Worship Connection: July 22, 2012

June 16th, 2012

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a; Psalm 89:20-37; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1

L: Come, out of your busy lives to a quiet time and place
P: Our souls thirst for some peace and quiet.
L: Come, and rest in the Lord who will restore your souls.
P: Our lives need moments of rest.
L: Come and find the quiet center. Come, be at peace.
P: Praise God who offers to us a shelter and resting place. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: Welcome to worship this morning.
P: Even though it is summertime, our lives are crowded and rushed.
L: Come into this time of peace and quiet.
P: We need to rest in God’s word.
L: God’s love is with you. God will give you rest and refresh your souls.
P: Thanks be to God for this "break-away" time. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2128 "Come and Find the Quiet Center", offer the following call to worship]

L: All around us are pressures, both for work and for leisure.
P: Even our meal times are rushed as we dash from one activity to another.
L: You need a time to rest and reflect on God’s word.
P: We need a place in which the sweetness of God’s love can be poured upon us.
L: Let us sing together of such a quiet place.
Cong: singing verse 1 of "Come and Find the Quiet Center"
L: Enter into the time of peace.
P: AMEN.

Call to Worship #4

L: God has called us to this place of peace and quiet.
P: We come, eager for rest and hope.
L: The Lord is always with us, offering us refreshment for our souls.
P: Let us partake of this wondrous gift.
L: It is the gift of the Lord’s love for us. Come and rest.
P: Praise God for the absolute compassion of God’s love. AMEN.

PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, we gather here this morning with lives that are filled with activity and movement. We rush from one thing to another as though we are going to run out of time to accomplish everything. Help us to let go of the hectic times and the stresses and find our rest in you. Relax our spirits and refresh our souls. Remind us that there will always be things to do and places to go, but that we need the rest of spirit that you provide. AMEN.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Patient God, we wait all year for the summer months when we can rest and relax. Our schedules change from the demands of weekly living, to times which are supposed to be devoted to leisure. But we have redefined leisure to mean a flurry of activities. We need some time to rest, to sit quietly and listen to the beautiful sounds of the world. Forgive us when we are determined to crowd every moment of our lives with activity. Help us to find a quiet center with you where we can just relax and not try to get everything done as though life was some sort of a contest. Give us peace for a little while. Refresh our souls so that we can truly serve you, not out of exhaustion but out of enthusiasm. Be with us this day, for we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE

God’s love awaits you. It has been lavished upon you as a gentle summer rain, refreshing your souls, opening your hearts, healing your wounds. Rest in God’s eternal love. AMEN.

PASTORAL PRAYER

God of peace and hope, we are a nation focused on activity. From every source of media we have opportunities to go and see and do a host of activities. They beckon us to come and have fun, there are activities for all ages. But one of the most necessary activities we neglect is our need for rest. We crowd each day, that has been given by you as a blessing, with busyness. We forget what it is like to sit and listen, to rest, to take time to reflect. Help us to find the quiet moments in which our souls can be made whole again. We know that there will always be much for us to do to serve you in this world, but if we keep up this hectic pace, we will be unable to accomplish anything. We have lifted before you this day names of dear ones for whom we have concern. We feel helpless to lift their burdens and their sorrows. Let us turn these concerns over to you, for you are the Master Healer who restores our souls. Help us to place our trust and our lives in your unending care. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

LITANY/READING

L: Come, find a time of peace.
P: We don’t think we have time. There are many demands on us.
L: Come, find a time of rest.
P: There is so much that we have to do, places to go, people to see, needs to be met.
L: Come, find a time of healing.
P: Our lives are fractured and bleeding. We give of ourselves and yet there is still much to be done.
L: Come, find a time of hope.
P: We can’t accomplish everything. Look around you. See how the cries of the world scream in our ears; how the hands of need reach out, pleading for our help.
L: You cannot serve if you do not rest. You need a time of quiet to re-gather your strength and spirits.
P: Lord, help us to slow down, even if it is for just a little while.
L: Come, find this place of peace. Let the spirit of God gently refresh and heal you.
P: We come and will find our rest in God’s steadfast love. AMEN.

BENEDICTION, BLESSING

You are God’s beloved people, refreshed, restored, forgiven and healed. Go now into this world confident in the gifts God has given you. Go to serve God’s people, bringing words of peace and hope to all whom you meet. AMEN.

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for this Sunday is GREEN.

Note: I recommend putting a brief paragraph describing or explaining the symbolism used in your visual display. These become good teaching tools for a congregation.

Note: This Sunday our scriptures abound with the need to rest in the Lord, grateful for all the blessings and to find some time when we can quietly reflect on the needs of the world.

SURFACE: Place 3 risers on the worship center: one centered and the other to the right and left of center, but not in a row with the center one or with each other. This should be a staggered arrangement. Place two risers in front of the worship center: one about 1 foot lower than the surface of the worship center, the about about 8" high. Again, they should be off center and not in a row.

FABRIC: The traditional color is green. Cover the entire worship center, including all the risers with green fabric - a good choice for this fabric would be a light lime color or a bluish green. Stay away from the bright "Kelly" greens - you want the color to reflect peacefulness. Using light blue silky fabric, beginning with the center riser, drape the fabric as though it was a stream flowing down across the worship center and puddling on the floor in front of the worship center.

CANDLES: Although candles are not necessary in this setting, you may use a few votive candles where you choose.

FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: Surround the back of the worship center with lush green foliage plants, such as ferns or soft-leaf tropical plants. Place ivy, ferns, and other leafy plants in front of the worship center, near the blue fabric. You may use small plants here and there in the worship center to accent the "lush garden" effect. If you wish, you may use some flowering plants, but I would discourage formal arrangements for this setting.

ROCKS/WOOD: Beautiful pieces of driftwood and rocks are effective at the base of the "puddle of blue fabric" , creating a pool effect. Keep these to a minimum.

OTHER: On the top riser you may want to place a cross or picture of Jesus.

About the Author

Nancy C. Townley

Nancy C. Townley is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She consults on visual arts, drama, liturgy and read more…
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