Our Hungry Hearts / World Communion Sunday

Order of Worship for this Reflection; Bulletin-TL 10-02-2022 YC P22

Scriptures: Lamentations 1:1-6, 3:19-26; 2 Timothy 1:1-14;  Luke 17:5-10

Let us pray:

O Keeper of our Souls, we pray that your Holy Spirit would breathe through us and fill our hungry hearts this World Communion day with words of Hope. Fill us with grain from Earth, bread from heaven; and fruit of the vine made for everlasting life.  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts give us insight to your Holy Will, O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer, Amen.

On a day of Communion, when we feed both our bodies and our souls with the bread of life, I find it appropriate to review the many different ways the Holy Spirit feeds our hungry hearts.  This month I want to recall four different kinds of prayer practiced throughout the world’s journeys of faith which are mirrored in the weekly rhythms and movements of our Christian community. These four ways to pray are Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. To help you remember these, the first letter of each spells out the word ACTS. These acts of prayer also help me to remember that when we are following in the footsteps of Jesus and the Disciples, we are engaging in Acts of discipleship.

Adoration is a prayer of praise. In most worship services during or after the prelude, we light the Christ candle and immediately begin with a call to worship, a hymn of praise, and a daily prayer. Together these parts of the service gather and prepare us to be in God’s presence together, glorifying God and expressing our devotion. There are many Psalms of praise we can turn to for inspiration in these movements of worship. Indeed, often times excerpts from the Psalms are used for the Call to Worship.

The next thing in the order of worship is Confession. The first thing I think about when I hear that word is the cloistered closet space where a penitent worshiper goes before a priest confessing his or her sins under the seal of the confessional and seeks absolution – a very Roman Catholic practice. Presbyterians and other Reformed traditions use more of a communal rhythm of confession and assurance. We usually pray aloud together a “prayer of confession” or “prayer of wholeness” that has been prepared. Then we usually have a moment of silence for personal confession, sing a short kyrie, and hear familiar words of assurance. I usually match this by pouring water into the Baptismal Font to help us remember we have been born anew. This rhythm of confession and pardon or invitation to healing and wholeness is as ancient as the beginnings of formalized communal worship.

There is another meaning in the word “confession” however. When John the Baptist saw Jesus walking along the road, he said to those around him, “Look, there goes the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world!” This kind of confession we often forget. When John spoke those words, he was confessing his belief – belief in Jesus Christ. Those that were with him and heard his words were John’s own disciples, or followers; When John confessed his belief that Christ was the long-awaited Messiah, his disciples left him and followed Jesus. It kind of put John out of a job, eventually, but he still proclaimed what he believed, and indeed the scripture was fulfilled when John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

The third kind of prayer is Thanksgiving, when we express celebrations in the life of the congregation and give thanks to God. We say a Prayer of Thanksgiving and Dedication, and we celebrate Communion using more formal liturgies referred to as the “Great Thanksgiving,” which is to say we are thanking Christ for his sacrifice on our behalf. Other times outside Sunday worship when we express thanksgiving may include when we rise each morning and thank God for the morning light, or when we give thanks before each meal for nourishment that has been provided for us. We may say a prayer at night thanking God for everything we have been given and for bringing us through the day.

Finally, the fourth kind of prayer is Supplication: this is when we ask God for help. Sometimes we pray for personal things, other times we pray on behalf of friends and family, their needs; others we care for, even even strangers we hear of but do not know.  We also sometimes ask prayers for our pets or even the Earth herself. Often this kind of prayer is done in worship together and marked with a call and response such as, “Lord, in your mercy,”  “Hear our prayers.”

A.C.T.S. All of these ACTS of prayer are ways in which we can deepen our own prayer life and begin to satisfy hearts that are hungry for God.  There are many other ways to pray, too.  Movement, music, artistic expression, labyrinth walking or prayerful hiking.  I begin with A.C.T.S. because it is a way we can order our prayers if we are not used to praying on a regular basis. Much like an order of worship, we can begin with adoration, move on to either kind of confession, then give thanks to God, and finally speak aloud to God our requests.  God always listens.

There is something very important to keep in mind with these and all other kinds of prayer which we sometimes forget: Prayer is a two-way street.  In addition to offering our innermost thoughts and feelings to God, there always comes the need be active listeners as well. This may mean, as our ancestors in the faith knew, that we might have to sit down and wait; sometimes for a long time, before we understand how God is moving or has moved in our lives.  Sometimes answers are not what we expect or even hope for, but above all let us remember to listen.

May all glory be unto the One who lived, died, and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ. Amen? May it be so.

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In an Earthen Jar

Order of Worship for this reflection: Bulletin-TL 09-25-2022 YC P21

Scripture: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

Let us pray:

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts give us insight to your Holy Will, O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer, Amen.

“Put them in an Earthen jar, in order that they may last for a long time….”  Jeremiah was in a difficult spot, wasn’t he?  The prophet of God, chained in the courtyard of his own country’s gubernatorial residence in Jerusalem, which is also supposed to be the spiritual center of the entire Israelite nation, and the Word of God comes to him: “Purchase-redeem the field of your relative.” In the economy of that time, this meant the land-ethic promises fulfilled through generational holdings remain within the family of the tribe of their origin, and allow for family members to buy out one another’s means of sustenance from the land at one time – with the intent that at another time when financial standings shift, those same family members could redeem their land back.  That way, they take care of the family as a whole and never cut off their means of gainful subsistence living off their promised land.

It is clear from earlier passages in Jeremiah and from a study of world history that at this time, the armies of Babylon were taking over the known Middle Eastern world; taking historically older and settled nations and removing them to other location of their conquered territories and forcing them to settle there, away from their historical roots.  Briliant on the part of Babylon to fulfil their perceived manifest destiny, but devastating for historically landed pre-existing peoples. That being said, I don’t think I need to draw any more parallels to empire-minded nation-states from more recent historical periods.

Focusing on the lessons we can learn from Jeremiah, we learn this: Chained, he is still God’s voice to the people, God’s chosen prophet for his time in the Biblical narrative. Even as Jeremiah and his whole nation will be uprooted and carried away into the Babylonian Exile, the voice of God comes clearly, and Jeremiah is compelled to speak.  Which leads me to wonder, is there ever a time to hear from a prophetic voice in these days?  Is God speaking to us and needing us to speak out for what the Spirit is doing today?

I find it fascinating this community of faith is faced with this passage from the lectionary today.  How appropriate – and how challenging.  Not that we are being forced from our land and our homes, but in my mind, it feels like all of Christianity has been and is being besieged, emerging from pandemic realities.  I wonder, is there a deeper lesson or lessons we can learn from Jeremiah that speak into this community today?

In Jeremiah’s time, his actions symbolized an assurance.  In our own weekly rhythms of worship we too have the opportunity to find assurance.  For Israel and the Judeans, God, through Jeremiah the prophet, assures them that they will “one day buy and sell houses in their dear homeland again.”[1]  That is to say, their life together in community will go on again in the future, despite Babylon besieging their city and deporting residents even as this transaction takes place.  At the same time, Jeremiah is signaling them to look for God – “who is near and active, even in the present circumstances of their exile.”[2] This means, “their own rebuilding as a people would happen both in exile and in Jerusalem…it is more than a coincidence that the redemption of land by a relative is part of the purchase process. This piece models what God is doing in the redemption of exilic Judah.”[3]

The end product of Jeremiah’s prophetic word is the challenge of hopeful action in the midst of change.  Similar to the challenge of Spring’s chaotic new growth as it emerges from Winter – or the brief chaos of a new school year beginning in a college town that suddenly has an increase of 25,000 young people and their energies added to a population of 60,000.  But the challenge is the same: we are invited to imagine, envision, and live into the challenge of hopeful action in the midst of it all.

How Jeremiah speaks into our contemporary times is to “remind us that God’s grace occurs in unusual places and even sometimes in contrarian forms.”[4]  What will this congregation’s hopeful actions be moving forward?  Material and prophetic?  Investing in renewal and refurbishment?  Service and stewardship?  A faithful reading of Jeremiah for us today is, as one commentator identified, for all of us to be “called to find analogies of collaborative, inspired, public, prophetic actions that speak the hope of redemption in unpromising places and times.”[5]

From my perspective, that is just the surface of what is going on in the scriptures – and by extension, I suspect just the surface of what is going on in our lives as well.  At a deeper level, the transactional nature of life in Israel as they have always known it is passing; to be replaced by a communal endeavor tied more closely to Spirit, signifying that, “Their com-munity is now comprised of those who band together to worship God, strengthen their commitments to live according to the will of God, and celebrate the commonalities created by their dedication…to the things of God.”[6]  In short,

“By purchasing the land in the midst of Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylon and while he was imprisoned, Jeremiah defines what it means to have faith in [God]’s future.  He attests to his conviction that [God] is present even in catastrophe.  He declares that meaninglessness or nonbeing will not triumph. To [any] who suffer from hopelessness and despair of unexpected setbacks, Jeremiah underscores that, out of the chaos of change, [God]’s promises will be fulfilled.”[7]

Like this week’s season of Spring, I invite you to offer your thoughts and prayers, hopes and dreams, in this our third week of Rooted in Grace, Growing in Love. To add your voice, join one of the renewal groups this week or send your thoughts in to Kristin in the office to be included as we wait, rest, and dream for the future.

May all glory be unto the One who lived, died, and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ. Amen?  May it be so.

[1] Stephen Breck Reid, “Theological Perspective, Jeremiah 32:1-3a; 6-15” in Feasting on the Word, Year C (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Sharon Peebles Burch, “Pastoral Perspective, Jeremiah 32:1-3a;6-15” in Feasting on the Word, Year C (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009).

[7] Ibid.

Scripture: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15

Let us pray:

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts give us insight to your Holy Will, O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer, Amen.

“Put them in an Earthen jar, in order that they may last for a long time….”  Jeremiah was in a difficult spot, wasn’t he?  The prophet of God, chained in the courtyard of his own country’s gubernatorial residence in Jerusalem, which is also supposed to be the spiritual center of the entire Israelite nation, and the Word of God comes to him to speak.  Chained, he is still God’s voice to the people, God’s chosen prophet for his time in the Biblical narrative. Even as Judah itself is about to be uprooted and carried away into Babylon, the voice of God comes clearly, and Jeremiah is compelled to speak.

I find it ironically appropriate for this community of faith to be faced with this passage from the lectionary.  How appropriate – and how challenging.  Judah was being besieged.  In my mind, it feels like all of Christianity has been and is being besieged in these days, emerging from pandemic realities. I wonder, what lessons can we learn from Jeremiah that speak into our time today?

In Jeremiah’s time, his actions symbolize an assurance.  In our own weekly rhythms of worship we have the opportunity to find assurance as well.  For Israel and the Judeans, God, through Jeremiah the prophet, assures them that they will “one day buy and sell houses in their dear homeland again.”[1]  That is to say, their life together in community will go on again in the future, despite Babylon besieging their city and deporting residents even as this transaction takes place.  At the same time, Jeremiah is signaling them to look for God – “who is near and active, even in the present circumstances of their exile.”[2] This means, “their own rebuilding would happen both in exile and in Jerusalem…it is more than a coincidence that the redemption of land by a relative is part of the purchase process. This piece models what God is doing in the redemption of exilic Judah.”[3]

Does that remind you of anything happening in our contemporary situation?  Let’s see, we’ve been mostly closed down now for two and half years; pastoral staff is in transition, hybrid technologies have changed how we meet and gather, and fellowship can be on a screen instead of in person.  I don’t know about you, but that feels a little like exile to what I’m personally used to.  Being fully present, in the flesh with your friends, neighbors, church family, and actual family cannot be replaced by any amount of hybrid or virtual gathering technologies.  Yes, they have kept us going during a time when we were exiled one from another.  But they are not a replacement.  As we emerge from isolating tendencies of the pandemic and begin to interact in the flesh again, we find we are coming back to what is somewhat familiar but also somewhat changed.  Or … have we changed?  Or … possibly both?

What this scripture has to teach us can be learned and felt on many levels.  The end product of this prophetic word is the challenge of hopeful action in the midst of change.  Similar to the challenge of Spring’s chaotic new growth as it emerges from Winter – or the brief chaos of a new school year beginning in a college town that suddenly has an increase of 25,000 young people and their energies added to a population of 60,000.  But the challenge is the same: we are invited to imagine, envision, and live into the challenge of hopeful action in the midst of it all.

How Jeremiah speaks into our contemporary times is to “remind us that God’s grace occurs in unusual places and even sometimes in contrarian forms.”[4]  What will this congregation’s hopeful actions be today?  Material and prophetic?  Investing in renewal and refurbishment? Service and stewardship?  A faithful reading of Jeremiah for us today is, as one commentator identified, for all of us to be “called to find analogies of collaborative, inspired, public, prophetic actions that speak the hope of redemption in unpromising places and times.”[5]

From my perspective, that is just the surface of what is going on in the scriptures – and by extension, I suspect just the surface of what is going on in our lives as well.  At a deeper level, the transactional nature of life in Israel as they have always known it is passing; to be replaced by a communal endeavor tied more closely to Spirit, signifying that, “Their com-munity is now comprised of those who band together to worship God, strengthen their commitments to live according to the will of God, and celebrate the commonalities created by their dedication…to the things of God.”[6]  In short,

“By purchasing the land in the midst of Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylon and while he was imprisoned, Jeremiah defines what it means to have faith in [God]’s future.  He attests to his conviction that [God] is present even in catastrophe.  He declares that meaninglessness or nonbeing will not triumph. To [any] who suffer from hopelessness and despair of unexpected setbacks, Jeremiah underscores that, out of the chaos of change, [God]’s promises will be fulfilled.”[7]

Like this week’s season of Spring, I invite you to offer your thoughts and prayers, hopes and dreams, in this our third week of Rooted in Grace, Growing in Love. To add your voice, join one of the renewal groups this week or send your thoughts in to Kristin in the office to be included as we wait, rest, and dream for the future.

May all glory be unto the One who lived, died, and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ. Amen?  May it be so.

[1] Stephen Breck Reid, “Theological Perspective, Jeremiah 32:1-3a; 6-15” in Feasting on the Word, Year C (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Sharon Peebles Burch, “Pastoral Perspective, Jeremiah 32:1-3a;6-15” in Feasting on the Word, Year C (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009).

[7] Ibid.

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Faithful Re-examinations

Order of Worship for this Reflection: Bulletin-TL 09-18-2022 YC P20

Scriptures: 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13

Let us pray:

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts on this most puzzling of stories find, in the end, your true light illuminating our darkness. O Holy Spirit, nurture us to grow into who you want us to be, not necessarily who we think we ought to be. Amen.

I would like to begin examination of today’s Lukan passage in the revised common lectionary with an excerpt from today’s reading in First Timothy: “…For there is one God … Christ Jesus, himself human…”

I hope using the very real humanity of Jesus as our lens will give us eyes to reexamine what is normally a troubling teaching when we read today’s parable from Luke.  As we examine it today, I would like to offer a suggestion which you can use with any of our scriptural passages that you find challenging: When struggling with a difficult teaching, look outside the specific pericope of the day to find either a related theme or some sort of other insight as to why the passage might be the way it is. 

With that advice, for today’s passage in Luke chapter 16, I would like us to frame it using the third verse from Luke Chapter 1:

“I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed” (my emphasis).

In today’s passage, didn’t Jesus just instruct his listeners to, “make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes?”  Upon closer inspection of today’s passage, we find that this instruction is a part of the parable of the dishonest, or “crafty” manager. That is to say it is inside the book-ends of the parable.  So, do we follow the example of the parable where the dishonest manager gets away with everything and is told “good job, crafty one?” Are we we supposed to make friends by dishonest wealth?!? You mean to tell me Jesus wants us to be somewhat morally suspect?!?”

If I dared to think we might be asked to follow that advice, I imagine Jesus might turn and gaze implacably upon us with one of those twinkles in his eye…one of those nonverbal, “think again” looks.  Are you familiar with those looks? I am; I know my children are; so why did Jesus say such an outlandish thing in the first place?

Let’s take a step back from the moment.  Remember I quoted First Timothy at the beginning of this reflection?  First Timothy reminds us Jesus is fully human, even if he is also fully divine. Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, a very human Jesus was exasperated with somebody (or somebodies) and decided to exercise a bit of human wit with an ironic story? Perhaps it would be helpful to remember parables are not meant to be taken literally; they are teaching stories.  This one very well may be the type that lifts up a negative example as a tool to lead folks into re-examining personal motives and measuring them up, over and against God’s ethic of loving kindness.  The end product of the parable is the crafty manager doesn’t get what he deserves. I wonder, are there times we receive something other than what we deserve, too?  I suspect Old Turtle might have something to say about that.

In which case, this story isn’t about the crafty manager or making friends by dishonest wealth at all. It’s about God’s grace in giving second chances to any and all of us who are less than perfect.  I know I am less than perfect; thank God for such grace!

Jesus follows this parable with an additional related teaching which makes a bit more sense: “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. … if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?  No [one] can serve two masters; …. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

That puts a different spin on this parable, doesn’t it?  We are God’s, of course, designed to serve in whatever way God leads us into.  Sometimes we forget we are ambassadors, Christ’s hands and feet in the world. “Forgive us in our soul-forgetfulness, O Lord, and lead us into soul-remembrance!”

Presbyterian Pastor Jill Duffield once wrote we are called to be faithful, “in little, to practice a cruciform life daily, so that more and more we are clothed in Christ and our outward actions match our inward convictions.”[1] Help us, Lord, to “surprise people with grace, when we don’t give others what they may very well deserve.”[2] Help us, O Lord, to exercise forgiveness, mercy, and redemption toward ourselves and others. Pastor Jill went on to write a few years later, “When we recognize the real mess we have made through our own exploitive and self-indulgent actions, and come to ourselves and make a change, God is merciful….”[3]

O Lord our God, let it be so with us; and let us, be the shining example others may need to change their ways, too.  May all glory be unto the One who lived, died, and rose again for us, even Him who is the Christ. Amen?  May it be so.

 

[1] Jill Duffield, “Looking into the Lectionary, September 18, 2016, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time”, The Presbyterian Outlook online magazine, accessed 9/20/2019. https://pres-outlook.org/2016/09/september-18-2016-25th-sunday-ordinary-time/.

[2] Ibid.

[3]Jill Duffield, “Looking into the Lectionary, September 22, 2019, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time”, The Presbyterian Outlook online magazine, Accessed 9/21/2019. https://pres-outlook.org/2019/09/15th-sunday-after-pentecost-september-22-2019/

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Worship for July 31, 2022: The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 13, Year C

THE GATHERING

* Please stand if willing and able

Gathering Music: Hymn #19 “God of Great and God of Small”

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude: Healing Graceby Gary Sadler and John Chisum

* Call to Worship         

Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation

The Lord will speak peace to the faithful, to those who turn to God in their hearts.

Surely Salvation is at hand for those who fear the Lord, and God’s glory will dwell in our land. Therefore, let us pray:

* Prayer of the Day    

Holy One, you see us for just who we are, and yet you love us with a parent’s love. In your enduring love for us, we see both our guilt and our acquittal. Gracious God, continue to guide us and teach us to walk in your ways. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

* Hymn of Praise #44 “Like a Mother Who Has Bourne Us”

* Invitation to Forgiveness

Considering God’s steadfast love, let us approach God acknowledging our brokenness, asking for forgiveness.

* Prayer of Wholeness

Nurturing God, you continue to point the way on account of your love for us; yet we do not always follow where you lead us.  Sometimes we turn away from you and go our own way; forgive us, and return us to our rightful home in you, through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

* Kyrie #437 “You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”

* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say:

Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another. Please share a sign of peace with those with whom you are worshiping.

Sung Response: #591 “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah” (Chorus 2X)

Celebrating Joys and where we have seen God at work.

Sung Response: #628 “Praise, I Will Praise You, Lord”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

These Ancient words, O God, are inspiration. Guide us today as we listen to what the Spirit is saying to the church.  Fill us with understanding, and the will to heed and do.  Amen.

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Hosea 11:1-11 p. 1113 OT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Epistle Reading: Colossians 3:1-11 p. 271 NT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Moment

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:13-21 p. 101 NT

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Message: TL 07-31-2022 P13 YC Avoiding Soul Forgetfullness~ Pastor Scott

Please spend several moments in silent reflection

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

* Hymn: #175 “Seek Ye First”

* Affirmation: Summary of the Law according to Luke 10:27

Our Lord Jesus said: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

Intercessory Prayers of the People

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayers.”

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

Through Jesus Christ, God cautions us against storing up riches for ourselves.  Let us consider these things and give as our conscience and abilities direct us.

Offertory: “Minuet in F” A. Mozart     

* Doxology: #606 (with text below)

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Christ, all creatures here below;

Praise Holy Spirit evermore;

Praise Triune God whom we adore.  Amen.

* Prayer of Dedication, Thanksgiving, and the Lord’s Prayer

Holy One, we give you thanks for the richness of our lives. Bless these tithes and offerings, that they might be used as expressions of your steadfast love for those in need near and far.  We offer these gifts – and our very lives – in the name of your son Jesus, who taught his disciples to pray, saying: “Our Father…debts…debtors…”

* The Lord’s Prayer is found on p. 35 in Hymnal (Español en p. 40)

SENDING

* Closing Hymn #694 “Great God of Every Blessing”  

* Charge:

Remember that we are like flowers of spring, destined to slowly fade through summer and fall, yet filled with the endless cycle of seed-life renewing.  Move out into the world, conscious of how your blooming brings joy and beauty to those around you.

* Blessing

* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal. Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us across the way for refreshments and conversation following worship.

Questions for Reflection

Sometimes divine love includes judgment. But the judgment of God is love. What do you think might be the only way that we can be rejected or separated from that divine love? Would God be rejecting us, or would we be rejecting God’s love?

Household Prayer: Morning

Loving God, as I embark on the adventure of this new day, I will imagine you as the kind of mother or father who teaches me to walk with cords of human kindness and love.  Therefore I will not fear failure or worry that I will not have enough time or goods if I give a little to those in need.  Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening

Thank you, God, for the gift of this day.  Thank you for bringing me home to you.  As I fall asleep, I will consider your steadfast love for me and repeat with my breathing, “You are rich toward me, and I am rich toward you.” Amen

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Worship for July 24, 2022; the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 12: Year C

THE GATHERING

* Please stand if willing and able

Gathering Music: Hymn #664 “Morning Has Broken”

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude: Among Us and Before Usby The Iona Community

* Call to Worship         

Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation

The Lord will speak peace to the faithful, to those who turn to God in their hearts.

Surely Salvation is at hand for those who fear the Lord, and God’s glory will dwell in our land. Therefore, let us pray:

* Prayer of the Day    

Holy God, you are our faithful lover, our generous parent, our patient teacher, our constant friend.  We live by the hope of your promises, seek to follow your way, and rely on the gift of your Spirit, by whose power we breathe, and move, and pray.  Amen.

* Hymn of Praise #39 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

* Invitation to Forgiveness

Let us come before God acknowledging our brokenness yet embracing our essential goodness.

* Prayer of Wholeness

Holy Peacemaker, hear our prayers.  Your love is constant and your grace abundant.  Forgive us of the help we have not given, the hospitality we have not offered, the prayers we have not spoken, and the faithful steps we have not taken.  Forgive us, God, and through your forgiveness embolden us to be your servants, that we might do those things – be helpful, offer hospitality, say our prayers and faithfully walk with you…  (silent personal prayer)

* Kyrie #437 “You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”

* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say:

Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another. Please share a sign of peace with those with whom you are worshiping.

Sung Response: #591 “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah” (Chorus 2X)

Celebrating Joys and where we have seen God at work.

Sung Response: #647 “Give Thanks”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

God of Wisdom, you promise to give your Spirit to those who ask.  Overwhelm us with your Word, that we may know, love, and follow you more closely; in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Hosea 1:2-10 p. 1103 OT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Epistle Reading: Colossians 2:6-19 p. 270-271 NT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Moment

Gospel Reading: Luke 11:1-13 p. 98-99 NT

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Message: “A Different Prophetic Witness” ~ Pastor Scott

Please spend several moments in silent reflection

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

* Hymn: #753 “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”

* Affirmation: A Brief Statement of Faith section 3 (pp. 37-38, Hymnal)

Intercessory Prayers of the People

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayers.”

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

With our tithes and our offerings let us give thanks and praise to the Triune God: to the Son for our salvation, the Spirit for our rising, and the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Offertory: “Andante” by Mozart

* Doxology: #606 (with text below)

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Christ, all creatures here below;

Praise Holy Spirit evermore;

Praise Triune God whom we adore.  Amen.

* Prayer of Dedication, Thanksgiving, and the Lord’s Prayer

Holy One, you are the giver of every good gift. Accept these offerings we pray, that through them we may do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with you, our Sovereign and our God.  We pray all this in the name of your son Jesus, who taught his disciples to pray, saying: “Our Father…debts…debtors…”

* The Lord’s Prayer is found on p. 35 in Hymnal (Español en p. 40) 

SENDING 

* Closing Hymn #539 “We Will Go Out with Joy”  

* Charge:

Go out into the world proclaiming Christ in every corner, admonishing and teaching with all wisdom, so that everyone can comprehend fully the presence and witness of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

* Blessing

* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal. Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us across the way for refreshments and conversation following worship.

Questions for Reflection

  1. It is difficult in our day to consider the analogy of Hosea and Gomer. The figure of Gomer as adulterous prostitute offends our feminist sensibilities, and Hosea evokes pity more than admiration. Yet, as William Willimon points out, this scandalous story directs our attention to the God who went so far as to be crucified for us.  “Only a passionate, unseemly God who is willing to risk scandal could possibly save a bunch of adulterers like us.”[1] What does it mean to place ourselves in the role of Gomer?  What does the person Hosea say about the character of God?
  1. This week’s lectionary texts say that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were arrogance, excess food and leisure, injustice and inhospitality, and not helping the poor and oppressed. Why do you think rich and powerful church leaders in the Middle Ages and in modern times went against the Bible and taught that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was “homosexuality” (a word not invented until the late nineteenth century)?

Household Prayer: Morning

Thank you, God, for waking me up this morning.  May I live wholly for you this day, that whatever I say and do might help make a path for your coming reign.  Open my eyes to your goodness and my heart to your children. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of this day, its challenges and its blessings, its burdens and its delights.  Forgive my failures and misdeeds and refine my heart, that I may greet the new day to live more faithfully for you.  Amen.

[1] William H. Willimon, “Pastoral Perspective, Hosea 1:2-10” in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C, Volume 3, (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 272.

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Worship for July 17, 2022; the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 11

THE GATHERING

* Please stand if willing and able

Gathering Music: Hymn # 32 “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude: “How Can I Keep from Singing” arr. John Carter

* Call to Worship         

The psalmist declares,

I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.

I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

I will thank you, God, forever, because of what you have done.

Come, let us proclaim God’s name, for it is good.

* Prayer of the Day    

Grant us this day, O God, not to be overtaken by anxious thoughts that can make us feel that you are not near. Give us the chance, to sit at your feet, to enjoy every word and every musical note that we may feel your real presence and in turn live out that presence within our families, our communities, our jobs, and our schools.  Prepare us as we journey as your people, to worship and to serve. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation.  Amen.

* Hymn of Praise #49 “The God of Abram Praise”

* Invitation to Forgiveness

Christ Jesus did not call down destruction upon those who rejected him.  How much more will he show mercy to those who seek forgiveness?  Let us offer ourselves and our faults to Christ.

* Prayer of Wholeness

O God of balance, we ask for your help:  Sometimes we behave like Martha.  We get distracted in our routines, so busy with our daily chores that we forget to take the time to stop and breathe, to look up and to notice the Creation you have given and the way it speaks about your love and passion for your people.  Sometimes we behave like Mary. We devote our time to looking up, thinking that everything we are commanded to do is to love God, and we forget to serve our neighbor, and to commit our time to the concrete work of the church, forgetting to get our hands dirty.  God of balance, help and lead us to know when to be workers and when to be hearers.  In your mercy, heal our worries and our judgments, so that we can, indeed, keep the best part.  In the name of our loving Master, Amen!

* Kyrie #437 “You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”

* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say:

Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another. Please share a sign of peace with those with whom you are worshiping.

Sung Response: #591 “Halle, Halle, Hallelujah” (Chorus 2X)

Celebrating Joys and where we have seen God at work.

Sung Response: #628 “Praise, I Will Praise You, Lord”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

O Holy One, open our hearts and our minds, so that we can understand the fullness of your Word. Fill us with the light of the Holy Spirit, and bless our hearing of the Word proclaimed today. In the name of Christ, Amen.

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Amos 8:1-12 p. 1131-1132 OT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Epistle Reading: Colossians 1:15-28 p. 269-270 NT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Moment

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:38-42 p. 98 NT

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Message: Prophetic Witness~ Pastor Scott

Please spend several moments in silent reflection

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

* Hymn: #70 “What Does the Lord Require of You?”

* Affirmation: Summary of the Law according to Luke 10:27

Our Lord Jesus said: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

Intercessory Prayers of the People

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayers.”

Minute for Mission

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

With our tithes and our offerings let us give thanks and praise to the Triune God: to the Son for our salvation, the Spirit for our rising, and the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Offertory: “Amazing Grace” Duet: Jaqui and Ariaunna Neibauer; Janet Anderson Accompanying

* Doxology: #606 (with text below)

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Christ, all creatures here below;

Praise Holy Spirit evermore;

Praise Triune God whom we adore.  Amen.

* Prayer of Dedication, Thanksgiving, and the Lord’s Prayer

Holy One, we give today in thankfulness and with the assurance that anything we give, even our very selves, will contribute to the continuing growth and witness of your Kin-dom in the world. In the name of Christ we pray the prayer he taught his disciples to pray, saying: “Our Father…debts…debtors…”

* The Lord’s Prayer is found on p. 35 in Hymnal (Español en p.40)

SENDING

* Closing Hymn #543 “God, Be the Love to Search and Keep Me”  

* Charge:

Go out into the world proclaiming Christ in every corner, admonishing and teaching with all wisdom, so that everyone can comprehend fully the presence and witness of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

* Blessing

* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal. Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us across the way for refreshments and conversation following worship.

Questions for Reflection

How do you balance studying the stories of Scripture and fostering a relationship with God while also serving others?

Household Prayer: Morning

God, we have too many things to do today! Help us to see you in everything we do, in everything we say.  Help us to take a deep breath and to remember that the Holy Spirit is inside us, with us, around us.  Help us to work for and with our brothers and sisters, giving kindness, sharing hope, and living out the faith you have given us.  Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening

O Lord, we have sat at your feet, and listened to your words.  We have been empowered by your teachings. What should we do with all this life that you have provided? We will go out into the world, after a restful night, and serve, and smile, and love, and work, and play, and forgive, and shout out, and sing…doing everything in your name!  Amen.

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Worship for July 10, 2022: The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time / Proper 10

Gathering

Gathering Music: Hymn #19 “God of Great and God of Small”

Welcome and Announcements    

Prelude: “It is Well With My Soul” by Philip Bliss

* Call to Worship 

Love the Lord your God,

With all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind!

Love your neighbor as yourself,

With all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind!

Do this and we will live!

Let us worship God!

And so we pray:

* Prayer of the Day    

Holy God, you call us to live out your justice and righteousness.  Help us to walk in your footsteps, so that we never lose our way.  Enable us to live and love in the way that you have taught us, so that we can act in grace, even with those who we consider our enemies.  In the name of Jesus we pray; Amen.

* Hymn of Praise #305 “Come Sing, O Church, in Joy!”

* Invitation to Forgiveness

Psalm 82 asks, “How long?” how long will we live unjustly and show partiality, instead of loving as God has loved us?  Trusting in God’s love poured out for us, let us request – and submit – to God’s healing touch.

* Prayer of Wholeness

Gracious God, Jesus tells us that our lives are enriched by loving you and loving our neighbors.  We confess that love is hard for us.  Sometimes we are too selfish or too pessimistic, too hollow or too hardened, and sometimes even too broken to give ourselves to love’s demands.  But you are Love, O God!  Cleanse our hearts that we might find the strength to do what love requires and the grace to receive what love has to give.  We pray in the name of Jesus, whose love has no boundary, as we prayerfully sing:

* Sung Response #437 “You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”

* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends, believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through. The gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you.  For this we say:

Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us also love one another. The Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

And also with you!

You are invited to share God’s Peace with your neighbors.

* Sung Response Hymn #591 “Halle, Halle, Halle” (chorus 2x)

Celebrating where we have seen God at work

Sung Response: Hymn #647 “Give Thanks”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

O Holy One in Three: Let this be a time when we quiet hearts and our minds to pay attention; to really pay attention to what you have to say to us today.  Amen.

Hebrew Scriptures: Psalm 82:1-8 p. 726, OT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Epistle Reading: Colossians 1:1-14 p. 269, NT

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Message

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37 pp. 97-98

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Sermon: TL 07-10-2022 P10 YC A Gospel Heart~ Pastor Scott

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

* Song of Response:       “Micah 6:8” (Echo Song)

C

Group 1                              Group 2

God has shown you………..God has shown you*          *originally “He”

F

Belovèd…………………………..Belovèd*,                 *originally “O Man”

                            C                           F                    C

Together: What is good and what the Lord requires of you.

C                     

But to do justice……………But to do justice

                   F

And to love mercy………..And to love mercy

                                    G           F          C

Together: And to walk humbly with thy God. (Repeat all)

* Affirmation of Faith:  A Brief Statement of Faith, section 2, Hymnal p. 37

Intercessory Prayers of the People

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy:” “Hear our prayers.”

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

Redeemed, we live for giving thanks!  Everything we do and everything we have, comes from God, whose unconditional love lifts us up each day.  In thanksgiving, let us give with grateful hearts from what God has provided.

Offertory: “Children of the Heavenly Father” arr. Kenon D. Renfrow

* Doxology  Hymn # 606 (Using text below)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise Christ all creatures here below,

Praise Holy Spirit evermore;

Praise Triune God whom we adore!  Amen.

* Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving:

Thank you God: you are our soil, our food, our water, our sun; everything we need to grow.  We offer these gifts to you, asking for your direction, as we work each day so that your kin-dom of light becomes more and more of a reality in this world. We offer this thanksgiving in the name of Christ, who taught his disciples to pray, saying:

* The Lord’s Prayer “…debts…. debtors…”

SENDING

* Closing Hymn #743 “O God, You Are My God”

* Charge:

Go and bear fruit!  Go and do as you are able!  Live a life that is worthy of the Lord; but above all: Give joyful thanks to God through loving your neighbors, through doing justice, through speaking out, and through defending those who are weak and oppressed, lift up those who are discouraged.

* Blessing

* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” 

                  Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal.

Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us following worship outside for the tree dedication ceremony and remembrance of friends and members of our church who passed away in the past few years.

Question for Reflection:

How can we bear God’s fruit in the world?  How can we live out the commandment to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves?

Morning Prayer:

Prepare my mind to listen to you today.  Prepare my heart to be filled with your love today.  Prepare my lips, that they can shout your praise today.  Prepare my soul, that I can be attuned to your will today.  Prepare me to feel your presence in the world today!  Amen.

Evening Prayer:

We come together, and this we pray: let us love the Lord our God, with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our strength, with all our minds, and let us love our neighbor as ourselves. By doing this, O God, we will truly live, because we will live under the guidance of your words, and the rest that your love provides. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 3, 2022

Gathering Music        

Welcome and Announcements    

Prelude: “Songs of Faith” arr. Martha Mier

* Call to Worship 

Call upon the Lord!  I asked for help and I was healed!

We asked for freedom, and we were given liberty beyond measure! Praise God!

Sing to the Lord, all you faithful; give thanks to God’s holy name.

God turns our mourning into dancing! Let our hearts sing without ceasing!

O Lord our God we will always give you thanks!

Let us pray:

* Prayer of the Day    

We watch this morning for the light that the darkness has not overcome. We watch for the fire that was in the beginning and that burns still in the brilliance of the rising sun.  We watch for the glow of life that gleams in the growing earth and glistens in sea and sky, forest and mountain. We watch for your light, O God, in the eyes of every living creature and in the ever-living flame of our own souls. You send us out into the world as your disciples.  Allow us, and this church, to be a healing presence, a place and a people that live out your heavenly reign, here and now; through the mystery of your Holy One in Three, Amen.

* Hymn of Praise #645 “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above”

* Invitation to Receive Forgiveness

When we walk from darkness into the light, we can see ourselves as we really are. We know we are in need of God’s healing; come and wade into the river of the Healer’s mercy.

* Prayer of Wholeness

Source of all that gives us life, we have turned away from your all-encompassing vision to our own small concerns.  Forgive us for our failures to bear one another’s burdens, for turning inwards on ourselves and thinking we are enough.  Lead us to your river of life that is life for so much and so many more.  In Christ’s name we pray, singing:

* Sung Response #437 “You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”

* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends, believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through. This gift is also the gift Jesus Christ gave to us.

Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us also love one another. The Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

And also with you!

You are invited to share God’s Peace with your neighbors.

* Sung Response Hymn #591 “Halle, Halle, Halle(chorus 2x)

Celebrating where we have seen God at work

  Sung Response: Hymn #647 “Give Thanks”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

Bring us to the bosom of your Word, O God, and fee us on your truth, that we may have the strength you have promised your children.  Amen.

Hebrew Scriptures: 2 Kings 5:1-14 p. 461

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Epistle Reading: Galatians 6:1-6 p.

256“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Message

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 p. 96-97

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Sermon: After COVID-19?~ Pastor Scott

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

* Hymn of Response: #738 “O Master Let Me Walk with Thee”

* Affirmation of Faith:  A Brief Statement of Faith, section 1, Hymnal p. 37

Prayers of the People/Intercession

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy:” “Hear our prayers.”

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

God has given us so much in healing, word, forgiveness.  Let us now take the time to respond in gratitude, by giving of what has been given to us.

Offertory: “A Graceful Minuet” arr. Mozart c. 7 years old

* Doxology  Hymn # 606 with text from #607. (Sub. “all creatures” for “all people.”)

* Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving:

God of mercy, we give you thanks for all that your bounty creates. The gifts we bring today acknowledge our debt to you and our intent to relieve others of their burdens. Bless what we offer and bless those who will be shown deeds of power through them; in the name of Jesus, who taught his disciples to pray, saying:

* The Lord’s Prayer “…debts…. debtors…”

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

This is the joyful feast of the people of God!

People will come from north and south and from east and west to sit at table in the Kin-dom of God.

According to Luke, when our risen Lord was at table with his disciples, he took bread, blessed and broke, and gave it to them.

Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.

This is the Lord’s table.  Our Savior invites those who trust him to share the feast that he has prepared.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.  Lift up your hearts.  We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  It is right to give our thanks and praise.

As we remember: let us, with saints, with angels, and with the whole of creation, join the ancient and eternal hymn:

Hymn #552 “Holy, Holy, Holy”

We give you thanks, Holy God, for Jesus, who came to be your living Word, to baptize us with Spirit and fire, to feed the hungry, to humble the mighty, and to announce the good news of your coming realm.  With thanksgiving, we remember how, when the hour had come, Jesus took his place at the table with the apostles.

Then Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, this is my body, which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.  After supper he took the cup, saying:
This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it,
do this in remembrance of me.

Hymn #553 “Christ Has Died; Christ Is Risen”

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, this bread, this cup, these people Christ’s body and blood, given in love for the world.

Make us one in the Spirit, one in the church, and one with Christ our Lord. Make us gentle, joyful, thankful people, serving our neighbors, worshiping you alone.  Keep us in the peace of Christ until you gather us at your table in glory.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever.

Amen!

All has been prepared and the table awaits.  These are the gifts of God for the people of God.

Thanks be to God.

Communion of the People

Please come down the center to receive the elements by intinction.  Chalice holds juice for bread, clear cup holds juice for gluten-free wafer.  Please return by the sides, then join as you are able: 

Hymn of Reflection: #507 “Come to the Table of Grace”

Prayer following Communion 

Let us pray together:

Thank you, gracious God, for giving us of yourself to us in this feast.  As we travel on through our journey of life with you, help us to share your grace with others and draw us ever closer to you: through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SENDING

* Closing Hymn #741 “Guide My Feet”

* Charge:

The harvest truly is great, and there is need for peace in the world. God calls us to go and labor in the fields of harvest – Jesus has promised us all we need to do God’s will.

* Blessing

* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” 

                  Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal.

Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us across the way for refreshments and conversation following worship.

Question for Reflection: How is your faith strengthened by knowing that we do not look for Jesus in only one place but find the Risen One everywhere, because he has ascended to the throne of God?

Morning Prayer: I wake this day mindful of the Light within all light, Soul behind all souls. Strengthen me this day to do your work. Amen.

Evening Prayer: O Lord, in the darkness of night, in the stillness that surrounds us in the unknown depths of our being, we pause to listen and take our rest. Amen.

Prayer song of the week: “Be Still and Know” Hymnbook #414 Repeat several times

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Trinity Sunday, June 12, 2022

THE GATHERING

Gathering Music: Hymn # 15 “All Creatures of Our God and King”

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude: “Prairie Blossoms” by Jack Butler

* Call to Worship         

Because from the beginning God has been faithful,

We aim to serve God with lives of faithfulness.

Because in the Trinity God patterned community,

We bring our lives together in this church.

Because God’s prophets stood up for justice,

We join our voices to witness for peace

Because God has showered us with love,

We gather to worship;

Let us pray:

* Prayer of the Day    

Holy Trinity, we honor this day the majesty and the mystery of your name. You are both infinite and intimate, known and unknowable, transcendent and transparent. In love, you have made us your own, and invite us to join in your divine dance. May we never rest until we rest in you, Blessed Three-in-One, now and ever. Amen.

* Hymn of Praise #11 “Source and Sovereign, Rock and Cloud”

* Invitation to Forgiveness

By faith in Jesus Christ, we are given access to the grace of God.  Standing in that grace, we submit to our Maker, seeking forgiveness and peace.

* Prayer of Wholeness

Triune God, within your own life there is mutuality, equality, and unity in diversity.  Though we are made in your image, we confess that we all too often distort the triune life for which you made us.  Instead of seeking mutual welfare and the common good, we seek our own gain.  Instead of living in equality, justice, and respect, we construct systems that are unjust.  We devise ways to elevate ourselves over others, and disrespectful thoughts, words, and actions still surface in us.  We allow differences to divide us and lead to brokenness.  Holy God, forgive us.  Restore in us, and in our life together, the divine image you intend.  Make us tender in mutuality.  Make us generous in equality.  Make us grateful in diversity.  We pray to be one with you and one another, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

* Kyrie #437 “You are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”

* Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends, believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say:

Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another. Please share a sign of peace with those with whom you are worshiping.

Sung Response: #581 Gloria Patri

Celebrating Joys and where we have seen God at work.

Sung Response: #628 “Praise, I Will Praise You, Lord”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

Living Word, you still have many things to say to us.  Speak, and we will try to hear them. By your Word, may the Spirit guide us into all truth, that our lives may glorify you.  Amen.

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 p. 785-786

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Epistle Reading: Romans 5:1-5 p. 207-208

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Moment

Gospel Reading: John 16:12-15 p. 149

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Sermon: TL 06-12-2022 YC A Knot of One~ Pastor Scott Crane

Please spend several moments in silent reflection

RESPONSE TO THE WORD 

* Hymn of Response: “Trinity Dance” (See insert)

* Affirmation: The Nicene Creed (p. 34, Hymnal)

Prayers of the People/Intercession

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayers.”

Minute for Mission

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

Out of the abundance of God’s own life, we have received the abundance of God’s creation, God’s word, and God’s love.  Let us not live as if we are threatened with scarcity, but let us live with generosity, returning to God a portion of all we have been given.

Offertory: “Gavotte” by Paul Zilcher

* Doxology: #606 with text from #607. (Sub. “all creatures” for “all people.”)

* Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving followed by

* The Lord’s Prayer “…debts…debtors…” found on p. 35 in Hymnal

SENDING

* Closing Hymn #295 “Go to the World!”

* Blessing and Charge

* Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

Lyrics found on the inside front cover of the hymnal. Bathrooms and a diaper changing station are located in the Fellowship Hall.  Please join us across the way for refreshments and conversation following worship.

Questions for Reflection

Trinity Sunday is not so much a day for explanations as it is a day for reflection on the majesty and mystery of the fullness of God: God as Creator, Lawgiver, the One who performs mighty acts; God as Messiah and Lord, Savior, Liberator, known to us in Jesus Christ; God as Holy Spirit, Wind and Flame, Advocate, Comforter. How does thinking of God in this Trinitarian way inform, even increase, your understanding of God? Do you experience God, or relate more easily to God, in one of the three “Persons” of God more than the other two? What causes you to relate to God more closely in this way?

Household Prayer: Morning

Creator God, I wake this morning to the beauty of the world as though it were the first morning of creation. As the light of the sun rises on all that you have made, I pray that my spirit may rise also. Help me to be ready to greet you however and in whomever you make yourself known to me today. Help me to pause in moments of this day to glimpse the beauty you have made, offered as gift and sign of your abiding presence. I entrust myself and those I love to you this day, knowing that you promise to be with us always. In your holy, triune name I pray. Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening

O God, my Advocate and Comforter, I rest in you. The evening falls and the darkness does not overcome me, for you are my light. You are the Light of the world. I bring to you the passing cares of this day, and the deeper cares of my life and those I love. Breathe peace on all that stirs in me and whirls around me. Breathe peace into every troubled place and person this night. Shine on us, in us, and through us. I know that when I awake, I will still be with you, Holy One who is Source, Word, and Wisdom. Amen.

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Day of Pentecost June 5, 2022

THE GATHERING

Gathering Music: #292 As the Wind Song

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude: “Let Us Break Bread Together” arr. Donna Huff

* Call to Worship         

Let us stand and worship God.  How manifold are your works, O Lord!

In wisdom you have made them all; the Earth is full of your creatures.

You send forth your Spirit, and they are created;

And so you renew the face of the Earth

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;

I will praise my God while I have my being.

Let us pray together:

 * Prayer of the Day    

Holy God, who comes to us in breath,visits us from the throne of heaven,and sets us aflame with amazement and joy,you open our paths to new visionsand guide our feet deeper into your wisdom.Give us faith to trust your presence,through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hymn of Praise #289 “On Pentecost They Gathered”  

Invitation to Healing

Do not let your heart be troubled, but submit to the Holy Spirit, and our Lord will give you peace.

Prayer of Wholeness

Holy and Merciful God, we do not know how to pray as we ought, and we know too well our constant failures to do as you have commanded and to hold fast to your word. Forgive us for the divisions we nurture, guide us to your way, keep us in your care, and lead us into faith. We trust your word that the Spirit of truth will show us all things and grant us courage and peace.   Please continue in silent prayer

Sung Reflection: “Waiting for Spirit, Come” using Hymn tune #92

  1. Waiting for Spirit, come; waiting for Spirit, come;

Come to us, Lord, ignite our hearts, waiting for Spirit, come.

  1. Fill us, O Lord, with grace; fill us, O Lord, with grace…
  2. Anoint our lives with love…
  3. Send us, renewed, to serve… ~ text by Pastor Scott

Assurance of Pardon and Passing of the Peace

Friends, believe this Good News: God is One and God is Three – Love constantly flowing in, out, and through; the gift of Jesus Christ for me and for you. For this we say: Thanks be to God!

Since God has loved us through Christ, let us love one another. Please share a sign of peace with those with whom you are worshiping.

* Hymn of Response #591: “Halle, Halle, Halle” Chorus

Celebrating Joys and where we have seen God at work

Hymn of Response #290: “O Day of Joy and Wonder!”

THE WORD

Prayer of Illumination:

Holy Spirit, come again.  As long ago you inspired, astonished, and confused the people, come to us now to fill our ears with the sound of your breath, fill our eyes with the brilliance of your presence in each other, and fill our hearts with your good Word.  Amen.

Hebrew Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9 pp 15-16

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Children’s Moment

Second Reading: Acts2:1-21 pp 159-160

“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

Gospel Reading: John 14:8-17 (25-27) p 147

“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”

Sermon: TL 06-05-2022 YC A Circle of One~ Pastor Scott

Please spend several moments in silent reflection

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

Hymn: #287 “Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading”

* Affirmation of Faith: ~Adapted from and inspired by the Confession of 1967

Jesus Christ is God with humankind.  He is the eternal Son, who became human and lived among us to fulfill the work of reconciliation.  He is still present in the church by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This Trinity of Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer is the foundation of all confessional statements about God, humanity, and the world.  Therefore, the church calls all people to be reconciled to God, to one another, and the Earth.

Intercessory Prayers of the People

Call and response: “Lord, in your mercy,” “Hear our prayers.”

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

Invitation to Present Our Offerings

The Holy Spirit was sent to increase our compassion and to make us glad to spread good news by caring for those in need. May you enter into the discipline of giving as a work of the Holy Spirit within you.

Offertory: “Landler” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

* Doxology  Hymn # 606 with text from #607. (Sub. “all creatures” for “all people.”)

* Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving:

God of mercy, we give you thanks for all that your bounty creates. The gifts we bring today acknowledge our debt to you and our intent to relieve others of their burdens. Bless what we offer and bless those who will be shown deeds of power through them; in the name of Jesus, who taught his disciples to pray, saying:

* The Lord’s Prayer “…debts…. debtors…”

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

This is the joyful feast of the people of God!

People will come from north and south and from east and west to sit at table in the kingdom of God.

According to Luke, when our risen Lord was at table with his disciples, he took bread, blessed and broke, and gave it to them.

Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.

This is the Lord’s table.  Our Savior invites those who trust him to share the feast that he has prepared.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.  And also with you. Lift up your hearts.  We lift them up to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O Lord our God, how great are your works. You created the world and all that is in it.  Yet we rebel against your sovereign love, seeking to storm the gates of heaven, trying to make a name for ourselves in the world.  The Earth alternately weeps and burns with pain as we forsake it.  But by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you have given us your own name; you have made us your own people, a royal priesthood of all believers.  Send forth your life-giving Spirit to renew and re-create us once more.  In prayer, we join our voices with all Creation in singing:

Hymn #562 “Holy, Holy, Holy”

Together, we continue: Lord God, we have seen your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.  We give you thanks that you have made us one with him as he is one with you and the Holy Spirit.  We remember how, when the hour had come, Jesus took his place at the table with the apostles, and presiding over Earth’s gift of bread spoke these words:

“Take, eat.  This is my body given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

We remember how Jesus also said: “I am the vine, you are the branches…Believe in me and never thirst.” After that supper he poured a cup of Earth’s gift of wine, reminding the disciples of this, and spoke these words:

“This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.  Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.”

With thanks and praise we offer ourselves to you, sharing this holy meal, remembering Christ’s dying and rising, and praying: Come Lord Jesus!  According to Christ’s commandment, we remember his death, we proclaim his resurrection, we await his coming in glory.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and cup, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.  Calling on the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray:

That we may be made one with the risen Christ and with all God’s creation; that we may be faithful as Christ’s body in ministry in the world, and that we may live in anticipation of the fullness of God’s realm.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever!  Amen?  Amen!

So be it. All has been prepared and the table awaits.  These are the gifts of God for the people of God.  Thanks be to God!

Communion of the People

Zoom participants are invited to share your own bread and cup together at home. When all have finished partaking of the sacraments, all may join:

Hymn of Reflection: #727 “The Servant Song” After all have partaken.

Prayer following Communion 

Let us pray together:

Holy and astounding God, at this table, in this meal, we have been met by Christ – the reflection of your glory, the imprint of your being.  As we go from this place may our lives be a joyful song, proclaiming the good news of your righteousness and peace for the whole world.  Amen.

SENDING

Closing Hymn #280 “Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us”

Charge:

Jesus did not leave us without hope but sent the Holy Spirit to nurture faith and love in this world. Live this vision in all that you do: respond to rancor with kindness, be patient where there is pain, and above all, speak love.

Blessing: “Deep peace…”

Congregational Song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

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