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
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.
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