New Worship Connection: November 19, 2017

October 19th, 2017

24th Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green
Scripture Readings: Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30

Call to Worship #1

L: Come! Share the joy of the Lord!
P: Delight in God’s goodness!
L: Praise God who gives each person a special gift to be nurtured and shared.
P: Lord, we thank you for these gifts!
L: Come, let us worship God who entrusts us with so much.
P: Lord, make us worthy of your love and trust in us. AMENl

Call to Worship #2

L: Lord, be with us when our lives seem embedded in sorrow and sadness.
P: Lord, have mercy on us.
L: Open our hearts to receive your healing grace.
P: Prepare us to be children of the light rather than dwellers in darkness.
L: Throughout all our days, you have been with us.
P: Be with us again. Remind us of your presence and healing mercy. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2153 “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”, offer the following call to worship as directed.]

L: Lord, you have entrusted me with so much. Help me to be a good steward of all your creation.
P: Help me, Lord, to celebrate the opportunities I have been given to serve you.
CHOIR: Singing verse 1 of p. 2153 “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”.

Gathering Prayer

Lord, be with us this day as we gather to celebrate your love for us. Challenge and prepare us to be your disciples in this aching and hurting world, for we ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN

Opening Prayer

O Lord, we gratefully acknowledge the gifts you have given to each of us for service in your world. Gifts of teaching, healing, inspiring, challenging and creating are all among the myriad of things you have placed in our lives. Direct our lives to use these gifts as we reach out to our neighborhood and nation, witnessing to your love and your healing mercy. We pray this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Morning Prayer

Gracious and generous God, you are always with us, offering guidance, healing and hope. We know that with things seem dark or are dazzlingly bright; when troubled times assail or peace reigns; there you are with us. Continue to guide and challenge our lives. Lead us in pathways of service and away from trails of fear and anxiety. Open our hearts to receive your healing transforming love that we might serve you more faithfully; for we ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

Lord of mercy and justice, you have given us so many talents and gifts to be used in your world. You have given us these gifts because you trust us to use them well — and you will be with us in all our work. But we disappoint you when we denigrate the value of the talents or become so fearful of failure that we don’t believe that we are capable of helping in this world. Lord, forgive us. Help us to trust in the gifts you have given to us and to trust in your guidance in using them. Forgive us when we are fearful, stubborn, apathetic, indifferent to the needs around us. Give us hearts for serving you all our days. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

Rejoice and celebrate! God has placed God’s trust and love deep within your hearts. You have been called and trusted to serve God. Alleluia! AMEN.

Offertory

With great joy we receive our morning offering today. This is a vital reminder of the many ways in which we can serve God through the ministries and mission of this church. Let us joyfully receive this morning’s offering.

Prayer of Dedication

Lord of blessings and hope, we give to you these gifts as tokens of our lives. Use these gifts for healing and hope in your world. Use us as instruments of peace; for we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Closing Prayer/Sending Forth

Go forth into God’s world as children of the light, offering ministries of hope and healing to a hurting world. Go forth filled with God’s abundant love. Go forth in peace. AMEN.

Children’s Time

Good morning! Last week we decided to try a little experiment. You each were given a dime or a nickel or a penny. you were told that you could use it to earn more for our special offering or we could hold onto this. What an interesting experiment this has been! Many of you did projects using your dime, nickel, and penny for supplies — you sold these for the church — so where some got a dime – a larger amount was returned — in some instances about $10. Others were able to use their nickels to gather more funds — and many came back with $5. Others, who had been given only a penny used these funds to generate some more — and many came back with at least $1. Some people were too busy to do the project — some people just returned the original coin. All of these funds will go to ministries of healing and helping through our church. Do you want to know how much total was raised? Well, I originally gave out $1.75 : Ten dimes = 1 dollar; 10 nickels = 50 cents; and 25 pennies – all equaling a total of $1.75. We have received back: $250.00! Wow! It appears that we all tried to be good stewards. These funds will be used to help our food pantry, our ministries to children and youth, our work with our seniors. Just think of what we can do! Even more than this, God has given us special talents and abilities. Some teach, some sing, some work in worship, some are missionaries, some community workers — the list goes on and on. Each one of you has been given gifts to be developed and God will guide you and be with you as you grow! Place your trust in God always. There are many exciting times ahead for you. Thank you for helping with this project and thanks to the families and friends who supported the project. God be praised for the generous loving spirit of this church community.

Art for the Altar/Worship Center

Maintaining the worship art display from last week, add bright red construction paper hearts throughout the worship center in celebration of God’s generous love and the faithfulness and joy within this congregation.

Scripture into Script

Psalm 123

Reader 1: Look up – gaze into the vastness of heaven!
Reader 2: Look around – see the needs of the world around you.
Reader 3: Look down – see your feet and legs
ALL THREE READERS: What does God expect of you?
Reader 1: God expects our praise and prayers. God expects that we will turn to God in all our needs.
Reader 2: God expects us to become more aware of the immediate needs of people and the many ways we can be parts of ministries of caring and healing.
Reader 3: God expects that we will work for justice and stand for peace.
ALL THREE READERS: What’s holding you back?
Reader 1: Fear.
Reader 2: Inadequacy
Reader 3: Reluctance
Off stage voice: Rejoice! God has gotten rid of your fears. God again promises to be with you in all that you do. God will give you courage and strength.
ALL READERS: Thanks be to God who continually surrounds us with love and power and
peace. AMEN.

Message Movers

Hi! Smile! You can do it! Go ahead, look around and smile! What did you notice? Did someone smile back at you? Did someone laugh or giggle? You just completed an experiment. Most smiles are infectious! Someone might catch it and smile at someone else and before you know it the whole place is filled with smiles. That’s not the worst thing that could happen.

A smile — a simple gift! But what about other gifts? Some people have the wonderful ability to teach; others to preach; some to be in ministries of healing; some to be in construction and building; others in environmental studies; some in working with people who are troubled; others who work with businesses – the list can go on and on. Think about it for a minute! What gifts have you been given? I had a friend who had the ability to do very nice landscape paintings but because she felt she wasn’t the best at it or “even very good” as she would say, she didn’t let people know what she could do. Her paintings were lovely. You could feel her warmth and sweetness in her work. Finally we got her to show some of her work, which took a lot of persuasion, to someone who owned a little art gallery. He asked to show about five of her paintings and, lo and behold, they sold! She was surprised. She decided that maybe she could use her work to make people smile or be happy; but before that she thanked God for her gift and the love God instilled in her for painting — she vowed to give God a portion of the funds she received from the paintings in gratitude for the gift. I might say she did very well and the church that received this special gift from her was able to create an afterschool art program for latch-key children. We provided space in the church for her group which met on Tuesdays. Blessing upon blessing her gifts brought children into the church, brought God’s word of love and introduced the children to the blessings they were given.

There are many more stories like this and I imagine you have many gifts that you can use to help others and for the glory of God.

Remember two of the stewards received gifts and used them for good; but one hid the gift because he was afraid.

Take a risk! Believe in the gifts God has entrusted to you. Begin with a smile — then see what else you can do. You might be surprised. God will be delighted! Blessings on you all, dear friends. AMEN.

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