Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
CALLS TO WORSHIP
Call to Worship #1:
L: In the midst of life’s storms, God is there.
P: What have we to fear?
L: In the darkness and terror, God is with us.
P: Of whom shall we be afraid?
L: Rise up, people of God, for you are loved and saved.
P: Thanks be to God who cares deeply for us. AMEN.
Call to Worship #2:
L: God’s love for us is great!
P: God is like a loving parent, who watches over us.
L: God’s mercy for us is great!
P: God reaches out to us in healing patience and peace.
L: Praise be to God who has called us here.
P: Praise be to God whose love and mercy is given to us. AMEN.
Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2056, “God Is So Good”, offer the following call to worship as directed’
Soloist: singing verse 1 of “God Is So Good”
L: When the waves of doubt threaten us
P: God is with us.
L: When fears seem to swamp our lives
P: God is with us.
Soloist: singing verse 2 of “God Is So Good”
L: Awake! God is here!
P: Rejoice! We are loved!
L: Get ready! There is much to be done!
P: Prepare us, Lord, to work for you. AMEN.
Call to Worship #4:
L: Who has the Lord called to serve?
P: Is it the great and mighty?
L: In whom has the Lord found favor?
P: Is it those with power and prestige?
L: In each one of us, God has found favor!
P: Let us serve the Lord with gladness and joy. AMEN.
PRAYERS, READING, BENEDICTION
Lord, we have come this day, seeking your presence and healing love. Be with us as we hear the words of hope and compassion. Give us courage to learn and grow that we might serve you faithfully all of our days. AMEN.
Prayer of Confession:
God of love and power, we listen to the stories of miracles and doubt that these things can happen today. We look at the waves of misfortune, distress, misery, distrust, and anger and wonder how we can still those waves. We feel the pressures of power and fear flooding into our lives, threatening to drown us and wonder where you are. Forgive us for the littleness of our faith. Forgive us for our doubts. Help us to place out trust in you, Lord Jesus. Help us to fix our eyes on you and on the ministries to which you have called us. For we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
Words of Assurance:
Fear not! God is with us, stilling the storms and raging fears in our lives. Place your trust in God always. AMEN.
Lord of wind and water, of calmness and peace, be with us this day. Calm our fears as we face uncertain futures. Help us to relinquish control and to place our trust totally in you. Remind us to continue to faithfully work for good, with gratitude for the many blessings you have poured upon us. When the waves and torrents threaten us, let us again to turn to you, remembering your saving mercies and love. Give us courage to become disciples who can calm the seas of doubt and anger, bringing hope and peace. As we have brought before you situations that require help and healing mercies, remind us again that you are with each person and situation, offering your love and mercy. We thank you for the many ways in which you have healed us. For all the goodness you have poured on us, we offer prayers of gratitude and love, as we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
[Soloist: singing verse 1 of “Stand by Me” - UM Hymnal p. 512]
Reader 1: I just lost my job. Just when everything was looking good….the job disappeared. I don’t know what I am going to do? I have responsibilities, a family that needs me. Help me, Lord!
[Soloist: singing verse 2 of “Stand by Me” - UM Hymnal p. 512]
Reader 2: I can’t seem to fight this addiction. I am enslaved to this substance. It owns me. I am being pulled down into the turbulent sea of fear and hell. Help me, Lord, help me!
[Soloist: singing verse 3 of “Stand by Me” - UM Hymnal, P. 512]
Reader 3: Everything I try seems to turn to mud! I fail time and time again. Everytime I try to “pick myself up by my bootstraps” someone seems to have cut the bootstraps. I don’t know what to do. I feel as though I am drowning. Help me, O help me, Lord!
[Soloist: singing verse 4 of “Stand by Me” - UM Hymnal p. 512]
Reader 4: What is it that draws all this hatred toward me? Is it the color of my skin? Is it my nationality or ethic background? Is it my religion? Why am I being persecuted, singled out for abuse and judgment by those around me? I do the best I can, and they still don’t understand. Lord, help me, O help me!
[Soloist: singing verse 5 of “Stand by Me” - UM Hymnal p. 512]
Reader 5: I’m tired, Lord. I’m old and tired! I just can’t tread this land any more. My eyes have grown dim, my step has slowed, my bones and joints ache, and my heart is weak. I did all that I could to serve you, Lord. Bring me home! Reach out to me with your eternal healing. Lord, help me!
Voice: Beloved ones, in the midst of all your pain, your fears, your loss, your infirmities, I have been and will continue to be with you. You are home in my love, whether in the here and now or in your eternal home. Rest in my care. Place your trust in my love for you. I will not let you fail. Rest now in my peace and I will take your burdens and deal with them. Come, rest.
As the Lord has given to you such peace and healing, now go into the world offering God’s love and hope to others. Go in peace and remember that God goes with you. AMEN
The traditional color for this Sunday is: Green
[Note: Images of water, boats and waves dominate the Gospel message today. My tendency is to use blue or shades of blue as the dominant color rather than the customary green.]
SURFACE: Place three risers on the worship center. At the center back, place a 12” riser; Then place an 8” riser on the right center, a 6” riser in the center, and a 3” riser on the left center. Place a riser in front of the worship center which is about 6” lower than the surface of the center. Place an additional riser in front of this one which is about 3” lower than the previous one.
FABRIC: Cover the worship center in medium blue fabric, making sure that all risers are covered. Over the top of this fabric, place a long strip, about 30” wide, of the silky blue fabric that you may have used for a “stream” setting. Make sure that this fabric is loosely placed.
CANDLES: Not recommended for this setting
FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: not recommended for this setting
ROCKS/WOOD: Use some larger rocks to anchor the silky blue fabric onto the floor. If necessary you may use small stones to anchor the silky blue fabric in various places.
OTHER: Place the brass cross on the large center riser on the worship center. Create 5 “Boats”, each with a sail. On the first sail print the words: “Storms of Life“; on the second sail, “Tribulation”; on the third sail “Faults and Failures”; on the fourth sail “Persecution”; and on the fifth sail “Weakness/Aging”. Attach these sails to the boats you create, placing each boat on a riser, on top of the blue silky fabric. To the side of the setting have two fans (get ones that are as quiet as possible). Set them on the floor, pointing toward the boats. The air should blow on the fabric so that it “moves in waves”. You will have to experiment with this. You may mask the presence of these fans by using cardboard panels shaped like rocks and painted to look like rocks. You may want these panels to be two or three sided depending upon how you need to place the fans Be sure to test out the work with the fans before the worship service.