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 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 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.

Worship Resource: Centering Reading (scripture reference Mk. 9:24)

Centering Reading                                                                                                                                     

Jesus tells us that he is the Way. The Great Way we call Jesus invites us to practice great faith, great doubt, great effort, and great patience. Whether longtimers and newcomers we are all just beginners on the path. With a child’s heart we once again enter the Way with wonder, curiosity, and unlimited possibility.

Worship Resource 7th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

Centering Reading

There are many different stories of faith and tales of trust. The Bible is full of them. We are full of them. Some are dramatic. Some are ordinary. Some make us anxious with their seemingly impossible demands. Some comfort and encourage us. They’re all just stories. They help us understand our lives. Yet they are not our lives. Our lives are more than the stories we tell about ourselves. They are more than the stories others tell about us because the Author of all life isn’t finished with us. God says, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.