New Worship Connection: November 26, 2017

October 21st, 2017

Christ the King Sunday

Color: White or Gold
Scripture Readings: Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 20-24; Psalm 100; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46

Call to Worship #1

L: The Lord continually watches all of God’s own sheep.
P: They are led to green pastures and brought before stilled waters.
L: Praise God for God’s tender and loving care of us.
P: Thanks to God for all the mercies God shows to us.
L: Let us enter God’s house with hearts filled with joy.
P: O Lord, open our spirits to respond to your words of compassion. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: Though the dark clouds cover us and the violent storms assail;
P: God seeks us out and protects us. God brings us to the safe shelter of God’s compassion.
L: When we feel lost and alone, wondering who will save us;
P: God reaches out in love, healing our wounds and transforming our lives.
L: Thank God who loves us so much.
P: Praise God who searches for us and brings us home. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2269 “Come, Share the Lord”, offer the following call to worship as directed. Choir will sing the 1st and 3rd verses and the congregation will sing the 2nd and 4th.]

L: Come, open your hearts to the Lord!
P: We are grateful to be here, remembering all that Christ has done for us.
Choir: singing verse 1 of “Come, Share the Lord”
L: Friends and family – all are welcome in the house of the Lord.
P: Those who are new to our church, those who seek, those who feel lost and alone.
Congregation: singing verse 2 of “Come, Share the Lord”
L: Christ meets us here; he breaks the bread of salvation for us.
P: He embraces us with his transforming and forgiving love.
Choir: singing verse 3 of “Come, Share the Lord”
L: Dear friends, let us rejoice in God’s love.
P: We are called to receive that love and reach out in compassion to others.
Congregation: singing verse 4 of “Come, Share the Lord”

Gathering Prayer

God of the lost and lonely, God of the secure and confident, gather us into your fold that we may be healed and transformed. Guide us in your world that we may be part of ministries of healing and hope, for we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Opening Prayer

God of justice and peace, bring your dazzling light into our hearts and spirits that we might see the glorious opportunities we have to serve you. Help us to see that following your mandate to feed the hungry, bring nourishment to those who thirst, offer clothing to those in need, visit the sick and those who are imprisoned, welcome the stranger – any activity of service as an act of great privilege and joy. We praise you for the light of your son, Jesus Christ, who boldly bids us care for each other and become those who would bring good news of peace for all. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

Merciful God, we get so caught up in our own lives and needs that we fail to see others for whom we might provide some help and relief. You challenge us to feed those who are hungry and to quench the thirst of those who are parched. You ask us to bring clothing to those who have none or for whom the clothing is inadequate for the weather; to visit people who are sick, alone, alienated, who are imprisoned either in cells with bars or in conditions of hopelessness and poverty that they see no way out; to welcome the stranger and reach out to those who are marginalized; to always bring your words of healing and redeeming love. We have failed in these tasks – we ignore the opportunities and claim that we are too busy to help, too busy to care. How this attitude must sadden you, O Lord. You lavish your gifts upon us that we might use them for the betterment of your realm, and we treat them as inconveniences. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us and heal our wounds of greed and selfishness. Let us greet this day when the hope of the Reign of Christ can be made manifest and we can be part of this glorious kingdom of peace and compassion. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

In the name of Jesus Christ who brings peace and hope to us, we are forgiven, healed and enabled to be part of the ministries of compassion in God’s world. Rejoice! You are chosen and loved! AMEN.

Morning Prayer

Amazing God, you have allowed us the privilege all during this year to walk the pathways of hope with Jesus. From your incarnation in Christ at the Nativity to his acceptance of the ministries to which you called him; from the magnificent lessons about caring and compassion as he trod the roads leading to Jerusalem; from the encounters with hostile people to the cries of those in need and to his crucifixion and resurrection, we have been blessed to learn from our Savior and have our lives transformed by his redeeming love. Bring the joy of this day into our hearts. Flood our lives with your words of hope that our ministries may glow with delight at serving you by serving others. Bless this church as we grow and continue to learn what you would have us do. Cause us to be a haven of peace and hope in this world that is bound in such anger and fear. For we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMENl

Offering

As we have entered this church with thanksgiving on our hearts, let us remember that we have the opportunity to joyfully share from the bounty which God has provided. In the love and name of Christ, let us receive our morning offering.

Prayer of Dedication

Good Shepherd, who leads and guides us through all the trials and tribulations of our lives, we bring these gifts to celebrate the ministries of justice and hope in which our church is involved. Be with us and cause us to grow in our faith and our service. AMEN.

Benediction/Sending Forth

Hear the cries of those in need! Go into God’s world, enabled by Christ to be in ministries of compassion for all God’s people. Love this world as God has loved you. Care tenderly always for all of creation. Go and faithfully serve in the name of Jesus. AMEN.

Children’s Time

Good morning! Today is a special day when we remember all the things Jesus taught us and we look forward to the time when Jesus will come back to us again. One of the greatest lessons he taught was about what we should do to help others. He told them a story about a king who thanked all his people for the good things they had done for him. He said that he was hungry and the good people gave him some food to eat. He was very thirsty and did not have good water to drink and the king thanked them for making sure that he had good water. He said that there was a time when his clothing was ragged and torn, and the king thanked them for the nice clothes that protected him from the weather. He surprised them when he said that he had been sick and even in prison and he thanked them for their visits. It made him feel better. Finally he said that at one time he was a stranger and they made him feel welcome. Well, the friends were very surprised and asked the king when they had done all these things for him. He looked right at him and said, “If you have done this for anyone, you have done this for me.” He reminded them that this was the mark of a disciple and if they wanted to live the love that God had showered on them, then these were the kinds of things they were supposed to do. But to the ones who said they hadn’t done anything like that, he said that he was ashamed of them and that they weren’t disciples. You see, God wants us to reach out to others with kind words, thoughts, and actions. These things Jesus taught us. Being a disciple and friend of Jesus is a great privilege and a wonderful opportunity to help people in need. I know that you are becoming disciples of Jesus because I know that you have brought food for the food pantry, welcomed other children to our church, given a drink of water to someone who needed it, brought your winter jackets that you had outgrown to the church so that we could give them to children who did not have any winter jackets at all. And I know the cards you made to send to some of our members in the hospital and the gift baskets for our friends in nursing homes were surely appreciated. You are well on your way to becoming very special disciples of Jesus and I thank God for each and every one of you!

Art for the Altar/Worship Center

Cover the altar/worship center with landscapers’ burlap, making sure that there is one riser on the upper left side of the altar/worship center and several risers of different heights in front of the altar/worship center. On the altar/riser place the brass candle. Place one white pillar candle on the right side of the altar/worship center. Underneath the cross place a 6 yard piece of white fabric which will trail down across the altar/worship center toward the right side. On these risers place cardboard boxes marked with the following words printed in large bold lettering: FOOD, WATER, WELCOME, VISITS, CLOTHING, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, LARGE PRINT WORD SEARCH BOOKS for our Seniors, PRAYER SHAWLS. Challenge the congregation to bring items for these boxes during the first three Sundays in Advent. They will be distributed prior to Christmas to people in need.

Scripture into Script

Reader 1: Shout triumphantly to the Lord all the earth!
Reader 2: Serve the Lord with celebration!
Reader 3: Come before God with shouts of joy!
Reader 1: Know that the Lord is God.
Reader 2: God made us; we belong to God.
Reader 3: We are God’s people; the sheep of God’s own pasture!
Reader 1: Enter God’s gates with thanks.
Reader 2: Enter God’s courtyards with praise!
Reader 3: Thank God. Bless God’s name!
Reader 1: Because the Lord is good!
Reader 2: God’s loyal love lasts forever!
Reader 3: God’s faithfulness lasts generation after generation!

Message Movers

Do you remember report card time in school? I surely do. I worked hard and hoped I had done well. I knew that I would be OK in English, History, and such – but Mathematics, in any form, would be my downfall. I’m not a mathematician……I’m an artist. I don’t think like people who are skilled with numbers, but I do well in creative writing. So when the report cards came, I dreaded seeing some of the grades, with good cause I might add. Most of the time, I was pleasantly surprised, doing better than I thought, but there were those times that I felt I had gotten what I deserved. Well, it’s report card time for the church! How have we done? Did we do well in the things that were easiest for us? Did we struggle in areas that were a challenge to us? How did we do according to the mandates of Jesus…..feeding the hungry; giving water to those who were thirsty; clothing the naked; visiting the sick and those imprisoned; welcoming the stranger…….how did we do? The answers to this question tell us a great deal about our church and what we value. Think about it. How have we been reaching out to others in Jesus’ name?

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