Thursday, June 28, 2007

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 9 - C

Call to Worship
Sing praises to our Lord:
who heals us and makes us whole.
Sing praises to our Lord,
faithful children of God:
whose joy rises in our lives
each and every day.
Sing praises to our Lord,
faithful children of God;
give thanks to God's holy name:
God's Kingdom is near to us;
God's peace resides in our hearts.

Prayer of the Day
We greet you,
Helper God,
with songs of joy
on our lips.
You remove our sackcloth
and dress us
in Kingdom finery;
you lift us up
and waltz us past
the outstretched hands
of sin and death;
you sow your seeds of grace
deep within our hearts,
bringing forth a harvest
of faithful and loving disciples,
who forever praise your name,
even as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Unlike ours, God's anger does not last. But
God's favor, God's grace, God's forgiveness?
In every moment, between yesterday and
today, between now and forever,
they are for us. How can we not want to
confess to such a One who is ready to heal
us? Please join me as we pray, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Helper of every person, we grow weary of
all the wrongs done to us and those we love,
but forget how we let the chances to do what
is right slip through our lives. We gloat over
the failings of our neighbors and turn a deaf
ear to our call to bear their burdens. We boast
about all we do for the needy, and refuse to see
your grace and favor working through us in
such moments.

Do not let our sins rejoice over us, Healing
God. You let go of your anger to reach out
and touch us with your forgiveness. Pour out
your Spirit of gentleness upon us, so we might
bring the peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ, to the world.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Sing praises to our God, faithful children.
God has heard our prayers and made us
We will not be silent, but will sing our
joy to the One who has forgiven us and
made us a new creation. Thanks be to
God! Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord our God be with you.
And also with you.
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who heals us
at the Table of brokenness.
Children of God, give thanks to the Lord our God.
We will sing our praises
to the One who restores us to life.

We do not bring silence to you,
Holy One of all people,
but shouts of praise and laughter
for your gracious love.
Your healing river flowed through creation,
bringing life and joy to all
who would drink from it.
But we preferred to splash
in the sewers of the world,
rejecting all that you intend for us.
Yet, you never grew weary
of bearing the burdens of your children.
When you could have shaken
the dust of our sin from your feet,
you chose to lead us out of the Pit
of our rebelliona nd sin.

Joining with those who sing your praises,
lifting our voices with faithful ones
of every time and of every place,
we sing our thanks to you forever.

Holy, holy, holy are you, God the Creator!
The mountains sing your praises,
the valleys echo your glory.

We welcome the One who comes in your name, who comes to call us to life.

Holy are you, God of compassion,
for when death threatened your children
and sin vowed to turn the universe
back over to chaos,
you sent your Son, our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ,
to heal the brokenness of the world.
He did not grow weary
of doing the right things,
but confronted the wrongs of the world;
he endured the violence of sin,
that we might receive the gentleness
of life with you forever;
he carried our sins to the cross,
that we might bear the burdens
of our sisters and brothers;
he went ahead of us into death,
that we might walk with him
into the kingdom.

As we dance to the Table
to be embraced by hope,
we remember all that Jesus has done for us,
and all that we have been called to do in his name.
Great is the mystery of faith.

Lord Jesus, you call us: open our eyes that we may see you, open our souls that we may long for your presence, open our hearts so we may follow you.

Flow through us, Holy Spirit,
as we drink deeply of Christ's cup.
You never grow weary of feeding us
with the Bread of life,
but transform our brokenness by this meal.
And as we turn from the Table,
send us forth:
to bring healing to the sick,
freedom to the oppressed,
to speak peace
to the human household,
to carry the kingdom with us
wherever you would lead us.
For we will not keep silent,
but praise you forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 25, 2007

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 8 - Year C

Call to Worship
We would follow you,
Lord of our days . . .
but we need to go
do the shopping for vacation first.

We would follow you,
Lord of love . . .
but we forgot about
our friends visiting this week.

We would follow you,
Lord of our hearts . . .
but could we do so
next week after the Fourth?*
We would follow you,
Lord of every moment . . .
We will follow you
(* the Fourth is a national holiday
in the States. For those not observing,
you could use the phrase:
but could we do so
next week after work?

Prayer of the Day
Inspiring God,
Giver of words:
you speak
and chaos is transformed
into the starry skies of night;
you whisper
and the wind leaps
to caress our cheeks
on a summer's evening;
you smile
and all creation
rejoices in delight.

Jesus Christ,
Uncomfortable Word:
you stand with society's castoffs
outside the halls of respectability;
you break bread with sinners
and give them the seats of honor
at your Table;
you walk the darkened hallways of death,
comforting those who are taking their last steps;
and you call to us, saying,
"Follow me."

Holy Spirit,
Sifter of words:
by your touch,
our anger can dissolve
into gentleness;
by your peace,
our enemies
can become friends for life;
by your joy,
our envious spirits
can become generous hearts.

God in Community, Holy in One,
set us free to be your servants,
even as we pray as Jesus teaches, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Called to freedom, we think we have a license
to do as we please, whenever we want. But the
call is one to a life of service to others, of giving
ourselves completely to God, and trusting in the
One who has set us free. Let us confess how we
have misused our freedom, as we pray,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Set free for freedom, Redeeming God, we find
ourselves tied down by sin, by fear, by doubt.
Given a chance to commend our friends, we
condemn them with our gossip. Our addiction
to winning at all costs, keeps us from engaging
in costly service. Guided by our passions, we
make ourselves sick by gorging on the fruit of
the flesh.

Forgive us, High and Holy One. Call us to
freedom, so we may serve others, and not focus
on ourselves. Set us free, so we may walk in
your way, placing our feet in those invisible
footprints of obedience and faith created by
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to lead
us to life with you.

Silence may be kept.

Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news: by God's grace, we
are set free, so we choose to follow Jesus
and to live by the Spirit.
Guided by the Spirit, we can feast on that
Fruit which strengthens us to follow Jesus
and to serve others. Thanks be to God.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of freedom be with you.
And also with you.
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who sets us free
for lives of service and hope.
God's Children, let us give thanks
to the Lord our God.
We will sing our songs of freedom
to the One who calls us to new life.

Your voice thundered,
Holy One of Creation,
and silenced the fractious voices of chaos.
As the sun, moon and stars
light our days and nights,
so your love illumines our souls.
When our fears
threaten to flood our lives,
you make a path for us
to your heart.
All this you do,
out of your love for us,
yet we forgot all your wonders,
and stretched out our hands
to grasp the rotten fruit of the world.
You sent the prophets
to help us remember your great acts,
but we dismissed their words
as being of no value to us.
Then, to keep your promise
never, never to forsake us,
you sent Jesus Christ,
to put our feet back
on the Holy Way.

Therefore, trusting that you will hear us,
we join our voices with the chorus of heaven,
and our sisters and brothers around us,
singing our glad songs to you:


Holy are you, God of all generations,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior.
When he could have remained safe
by your side in glory,
he took the risk to follow your call
to become one of us.
When he could have ignored
our cries for help,
he opened his ears and his heart,
to bring us words of healing and hope.
When he could have pointed
to his miracles and wonders,
he spoke of your grace,
and called us to service.
When he could have ignored
sin and death to return to you,
he picked them up
and carried them to Calvary,
turning and renouncing them forever,
as he strode out of the empty tomb,
into the new life waiting for each of us.

So as we remember what God has done for us
in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus,
we speak of that faith which is a mystery:

Memorial Acclamation

Pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of the Table,
and upon your children
who have come to feast.
As we taste the Bread of Life,
may we be filled with that freedom
which makes us servants.
As we drink from the Cup of Grace,
may we be nourished
by the Fruit of the Spirit.
Then, we will go forth
to follow where you lead us:
to bring justice and mercy
into communities crumbling by hate;
to bring hope into those neighborhoods
where despair has moved;
to bring peace to a broken world
governed by violence and war.

Then, when all time has come to an end,
and we gather with our sisters and brothers
from every moment and every place,
we will sing our glad songs to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 18, 2007

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 7 - Year C

Call to Worship
When we long for the special effects
we think life should offer:
it is enough, for us, that God comes
in a soft, summer shower.
When we our hearts are cracked
by the drought of doubt,
it is enough, for us, that God opens up
the fountains of faith for us.
When our senses are deadened
by the sales pitches of our culture:
it is enough, for us, that God wraps us
in the silence of grace.

Prayer of the Day and our Lord's Prayer
When we feel compelled
to push everything to its limits,
especially you, Holy One,
it is enough that your grace
can slow us down.

When we stand naked and exposed
to the buffeting winds
of our doubts and questions.
it is enough, Healing Servant,
that you clothe us in your peace,
and put our minds at ease.

When we are entangled
in that legion of worries and fears
which consume our lives,
it is enough, Spirit of Silence,
that you untie the knots
and set us free.

It is enough,
God in Community, Holy in One,
that you are with us
even as we pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
We long to be set free from those 'powers' which
control our lives; to let go of our fears of 'them;' to
stop trying to build fences between us and those who
are not like us. That is why our longing brings us to
the living waters offered by our God, who allows us to
fill our parched souls with a refreshing drink of forgiveness.
Let us confess our sins, as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
Like children, we fear that if we tell you what we have
done, God of Justice, you might not love us any more.
We can kill the dreams of those around us with a word,
spoken or withheld. We can make the lives of our friends
miserable, instead of sharing a miracle. We are filled with
that legion of temptations which only leave us empty and
wanting more.

Forgive us, Gracious Father. Remind us that we are no
longer sinners, but your children. Baptized, we are clothed
in the graciousness and faithfulness of Jesus Christ, our Lord
and Savior, who came that we might be set free of all that
imprisons us.

Silence is observed

Assurance of Pardon
God forgives us, so we might be new people. God
equips us, so we might serve others. God sends us
forth, so we might be a witness to everyone we meet.
No one is the same: enemies are now our friends;
those we could not trust now become our confidants;
those we could not hear now speak to us of God's
hope and joy. Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ordinary Time 11-C/Proper 6

Call to Worship
In the morning, God hears our voices
as we lift our prayers and songs.
In the morning, God whispers to us
in the gentle breezes stirring the world,
In the morning, we look for God
alive and active around us.
In the morning, we find God playing
hopscotch with the kids on the corner.
In the morning we come together
to worship our God.
In the morning, God gathers us up
to lead us down the streets
of justice and faithfulness.

Prayer of the Day and our Lord's Prayer
In the morning,
Listening God,
you break open your heart
to pour your love upon us;
you bathe our tired and sore souls
with your healing tears;
you dry our weeping
with the caress of your gentle Spirit.

In the afternoon,
Hospitable Jesus,
even knowing we are sinners,
you invite us to lunch,
so we can be nourished
with your hope and peace.
No matter how deep in debt
we are to sin,
you pay off the entire amount.

In the evening,
Spirit of our sighs,
you kiss us and call us
your Beloved,
as you tuck us into bed
to keep watch over us
while we sleep.

In every moment,
God in Community, Holy in One,
you are present with us,
even as we lift the prayer Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Too often, we believe our identity is shaped
by our job, our status, our good deeds. God
would give us a new identity, grounded in
Jesus Christ. Let us confess our reluctance to
lose who we believe we are, so God can shape
us into who we can be.

Unison Prayer of Confession
We must admit, God our Parent, how much we
are like children. We become resentful over the
fact that you do not do what we think you should
do. We pout when a friend decides to spend
more time with someone else. We can turn
sullen when our loved ones refuse to let us have
our way.

You could bring disaster upon us, Loving God,
but you choose to give us what we don't deserve -
the grace and mercy of your heart. Pour out your
tenderness upon us, so Jesus Christ, our Lord and
Savior, might live in us, and we might offer our
lives in service to others.

Silence is kept.

Assurance of Pardon
God not only listens to the cries on our lips,
but also pays attention to the groanings of
our hearts. God restores us to wholeness,
and invites us to a new way of living.
We are welcomed, we are loved, we are
given new life, we are filled with peace.
Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ordinary Time 10-C/Proper 5

Call to Worship
You we praise, O God!
You we praise!
We will sing our songs of joy
this day and in all days to come!
School is out, many of us are
planning vacations, life changes
from day to day.
Yet, you keep your promises every day;
you hold your faithfulness in your heart.

You shower us with your hope;
you offer us help in every moment.
You we praise, O God!
You we praise!

Prayer of the Day and Our Lord's Prayer
You we praise, Fountain of Hope:
you turn our hearts
toward the outsiders
in our midst,
so we can see you
in them;
you take off
the sunglasses of sin
we have worn for too long,
so we may see your kingdom
of peace and joy.

You we praise, Friend of the poor:
when we trip
over our foolish feet
in our headstrong rush
to catch the world's whims,
you pick us up,
bandage our scraped knees,
and put us back on
the path to faithfulness.

You we praise, Spirit of blessing:
you hold the hands
of the widows and orphans
as they wander the busy streets
of greed and consumption,
leading them to your
compassion and grace.

You we praise,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we lift our prayer as Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
In our pride, we think life is all about us - our desires, our needs, our achievements. And, so in our pride, we ignore the gospel proclaimed to us by God's love and hope for us. Let us confess our faulty lives, as we open ourselves to God's healing grace.

Unison Prayer of Confession
We do not want you to know how our lives do not proclaim your good news, God of all hearts. But you have heard the words we have spoken which injure those we love. You see how insistent we can be in clinging to the ways we have always lived, rather than walking your new paths. We have trouble believing that when our souls are empty and our hearts have only a small portion of love, that you can do miracles in and through us.

So, what we need to know is that you do indeed forgive us, and still love us. God of comfort. Let your grace shower us and end the drought of fear and doubt in our lives, so we can believe the good news which comes to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Do not be sad. God feeds us with grace and hope, God watches over us, and raises us to new life.
ou we praise, Holy God, for this good news of joy and peace for our lives. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman