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 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 Resource: Mother’s Day

* Call To Worship (from Deuteronomy 32)

Leader: As an eagle stirs up her nest and hovers over her young . . .

           All: As she spreads her wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on her pinions . . .

          Leader: God guides and protects us. She sets us atop the heights of the land . . .

          All: And nurses us with honey from the crags, and milk from the flocks.

* Gathering Prayer (Unison)

Mothering God, God of our mothers, we thank you for the gift of life and those who gave it to us. Give us the grace to embrace our mothers in all their complexity. Bless our mothering so that those who are entrusted to our care might grow healthy and strong. May they remain safe and happy long after their need for our continual care has passed. We remember those who have cared for us and are gone. May we honor their sacrifice by following their example. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

We dedicate our lives to your service and our hearts to your worship, Holy God. 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. 

Worship Resource 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Opening Prayer

Holy God, you sent your child, Jesus, to open new ways of understanding Scripture. Our Pilgrim forebears believed that there was “yet more truth” to “break forth” from your “Holy Word.” So we open our hearts to hear anew the word beyond all words. We train our ears to hear the still small voice that arises from the sound of silence. We settle our bodies into a stillness from which the movement of your Spirit arises. Amen.

Worship Resource based on Philippians 2:1-14

God of all creation–earth, sky and sea–teach us the way of humility, of “humus,” of earth, soil, and growing things, root us in this very place, nourish us with your boundless love, which meet us in this and every moment. God of every perfect gift, we thank you for your Son Jesus who emptied himself for our sake. Teach us the way of open hands and open hearts. Teach us the way of peace. Amen.

Worship Resource: Mark 12:38-44

Holy God, your Scripture points beyond conventional understandings to the heart of the matter. Who is rich? Who is poor? How is it that your abundant life is often so apparent among those who have relatively little and so hard to find among those who have so much?  And who are we? Rich or poor? Like the widow who “put in everything she had,” teach us to step past conventional understandings of poverty and wealth into the limitless provision of your boundless love. Amen.