Monday, November 27, 2006

First Sunday of Advent - Year C

Call to Worship

The time is surely coming
when our love for one another
and all of God's children will increase.
We would live into that time
with hope and joy.
The day is surely coming
when God will strengthen our hearts
with humility and holiness.
We would anticipate that day
as we reach out to serve
all of those in need.
The days are surely coming
when we will walk the paths
of faithfulness and steadfast love.
We begin this journey,
knowing that all of God's promises
will be fulfilled.

Prayer of the Day

Word creating God,
we trust the days are coming:
days of justice,
and days of mercy;
days of humility,
and days of hope;
days of righteousness,
and days of peace;
days when promises come true.

Jesus Christ,
Womb-dwelling Word:
as you draw near to us
with your kingdom
cradled in your arms,
may we not fear your coming,
but be alert for your presence
in every moment of service,
in every person bearing your grace.

Holy Spirit,
Word of Comfort:
when despair is the gift of the world,
you bring us joy;
when we cannot utter a sound,
you pray for us every night and day;
when we are lost and afraid,
you place our feet on the right path.

God in Community, Holy in One,
be with us in this waiting time
as we pray together as Jesus, your Word,
taught us to pray, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Because it is so hard to wait, it is not easy to live through Advent's days. But watch what God does during this time. God waits for us to turn from our old ways to find the right paths; God waits for us to admit what we have done, and failed to do, so we might be forgiven and graced with new life. Let us approach the One who waits - for us!

Unison Prayer of Confession

It is never easy for us to confess our sins, Waiting God. There are the hurts we have caused to our families and friends, which we would like to forget. There are
those we believe are impossible to love, and so we don't try. There are people who live on the edge of our society, and we ignore their cries for help.

Forgive us, God who comes near to us. When we have lost our way, show us yours. Lead us in humility down the streets of your kingdom. Teach us your truth, so we might be able to keep your Word, revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon

God does not remember our sins, but does
remember the promises which have been
made to us. God does not shame us, but
lifts us to new life.
Lead us in your hope, O God, and teach
us your love. You are the God of our
days, we wait for you to come to us.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

As we wait to celebrate Christ's birth,
may the Lord be with you.
And also with you.
As we await Christ's return,
let us lift up our hearts.
Our hearts are lifted to our God.
As we trust the one who comes to us,
let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Joy is in our hearts,
and praise is on our lips.

Glory and praise are offered to you,
God of Advent.
On the first day of eternity,
you began to create all
that is true and just,
beautiful and blameless,
calling all that you shaped and formed
Our ancestors danced in Eden's fields,
pure and innocent,
but hearing the tunes the world played,
they turned away from you.
When you called us back
through the mouths of the prophets,
we defied you
to follow those with power and pain.
Then you sent John, your messenger,
to proclaim the coming of the One
who ushers in your kingdom
of justice and righteousness.

Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with those who,
from the first day to the last,
glorify your name, singing,


Holy are you, Steadfast Love,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
your Compassion, our Hope, your Son.
Into the midst of the status quo
of rulers and events beyond our control,
he came to place our feet
on the Kingdom's street called Peace;
into the shadows of our lives
caused by sin and defiance,
he carries the Light of your grace;
taking the brokenness of our world,
he reshapes us into
pure and blameless people;
into that dread valley we call death,
he strides in obedience and faith,
so we might be brought to life.
As we prepare to celebrate his birth,
as we remember his life, death, and resurrection,
as we anticipate his return,
we sing of those mysteries we call faith:

Memorial Acclamation

Holy Spirit, come to us,
and to these gifts of the bread and the cup.
As you transform these everyday objects
into sacramental grace,
transform us from ordinary folk
into the citizens of God's kingdom.
Fill us with the Bread of heaven,
so we would feed the hungriest of your children.
Pour the cup of grace into us,
so we might overflow with love.
Make us a compassionate people,
who have a passion for your justice.

Through your Son, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church,
all honor and glory are yours,
Great God, our Hope, our Peace,
now and forever. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time-B/Proper 28

Call to Worship

Come, let us give thanks to God!
We gather together to praise
the One who strengthens the weak,
and hears the prayers of the forgotten.
Come, let us give thanks to Christ!
We gather together to sing
of the One who calls us to serve
those who are hungry and alone
at this time of year.
Come, let us give thanks to the Spirit!
We gather together to exalt
the One who provokes us to love
not only our family and friends,
but the guest among us.

Prayer of the Day
You raise up the poor,
to give them the best rooms
in your house;
you pull the broken
from the dust of the world,
brushing them off
and clothing them with joy;
you exalt those
we have pushed aside,
and let them say grace
at the feast in heaven.
You are our God,
and we worship you.

When we are tempted
to wander off after
the rumors of sin,
you guard our feet
so we can walk
as faithful people;
when we think we need
to pay attention
to all the gossip around us,
you give us a double portion
of good news,
so we will not fear.
You are the Christ,
and we will listen to you.

When no one else
will listen to us,
we can pour out
out soul to you;
when no one notices us,
you see our misery,
and fill us with joy;
when everyone else
forgets who we are,
you remember us
and call us by name.
You are our Spirit of Love,
and we welcome you
into our hearts.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we raise our prayers to you,
even as we speak the words of Jesus,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Longing for the touch of God, we cry out; humbled by the awareness of our human nature and brokenness, we bring our prayers of confession to God, praying together,

Unison Prayer of Confession

We have to admit, Holy Listener, that we are more likely to be provoked by the lives of others, rather than being provoked to love them. When we are called to encourage those around us, too often our actions and words discourage them.
Offered lives of peace and hope, we live filled with anxiety and despair.

Forgive us, Rock of Redemption. Cleanse our hearts, so we might be more loving; keep us on the path of faithfulness, so we might find those whom we are called to serve; give us your words, so we might confess your hope offered to all who are broken, who are lost, who cry out to you. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
This is the good news: God give us hope,
God gives us peace, God gives us joy
so we may share these gifts with everyone
we meet.
Thanks be to God, who has forgiven us
and provoked us to love others and to
serve all who are around us. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, November 06, 2006

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - B/Proper 27

Call to Worship

God's Word called the pumpkins,
the geese who fly south, the leaves
which litter our lawns into being.
In awe, we come into the presence
of the God of vivid imagination.
God's arms reach down and gather
up children, lovingly placing us
in grace's lap.
In joy, we reach up to the God
who loves us completely.
God's Spirit fills our lungs, so we
can cry out for justice for the broken,
the young, the old, the least of our time.
In service, we join with our God
to build hope in our world.

Prayer of the Day

In gentle touches of faithers,
in calming words of mothers,
you care for us;
through teachers in schools,
neighbors at the corner,
colleagues who share jobs with us,
you touch us with your peace.
We worship you, Holy God,
with our words and with our silence.

You appeared but once,
yet all people have been
cleansed in your grace;
you lived but once,
yet every life is redeemed
by your love;
you died but once,
and all people will live
in your kingdom forever.
Jesus, Friend of the fallen,
we follow you with our lives.

Stained by the pride of the world,
you wash us with your tears;
made naked by the criticisms of others,
you clothe us with your grace;
condemned by those around us,
you hallow us with your hope.
We welcome you into our hearts,
Spirit of Joy.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our prayers to you
as we use the words Jesus taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation

We bring our flawed lives to God, not so
much to be made perfect, but to be
whole. Let us confess our sins to God,
trusting the One who builds joy from our

Unison Prayer of Confession

Bountiful Love: our self-focus causes
us to imagine how poor we are. We are
convinced we don't have enough:
enough honor,
enough, respect,
enough recognition,
enough to live on.
And so, in our poverty, we cannot trust you,
we cannot see the emptiness of others, we
cannot help but cling to more than we need.

Forgive us, Bestower of Blessings. Tell
us we can be more loving; whisper to us of
how we can be more compassionate; sing to
us of how we can serve others - all in the name
of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon

The good news is that we are made whole;
not by our efforts, not by any work we have
done, not by any word of ours.
Out of the riches of grace, God pours
forgiveness into our lives, giving us all
we need in Jesus Christ, so we might live
in hope and joy. Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2006 Thom M. Shuman