Worship Resource: All Saints Sunday

* Call To Worship (from Psalm 37)

            One: Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

All: While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

One: Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions before the LORD,’ and you forgave the guilt of my life.

All: You are a hiding place for me; you preserve from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

* Gathering Prayer

         Holy God, you invite us to consider the possibility that we, too, might be holy. You embrace the mess we’ve made of our lives even when we would rather turn away. Our culture tells us that the key to happiness is culivating a carefully curated public image. Polish, shine, perfection–this is the currency of the world we live in. Teach us never to compare our inside with someone else’s outside. You see past the facade. You know our hearts and love us still. Teach us to nourish the seeds of new life you have planted in the soil of our broken, humble hearts. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

God, your saints teach us the way of service, sacrifice, and joy. We follow their example trusting that we, too, will find rest in your presence. Amen.

Worship Resource: Bible Sunday

Call To Worship (from Psalm 119)

One: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.

All: I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word. Accept my offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your ordinances.

One: Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.

All: I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.           

Gathering Prayer

We thank you, God, for the Bible, which points our lives in your direction. We love the inspiring stories we find in the Scriptures. We rely on the Bible for words of encouragement and wisdom for living. At times we find the Bible confusing, boring, even shocking. Scripture tells us and our experience confirms that you are a God of peace, kindness, and boundless love. Nevertheless, we are aware that the Bible, too, can be weaponized and used for harm. Guide us with your Spirit as we read, study, and meditate on your Word. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

God, your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Guide and inspire us in our giving and receiving. Amen.

Worship Resource for Galatians 2:11-21

Call To Worship (from Psalm 32)

One: Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

All: Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. 

One: You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

All: Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy all you upright in heart.

Gathering Prayer

We thank you, God, for offering us new life in Christ. Each of us comes to this time and place facing challenges whether in our work, our families, our finances, our health, or the fact of our own mortality. Show us how we can experience a life-changing relationship with you through the person and message of Jesus. We thank you for this community of faith, which for many generations has been your hands and heart of love to countless people and to us. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

God of love, we thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus, who died and rose again that we might have abundant life now and eternal life in the world to come. We make our offerings with joy and confidence knowing that your abundant provision knows no bounds. Amen.

Worship Resource based on Psalm 100

Call To Worship (from Psalm 100)

One: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness. Come into God’s presence with singing.

All: Together will all beings we offer ourselves in worship. What is our true worship? Returning to this very place. Returning to this very moment. Breathing in, we breathe in the Spirit of God. Breathing out we release our worn out stories, our tired regrets, our distracting fantasies. 

One: Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and God’s courts with praise. Give thanks to God and bless God’s name.

All: For the LORD is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever, and God’s faithfulness to all generations. 

Gathering Prayer

God of creation, you made us for joy. You don’t want us to hurt forever. We recognize that suffering is a part of life; nevertheless your Scripture tells us that suffering doesn’t define who we are. We are your children and nothing can separate us from your boundless love. We confess that too often we find ourselves stuck in what once was. Instead of dealing courageously with what is, we find ourselves  paralyzed by fears of what might be. Create in us a new heart, O God. Teach us how to be open, honest, transparent, and courageous. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Creator of this beautiful, fragile planet, we recognize that generosity is the fruit of a joyful heart. May our offerings bring joy to us and others. Amen.

Worship Resource based on RCL for Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Call To Worship (from Psalm 8)

One: O LORD, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

All: When I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

One: Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet.

All: O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Gathering Prayer

God of the universe, we sometimes feel small in the face of that which is so far beyond our understanding much less our control. Does my life matter? What does it all mean? Why bother doing anything at all when my efforts seem so insignificant? Give us wisdom to discern your creative activity in every moment of our lives. Give us the courage to meet you right here, right now, for this is the meaning of our lives. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

God of this and every moment, God who gives everything its time and place, we thank you for meeting us in this time and place, right here, right now. We offer ourselves wholeheartedly to you. Amen.

Worship Resource based on Ruth 1

* Call To Worship (from Psalm 146)

One: Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.

All: The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.

One: The LORD watches over the strangers; God upholds the orphan and the widow.

All: The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!

* Gathering Prayer

God of the widow and orphan, God of the oppressed and imprisoned, God of the overlooked and overburdened, hear our prayer. Give us eyes to see strangers as friends. Give us ears to hear new voices. Give us minds open to fresh perspectives. Give us hearts made whole by the power of your Spirit. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

God who provides in every circumstance, we thank you for all you have given. Teach us to live with open hands ever ready to receive, ever freely giving. Amen.

Worship Resources, Pride Sunday, Year C

* Call To Worship (Psalm 16)

One: Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

All: The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 

One: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

All: You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

* Gathering Prayer

Holy God, you are our refuge and our strength, a very present help in  trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake at the heart of the sea. On this day when communities around the world celebrate LGBTQ pride, we pray that you will make this place a refuge for all of those who suffer discrimination, threats of violence, and shame because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. O God who looks on the heart  teach us to see as you see.  O God of boundless love, teach us to love as you love: without limits.

The Lord’s Prayer (Debts) (Unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Worship Resources for Easter, Year C

Call To Worship (based on Isaiah 65)

Leader: For I am about to create a new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.

All: But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy and its people as a delight.

Leader: Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.

All: The wolf and the lamb will feed together, the lion shall eat straw like an ox; but the serpent–its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.

Gathering Prayer
God of resurrection, we thank you for your child, Jesus, who died and rose again that we might have abundant life now and eternal life in the world to come. In every moment you make us anew. With every breath your Spirit sustains us. Teach us to breathe out the past–hurts that hinder us, traumas that haunt us–and breathe in fresh possibilities, wild dreams, new hopes. This is the day of resurrection. Today we find our freedom. Amen.

Dedication of the Offering

God whose generosity knows no bounds, we give with humble gratitude for your gift of abundant life. Amen.

Worship Resources for the 4th Sunday in Lent, Year C

Rimmington, Eric; The Return of the Prodigal Son; Bradford Museums and Galleries; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-return-of-the-prodigal-son-23177

Call to Worship 

Leader: The God of boundless compassion waits for us with patient expectancy.

All: The God of our ancestors stands in the doorway and continually calls us home.

Leader: God’s unconditional love cannot be earned, only accepted.

All: May our worship reflect God’s infinite embrace.

Gathering Prayer (Unison)

God of our aimless wandering, God of our longing for home, with a broken heart you patiently await our return. Teach us to see ourselves and each other as you see us: your children, made in your image deserving of unconditional love. We don’t always show each other the same love you show us. We have a tendency to sort people into categories of those who deserve love and those who don’t. Shake us out of our limited perspectives. Give us the courage and the skills to listen deeply, to speak the truth in love, and to embrace our brothers and sisters even when it’s difficult to do so. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

We offer our lives in service as we offer our gifts to you, Holy God, in gratitude for the gift of your child, Jesus, who died and rose again that we might have abundant life now and eternal life in the world to come. Amen.

Worship Resources based on Isaiah 55:1-9

Call to Worship (Isaiah 55:1-2)

Leader: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. 

All: You that have no money, come, buy, and eat!

Leader: Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

All: Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves with rich food.

Gathering Prayer (Unison)

Holy God, in a place of so much wealth, why is there so much need? In a land that affords every available comfort, why do we find ourselves uncomfortable, discouraged, depressed? What is this food you spoke of through your prophets? Where is this promised land of milk and honey our ancestors sought? Open our hearts to the only true satisfaction our hearts will ever know: your boundless love.