Call to Worship
This is the day the Lord has made:
a day for praise and prayer;
a day for gratitude and generosity.
This is the time God has given us:
a time for singing and silence;
a time for speaking and listening.
This is the life to which God calls us:
a life of humility and service;
a life of faith and trust.
Prayer of the Day
Pour out your Spirit
upon us as we gather,
God of our salvation:
so your grace
might strengthen us
so your peace
our troubled souls;
so your hope
our broken hearts.
You poured out your life
that we might be filled
with the gift of salvation.
You humbled yourself
that we might be raised
to eternal life.
Take hold of our hands,
Servant of the world,
so we might cross
the finish line together.
You are in our midst,
Spirit of wholeness.
You enabled us
to cling to faith,
when hope runs
through our fingers like sand.
You open the gateways
of our hearts
morning and evening,
that we might sing
our praises with all creation.
God in Community, Holy in One,
we pour out our hearts to you,
as we pray as Jesus taught us,
(The Lord's Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
When we pray to God, do we do so with pride in what wonderful people we are, or with that humble hope which recognizes how we have not lived as God’s children, and how we need God’s forgiveness and grace in our lives? Join me as we pray to our God, saying,
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
Watching God, like the Pharisee, we think we can stick our thumbs into life, pull out a prayer, and congratulate ourselves for being such good Christians. Then, we remember the harsh words we have spoken this week, the hurt we have inflicted on someone we loved, the lack of compassion we failed to offer to someone who needed our help.
Forgive us, God of Grace, and deal gently with us. May we become more like the tax collector - humble, penitent, acknowledging our faulty lives to you. Then, may we receive the mercy promised to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
Forgiven and healed, we open ourselves to the grace, the peace, the hope offered to us through our loving God. This is the good news we have received!
Graced and blessed, we are able to live our lives for others, taking them by the hand to reach that finish line called the Kingdom. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
If our lives, our love, our gifts are not shared with others, the words we offer in prayer and praise are hollow. So receive what we offer, Holy God, and bless them in the work of that kingdom which values the people we ridicule, lifts up those we have stepped over, and brings hope and healing to all. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord our God be with you!
And also with you!
Rejoice, O children of God, and open your hearts to our God.
Our hearts are overflow with the hope God has poured into them.
Rejoice, O children of God, and be glad!
We sing to the One who has dealt wondrously with us.
Your heart opened, Amazing God,
and abundant rain flowed forth
on that early morning of creation.
Caring and loving beyond all hope,
the earth's floors were filled with grain
and the plenty of every good thing;
valleys overflowed with oil and wine.
Ever ready to crown us with your blessings,
your heart broke as we allowed sin
to cut out your hopes for us,
as we welcomed death, who came
destroying your intended life for us.
You sent the prophets into our midst,
to bring us back to live in your courts,
but we preferred the hollow promises
of temptation and seduction.
So you sent Jesus into our lives,
pouring your Spirit on his flesh,
so we might see you face to face.
So, with those who have finished the race,
with those who are only at the starting line,
we sing our praises to you:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of all.
The gateways of morning and evening shout your joy.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who stands by us, giving us strength.
Hosanna in the highest!
Praise is due to you, Holy One,
for there is no other god like you,
and no Lord and Savior like Jesus Christ,
who ran the race when we stumbled,
who kept the faith when it slipped through our fingers.
When sin’s unceasing passions
created a drought in our lives,
he opened the channels of your river of life
to flow through us, washing us clean
and giving us new hopes and dreams.
When death held the deeds of our sins,
threatening to foreclose on our lives,
he came to purchase them back,
so we might live free and clear forever.
As we remember how he poured himself out for us,
as we celebrate the new hopes which fill our hearts,
we proclaim that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, rescuing us from every evil;
Christ was raised, saving us for your kingdom;
Christ will come again, to pour your spirit into us.
Pour out your Spirit upon all people gathered
around your Table, filled with the gifts of creation.
From the plenty of the Bread of life,
we will be fed until we are hungry
to serve your children in every need;
from the sweet river which flows from the Cup,
we will be humbled into your people,
that we might exalt all who have been
cast aside by the world around us.
For here at this Table of grace and joy,
little boys and girls will tell stories
of peace and hope;
young women and men will envision
lands where oppression has been destroyed;
old women will recall dreams of justice,
and work to turn them into reality;
old men will prepare meals and serve them
to all who hunger in every place.
And when the time of our departure comes,
and all who have longed for your appearing
are gathered around your river of life,
we will join our hearts and voices
in praising you forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One, Amen.
We have offered praise and prayer to our God,
who sends us out to offer peace and hope to others.
We have heard the call of Jesus in the silence and singing,
and we will join him is speaking for the voiceless.
Filled by the Spirit with faith and trust,
we go to serve others, humbly and lovingly.
(c) 2016 Thom M. Shuman