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Trinity B

 

May 27

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm 29 Romans 8:12-17 John 3:1-17

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

27-Come, thou Almighty King

4-Holy, holy, holy

22-All creatures of our God and King

409-I hunger and I thirst

395-Seed, scattered and sown

450-Lord, you give the great commission

 

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 Isaiah 6:1-8

 

Holy, holy, holy Lord:

your glory fills creation.

Here are we: we stand in awe

to behold your sanctity.

 

Filling all with holiness,

granting visionary thrall,

Lord our God in majesty

greet our eyes, our hearts with awe.

 

Suddenly aware, we pause,

struck with our disparity.

Woe are we for we are loathe

to attest your purity.

 

 

Then the Seraphim arose,

touched the lips with holy coals,

purified our waywardness,

purged all dread, all guilt, all fear.

 

Thus we hear the tolling voice

asking who to send for them.

Here we are; we rise to say:

send us, Lord, upon your way.

 

7.7.7.7.           Suggested tune: St. Bees

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 29 is on p. 737

 

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  

L: By the calling of God’s Holy Spirit, we gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.

P: Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.

L: God’s love is for you and for all people everywhere.

P: That we may share the love and life of God the Father, may we be renewed in the refreshing Holy Spirit in the presence of the living Christ.

 

OR

(adapted from John Birch, and posted on Faith and Worship. http://www.faithandworship.com/)

L: The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son, Holy Trinity, Three in One, be in our meeting and our greeting,

P: In the worship we share and the words of our prayer.

L: The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son, Holy Trinity, Three in One, be in our living and our breathing,

P: That through our hearts and our words your truth may be heard.

 

OR (from ministrymatters.com)

L: We stand in the presence of God, Sovereign of the Universe, Lord of Hosts! P: The whole earth is full of God’s glory! L: God’s voice peals like thunder over the waters, the deserts, the forests! P: The whole earth is full of God’s glory! L: Do you hear the angels’ loud praise and feel the shaking of the very foundations of this place? God’s presence surrounds us, fills this very place! P: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!

 

OR (from On Earth as in Heaven: Praying for Peace, MCC Peace Sunday Packet 2008)

L: In a world filled with violence and war,

P: we gather together to celebrate the promise of peace.

L: In a world filled with tyranny and oppression,

P: we gather together to celebrate the promise of justice for all.

L: In a world filled with hunger and greed,

P: we gather together to celebrate the promise of plenty for all.

L: Our hope is in the name of the Almighty God,

P: the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of heaven and earth.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

(adapted from Arnold Ruddat  http://www.arnold.theruddats.com/)

O God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in your name we are baptized, and in your fellowship we have found our home. We cling in faith to you, Father, for having loved us and sent your Son to die for our sins. We praise you, dear Jesus, for having redeemed us from our sins by giving yourself for us. We give thanks to you, Holy Spirit, for giving us faith and leading us toward your holiness. O Triune God, graciously enable us always to believe and obey, and to worship and confess you; Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, one God, eternal and all-glorious forever.  (We pray in the spirit of Christ our Lord who taught us to pray, saying…)

 

OR

O God, we ask you to pour out your spirit on us. Help us serve you more cheerfully so we can serve our brothers and sisters. Cast out everything which breaks or hinders the growing bonds of love between us. Give us the determination to make progress so that all our lives we may seek after your holy and perfect will. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

God of grace and glory, make your presence known to us as we worship this morning. Jesus our Christ, may your name be praised from the rising of the sun to the midnight hour, may your name always be honored among us. Spirit of holiness, breathe on us all and bind us in Christian love and servant hood. O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be known to us today. Transform our lives and our community into the image of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray (as he taught us, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

You are holy, O Lord our Creator and God, giving us mercies beyond number. You are holy, O Savior Jesus Christ, loving and setting us free. You are holy, O Spirit of truth and peace, leading us in ways that are right. O holy eternal Trinity, we praise you for ever and ever. (And now we are bold to pray as our Savior Christ has taught us, “Our Father…”)

 

OR  (adapted from ministrymatters.com)

O Sovereign of the universe, we stand in your temple, proclaiming your splendor and majesty. You are the Holy One! We stand in your presence in awe and humility, with boldness and courage. We look and listen for your presence here today. Amen.

 

OR  (from ministrymatters.com) for Memorial Day

God of ages past and hope to come, we offer our gratitude for those who have gone before, we offer our hope for those yet to come. As we honor the past, help us dream of a future of love and peace. Comfort us in our sorrow. Strengthen us for the journey. Guide us on the path of justice. Help us live as your people, that others may see and remember your wisdom and truth living in us. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.

 

We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.

 

We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.

 

Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.

 

Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.

 

Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.

 

OR

(adapted from Words for Worship.  Posted on the http://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au/ website)

To you, O God, be all glory, the One who visits us in three persons, the Holy Trinity of hope and love.  For there is no place which is without you, O God, and no time when you are not there. For you are the beginning and the end, the source of all that is in the wonder of universal life. And yet, you take us by the hand and lead us, as the life of Christ walks our human way and shows us that life is stronger than death.  In the Holy Spirit, we are gifted, again and again, and are called onwards toward a future in which we are surrounded with love and grace.

 

Hear our prayers for those of our world who do not realize the presence of your love in their lives, for those who are lonely or hurting, sick or oppressed, grieving or broken in spirit.  We pray that by our lives, we might bring into their presence an awareness of your love and your healing strength.

 

As we seek your guidance to be the church you have called us to be, may the power of your Spirit infuse us with the hope of fulfilling your will, and of working with you to transform your world, even as you transform our lives. May the peace that is ours in Christ Jesus be spread throughout this earth, and may your glory be shown by all that we do.  For we praise and worship you, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Indeed, there is no other God like you.  Amen.

 

Memorial Weekend Observance

Memories can be joyful and painful.   But we cannot live without them.  Let us pray for God’s grace to remember and give thanks this day.

 

Eternal God, help us this day to remember the unseen cloud of witnesses who compass us about:  Those who in every age and generation witnessed to their faith in life and death; those who by their courage and their sacrifice won for us and for our nation the freedom and liberty we enjoy; those who served their sisters and brothers at the cost of pain, of persecution and of death; those for whom the trumpets sounded as they passed over to the other side; those whom we have loved and who have gone to be with you, especially those of this community who now rest in your peace:

(names of those deceased to be honored)

And others we name in our hearts before you.

 

Help us to walk worthily of those in whose unseen presence life is lived.  Help us to have in our lives their courage in danger, their steadfastness in trial, their perseverance in difficulty; their loyalty when loyalty is costly; the love which nothing can change; their joy which nothing can take away.

 

O God, you have been our help in ages past, and our hope for the ages that are yet to come.  Help us in this life never to forget those who have gone before, so that in the life to come we may share their blessedness, through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

OR Memorial Weekend Reflection with Prayer

(from Grapes of Blessing – Joseph Jeter)

Invitation:

In 1861, Julia Ward Howe went to visit some of the federal troop encampments, and saw men sitting around the fires at night singing an old tune with some new words about “John Brown’s body lying mouldering in the grave.”  Someone there suggested she come up with some more lofty and dignified words for it.  That night, she awoke, picked up a pen and wrote the song we now know as the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  The only hymn she ever wrote.

It was written hard up against the reality of war and suffering and death.  In the first stanza, she saw the Lord “trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.”  The phrase really entered into the American consciousness as an expression for trouble, difficulty, suffering.  It fits the way many in our age feel in this country—worried, fearful, bitter, angry, sitting and sipping the juice of the grapes of wrath.

On a day like today, we cannot help but ask the same question of both our country and our faith:  At what cost was our freedom purchased.  We have been richly blessed in this country, but even more richly blessed in our faith.  As we stand before the chalice, we realize just how much it ought to be full of the juice of God’s anger for the price paid by Jesus for our freedom.  But it’s not.  It is filled with the grapes of blessing.  God has transformed the worst thing human kind ever did into a vehicle of grace.  It is hard to comprehend love that profound.  But here it is.  Poured out for you and me—our peace.

Let us now remember with thankfulness those of our immediate church family who have touched our lives and who have, in the past year, died in the faith.

(Naming and Candles)

Our parting from them is for but a little while.  They rest in the peace of God which passes all understanding.  All of you are invited to join in this celebration of eternal life by receiving the bread and wine.  Let us dedicate ourselves to the life which has no end—life which they share with us around God’s heavenly table—as we join them in lifting up the cup of blessing.

 

Memorial Weekend: Intercessions

Almighty God, in your eyes a nation is neither favored nor foreign.  You are the sole creator and sovereign judge of us all.  We pray that our nation would not dare approach you as if you were our patron and protector.  Yet we boldly approach you as our God and Savior, seeking the assurance of your presence and the guidance of your Spirit.  Teach us to love our land in a way that will help others love theirs.  Lead us in the knowledge that love of country can coexist with love for the world.

 

We pray for your world and its peoples.  Especially we lift to you those who are in need, those who are suffering, those whose lives are subject to the whims of others.  Those people are not just in far-away places, but are ever so near.

 

We pray for the sick and the dying, for those whose lives are filled with hope at the promise of healing and wholeness, and for those who feel cut off from all promise.  With gratitude, we trust your promises, And we hold before you those whose lives are closely linked with our own, and our own needs…

 

Take our prayers for greatness, O God, and turn them into prayers for goodness.  Take our prayers for success and turn them into prayers of service.  So that we in all things might glorify you our sovereign God, even as we honor you in Christ, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God,

you have given us your servants grace,

by the confession of a true faith,

to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity

and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:

keep us steadfast in this faith,

that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;

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

 

Almighty and eternal God,

you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:

hold us firm in this faith,

that we may know you in all your ways

and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,

who are three Persons yet one God,

now and for ever.

 

Additional Collect

 

Holy God,

faithful and unchanging:

enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

that we may truly worship you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

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

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us

your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to

acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the

power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep

us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to

see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with

the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever

and ever.  Amen.

 

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

John 3:1-17

 

By Spirit, O God, we find our life;

your given Spirit lures us unto joy.

Begin our lively wonder in your gifts

that we may stir with life sublime,

gaze to the lifted Lord,

and know your gracious hand

that snatches us to living joy.

 

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

All good things come from God, the giver of life. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation. As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving.

 

Offertory Prayer

In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord. May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.

 

OR

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world.

 

Invitation to the Table

As the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, God created the world and called it good. God breathed life into humans, each made in God’s image, and called them good as well.  God so loved us, in fact, that when we failed to stay in communion with God, the Son was sent into the world, so that all of us might find life abundant.  As we give thanks today for the gift of life, and for God’s sustaining presence in it, we have the opportunity to offer up ourselves to God afresh, and open our lives to the movement of God’s Spirit among us, so that we may be re-created to be what God has seen in us all along – truly good, and signs of God’s love for the whole world.

 

OR

It is into the name of the Holy Trinity that each of us are baptized.  And it is in the confession of God’s saving power in our lives that we continue to live in God’s presence.  At this holy Table, we again affirm that Jesus, the Son of God, is indeed the Messiah and Lord, and it is only in the power of the Holy Spirit that we can make that affirmation.  This is God’s feast, now, prepared for you and for all people; a feast of good things, a feast of peace. Come and taste. Eat and be filled. Drink deep and never thirst again.

 

 

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)

Almighty God, as your Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, you have created the world and called it good. As you breathed life into human beings, you made each of us in your image. In the fullness of time, you sent your Son into the world that all the world might find life and life abundant in his fellowship. As we give thanks to you for the gift of life, and your sustaining presence in all of it, we offer up these gifts of bread and wine along with our very selves, that your Spirit might come upon them and upon us, that they may be for us the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ, who living perfectly in your image offered himself up for us all. Through this breaking of bread and drinking of cup, may we who love you be conformed to his likeness, to follow you in the days which lie before us as creative, life-giving signs of your sustaining presence in our world.

 

OR

  1. Eternal God, you make yourself known to us in three Persons, yet bound together in one perfect communion of love. As we break this bread, may we come to a more perfect awareness of the unity of the Church you have called together as one through your Son Jesus Christ.
  2. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, gracious Lord, and upon these gifts of bread and wine. May we who drink from the cup Christ has offered be united with you and united with each other in the one body of Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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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Pentecost +24, Proper 28A

 

Nov. 19 – Thanksgiving Sunday

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Judges 4:1-7 or Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18 Psalm 123 or Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Matthew 25:14-30

 

Thanksgiving Sunday

This is not at all inappropriate, considering the nature of the lectionary and a careful study of the nature of the holiday in American culture.  However, it is important to be aware of the universality of the Church, and of this observance of Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday.  It is not to be trivialized into a rehash of American triumphalism or a “divine rights” celebration.  All are urged to let the texts speak for themselves, and to use care in pairing music and other elements of the day in concert with the themes of scripture. The texts above are certainly appropriate to the day, but also see:

Deuteronomy 8:7-18 Psalm 65 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Luke 17:11-19

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

718-Come, ye thankful people, come,

276-We gather together

429-You satisfy the hungry heart

717-Let all things now living

 

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

 

Upon the dawn that greets the day,

O Lord, we do aspire

your coming mercy to attain

upon your coming hour.

 

Indeed, with mystery intact,

we rummage to arrive,

to undertake your service, Lord,

in unity and love.

 

For, though you come upon the night,

as like a thief’s surprise,

we find our eagerness supplies

the welcome of your poise.

 

Create among us, now, O Lord,

the satisfying plea,

that in our waiting on your joy

we own community.

 

Into this common life we share,

become the earnest, Lord,

the dawning of surpassing joy

that we may prove your own.

 

CM      Suggested tune: Caithness

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 90 is on p. 746

 

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  adapted from John Berringer

L: Come, let us use our voices to praise the Lord.

P: Our mouths will shout forth praise.

L: Let us use our minds to ponder the wondrous deeds of God.

P: We will call to mind God’s mighty acts.

L: With all of our strength and being, let us worship the Lord of love.

P: We will worship from our depths. Our souls exult in God!

 

OR

L: God has promised a new heavens and new earth.

P: There, the former things are forgotten and all things are made new. 

L: In God’s promised world, there is hope for justice and peace among all peoples.

P: May our eyes be opened to the promised future as we celebrate God’s faithful presence with us this day.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

We call on your name, O God, for you have offered us the cup of salvation and welcomed us into your family. How can we thank you for the love you have shown us in Jesus Christ. Meet us again in this hour, that we may grow in faith and be responsive to your truth. Fill us with hope, renewing our confidence to face life in faithful trust and obedience. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Great is your name, O God of all creation, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.  As we give you thanks and praise in this gathering of your people, we pray that you would adjust our vision and align it with your own – your vision for a world made new – that we may fervently pray for it and work for it in the days that lie ahead.  This we pray in the name of Christ  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.

 

Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.

 

We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.

 

We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair.   Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

OR

God of Creation, God of Wonder, hear this offering of prayer and praise as a gift from our thankful hearts. We thank you for the wonders all around us. For grains of sand, the smell of rain falling on dry ground, for the shifting of the seasons and the sound of laughter. We thank you God for one another – for the joys and struggles of relationships that nurture us and help us to grow. God, we thank you for your eternal presence in our midst and for the good news of your deep abiding love for all of creation.

 

Even as we give thanks, we lift up the concerns that burden us this day. We ask your peace and blessing on all those we have named in this place today and all whose names and circumstances remain in the safe sanctuary of your Spirit’s care. We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and for all who provide care for the needs of others. We pray for the lonely and the despairing…for those who struggle with addiction…for those who feel trapped in situations of abuse…for those who making difficult decisions in life… God we pray for your church and its mission in the world.  Bless all of your children God, and pour your Spirit upon us, bringing healing, comfort and strength wherever it is needed. All this we ask in the name of the One who calls us forward in faith, Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord

 

OR

Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving.  Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide.  For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.

 

We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own.  We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence.

 

Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.

 

In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore.  Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.

 

For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name.

 

OR

Our tender and compassionate God asks us to pray for all people.  Let us offer our prayers for the world in need, trusting in God’s great love.

 

Gracious God, we pray for the church around the world.  As the broken bread, though once scattered as grain on the hillsides become one loaf, so may your church be one in spirit throughout the earth, and one in witness to your saving love.

 

Lord, lead our leaders throughout the Church.  Grant them your wisdom, that by their deeds they may encourage the faithful and witness to the world and its people.  Eternal ruler of the universe, we pray for those who govern every land, and for the people committed to their charge.  Look with grace upon the president of our country, and the legislators who guide our lives.  Turn the hearts of leaders and peoples to you, that governments may seek the good of humanity and of all who suffer.

 

God, you suffer with those who suffer.  We pray for those who are denied what they need to live and those whose dreams have been shattered by war and disaster.  We pray especially for those who suffer in the season of plenty.  Reach out and bring healing through the hands of your faithful people.

 

Holy Comforter, healing Spirit, grant your peace to those who are sick and those who grieve, and especially those of our own church families who are suffering today.  Radiate through their lives with the light of your presence, that renewed healing and strength may be theirs.

 

We pray, dear Lord, for those whose actions offend us most and for those whom we have learned to fear and despise.  Through your great love, make tender all hearts hardened by hatred, bigotry and suspicion; and work your justice among us.

 

God of hope and new life, help us to see the joy and abundant life you intend for us. Forgive our shortsightedness and often miserly attitudes toward the created world which you have entrusted to our care.  Give us your peace–peace which is not so much an absence of trouble, as an awareness of your guiding presence and bounteous gifts in all that we do; for these our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus the Christ.

 

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

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for

our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn,

and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever

hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have

given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with

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

 

OR

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the

fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those

who harvest them.  Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of

your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and

the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 25:14-30

 

Entrusted with the unimagined grace, O God,

we tend our daily fare

with boldness and despair.

Arouse in us the living heart to reap repair

and undertake the lively care

you seek in us,

that hearts of unimagined grace

may garner love’s exceeding pace.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

God has offered the world a new vision of life which is full and abundant, teeming with all the good gifts that have been lavished upon us in Christ Jesus.  May we be open to receiving them with gratitude, and in offering them, along with ourselves, for the sake of others, even as the gifts of this Table are offered not for us alone, but for the salvation of the whole world.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings to God.

 

OR

We are a blessed people.  In this season of Thanksgiving, it is good that we recall God’s many gifts in our lives, and grace which God has given us to help us use them all for good.  As we ready ourselves to join the great Feast of Thanksgiving, a feast which God has made for us in Christ Jesus, let us consider just how welcome we are to receive of it – all of us – and to share the gifts of it for the sake of the world.  For the gifts of God are many, and they are made real in this meal, and in the family of God gathered around it.  Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings.

 

Offertory Prayer

Give us thankful hearts, O God, for your grace to us in life and health and strength. Let these gifts of your bounty and of our hands be used to glorify you now and in your church’s work forever. Amen

 

OR

Bring forth the fullness of your vision to us, O God, as we open our hearts to you in the giving of these gifts.  Like the praise we sing, may they bring glory to your name, now and in your world forever.  Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

(Communion Affirmation – offered in Chalice Hymnal, #401 from the words of A. Campbell)

L: You, my beloved, once and alien, are now a citizen of heaven: once a stranger, are now brought home to the family of God.  You have owned my Lord as your Lord, my people as your people.

P:  Under Jesus the Messiah we are one.  Mutually embraced in the everlasting arms, I embrace you in mine: your sorrows shall be my sorrows, and your joys my joys.

L: Joint debtors to the favor of God and the love of Jesus, we shall jointly suffer with him, that we may jointly reign with him.

P:  Let us, then, renew our strength, remembering our Sovereign, and hold fast our boasted hope unshaken to the end.

 

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)

Eternal One, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Send forth the power of your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you.

 

OR

  1. You, O God, are the helper of the helpless.  In every age of our distress, you have come to us with an outstretched arm, a word of forgiveness, and nourishment for the journey.  As we give you thanks for your faithful love and consecrate this bread to your purposes, receive our gifts, we pray, that as they are offered to you again you may multiply them, so that we and your hungering world might be fed.

 

  1. Lord of Life, as you have blessed the earth with fruit and inspired your children to make good use of it, we ask that you would now bless this wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands – that it might be for us the blood of Christ, the cup of our salvation.  Send down the power of your Spirit upon these gifts and upon us who gather here out of love for you, that as we receive and find renewal, we might learn to give of ourselves for the salvation of the world.  This we pray in Christ’s name.

 

OR

  1. It is always right and just to praise you, God our Father, for you have always sought and found us.  As we give you praise for Jesus Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls, we offer thanks for this bread, which is to be for us his body.  May we who receive him from your hands be encouraged to lives of thankful praise, and be empowered by your Spirit to offer him to the world which you have redeemed through your own great love.

 

  1. This cup, O God, we offer to your service.  Send down your Holy Spirit, we pray, that as we receive your gifts – bread broken and wine poured – our lives might be made whole, and be offered to you anew for faithful service.  This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord and King.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Read Full Post »

Pentecost +17, Proper 21A

 

Oct. 1

For observance of Worldwide Communion Sunday, visit http://www.textweek.com/festivals/worldcommunion.htm

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:

Exodus 17:1-7 or Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 or Psalm 25:1-9 Philippians 2:1-13 Matthew 21:23-32

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

91 or 92 All Hail the power of Jesus’ name

216 Christ the Lord is risen today

127 Creator of the stars of night

390 Lord of our highest love

 

 

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

 

 

Into joy you offer entrance,

O our God, with all desire.

In the call you offer ever,

righteousness appeals to hope.

 

Certain passion may convert us,

turn us from your holy ways.

Yet insistent is your mercy,

opening the way of life.

 

Brought to trust thy luring justice,

O our God, we hallow life,

turn our faithful earnest ever

to thy urgency of love.

 

Ah, your pleasure ever teases,

earns a leisure in delight,

for you seek our cleaving pleasure

to the ways you joy to share.

 

8.7.8.7.   Suggested tune: Sussex

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Alt. Ps. (25) included in 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  (adapted from Psalm 25)

L: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

P: O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame.

L: Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.

P: Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation.

L: Good and upright is the LORD, who instructs sinners in the way.

P: The Lord leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble God’s way.

 

OR

L: God who comes to us in Word and Spirit, calls us to a table set for all who hunger.

P:  We hunger for grace and forgiveness; we hunger for justice and peace.

L: God knows and meets our deepest hungers with bread which always satisfies.

P:  Thanks be to God who blesses and feeds all human yearnings, and who does this through our feeble, simple human hands.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

We who have come to know your love, O Lord, are here to worship you. We ask your blessing upon us in this offering of our praise, and we ask your presence in every act of our lives, that we…your Church…may be confirmed in our faith, and give glory to your son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray (even as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

You who have created us and sustain us: we come with thanksgiving for these moments when we can ease the pace of our lives and listen for your voice. Create a spirit within us that truly draws us toward you and toward our brother and sisters; a spirit deep, perceptive, gentle and bold. Clear our minds, open our hearts and touch us with your presence and your power. We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly today you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving. Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup. Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, that we all may be one in essence, in intent, and in constitution, so that the world may know you in and among us. This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Your love and grace are all sufficient, O God, for all the world’s deep needs.  Open our minds and hearts this day to receive with gratitude the gifts you have given – gratitude enough to be compelled to live as your witnesses, your instruments for grace and forgiveness, for justice and peace in our world.  This we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Center us now, O God, on your presence in this place among your people, as we lift up our hearts desires, our soul’s deep needs, our hungers, fears and failures.

 

As we have often failed to be obedient to your will in our lives as individual disciples and as church, we pray that you will forgive us and enliven us to be and to do the gospel of Christ. Open us to your Spirit’s urgings, and awaken us to live faithfully as your people in a changing, often hurting world.

 

We pray for those around us who need your care, and ask that you would make of us your instruments of healing, peace and redemption. We pray especially for those we have named to you this day, and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts.

 

Reveal your presence with them and with us, God of life, that as people of renewed faith and vitality, we may be empowered to serve your world, and so give glory to you; for we offer our prayers and our lives in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

 

OR

God of Sun and Moon, Star and Sky, your wonder is beyond our imagining. We thank you for the gift of this world we share, and for the common bonds that we share as your children.

 

Bless us God, as we seek to find a way toward the peace you invite us to share. Guide us God as we walk that delicate line between being faithful to our own relationship with you, and yet remain understanding of those whose path is vastly different from our own.

 

Remind us often that being faithful does not require that we close ourselves off from the faith of others.  Open our hearts, minds and spirits to people of every faith and culture. May the Mystery of your ways be the bridge that draws all of your people together in prayer for peace in our time.

 

We pray for those who are in special need of your grace and healing today. For those who live in fear of violence; for refugees everywhere; for political prisoners and for those who imprison them; God, we ask for peace.   For those who are grieving, or hungry, or in despair; for the lonely, and all who are ill or suffering, for any who struggle with addiction, and for all who live with chronic illness.

 

God, we trust in your power to be present with the suffering. We trust in your Spirit’s power to bring comfort, faith and strength where it is needed. We pray, bring your radical, scandalous peace into our midst, and touch us all with your love, for we ask it in the name of the One who calls us ever forward, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

OR

God of mercy and of love, you have called us to live in communion with all of your created world.  Give us a new appreciation for the diversity of creation, and for the people of our world whom you love with an everlasting love.  Help us to serve the needs of all who are suffering, sick, lonely, and broken by the struggles of life with the compassion and joy of true servants of Christ.

 

Give us grace to work with passion for the unity of your Church throughout the world, and to take our place among its people without expectation of reward, beyond the smile of your approval.  May our ministries be anchored in your love of justice and peace, and may all who serve be encouraged by the promise of Christ’s presence with us.  Make of us a more obedient people, gladly giving what we have received from your faithful hand.

 

Hear our prayers, O Lord, for those whose lives are closely linked with our own: (names), whose needs we entrust to you along with our own needs. (silence)

 

Grant, O Lord, that we might grow in grace and in love for you as we commend ourselves to your care and guidance.  Take us by the hand, O God, and by your Holy Spirit lead us to fulfill your calling in our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers    of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know    what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; 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 Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love is the fulfilling of the law: grant that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Lord of creation, whose glory is around and within us: open our eyes to your wonders, that we may serve you with reverence and know your peace at our lives’ end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to

hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire

or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy,

forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,

and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy

to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus

Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 21:23-32

 

Into your Spirit, O God, we lend ourselves.

We give ourselves into the call

you place upon our hearts.

We hear your voice and know the word:

grant us the welcome as we answer yea

and enter the joy of your service

in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The wonderful works of God surround us. How will we show our gratitude? The generosity of God exceeds all our limits. How will our manner of life reflect the abundance of God’s mercy? Surely our offerings are one measure of our response. Let us present them with joy and thanksgiving.

 

OR

All who hunger for God have been welcomed by Christ at a table spread with the fruits of mercy and peace.  Here we find the Bread that satisfies; here we drink to never thirst again.  As we prepare to receive the gifts of God, let us open our hearts to hear God’s promise of life eternal, open up our lives to give of ourselves as Christ has given sacrificially himself to us, and then come with grateful hearts to the Gospel Feast.

 

OR

Today is World Communion Sunday.  One day a year, all Christians commit themselves to celebrating Communion together.  And yet in most places, we look around and realize we are still so very far apart.  Sadly, it is still the rare congregation which is truly mixed in age, race, background and belief.  We tend to gather and worship with our own.  Each year, on World Communion Sunday, as we remember the unity of the body of Christ, we also receive the Reconciliation Special Offering.  This offering seeks to under the damage of years of separation.  Years of not only separate, but unequal.  This offering seeks projects which heal and bring together the whole body of Christ.  Today as you bring your tithes for the work of this church, please consider also bringing an offering for the Reconciliation Mission.  Help us plants seeds of hope in Christ’s Name.  from The Jubilee Fund

 

Offertory Prayer

We thank you, God for this opportunity to express our love to you through the gifts we bring to support and encourage your work in near and distant places. Make our hearts glad that we can share in extending the gospel and helping to heal humanity’s pain, for we bring them to you with grateful hearts.

 

Invitation to the Table

The Table of Christ is before us, his invitation still ringing in our ears: Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-burdened, and you will find rest. Ours is a unique opportunity to celebrate all good things which we have received at the hand of God the creator.

 

OR

It is World Communion Sunday: The day when all Christians gather around the table.  For us Disciples, it is simultaneously an ordinary day since we do this every Sunday; and a special day because it speaks to our plea for Christian Unity.  There is reassurance in knowing that for all of our divisions on doctrine, interpretation, and practice, today we are one body around this one table.  Yet there is sadness in knowing how much work is still to be done.  As we celebrate this feast of hope and remembrance today, let us instead focus on the great truth: All Christians are seeking to produce fruits for the kingdom of God, and have truly embraced Christ as the Cornerstone.  We may not have agreed on the structure, but our foundation together is sure.  Let us celebrate today knowing that throughout the world; wherever Christians are gathered.  Christ is remembered, Christ is celebrated, and Christ is glorified.  from The Jubilee Fund

 

OR

L: Let us come to Christ, the living Bread, who fills the hungry with good things.

P:  We rejoice in God’s provisions, abundant and freely given!

L: Let us come to Christ, Fount of all mercy, who quenches our thirst for life eternal.

P:  We celebrate God’s well-spring of grace and goodness, and come ready to drink to the fill!

 

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)

O God, who calls for us to go at the bidding of your word, and to do the work to which you have called us, we gather at your table as a people yearning to receive your loving, gracious word of forgiveness. Receive us as we break the bread which Christ has offered to be for us his body. And receive us as we drink the cup which he has blessed to be his blood. May all who come at your bidding be fed, renewed, and empowered to serve as you would have us to serve, through the grace of Christ our Lord.

 

OR

God who gives us bread for the journey, you have come to walk among us in the person of your Son Jesus Christ. The bread that we break as we gather at your table is for us his body, and the cup his blood. Pour out your spirit upon us gathered here out of love for you, and upon these gifts of bread and wine. May we who receive them be transformed by your power at work within and among us, that all your world may have bread enough and more.

 

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…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Read Full Post »

Pentecost +5, Proper 7C

 

June 19

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources: 1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a or Isaiah 65:1-9  Psalm 42 and 43, or Psalm 22:19-28  Galatians 3:23-29 Luke 8:26-39

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

72-To God be the glory

59-This is my Father’s world OR 85-Eternal Father, strong to save

594-Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (or alt.)

387-Bread of the world in mercy broken

687-In Christ there is no east or west OR 453-Called as partners in Christ’s service

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

 

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 http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalm 42 on p. 740-1

 

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Isaiah 65:1-9

 

Not seeking you in offering,

attending not the fray,

yet you declare your readiness

for those rebelling yet.

 

As we, O Lord, pass on our way,

more self contained than free,

we, Lord, assemble on the spree

that finds you drawing near.

 

Becoming from reluctance, Lord,

unto the echo heard,

the seeking for your readiness

to tally well our hearts.

 

The blessing in this cluster’s wine,

preserved to satisfy,

is as in us you draw aside,

O God, to name us home.

 

CM             Suggested tune: Beatitudo

 

Note: 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.

 

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  

(based on Psalm 68:4-5, 19; from re-worship.blogspot.ca)

L: Come, sing praises to God!

P: Rejoice in God’s presence!

L: For the Lord is our God: a Father to the fatherless,

and the defender of all who need protection;

P: the One in whom the lonely find a home,

                and the prisoner finds release.

L: Bless the Lord, the God of our salvation,

P: God, who sustains and strengthens us, day after day!

 

OR (based on Ps. 133)

L: Holy God, the Father of us all, we gather to worship you             and to reaffirm our shared relationship as children of God. P: With fatherly care, God welcomes us to our shared             experiences of worship, fellowship, prayer and praise. L: Renewing God, we gather to be re-invigorated in our worship,             and in the witness and relationships that flows from worship. P: Together and individually, we will be cleansed and refreshed by             the holy winds of God’s Spirit, as it blows around and within us. L: The Lord our God gives new life and new blessings as we come             together in the unity of one purpose – to praise and glorify God. P: Blessings, honour, glory and power belongs to our God, the             Father of all humanity – who claims us all as beloved children. Amen.

© 2012 Joan Stott – “The Timeless Psalms” RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission.

 

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. God of all glory, on this first day you began creation, bringing light out of darkness. On this first day you began your new creation raising Jesus Christ out of the darkness of death. On this Lord’s day grant that we, the people you create by water and the spirit, may be joined with all your works in praising you for your great glory. Through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

We call on your name, O God, whose fathering love is extended into all the world you have made, for you have offered us the cup of salvation and welcomed us into your family. How can we thank you for the love you have shown us in Jesus Christ? Meet us again in this hour, that we may grow in faith and be responsive to your truth. Fill us with hope, renewing our confidence to face life in faithful trust and obedience. This we pray through Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Almighty God, Father of overwhelming mercy, you have claimed each generation of people as your family, fellow workers, and heirs of your grace. From the wealth of your storehouses an endless stream of love, mercy, and wisdom has washed over your people. Wave upon wave of endless light sweeps over us. How great are your storehouses, O God, how vast, how varied your gifts! In this hour enable us to open our hearts and receive your gifts. We praise you for the treasure of your love poured out for us and for all, in a thousand ways, through Christ our Lord.

 

Intercessions

How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. Like a strong and gentle father, you have brought all of your children into one great human family, and in Jesus Christ our brother have given yourself to us fully. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing.

 

We pray for our community, our nation and world that peace and justice might be made known. We pray for our families and friends, especially those who are hurting, sick, grieving or alone. We pray for our own burdens and needs, both spoken and unspoken…

 

We yield our lives to you as we offer our prayers in the strong and saving name of Jesus. Amen.

 

OR

Dear Lord, Creator and Father of our human family, we live on the edge of the land of new beginning. New birth is your constant gift to us, and only those who receive it can share its joy. When the pressures of our lives bind and smother us with stress, remind us of the quiet place where we may come to you for sustenance and relief. Keep us sensitive and compassionate for everything that falters, fails and bleeds—whether in the field or forest, or beside the hot and tortured streets. Let us not hurry past the suffering ones, but bend to the torn and trampled to pour the oil of love and kindness. Give us wisdom to see in the eyes of youth the hope of a better world. Let us be thankful for the aged, who have born the heat and burden of the long day, whose courage and faith shine as stars to a dark world. Let your word be spoken to all who gather here in love for you and in search for renewal of life. Let this be the day, O Lord, when we beat our swords into ploughshares, our missiles into meat, our bombers into bread, in the name of the Lord of Love and the Prince of Peace. Amen. (adapted from F. Rossing Smith’s New Year’s prayer)

 

OR

God of all love and holiness, on this day of love and wonder, we are awakened to the mysteries of life that you create. As we give thanks to you for your wonderful deeds of love and grace, we pray for the human family that we might be renewed and restored to love in your image.

Hear our prayers for families and those who journey alone, that we might establish within your church such a glowing love and acceptance that friendship might be strengthened and the joy of fellowship be known, that none may journey in loneliness.

Help us, we pray, to be a strength to the friendships and romance that you kindle in the hearts of people who love, that relationships between them might blossom according to your will, and that homes of peace and grace would spring up in this age of selfishness and hate.

Free us in love to serve our neighbors, especially as we consider the poor, the hungry, the oppressed and the ill, as we remember…

And help us to serve as agents of healing to our nation which is struggling to regain its footing in a time of distrust, pain and upheaval. May we be empowered to make our communities, grounded in your love for our world, places of forgiveness and reconciliation, where love is practiced in practical ways in our dealings with others who need us and need you.

Fill us with your Spirit as a people of faith that we may serve you all our days, and look forward to your heavenly feast of joy and love in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:

increase and multiply upon us your mercy;

that with you as our ruler and guide

we may so pass through things temporal

that we lose not our hold on things eternal;

grant this, heavenly Father,

for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Eternal God,

comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,

you have fed us at the table of life and hope:

teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,

that all the world may acknowledge

the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Gracious Father,

by the obedience of Jesus

you brought salvation to our wayward world:

draw us into harmony with your will,

that we may find all things restored in him,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

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

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your

holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom

you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving‑kindness;

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 (© 2016, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 8:26-39

 

Against the oppressors in strange lands, Lord God,

you rouse your indignation,

send them to the sea, the waste abyss.

Complete in us your live deliverance

that, snatched free to delight,

we follow in the way of Jesus

all our days.

 

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation to Stewardship)

Our offerings take us into the mainstream of God’s work through the church. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of his brothers and sisters we do to him. May our offerings bring him comfort, relief and joy.

 

Offertory Prayer

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

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

Eternal One, our loving Father, who cares for each one of us as if you had no one else to care for, and who cares for all of us even as you care for each, we come here because you have invited us. We recognize at the deepest levels of our beings that it is at this table that we are affirmed and made whole. Enable us to know now the presence of the Christ, the one who calls us to be family, the one in whose presence no other can be called a stranger. Forgive us that we have been hard of heart, that we have failed to acknowledge others as brothers and sisters. Enable us now to accept the fact that we are members of one another, that we are family with all of your creation, and that we are all loved by you. We pray these things in the name of the Christ who has called us to you

 

OR

O God, who brings peace in the midst of life’s chaos and hope where all is lost, we give you thanks for the gracious offering of yourself to us in Jesus Christ, and for his offering of himself in these gifts of bread and wine. Send now your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts. Transform us, as we receive the broken bread and cup outpoured, to be his body in this world, bringing peace and promise to all through his Good News spoken and lived. 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…’”]

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ 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 MinistryMatters.com, 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 2015. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2015 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2015; 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.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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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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.

 

Thanksgiving Day B
November 22, 2012

 

While it is most appropriate to celebrate this day on the appointed day of the calendar, in some congregations it has become tradition to use it on the Sunday prior to or following the holiday.  While it disconnects the lectionary flow toward the conclusion of the season, it would be more appropriate to celebrate Thanksgiving on the Sunday prior to the holiday, as the Feast of Christ the King falls on the Sunday afterward.  In any case, it should be important for the Church to demonstrate a clear understanding of thanksgiving to God for God’s generosity in the whole creation, and not focus with intensity on the U.S.A. as though it was the full expression of God’s bounty. 

 

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

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Joel 2:21-27
Roman Catholic reading: Deuteronomy 8:7-18 or 1 Kings 8:55-61

Psalm 126
Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 113:1-8 or Psalm 138:1-5

1 Timothy 2:1-7
Roman Catholic reading: Colossians 3:12-17 or 1 Timothy 6:6-11, 17-19

Matthew 6:25-33
Roman Catholic reading: Mark 5:18-20 or Luke 12:15-21 or Luke 17:11-19

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

Hymns:  276, 58, 713-719, 690, 695-697

Communion Hymn:   386, 396, 420

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

 

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).  Sorry, no suggestions here.  A portion is included in Call to Worship below.

 

Call to Worship  (adapted by the editor from Psalm 126)

L: The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoice.

P:  May all who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

L: Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

P: Praise the Lord!

 

Greeting/Call to Prayer

We gather to give thanks for all the blessings and hope of life.  We praise God; we rejoice and give thanks.  We join our voices in praise and Thanksgiving.

OR

With thankful hearts for the bounties of our lives we come, O God, to offer our prayers and praise.  As we gather this week keep us mindful of all the blessings in our lives and those we share our lives with.  Be with us in worship as we lift our voices in praise of you, through Christ our Lord.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving (adapted by the editor)

L: The Lord be with you.

P:  And also with you.

L: Let us pray.

Almighty God, we give thanks to you.  By your appointment the seasons come and go.  You bring forth bread from the earth and create the fruit of the vine.  You have made us in your image and given us charge as stewards of your earth.  It has yielded its treasure, and from your hand we have received blessing upon blessing.

We give you thanks for the beauty and wonder of earth and sky and sea; for our daily food and drink, our homes and families and friends;  we thank you for minds to think and hearts to love and hands to serve; for health and strength to work and leisure to rest and play.  We thank you for the brave and courageous ones, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, and for all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, justice and peace.       We thank you most of all for your son Jesus Christ.  Though he was rich, for our sake he became poor.  When hungry and tempted, he refused to make bread for himself, so that he could be the bread of life for others.  When multitudes were hungry, he fed them.  He broke bread with the outcast, but drove the greedy out of the temple.  We give you thanks that in due season, he offered himself up for us that we might have life in covenant with you.  And in that spirit, we offer to you ourselves.  Make us one with Christ and one with each other in service to the world, to the glory of your holy name.

Praise to you, o God of grace, in the name of Christ [who teaches us still the life of prayer, even as he taught his disciples:  Our Father…]

 

OR

Almighty God, we give you thanks for this life and all its blessings, for joys great and simple, for gifts and powers more than we deserve, for love at the heart of your purpose and surpassing wisdom in all your works, for light in the world brought once in Jesus Christ and shining ever through his Spirit. We pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord, for that light to dawn upon us daily, that we may always have a grateful heart, and a will to love and serve you to the end of our days. Lord, hear our prayer and praises: Alleluia, we bless you, O God.  (Prayers from the Book of Common Order, Church of Scotland, on oremus.org)

 

Intercessions (adapted by the editor)

Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving.  Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide.  For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.

We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own.  We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence.

Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.

In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore.  Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.

For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name.  Amen.

 

OR

 

Our tender and compassionate God asks us to pray for all people.  Let us offer our prayers for the world in need, trusting in God’s great love.

Gracious God, we pray for the church around the world.  As the broken bread, though once scattered as grain on the hillsides become one loaf, so may your church be one in spirit throughout the earth, and one in witness to your saving love;

Gracious God, lead our leaders, especially in this time of our churches’ changing ministries.  Grant them your wisdom, that by their deeds they may encourage the faithful and witness to the world and its people;

Eternal ruler of the universe, we pray for those who govern every land, and for the people committed to their charge.  Look with grace upon the president of our country, and the legislators who guide our lives.  Turn the hearts of leaders and peoples to you, that governments may seek the good of humanity and of all who suffer;

God, you suffer with those who suffer.  We pray for those who are denied what they need to live and those whose dreams have been shattered by war and disaster.  We pray especially for those who suffer in the season of plenty.  Reach out and bring healing through the hands of your faithful people;

Holy Comforter, healing Spirit, grant your peace to those who are sick and those who grieve, and especially those of our own church families who are suffering today.  Radiate through their lives with the light of your presence, that renewed healing and strength may be theirs.

We pray, dear Lord, for those whose actions offend us most and for those whom we have learned to fear and despise.  Through your great love, make tender all hearts hardened by hatred, bigotry and suspicion; and work your justice among us.

God of hope and new life, help us to see the joy and abundant life you intend for us. Forgive our shortsightedness and often miserly attitudes toward the created world which you have entrusted to our care.  Give us your peace–peace which is not so much an absence of trouble, as an awareness of your guiding presence and bounteous gifts in all that we do; for these our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

 

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

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The content of the service below is from the 2012 WV Regional Assembly Friday Evening worship gathering.  It offers opportunities for renewal of baptismal covenants, as well as renewal of covenants for ministry, adapted from the vows used in the Service of Ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  It is available in a Word document or pdf file to those who desire those formats.  Email dchafin@wvdisciples.org for a copy for non-commercial use.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

 

Order for Baptismal Renewal and Eucharist

from the 2012 Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia

 

ENTRANCE AND PRAISE

Prelude Music

Procession of the Choir and the Order of Ministry

* Call to Worship

My friends, we gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.  Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.  We, who are many are made one in the love of God made known to us in Jesus the Christ.  This love is for you and for all people everywhere, given to us, so that we might give it away.  May we be renewed in the refreshing presence of Christ in our midst, celebrating our life together as the Church.

* Gathering Hymn:  The Church’s One Foundation       #272

* Invocation of the Holy Spirit

Let us pray:  God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving.  Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup.  Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, that we all may be one in essence, in intent, and in constitution, so that the world may know you in and among us.  This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.                        

* Gloria Patri                                                                        #35

The Reading from the First Testament: Isaiah 52:7-10   

            L: This is the word of the Lord.

            P:  Thanks be to God.

Psalm 24 (read responsively with sung response)           p. 735   

The Reading from the Epistle: Ephesians 1:15-23    

            L: This is the word of the Lord.

            P:  Thanks be to God.

* Gospel Acclamation (“Alleluia” used from Gather)

* The Reading from the Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19  

            L: The gospel of the Lord.

            P:  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

The Preaching of the Gospel

* Hymn:  I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry              #75

 

SERVICE OF RENEWAL

Remembering Our Baptismal Vows (led by a preside and two assisting ministers)

           Presider:  The church is of God, and will be preserved to the end of time, for worship and sacramental ministries, for the growth of Christian fellowship and discipleship,  for the missions of mercy and compassion, and for the salvation of the world.  All people stand in need of the grace that God alone can give, and God has chosen through the ministries of the church to provide the means of grace to everyone.

                        This rite is an ancient way to recall for us of the gracious act of God by which we enter into Christ, are raised to walk in newness of life, and become a part of his family.  At the time of Communion, after you have received, you are invited to come to one of the stations at each side of the church to touch the water and remember your baptism.  For those especially among our young who have not been baptized, a blessing will be offered looking forward to the time they will receive the grace of baptism.

                        We are taught in holy scripture that in baptism we are welcomed into the family and household of God, raised to new life in Christ and nurtured in the Holy Spirit.  In response to the call of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit, many of you have given yourself to God through profession of faith and baptism. 

                        In occasions such as this assembly, we are especially moved to hear the gospel call again, and are urged to renew our profession of faith—the saving faith that by God’s gracious act brings us to everlasting life. 

                        I invite you who are baptized to stand as you are able, and to join in the Renewal of your Baptismal Covenant, responding as indicated (in the projection). 

            Do you in the presence of God and this congregation desire to renew the                          covenant which you made or which was made for you at your baptism? 

                        I do.

            Do you renounce evil and seek to walk in the life of faith as a person who trusts              in God alone for life, strength and salvation? 

                        I do.

            Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Savior of                the world; and do you declare him Lord of your life?   

                        I do.

            L:  The Lord be with you.

            P:  And also with you.

            L: Lift up your hearts.

            P:  We lift them up to the Lord.

            L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

            P:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

                   (POUR WATER into all 3 bowls)

Gracious God, we thank you that in every age you have made water a sign of your presence.  In the beginning your Spirit brooded over the waters and they became the source of all creation.  You led your people through the waters of the Red Sea to their new land of freedom and hope.  In the waters of the Jordan, your Son was baptized by John and anointed with your Spirit for his ministry of reconciliation.  May this same spirit bless this water by which we remember our baptisms today, that we may be refreshed and renewed to walk faithfully as your disciples—buried and raised in Christ, strengthened by his resurrection to rejoice in you.  Defend these who present themselves before you with your heavenly grace, and confirm within them the presence of your Holy Spirit; for we pray in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen

            Assisting Minister 1:  Together, let us renew our faith as we unite our voices in this profession of faith:  (cite Chalice Hymnal number for chosen affirmation)

            Assisting Minister 2:  Let us pray:  We give you thanks, Holy One, for  the            grace we affirm this day in water and in the Holy Spirit.  Enable us as sons and        daughters of your love to continue to grow in your grace as we look forward to            new life in the Resurrected Christ who makes us one in you.  Amen.

            You may be seated.

                (Presider hands bowls to assisting ministers, and as they depart, be seated. 

                 Assisting ministers go to the pedestal on your side of church with the bowl,                        then be seated. Later, when communion begins, be first for communion, and             stand at your basin with towel to affirm baptismal remembrances with       

               appropriate words (“Remember your baptism and be thankful”) or give

              blessings to non-baptized  (“God bless you, child of God, as you look forward  

              to the day of your baptism.”) 

Remembering Vows of Ministry 

Leader: Come, let us worship God. There are different gifts,
People:  but it is the same Spirit who gives them.
Leader: There are different ways of serving God,
People:  but it is the same God who is served.
Leader: Each one is given a gift by the same Spirit,
People:  to use for the common good.
Leader: Together we are the Body of Christ,
People:  and individually members with one another.

            Regional Minister:  This time of thanksgiving and praise expresses the unity of the Church and celebrates God’s continuing care for the Church and the world, through the anointing of God’s servants in ministry.   Ordination and Commissioning to Christian ministry are built upon a life of study, work, and prayer, guided by the Spirit of God. Will those who are ordained and commissioned ministers, please stand.

Leader:  My sisters and brothers in the faith, do you believe that you are truly called by God and the Church to the life and work of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ?

Ministers:  I do.

Leader: Paul the apostle testified, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” Will you endeavor to be diligent in your practice of the Christian life: reading the Bible, continuing steadfastly in prayer, and taking up your cross daily to follow Christ?

Ministers:  I will, with the help of God.

Leader: Scripture teaches that the Church was devoted to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Will you endeavor faithfully to fulfill your calling among the people committed to your care: by preaching the word of God and the apostolic faith; and by presiding at the celebration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper?

Ministers:  I will, with the help of God.

Leader: In scripture, ministers are exhorted to tend the flock of God committed to their care, not by constraint but willingly, not for selfish gain but eagerly, not by domineering over those in their charge but by example. Will you endeavor to care for the people of God: nourishing, teaching, and encouraging them; giving direction to the life of the congregation; counseling the troubled; declaring God’s forgiveness of sin; and proclaiming victory over death?

Ministers:  I will, with the help of God.

Leader: The Spirit of God led Jesus to preach good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, setting at liberty the oppressed, and proclaiming the time of God’s good favor. Will you endeavor to lead the people of God in their obedience to the global mission of the Church: guiding their concern for justice, peace, and freedom for all people; and taking a responsible place in the governance of the Church and in service to the world?

Ministers:  I will, with the help, of God.

Leader: The apostle Paul proclaims the Church to be one body with many members. Will you endeavor to live and work in unity with all Christians: witnessing to the visible unity of the Church; cooperating with Disciples colleagues in the ministry of the congregational, regional, general and ecumenical church; and leading the Church in fulfilling its ministry of reconciliation?

Ministers:  I will, with the help of God.

Leader: Paul also wrote, “For me to live is Christ.” Will you endeavor to conduct yourself so that your life is shaped by Jesus Christ, who took the form of a servant for our sake; and will you, with the help of the Holy Spirit, continually rekindle the gift of God that is in you, to make known to all people the gospel of the grace of God?

Ministers:  I will, with the help of God.

Leader: May God who has given you the will to do these things give you grace to perform them. God who called you is faithful and will not fail you.  Will the Church now stand with these servants of God. 

(to the Congregation)  You have heard the promises of our brothers and sisters. Will you as members of God’s Church affirm this call and accept these brothers and sisters as ministers of the Gospel?

People:  We accept you as those called to public leadership in the Church and affirm your continued ministries.  We pledge our love and offer our prayers that together we may glorify God and make Christ known in the world.

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People:  And also with you.

Regional Minister:  Let us pray: Eternal God, you are worthy of our thankful praise.   In your love you called your church to be a holy people and a royal priesthood.  Through your Holy Spirit you have given a variety of gifts, making some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry and for the building up of Christ’s body, the Church. 

            We pray that you will send your Spirit upon these brothers and sisters who serve in the ministry of your Church.   Confirm in them the grace and power to proclaim the gospel and celebrate worship, to lead the church in its faith, life and mission, and to be an example to your people in love, patience, and holiness of life.  Grant that through this ministry your name will be glorified in all the earth and your people strengthened. This we ask through Jesus Christ, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

                        You may be seated.

Hymn:  Be Thou My Vision                                               #595

Prayers of the People    

            Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness.  We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith.  Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.

            We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus.  Bless its members and ministers, especially our General Minister Sharon, and our Regional Minister Thaddaeus, with your wisdom and a spirit of joy in serving.  Fill us  with your spirit, and strengthen us to serve by the guidance of your word.  Perfect us with love and compassion, and establish us in the faith of your saints.  Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.

            We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace.  Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity.  Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.

            Bless our homes with the joy of your presence.  Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.

            Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in the arts and culture of our people.  May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.

            Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity.  Have mercy on those to whom death draws near.  Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

SERVICE OF THE TABLE

A Call to Generosity

God has shown us the meaning of generosity in the beautiful diversity of creation, in the overflowing love of Jesus Christ, and in the never-ending gift of the Holy Spirit.  God has blessed us abundantly and called us to be a community that blesses others through the sharing of our love, our talents and our material possessions.  Let us rejoice now in what we have been given and in what is ours to give as we prepare the Table of the Lord with bread and wine and offerings that show our gratitude to the Giver of All.

The Offering

* The Doxology 

      Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

            praise God all creatures here below.

            O praise God, alleluia!

      Praise God above ye heavenly host;

             praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

            O praise God; O praise God; alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

* Consecration of Gifts

In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord.  May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.

 Call to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God.  They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God.  This is the Lord’s table.  Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared.  Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

Communion Hymn:  Come, Share the Lord                    #408

Labyrinth

Great Thanksgiving

 (Presider begins:)

   L: The Lord be with you.

   P:  And also with you.

   L: Lift up your hearts.

   P:  We lift them up to the Lord.

   L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

   P:  It is right to give our thanks and praise.

 

            Elder 1:  It is always good and right to give you thanks and praise, O God, for you have loved us with an everlasting love.  You called together a people fit to praise you, and even when we failed you, you sent to us prophets and sages to draw us back to your will and your way.  In the fullness of time you sent to us your only Son, Jesus, born of a woman and of the Holy Spirit, to bring to us life and life that is abundant.  In life, he bore to us your message; in death he pronounced forgiveness; in raising him, you declared victory over sin and death.

 

            Presider: (pour chalices) On the night he was given up for us, our Lord Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room.  And there at the table, he took a loaf (raise but do not break bread)  and having given thanks to God he broke it and gave it to them saying, “take, eat, this is my body which is to be given up for you.”  (raise chalice)

            And after supper, likewise, he took a chalice, and giving thanks to God he gave it to them saying “take and drink, for this is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

             As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup we do show forth the death of Christ until he comes again.

            Elder 2:  Send the power of your Spirit, O God, upon us gathered here out of love for you, and upon us, gathered here out of love for you, and upon these gifts of bread and wine.  Make them to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may truly be his body, cleansed by his blood, and strengthened to serve you faithfully throughout the world.             

            Presider: Through him, with him, with him, and in him, all glory and honor be to you, almighty God, now in your church, and forever.  Now, with the confidence of your children, we are bold to pray:  Our Father…

The Lord’s Prayer (using “debts)

Breaking of the Bread

Presider:  Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those who are invited to his supper.  My friends, these are the gifts of God for all of God’s people.  Come and receive the Lord.   

The Sharing of Bread and Wine

Prayer after Communion  (Unison)

O God, we thank you for uniting us by baptism in the Body of Christ, and by this meal filling us with joy and hope. Grant that in the days ahead our lips which have sung your praises may speak the truth, our eyes which have seen your love may look with compassion on the needs of the world; our hands which have held this loaf and this cup may be servant hands for     Jesus Christ; in whose name we ask it all.  Amen. 

Choral Anthem:  Behold the Light                                            Porter

* Sending Forth with Blessing  by Presider

It is the grace of God which has called us together, and the grace of God that will lead us forth to live out our baptismal callings – our varied ministries – to the glory of God.  Go now in peace to love and serve the Lord, and the blessings of God + the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit go with you and keep you unto everlasting life.  Amen.

* Hymn of Parting:  Lift High the Cross                           #108

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Friends, be aware that we have begun posting the weekly lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary on our Regional Calendar, which can be imported into your own calendar if you’re familiar with such things.    Much of this is courtesy of Rev. Matthew Smith, a Lutheran minister who provides the calendar for the good folks at Augsburg where you can download the calendar for your various portable devices and even Outlook.   In addition, the feast days of key Biblical figures are noted, as well as a few of the early leaders of our Disciples of Christ tradition.

Also, please be aware that there are few commercial sites in the links.  I’m always hopeful they will be used with care.  Many of them are companies that I’ve had transactions with in the past, but a few are not.  Please don’t hold me responsible, but if you have negative experiences with them, I would really like to know.  They will “magically disappear” from the links.   Remember, when you purchase any books or other goods from our Regional Amazon Store, you support regional ministries, and for that we are truly grateful.

We hope you find these changes, and this blog, helpful.  Your feedback would be most welcome.  I’d even be glad to know if you find any of it unhelpful (and suggestions of where you may go for help on your liturgical planning).

Peace!
   David

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