Call to Worship
God of the past who whispered in the prophets' ears;
who rescued us from sin's slavery:
we are here to thank you.
God of the future, who is tearing down the old world,
and building your kingdom in our midst:
we are here because we trust you.
God of the present who, in the giftedness of our diversity,
creates us to be one people:
we are here to praise you.
God of life that surprises us when we find it within us:
we celebrate your grace.
Prayer of the Day
like a child
running down the sidewalk
to play with her best friend
on a summer's day,
you eagerly come towards us.
Child of God:
with the anxious heart of a mother
waiting at midnight,
you long for us
to come home,
your arms aching to hold us.
Fullness of Grace:
when all others
have turned away from us,
you throw open
the gates of the kingdom,
inviting us in to share
at the Table of hope
prepared just for us.
God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us,
(The Lord’s Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
When we could be revived by God's grace, we find ourselves fearing God's judgment, doubting God's joy in us, fearing God has turned away from us. Let us come to the One who heals us and calls each of us by name. Please join me as we pray,
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
How can we forget them, Calling God, those who have been thrown aside by the world, those whose cries are no longer heard by the powerful? How can we judge them, those who make choices with which we disagree, those who are so different from us? How can we still follow the hurlers of angry words, the purveyors of prejudice?
Continue to teach us better ways of living and doing, God of grace. You gather us from our foolishness, so we might be led into acts of mercy. You redeem us from our mistakes to we might bend down and feed those who hunger for hope. Your compassion, so warm and tender, is gifted to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we pray.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
Do not be afraid. More than anything else, God would rather turn fetid swamps into pools of crystal clear water; bonds of sin into cords of compassion; sinners into servants.
God loves us. God forgives us. God lifts us to new life. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We offer not only our gifts, Compassionate God, but our time, so we might spend more moments with the lonely; our words, so the voiceless might be healed; our hands, that the hungry might be fed; our hearts, so that the rejected might find a home. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God be with you.
May God also be with you.
People of God, open up your hearts.
We open them to God and one another.
People of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks to the One who offers us lives filled with grace.
When we were children
running footloose through grace,
you loved us, Tender God:
dappling the night skies
with the bright stars of morning,
teaching us to walk
the paths of that first dawn,
telling us of your dreams
for all you created.
When, in our hurry to greet you,
we fell, skinning our knees,
you lifted us up in your arms,
holding us to your cheeks
wet with joy.
When we missed your calling
us to wash up for dinner,
you came and found us,
taking us by the hand
to feed us from
But when we grew up,
we knew more than you,
turning to the idols of wealth and power,
who promised to serve us
even as they shackled us;
giving ourselves over
to anxiety's sweet caress.
Yet you are God,
not a foolish human.
You remain in our midst,
not to punish or destroy,
but to reach out
and bring us home to your heart.
Therefore, we joyfully lift our voices,
with those who have gone before us,
and those who stand beside us,
singing our praise for your great love;
Holy, holy, holy, God of steadfast love.
All creation thanks you for your wonderful works.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes to lead us by a straight way.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, God of infinite tenderness,
and blessed is Jesus Christ,
your Son, our Lord and Savior.
Breaking the enslaving bonds of sin,
he binds our wounds
with cords of compassion;
walking with us
when we had lost our way,
he shows us the paths
to the kingdom;
stripping himself of glory and honor,
he clothes us in the new life of faith;
leaving aside his equality with you,
he became one of us,
so we might be one with you.
Remembering that you did not give up on us
or hand us over to sin and death
but showered us with your mercy in Christ Jesus,
we take the bread of life and the cup of grace
and joyfully celebrate that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, his life hidden in God.
Christ was raised, to be seated by God's side.
Christ will come again, that we might be revealed with him in glory.
pour out your gracious Spirit on us,
and on these, your simple gifts.
Fill us with the broken bread
that we might be made whole;
touch our parched lips
with the cup of salvation,
so we might proclaim your gospel.
Then send us forth:
our hearts recoiling
at the oppression suffered
by our sisters and brothers;
our hands willing to build shelter
for those cast out by the world;
our arms surrounding
the lost and the least,
in the embrace of common humanity.
And when we are clothed with our new self,
when we are united with our sisters and brothers
gathered around the Table of glory,
we will sing our praises to you forever,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as you satisfy the thirsty with your grace,
and fill the hungry with your love. Amen.
Let us go with God to offer life to those around us.
We will gather up the broken to offer them healing.
Let us go with Jesus to wrap people in hope.
We will reach out to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.
Let us go with the Spirit to love all those in our midst who have been forgotten.
We will take them in our arms and welcome them to our hearts.
© 2016 Thom M. Shuman