* Those willing and able please stand
Welcome and Announcements
Gathering with Bowl and Flame
Prelude: “Give Me Jesus” arr. John Purifoy
* Call to Worship
Merciful God, maker of us all, you plead the cause of the poor and afflicted,
Open our hearts to demonstrate God’s love and grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let us pray:
* Prayer of the Day
Good and generous God, you have blessed us with favor and counted us as your people through our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. Freed by your grace, let us extend your generosity to others, sharing our bread with the poor, pleading the cause of the afflicted, and receiving all who assemble in your name with the warmth of your love and the richness of your hospitality; in the good name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.
* Hymn of Praise: GTG #610; PH #466 “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”
* Invitation to Healing
Let us confess our sins to the Lord who surrounds us with loving grace forevermore.
* Prayer of Wholeness
God of favor, we have not been true to you. You have chosen the poor in the world, but we have dishonored them. You plead the cause of the afflicted, but we crush them. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have favored the rich and despised the poor. We have dismissed the needy with empty words. Soften our hearts and make straight our ways. Heal our unbelief and turn us back to you. Amen.
* Kyrie GTG Hymnal #437 “You Are the Lord, Giver of Mercy”
* Assurance of God’s Presence 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 GTG Hymnal #591: “Halle, Halle, Halle” (Chorus 2x)
Celebrating Joys: Where We Have Seen God at Work
Sung Response: GTG Hymn #628 “Praise, I Will Praise You Lord”
Prayer of Illumination:
Healing God, you do all things well. Illumine our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that we may receive your words and demonstrate your grace. Amen.
Hebrew Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
“The Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Epistle Reading: James 2:1-10 (11-13) 14-17
“The word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”
Gospel Reading: Mark 7:24-37
“The Gospel of the Lord” “Praise to you O Christ”
Brief Participatory Reflection: “TL 9-5-2021 Conversions” ~ Pastor Scott
Participation Questions for Reflection
Try to recall the first time in your life when you did not retreat in the face of opposition. How is your experience like that of the Syrophoenician woman putting her case to Jesus? Where in your life today is that same courage calling you to speak out? What could you do this week to take steps in that direction?
RESPONSE TO THE WORD
* Hymn of Response: GTG Hymnal #762; PH #407 “When the Poor Ones”
* Affirmation of Faith: ~ Adapted from section 4, A Brief Statement of Faith, PC(USA)
“We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.”
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
Those who are generous are blessed through the good name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whom we have received the favor of our God – better than silver or gold. From the riches of God’s grace, let us present our gifts of gratitude to bless those in need. As ushers come forward to receive our morning offering, let us examine our minds and hearts in preparation for offering ourselves at the Table of our Lord.
Offering of Thanksgiving with Poetry: “At Communion” ~ Madeleine L’Engle
Whether I kneel or stand or sit in prayer
I am not caught in time nor held in space,
But, thrust beyond this posture, I am where
Time and eternity are face to face;
Infinity and space meet in this place
Where crossbar and upright hold the One
In agony and in all Love’s embrace.
The power in helplessness which was begun
When all the brilliance of the flaming sun
Contained itself in the small confines of a child
Now comes to me in this strange action done
In mystery. Break time, break space, O wild
And lovely power. Break me: thus am I dead
Am resurrected now in wine and bread.
Offertory: “Song from Valders” by Edward Grieg
* Doxology: GTG Hymnal #608; PH #592 (Using text as follows)
Praise God, from whom all blessing flow
Praise Christ, all creatures here below
Praise Holy Spirit, evermore
Praise Triune God whom we adore! Amen.
* Prayer of Dedication
Holy God of holy ground, like Moses, we question our fitness to serve heaven’s purposes on earth. Overcome our qualms with the assurance of your presence; bless these offerings that, through them, we may do your will; in the name of Jesus Christ, 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.
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.
How can we thank you, O God? For sun and moon and stars, for breath and life and all things good, for your steadfast promise and your faithful love, for the day that is surely coming when all things will be made new. With saints, with angels, and with the whole creation, we join the ancient and eternal hymn:
Hymn GTG Hymnal #552 “Holy, Holy, Holy”
Together, we continue:
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. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Come to me and never be hungry.”
We remember how, when the hour had come, Jesus took his place at the table with the apostles and spoke these words: “Take, eat. This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus also said: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Believe in me and never thirst.”
After supper he poured a cup 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.”
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever; and all God’s people said: 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. Zoom participants are invited to share your own bread and cup together at home. When you have finished partaking of the sacraments, join in (muted) singing:
Hymn of Reflection: Glory to God Hymnal #507 “Come to the Table of Grace”
Prayer following Communion
Let us pray together:
We give you thanks, Lord Jesus Christ, for the gifts of grace we have received from your hand. Now send us forth to reflect your light, proclaiming your saving death and resurrection until you come again in glory. Amen.
Closing Hymn: GTG Hymnal #203; PH #367 “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love”
Go from here renewed and strong, knowing that the Lord is alive, almighty, and present. Look for the blessings that await you this week. Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who celebrate. Tell the story of hope.
Benediction: “Deep peace be with you…”
Friends, this worship has ended, let our service begin!
Mt. Tabor Congregational Song:
“Go now in peace! Go now in peace! May the Love of God surround you: Everywhere! Everywhere, you may go!”
 Madeleine L’Engle, from Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections (San Francisco, CA: Crosswicks, Ltd., Harper Collins Publishers, 1996) 85.