the geese who fly south, the leaves which litter our lawns.
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 abandoned of our time.
In service, we join with our God to build hope in our world.
Prayer of the Day
In gentle touches of fathers,
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.
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,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
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 despair.
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.
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.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Imagining we are very poor, we think our gifts don't matter, and so give very little. Yet, from the abundance of your love, you challenge us to be as faithful as the woman Jesus speaks about. Make us more generous and gracious givers, even as you take what we offer in these moments, and use them in the work of your kingdom. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God watch over you!
And also over you!
Offer your hearts to the One who creates new life for those who are empty.
We bring our lives to God, the restorer of new life.
People of God, give thanks to the One who gives us all things.
We praise the One who is abundant beyond all expectations
Once and for all, you spoke,
God of overflowing gifts:
as your Word called the sun
to shine and the earth to spin;
as your hand stirred the dust,
shaping us in your image;
as your Spirit breathed grace
into our empty lungs.
You would feed us with peace,
but we gnaw on the bread moldy with anxiety;
When you would clothe us with glory,
we put on the long robes of sin,
the hems dragging through dusty death.
In vain, the prophets rose early
to speak your words of invitation;
in vain, they stayed up into the late hours,
watching for our return to you.
Yet, out of the abundance of your love,
you sent Jesus to us,
so that we might not live in the poverty
of our despair and fear.
With Ruth and Naomi, with Boaz and David,
with widows in poverty, and children on the streets,
we join our voices as we sing to you:
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God of grace!
All creation is filled with the bounty of your love.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is he who has not left us without hope.
Hosanna in the highest!
You are holy, God of wonder and wisdom,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Brother,
who left you, in faith and obedience,
to enter humanity's world,
not as a mere copy, but truly one of us.
Again and again, he pointed to you:
Restorer of broken lives,
Nurturer of every hungry heart,
Lover of each child.
Sitting opposite death, watching as
we went down to its threshing floor,
he offered himself in our place,
putting in everything he had,
so we might receive the gift
we need to live on with you.
Remembering his gentleness and generosity,
remembering his compassion and clarity,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, once, and it was for all;
Christ was raised, once and for all;
Christ will return, for those who wait for him,
to bring them home to God,
Once and for all,
pour out your Spirit
upon those who gather
around your bountiful Table,
where life and love are placed.
You nourish us with your bread
filled with gentle grace,
so, that fed, we may serve those
who hunger for hope in their lives.
You restore our flagging spirits
from the overflowing cup of joy,
so, that refreshed, we may take
new life to the poor and hopeless
in every place where they are found.
And when the foundation of the world is no more,
when we enter that haven made by your hands,
when we sit with our sisters and brothers
at the feast where we are fed from your heart,
we will offer glad songs of joy to you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
God sends us out into the world.
We will gather up God's children and bring them to the lap of grace.
Jesus invites us to watch with him.
We will notice those who give from their scarcity,
challenging us to offer our abundance to those in need.
The Spirit clothes us with grace.
We will go forth to welcome all we meet into our hearts.
(c) 2015 Thom M. Shuman