Worship Connection: June 17, 2012
CALLS TO WORSHIP
Call to Worship #1
L: Come, let us worship God. Let us tell tales of God’s kingdom.
P:What is God’s kingdom like?
L: In a way, it is like a small seed planted in the ground that grows to a mighty tree.
P: The mighty tree provides shelter for all in need.
L: Indeed, God’s kingdom is the small see planted within our hearts which takes root and becomes a way of life.
P: And when we praise God and work as God asks, a mighty shelter and help is evident. Thanks be to God. AMEN.
Call to Worship #2
L: In the times of trouble, when all seemed hopeless, I cried out to God
P: And the Lord heard my pleas and answered me.
L: When I felt lost and alone, I looked for God.
P: And God found me and brought me home.
L: When my life was filled with joy and blessing, I danced and praised God.
P: And God danced and rejoiced with me. Thanks be to God. AMEN.
Call to Worship #3
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2123 "Loving Spirit", offer the following call to worship as directed]
L: We are called to this place to celebrate God’s wondrous love.
P: We are called to honor those who have taught and guided us.
L: God’s Spirit has drawn us together. Let us listen to God’s word.
Soloist: (Verse 1): "Loving Spirit, loving Spirit, you have chosen me to be - you have drawn me to your wonder, you have set your sign on me.
L: For all those who have gone before, who have been our guides, we offer thanks and praise.
P: For our mothers and fathers, we thank you, O Lord.
Choir (verses 2 & 3): [v.2] Like a mother you enfold me, hold my life within your own, feed me with your very body, form me of your flesh and bone. [v.3] Like a father, you protect me, teach me the discerning eye, hoist me up upon your shoulder, let me see the world from high.
L: Lord, open our ears to hear your words of hope and peace.
P: Prepare us for our service to all in need in your world. AMEN.
Call to Worship #4
L: What mysteries there are in God’s world!
P: We , so sophisticated, stand in awe at the wonders of the natural world.
L: We look at the tiniest of seeds and wonder what will happen
P: From that small seed will grow a large shrub.
L: Although we consider our gifts to be small and insignificant,
P: God will use our gifts in miraculous ways. Praise the God of small seeds and mighty power. AMEN.
PRAYERS, LITANY, BENEDICTION
God of small seeds and mighty plants, you take our meager lives and with your love cause them to produce acts of loving kindness for you in this world. You hear our cries and find us when we are lost and wandering in fear. You bring us home with you so that we may be made whole, rejoicing in your goodness. Help us to joyfully serve you all our days, knowing that you are always watching over us. Prepare our hearts to receive your word and our spirits to respond in eagerness to serve you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Lord, forgive us when we see your miracles all around us and still doubt your power, presence and love. Forgive us when we treat this world and each other with careless indifference or with malice. You, who have created the most wondrous things from the smallest of particles, can create in our hearts confidence and hope. From our lives you can fashion the most delightful miracles that can serve you through acts of mercy and kindness. Free us, Lord, to receive your blessings and , having received them, to find the numerous ways in which we can serve you. Heal our wounded hearts. Hear our cries. Come to us and bring us home. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Do not doubt God’s power and might! It is God who has created all that is! It is God who has called to your hearts and spirits. God is with you. Praise be to God. AMEN.
Lord, as we think of the small seed containing the life of the mighty shrub, we stand in awe of your creative and life-giving power. We can see only the small seed. But you see the great potential in everything you have created. We often dismiss the smallest things as though they are insignificant. You treat all things as precious. Life in your presence is wondrous! The gifts that we have, you can use for helping others, for healing, for ministries of hope. Today we have gathered to hear your word, to look into our lives and discover the needs we have. We have offered to you our prayers, for others in situations of distress and struggle; for others who are rejoicing; for this world with its beauty and its sorrow. We are confident that you hear and respond to our prayers. We place our lives in your love and seek to serve you. Be with us and guide us. Take the small seeds of our spirits and cause them to blossom into lives that will honor and glorify your holy name. AMEN.
L: When our hearts are grieving, crying out in distress
P: The Lord hears our cries.
L: When our spirits are wandering, lost and afraid
P: The Lord seeks and finds us.
L: When our days seem filled with anger and hopelessness
P: The Lord brings comfort and peace to us.
L: When we don’t think we have anything to offer to God.
P: God produces miracles in our lives that can serve others.
L: When we need to know that God is with us.
P: God is present in all the earth.
L: For all the ways in which God blesses our lives,
P: We give thanks and praise!
L: For the people who have taught and guided us, who have shown us the right paths of God,
P: We give thanks and praise!
L: For the wonderful things which we have seen and the things yet t come,
P: We give thanks and praise to God! AMEN.
Go now in peace, knowing the miracles that God has produced in your life. Be assured that there are still more miracles to come. Bear witness to God’s love to all you meet. In the name of the Creator, the Holy One who resides with you always, go in peace. AMEN.
The traditional color for the day is: GREEN
Note: This is a wonderful day for visual displays. You may want to consider using pictures of families, packages of seeds, gardening tools and soil, small sprouting plants, large shrubs which are particularly leafy. All of these things will point to the Gospel lesson for the day. If you are focusing on the themes of the seed and the shrub, place the objects carefully in the worship center. The cross should be dominant on the worship center, flanked by two candles. If you are using the image of families, fathers (since it is Father’s Day), place a few pictures in frames throughout the worship center. Caution: do not overcrowd the worship center.
SURFACE: Place 3 risers of varying heights on the worship center. Place two risers on the floor in front of the worship center.
FABRIC: Cover the entire worship center with plain green fabric. Using about 6-8 yards of green fabric which is somewhat lighter than the base color, make a drape across the various risers on the worship center and down to the risers in front of the worship center, so that the fabric looks somewhat like a stream, finally "puddling" on the floor
CANDLES: Place two white pillar candles on either side of the cross which is placed on the top riser on the worship center. If you desire, you may use the traditional altar candles and candlesticks.
FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: Small sprouting plants in pots may be placed on the worship center and on the floor. If you are using the seed images, place some soil spilling out of a clay pot. Large leafy shrubs may be placed around the base of the worship center, but do so sparingly. Flowering plants may be placed on the worship center.
ROCKS/WOOD : not recommended for this setting
OTHER: For those planning to use the seed/shrub/planting focus: plants in clay pots, a clay pot tipped over with planting soil spilling from it, packets of seeds, gardening gloves, watering can, can bring the images of seeds and growth to life. For those focusing on families, particularly Father’s Day, photos of fathers and of families can be helpful.