Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Liturgy w/communion for October 26, 20114 (Pentecost 20/Trinity 19/Proper 25/Ordinary 30 - A)

Texts: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 22:34-46

 Call to Worship
We are invited to share in Christ's ministry of compassion.
We will widen our hearts so we might cradle the lost.
We are challenged to learn more about God each day.
We will open our minds so we might discern God's dreams for us.
We are summoned to let the Spirit be planted within us.
We will deepen our souls so we might grow in love.
Prayer of the Day
Every generation has found
its home in you,
God our provider,
and discovered that every moment
spent in your holy presence
lasts beyond all imaginable time.
You watch over us in the night,
cradling us in your arms
as tenderly as a nurse
cares for her children,
and her neighbor's.
Full of wisdom,
Imagination of Creation,
you humbled yourself
that we might learn
to love those
who have been swept aside
by a callous and cruel world.
Witness to God's grace,
you call us to act
in ways of love of peace
to all we meet in this life.
In the fresh breeze
on a summer's day;
in the leaves dancing
across autumn's lawns;
in the crisp, new snowfall
crunching beneath our feet;
in the new life
flowering in the spring:
from everlasting to everlasting
you proclaim God's grace to us,
Spirit of Life.

God in Community, Holy in One,
continue to be the dwelling place
of our minds, our hearts, our souls,
even as we pray as we have been taught,
 (The Lord's Prayer)

 Call to Reconciliation
We have been entrusted with the message of the gospel, but all too often act as if the memos from sin and death have more influence in our lives. Let us confess our sins, so we might know God's great love for us.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     As you know, God our healer, we stand on the edge of your promises and hopes, yet cannot seem to let ourselves cross over into the life you intend for us. We seek praise from our families, yet are unable to tell them how much we love them; we care more about our needs and desires, than for the struggles of our neighbors; we think more about the trash we read and see than focusing on the Spirit of wisdom.
     Forgive us, Everlasting God. Renew our lives with your grace; restore our hopes with your vision of tomorrow; refresh our spirits with your joy which comes to us new in each moment in the gift of your Child, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

 Silence is kept.
Assurance of Pardon
This moment, this morning, this day, and in all the days to come, God's compassion and hope fill our lives. What joyous good news!
Our hope is not in vain. God forgives our sins, and is the dwelling place for all people. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of compassion be with you!
And also with you!
Each morning, God feeds us with steadfast love.
Each day, our hearts are filled with God's call to serve.
Children of God, sing your praises to God all our days.
We lift our joy to the One who is the dwelling place of all generations.

Refusing to let chaos
become our dwelling place,
God of the ages,
you called forth creation.
Whether in the blink of an eye,
or in moments spanning thousands of years,
deep valleys of hope were carved,
carpeted with grace renewed each morning.
You created humankind in your image,
knowing us face to face in love.
But we turned our gaze
towards that land of temptation,
chasing the false dreams offered by death.
Caring so deeply for us,
you sent prophets to call us home,
but their words withered in our hearts.
So you sent Jesus to bring
the message of good news,
and to lead us to
the promised land of eternal life.
Therefore, with those filled with the spirit of wisdom,
and those who were full of themselves,
with saints and sinners, prophets and pharisees,
we sing of your everlasting joy:

Holy, holy, holy, God our dwelling place.
You satisfy us with your love each morning,
you comfort us in your grace each night.
Blessed is the One who comes calling us to love:
     to love you without reservation,
     to love others without expectation,
     to love ourselves without self-condemnation.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God our Peace,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Way of life.
Mindful of your hopes for us,
he came, so we might
discover you in our neighbor.
Soul of your soul,
he came, so we might
overflow with your grace.
Loving us more than himself,
he came, to defeat sin
and destroy death's grip on us,
so we might spend eternity
embraced in your life.
With remembrance of his life,
in the joy of the resurrection,
in anticipation of his return,
we proclaim that mystery we call faith:
Christ came, that we might know God's love;
Christ died, that our souls might be healed;
Christ will come again, that our hearts will be united with God's.

Pour out your Spirit of wisdom
on the gifts of this Table,
and on those who prepare to feast
on your bounty of grace.
As the bread fills us
with your love and hope,
we would go out to love
our neighbors with hearts
shaped by your joy.
As the cup refreshes
our minds and souls,
we would show our
everlasting love for you,
by serving the lost and forgotten
with lives molded by your compassion.
And when time, which was first wound at creation
has ticked its last moment,
when friends, neighbors, and strangers
are gathered around your Table,
we will join our voices singing your praises,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

And now go forth,
to love God with all your heart, your mind, your soul:
with passion, with prayer, with intelligence;
to love your neighbor:
with forgiveness, with service, with love;
and to love yourself:
with hope, with joy, with peace.

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Reformation Sunday

Texts: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36

 Call to Worship
Be still!
We come to quiet ourselves in this haven of holiness.
Be still and know . . .
we come to discern the Word that can set us free.
Be still and know that God is . . .
our Hope, our Help, our Refuge, and our Redeemer.

Prayer of the Day
You break the cycle of wars,
     so we may be enriched by your peace;
you shatter the grip of violence,
     so we may be freed from our fears;
you plant your words of hope deep within us,
carving on our hearts:
     'you are mine.'
You give us the word we need,
     so we might live in your grace,
God of Creation.
You freely become one of us,
     so we could be liberated
     from our addiction to sin;
you take us by the hand
     to lead us out of our doubts;
you give us the words we need,
     so we can continue to share
     your good news of life,
Friend of the needy.

You pull us to safety
     when sin's waters swirl around our feet;
you surround us with serenity
     when doubts rattle our souls;
you give us words we need,
     whenever we wander
     onto the paths of trouble,
Spirit of Holiness.
God in Community, Holy in One,
you give us the words we need
to pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord's Prayer)

 Call to Reconciliation
We can no longer flatter ourselves about how good we are. We do not need to make grandstand plays to get God's attention. We only need to confess our lives, as God makes good on the promises of grace and mercy. Join me as we ask God to reform us into God's children, praying together,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
      Heart of the Covenant: we have known your hopes for us, and disappointed every one of them; we have heard your words of faithfulness, and forgotten every one of them; we have seen your dreams for us, and turned every one of them into ashes.
     Forgive us, Hope's Heart. Silence every blustering word, so we may hear your mercy; still every feeble attempt to justify ourselves, so we may be made right with you; melt every frozen heart, so we might be drenched in your river of joy. May Jesus Christ continue to live in us, so we might be free to live forever with you.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Be still and know the good news: God has not forsaken nor forgotten us, but redeems us.
Why should we be afraid? God is in our midst - forgiving, restoring, sending. Thanks be to God! Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May God our refuge be with you!
And also with you!
People of God, lift your hearts to the One who created you.
We offer them to God, who writes words of hope upon our hearts.
God's children, come to the Table of grace.
We will feast on the wonders of the God who loves us.
You took creation by the hand,
leading it out of chaos,
     as the first morning dawned,
     mountains trembling in the mist,
     running rivers which gladdened your heart,
God of our lives.
You created all this for us,
giving us peace and righteousness
to be our playmates in the fields of grace.
     But when we beheld the works
     of temptation, sin, and death,
          we became their slaves,
          writing their lies on our hearts.
Longing to be our God,
you sent the prophets
to call us to be your people,
     but we refused to listen.
Finally, Jesus came, the bearer
of truth and freedom for all.
With those whose hearts are broken,
and those who long for your days of peace,
we sing our thanksgiving to you:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God who forms our hearts.
All creation finds refuge in your tender care.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who sets us free by your truth!
Hosanna in the highest!
You are our strength, God of holiness,
and Jesus Christ is your Son, our Savior.
When our lives are filled with despair,
     he is our Hope;
when we are lost and cannot find our way,
     he is our Help;
when the world closes its doors and heart to us,
     he is our Refuge;
when sin and death hunger for us,
     he is our Redeemer,
present with us in this life
and in the one to come.
As we remember his life, death, and resurrection,
as he continues to re-form us into your people,
we proclaim that mystery called faith:
Christ died, his heart broken for us;
Christ was raised, resurrection written upon his heart;
Christ is ever with us, in every moment, until your days come.
Pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of this Table,
and upon the gathered people
who seek to be your faithful people.
The bread symbolizes that Life, though given,
which can reshape our brokenness into
the peace which a warring world needs,
the hope which can bring healing to others.
The cup which is filled with your grace
can strengthen us to be new people,
who go forth to speak truth to power,
who bring freedom to all the oppressed.
And when your days of eternity finally come,
when we gather as your children around
the Table of wonder and life,
we will sing your praises forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Monday, October 13, 2014

Liturgy w/communion for October 19, 2014 (Pentecost 19/Trinity 18/Proper 24/Ordinary 29 - A)

Texts: Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

Call to Worship
Each morning, God's grace awakens us,
each evening, God's peace cradles us.
Compassion is our constant companion,
as we go through work, school, the day.
In every moment, God is present with us;
God whispers words which can change our lives.
Justice is our faithful teacher,
pointing to where we can carry out fairness.
When we find ourselves groping in the shadows,
God's light will provide a way home.
We turn the corner, and hope is waiting for us;
we return home, and find a feast prepared.
Prayer of the Day
Steadfast Hope:
when we want
to make all the rules
so we can win every game,
     you call us to your side,
     put your arm around us
          and whisper, 'play fair!'
When we tremble in fear,
worried that our lives
are about to crash to the bottom,
     you place us in
     the hollow of your heart,
          and give us safety.

Word of Joy:
when we would follow
those who pretend
to be our saviors
to achieve their own ends,
     you remind us that we have been chosen
     to be examples of faith to others.
When we would
fill our pockets with
the treasures of temptation,
     you ask us to empty them,
     so we can become
     servants of hope.

Crafter of Faith:
when others judge us on
our backgrounds, education, looks,
     you teach us how
     to treat all people as equal,
          to welcome each person
          as our sister or brother.
When we wonder how
our needs, our hopes, our lives
will be made known to God,
     you mention us, by name,
     in all your prayers.
God in Community, Holy in One,
we know you as
Glory, Grace, Goodness,
and lift our prayer to you, saying,
 (The Lord's Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We know, despite our sincere efforts to live in God's way, that all too easily we slip off the path to the kingdom. Trusting that God will answer our prayers and forgive us, let us confess our sins, as we pray together,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness 
Great Lover of Justice, hear our prayers:
     called to treat all people equally,
          we take sides and pick favorites;
     chosen to be your children,
          we arrogantly assume others are not so honored;
      challenged to be examples of faith,
           we reveal our worst natures to our families and friends.

Forgive us, Giver of Rest.  Enable us to stop putting you to the test, so we can open our hypocritical hearts to your healing touch of compassion and hope. As Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has
given all for us, may we give ourselves to you - confidently, completely, faithfully.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news: the One who created goodness and beauty is also the One who shows no partiality, but offers grace and peace to all.
God has heard our prayers and done the very thing we asked - forgiven us, healed us, restored us. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
You do not choose favorites, Holy God, but pour out your blessings on all your children, trusting that we will empty our hearts, our lives, our treasure in meeting the needs of those around us.  Bless these gifts, and use them to bring healing and hope to your people.  Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the exalted One be with you!
And also with you!
Open your hearts to the One who knows you by name.
We offer ourselves to the One who is always with us.
Give thanks to God, all of you, in prayer and song, in silence and service.
We sing to the One who calls us to worship.
Holy and Honest God:
in establishing all that is
beautiful and joyful,
     your glory banished chaos
     and your goodness became
          the shawl which warmed all creation.
You shaped humankind in your own image
and called us, each by name, favoring us with your love.
But we could not pass by sin and death
     huddled in the cracks of chaos,
     and turned towards them,
         offering a safe place in our hearts.
Because you would bring your people back to you,
you sent the prophets
to teach us your ways,
     but we thought they were hypocrites,
     speaking insincere words.
So then you sent Jesus
to show us your hope
and to reveal your dreams for us.

Therefore, we join our voices with all your people
in every age, time, and place,
who forever sing your praises:
Holy, holy, holy! Lover of Justice and Peace!
All creation sings of your hopes,
     echoing your dreams for us.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes to reveal your gospel,
     by word, by grace, by the Spirit.
Hosanna in the highest!

Great Giver of Joy:
you loved the world so much
that you sent your very heart to us.
We did not welcome him
as your beloved Child,
     turning our backs as he approached us.
His faithfulness to your way
     revealed our idolatry of the world.
His plain spoken truth showed the lies
     we all too easily accepted.
He went to the cross,
defeating sin and death,
     so he could claim what is yours
     and give us back to you.
As we offer you the gift of our prayers and thanksgiving,
we remember Jesus, your Beloved,
who bequeathed to us that mystery we call faith:
We eat this bread,
     remembering his brokenness;
we drink this cup,   
     to be filled with his grace;
we wait for Jesus to come again,
     constantly proclaiming your love for us.
Holy Goodness:
pour out your Spirit of welcome
on the gifts of the cup and the bread.
Simple gifts made sacred by your presence,
may the grain which has
come to us from many fields
     strengthen your people to go out
     and serve in many neighborhoods.
May the cup which has been filled
by the fruit of many vines
     nourish us with faith and hope
     so our hearts will overflow with grace
     to those who thirst for your presence.
And when your people
have been gathered together
from every corner of creation,
we will know one another by name,
lifting our voices to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
seated upon the praises of our hearts. Amen.

Go forth now, filled with God's grace.
We will cradle others in God's peace.
Go forth now, with the words that can transform the world.
We will go to speak up for those who are not heard.
Go forth now, taking the Light of God into the world.
We will go into every shadowed corner with hope lighting the way.

(c) 2014 Thom M. Shuman