Pentecost +18, Proper 20B


Sep. 23


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Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources: 

Proverbs 31:10-31 or Wisdom of Solomon 1:16 – 2:1, 12-22
or Jeremiah 11:18-20

Psalm 1 or Psalm 54

James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8

Mark 9:30-37


Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

4-Holy, holy, holy

687-In Christ there is no east or west

113-Jesus loves me

190-Tell me the stories of Jesus

384-Here at thy table, Lord


More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   


Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Mark 9:30-37


The word of passion and of death

is spoken truthfully.

Yet, in our weakness and restraint,

we fail to comprehend.


Yet you complete the teaching, Lord,

the word beyond our ken.

For in the truth of life we find

we own the cross for aye.


In our dismay, we speak aside,

discover words that fail

to argue over scales of woe,

to see the better fare.


Then in desire, O Lord, you bring

a child to hold your eyes.

Whoever may receive the least,

whoever serves, finds you.


So, Lord within this harrowed dream,

when all we fondly chose

is set aside as ruse and false,

bring us unto your cross.


CM                   Suggested tune: St. Agnes (Dykes)


Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent).  A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin.  Where practical, these may be offered here as well.  You may also want to visit   

This week:  Psalm 1 is not in the hymnal. See Call to Worship


Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor.  If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention.  No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.


Call to Worship   

from Psalm 1

L: Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;

P: But their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.

L: They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.

P: In all that they do, they prosper.

L: The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

P: For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.


OR (adapted from the UCC)

L: We are summoned here as children of God, who calls us each by name, and gathers us together in the one family of Jesus Christ.

P: From classroom and kitchen and carpool, we are called into God’s presence. Young and old and middle-aged, individuals and families, softspoken and outspoken, we hear our names being called to join in worship.

L: This house of worship is a place to pursue God’s vision for all people: unity and joy and faith, expressed through different gifts.

P: Praise the Lord!


L: My friends, we are called to lives of prayerful awareness of ourselves, of our community, and of the world.

P: We gather to praise the living God, who hears and answers the outpouring of our prayers.

L:  May we be awakened to the voice of Christ who calls us to faithfulness.

P: May our faith be seen in using God’s resources and resourcefulness in serving the world.


Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

We are here, Lord. We come to be with your people, to join them in your praise, and to learn to live with them and with your world in peace. Give us your blessing, we pray, that as we seek to know your will for us, we may live lives worthy to be called “Christian”. Through your son Jesus, the Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)



Gather us, O God, into the household of grace, the fold of your love.  We recognize your holy presence, and are turned to toward a new day by the rising of the light of Christ.  Help us to face this day, and all of our days, with the hope and promise made full for us in the person of Jesus Christ, as we unite ourselves with him once more and receive his heavenly food; for these and all of our prayers we lift to you in his name (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)


Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love. There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble. Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.


Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news. Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward. We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way. Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.


Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts. Be with those who mourn. May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.

We pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another. Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.

These are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but thine be done.” Amen.


Prayers from Common Worship*



Almighty God,

you have made us for yourself,

and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:

pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,

and so bring us at last to your heavenly city

where we shall see you face to face;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


Post Communion


Lord, we pray that your grace

may always precede and follow us,

and make us continually to be given to all good works;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Additional Collect


Gracious God,

you call us to fullness of life:

deliver us from unbelief

and banish our anxieties

with the liberating love of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to

love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among

things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall

endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Mark 9:30-37


Against root intuition, O God,

your way in Jesus and your way in truth

confront us with reversals of all pride.

The least, you say, is first of all

and we demur; we do not understand.

Yet to receive the child for you

we may indeed receive your gift

sublime in our desire.


Service of Table  

While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here.  We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future. 


Offertory / Invitation to Give

We would not steal for ourselves what God has entrusted to us for the benefit of our world neighbors. We would not claim as our own what God has loaned to us for our management in this lifetime. Therefore, we bring our offerings in joyful trust and service.


Offertory Prayer

Generous God, our lives are renewed as we remember your goodness. You have made us in your image and placed in our hearts the memory of your love made flesh in Jesus Christ. That memory calls us to give and to embrace your world as we offer these gifts. May our lives invested through these offerings create a new reality and extend your grace in remembrance of Jesus, in whose name we pray.


Invitation to the Table

Christ invites to this Table all who desire to draw close to God and to live at peace with God and their neighbors.  Here, all of God’s promises are fulfilled; here, all hope is renewed.


Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always, through Jesus Christ our Lord.



O God, your grace exceeds our highest expectations, hopes, or dreams! You have given bread for not only those who love and follow you, but indeed enough for all your children. As we break this bread, may we receive it as the body of Christ who gives himself that we might know your abundant presence in our lives. As we bless this cup, may all who receive it as his blood know the forgiveness of sin, and the renewal to life everlasting, far greater than we could ever ask or imagine. May we all be bound together as your family through the love and self-giving of Jesus the Christ.



  1. Receive our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, O God, which we offer to you in union with Christ’s sacrifice for us.  Send down the power of your Spirit upon us, gathered here out of love for you, and upon this bread.  May it be for us the body of Christ, that as we receive your gifts in communion with all your saints, we may be nourished to walk in your strength toward the brightness of your day which has no dawning and no sunset.


  1. Pour out your Spirit, O God, upon this cup of our salvation.  May this wine be for us the blood of Christ, that as people cleansed by his blood we may serve you with joy and renewed confidence by serving your thirsting world.  May all of your children be united by your love, live in your truth, and show forth your grace in this day, and each new day which dawns upon our horizon.


Conclusion:  Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’



Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University. 


Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2017.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.


Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.


NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.


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