Friday, October 27, 2006

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time - B/Proper 26

Call to Worship

You are welcome in this place,
where God meets us in love.
Why are we here?
We are here to love God
with all that we have and all that we are.
You are welcome in this place,
where God loves us as children.
Why are we here?
We are here to love ourselves
as deeply as God loves us.
Welcome to this place,
where God serves us at the
Table of love and grace.
Why are we here?
We are here to be sent forth
to love others as deeply as
we love God and ourselves.

Prayer of the Day

Living God:
when there is a famine
in our souls,
you feed us with grace;
when there are pockets of poverty
in our love for others,
you bless us with generosity;
when we are empty and alone,
you move into our hearts.

Jesus, Bearer of the good things
which have come to us:
you bend down
to lift us from despair;
you embrace those
who haven't a friend in the world;
you open the eyes of those
struck blind by arrogance and ambition.

Eternal Spirit:
you walk with us
wherever we go;
you take the fragments of our lives
and reshape us into holy people;
you are with us,
and not even death can separate us.

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

Call to Reconciliation

The world teaches us many ways to love, but
all are based on selfish desires and needs. God
teaches us how to love: completely, uniquely,
unconditionally. Let us confess our difficulty
in loving as God teaches us, as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We are hesistant to confess, Holy God, how
hard it is to love as you wish. It is easy to love
you with all that we are, except when you ask us
to love our neighbor with all that we have. We
find it hard to love our neighbor, when it is linked
to the way we love ourselves. And it is difficult
to love anyone - even You - more than we love

Forgive us, Love Eternal. As you took a risk in
creating us, help us to take risks to love others
compassionately, to love ourselves genuinely, and
to love you as completely as you love us in Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Savior

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon

In God's Kingdom, all are loved for who they are,
not what they do;
In God's Kingdom, all are forgiven for what
they do, and don't;
in God's Kingdom, all are welcomed and fed
by God's grace and hope.
Forgiven, loved, sent forth -
we are not far from God's Kingdom!
Thanks be to God. Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

My beloved sisters and brothers,
may the Lord be with you.
And also with you.
My beloved brothers and sisters,
lift up your hearts.
Our hearts are lifted high to God.
Beloved of God,
let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Thanksgiving is in our hearts,
and praise is on our lips.

We will sing praises to you all life long,
O Lord our God,
maker of the earth, the heavens, the seas,
and all that dwell in them.
You made us in your image
so we might be your people
and worship you forever.
But blinded by the seductions of the world,
we wandered far from your Kingdom,
putting our turst in those powers that cannot save us.
Despite our turning our backs on you,
you have clung to us in grace and love,
determined to be faithful to the covenant
you established with us.

Therefore, we join our voices,
with the saints of every time and of every place,
singing our praises to your heart:


We praise you, Holy God,
and bless your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Help, our Hope, our Lord.
He opened the eyes of the blind,
so we might behold your grace;
he loosed the bonds of the captive,
so we might follow in freedom;
he watched over strangers,
so we might become brothers and sisters;
he lifted up those who had fallen,
so we might walk the streets of the Kingdom;
he gave his heart to those ignored by the world,
so the widow and orphan might find
their heart's home in you;
he endured death's embrace,
so we might be welcomed
into eternal life with you.

His life, his words, his death, his resurrection
are mysteries we may not understand completely,
but which we will proclaim with faith:

Memorial Acclamation

As we break the Bread of Life
and drink from the Cup of Salvation,
pour out your eternal Spirit
upon these gifts
and those who will receive them.
Despite our unfaithfulness,
we are determined to go with you;
despite our weakness,
we are resolved to worship you;
despite our fears and prejudices,
we are unfaltering in our commitment
to justice and hope for others.

Through your Son, Jesus Christ, who is our grace;
through the Spirit, who is our hope;
we honor and glorify your love
for all people in creation,
Great God, our peace and our joy,
now and forever. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 23, 2006

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B/Proper 25

Call to Worship

With our lips and with our hearts:
we will bless God
every moment of our lives.
With our ears and with our hearts:
we will hear the cries
of our sisters and brothers
every moment of our lives.

With every gift and with our hearts:
We will serve God
every moment of our lives.

Prayer of the Day

Wise God,
you name us as your children:
raising us,
rescuing us,
wrestling with us,
watching over us.

Servant of the world:
you listen patiently
when we wail
our anger and pain,
our loss, our loneliness,
our fears, our exhilirations,
our words,our silence.

Wisdom of Creation:
you do not walk by
when we sit in the dust
of our despair,
blinded by the ashes
of our actions
cloaked by our lust
for all the world offers.

God in Community, Holy in One,
name us as your children,
even as we pray as your Child has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

God can do anything and everything - God
can even clean up the messes we make; God
can even heal the hurts we have caused. And
God is willing to do anything and everything -
for us! - simply because God loves us. Join
me as we pray to our God, confessing our sins,

Unison Prayer of Confession

We confess, Holy One, how often we ignore
your call to us. Blinded by the ways of the world,
we cannot see the ones who are crying out to us.
Deafened by the siren calls of our culture, we
cannot hear your Word of service.. Consumed
by our doubts and fears, we are unable to be fed
by your grace and hope.

We are not ready to repent in dust and ashes, but
we do ask for mercy as we face up to the sins we
have done, and the hurt we have caused. Forgive
us, Loving God, and set us free to follow your
Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, as we
grow in the way you would have us live and serve

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon

Take heart; God hears your prayers and heals
your brokenness. Get up; for God calls to
with words of hope, of grace, of forgiveness.
Our eyes are now opened and we see;
our feet are set on the path to the kingdom.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 16, 2006

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time-B/Proper 24

Call to Worship

There are many places you could be
this morning, but you have chosen
to be here:
where we learn how to live
in God's Kingdom.
Welcome to this place -
full of music, of words, of prayer -
yet also filled with danger:
where we encounter a Wisdom
we cannot always understand.
Welcome to God's House,
the most dangerous place in town:
where we talk about and with God,
and are reduced to silence
so we may hear the call to service.

Prayer of the Day

Wind-riding God,
the blue skies, the sunshine,
the cool breezes cradling falling leaves:
all creation reminds us
of the delicate Artist
who has shaped us
and all that is around us.
We lift our songs
of gratitude and awe to you.

Servant-calling Jesus:
you humble our arrogance
with your acts of mercy;
you tip over our pretensions
with your modest nature;
you laugh at our hunger for power
with your words of grace.

Heart-keeping Spirit,
you bear our prayers
to the throne of grace
when they are only whispers
in our souls;
you unfold the road map
to show us the way to the Kingdom;
you transform our stuttering words
into praise and wonder to our God.

God in Community, Holy in One,
be with us in this and every moment,
even as we pray as Jesus teaches us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

We pray in this time, not because of our guilt,
but out of our gratitude. We have done and said
things we shouldn't, and have failed to do and
say those things we should. Yet God still loves
us, God surrounds us with grace and mercy,
God waits to restore us to full life. Join me
as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession

Creator's Heart, we look around and see how
we fall short in our attempts at faithfulness.
We often do things, not because it is what you
call us to do, but in the hope of earning points
with you. Self-absorbed, we overlook the
suffering and struggles of those around us.
Desperate to get to the front of the line, we
push aside the very ones you seek to honor.

Forgive us, Holy One. Remind us that the
cup we are offered is filled with grace, that
the waters of baptism cleanse us and make us
new, and that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
is the One who calls us to service, standing by
our side as we seek to faithful disciples.

Silence may be observed

Assurance of Pardon

The One who poured the foundation of
creation fills us with grace and hope.
The One who numbered the clouds,
tips over rain barrels of living water
into our parched spirits.
The One who writes anthems for the
the early morning stars fills us with
songs of joy, for mercies which come
fresh and new each day. Thanks be to
God. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman