums
to thanksgiving , as hope and joy become our
blessing through the One we call our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

In Christ, God sent redemption for all.
In Christ, God feeds our hungry souls.
In Christ, God gives the cup of salvation
to thirsty people.
We give thanks to God for everything:
forgiveness, hope, new life. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, August 07, 2006

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B

Call to Worship

Watch what God does:
mostly God loves us.
We would learn a life of such love
so we might do as God does.

Watch how Christ loves us:
not with caution, but with extravagance.
We would practice such lavish love,
not noticing what it costs us
.
Watch how the Spirit loves us:
moving in us, breathing love into us.
We would live such love for others,
keeping company with God.

Prayer of the Day


We gather in this place, with these people,
in these moments, Gentle God,
because we hope our self-righteous anger
might become passionate justice for others.

We gather in this place, with these people,
in these moments, Christ our Bread,
because we hope our complacency with half-lies
might become a hunger for your truth.

We gather in this place, with these people,
in these moments, Gifting Spirit,
becase we hope our fumbling, faltering words
might be transfigured into good news to others.

We gather in this place, with these people,
in these moments, God, Christ, and Spirit,
praying as we have been taught,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation


It's this simple - God loves us. But our inactions
grieve God, our sins break God's heart. In Christ,
God forgives us through and through. Let us confess
our failures and our faithlessness, trusting in God's
promise to make us new.

Unison Prayer of Confession

We break your heart, God of all the world, by the
respectable lives we lead. Blessed by you with
every gift, we practice thrift towards others. Seeking
to be good and proper Christians, we overlook you
in the company of the poor, the oppressed, those
without a voice. We choose to spread gossip about
our friends and neighbors, when we could speak
gently to them.

Forgive us for the pain we cause you and other
people, Grieving God. Help us to make a clean break
with those habits which keep us from wholeness.
Open us to the movement of your Spirit within us.
Feed us with the Bread of Life, so we might have
the love and passion to feed the world. This we
pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

It is really that simple - God loves us. Through the Holy
Spirit, God works in us, transfiguring our old ways,
breathing life and love into us.
We receive God's grace, so we can offer it to others.
We are caressed in God's gentleness, so we can
hold the broken. We will be quick to forgive, even as
God has forgiven us. Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman