Worship Connection: May 14, 2023

April 6th, 2020

Sixth Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21 


Call to Worship #1:
L: Live in God’s love!
P: Let that love be poured out for all God’s people!
L: Bring hope and peace to all whom you meet.
P: We are called to be God’s witnesses.
L: Celebrate and rejoice.
P: Praise be to God who has called, healed, and given us a ministry of peace. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: Look for God in this place.
P: We search for God’s love and peace.
L: It is here, given for you out of God’s absolute love for you.
P: Lord, help us receive that love and then to bring it to others.
L: Peace be to you all.
P: And also to you. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2168, “Love the Lord Your God,” offer the following call to worship as directed. Begin with having one solo voice sing through the song one time, then have a small choir or ensemble in unison sing it through a second time.]

Soloist: singing “Love the Lord Your God” 1 time through

Choir/Ensemble: singing “Love the Lord Your God” 1 time through

L: How shall we love the Lord our God who has poured out such love upon us?
P: We shall love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and spirit.
L: How shall we demonstrate that love.
P: We shall live that love in all that we do, think, and say.
L: Let our love be genuine and holy.
P: Praise be to God who has loved us totally. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4:
L: The Lord has been our refuge and our keeper.
P: It is God who has kept us from falling and saved our lives.
L: Let our thanks and praise resound throughout this place of worship
P: Let our love and gratitude be shown in all that we do.
L: Open your hearts and spirits to God this day.
P: Lord, be with us and place your hand of healing in our lives. AMEN.  


Opening Prayer
Lord of wondrous light and power, we come to you this day to learn of your will for our lives. Heal our wounds; lift our spirits; give us courage and confidence to boldly serve you in all that we do. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession
Lord of mercy, there are so many times in our lives when we feel alone. We wonder where you are. We cry out to you in our confusion, pain, and hurt. And when you do not immediately grant the prayers of our cries, we begin to doubt that you even care or exist. Stop us from going down this path of self-destruction. Help us look around and find the many ways in which you have blessed our lives. Forgive us when we are so quick to doubt and so arrogant in our demands of your responses. Give us a spirit of patience and willingness to be ready to hear your voice. Strengthen us for the ministries of love and hope that you have placed before us; for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance
Even in the midst of doubt and darkness, the light of God is shining in you, on you, and through you. Out of God’s great love, you have been redeemed and made whole. Rejoice, beloved of God! AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer
Lord of love, you have asked us to keep your commandments. In your life you demonstrated the power of love to effect healing, redemption, and hope in the lives of all your people. Yet we are so unsure of the gifts that you have given us for ministry that we wonder if we can really do what you want us to do. We are a strange mixture, Lord. We are arrogant in our demands of your mercy and timid in our awareness of the blessings and gifts you have given to us. That’s why we’re here today. We really want to sense your presence and receive courage truly to be your people in this world that you have loaned to us. Remind us when we bring names and circumstances before your throne of Grace that we also bring our own needs and concerns. Lay your healing hand upon our hearts and spirits. We place our lives and our trust in you, O Lord. AMEN.


Reader 1:

You know, I really like Easter. The Resurrection, new life, all that stuff. It really makes me very happy inside.

Reader 2:
I wish those feelings could last all the time. But now life is beginning to settle back to what it was--lots of junk and problems.

Reader 3:
Sometimes it feels like Jesus gave us a good message, then vanished, leaving us without anyone.

Do not fear. I am not leaving you orphaned. In your hearts and spirits you will remember all the words that we have shared together. I am asking the Father to send to you an Advocate, one who will stand with you, guide your steps, support you in all that you do.

Reader 1:
But it won’t be the same as having you with us, Jesus.

Reader 2:
See what I mean? Things are going to get tougher now! I just knew it!

Reader 3:
I don’t know about you two, but I’m going to wait eagerly for the spirit that he promises.

Remember to keep the commandments of love that I have given to you. Love one another and love God, for on that rests all the law and the prophets. Do not be afraid to let love and hope rule your lives. Place your lives in trust with me.

Reader 1:
I want to believe, and I want to trust in you, O Christ. But I am afraid. Help my unbelief!

Reader 2:
Help clear away this cloud of doubt, Lord. I am frightened of the darkness that I had known so well. I need the brightness of your love.

Reader 3:
Reach out to me, Lord, with peace and love so that I may reach out to others in your name.

Place your trust in me. Love is being poured over you. Live in that love all the days of your life. AMEN.

Being washed in the love of Christ, now go into this world with the healing love of God to be given generously in peace and hope. God’s peace will always be with those who live in God’s love. AMEN.


The traditional Color for today is: WHITE

[The simplicity and power of the word LOVE is the focal point in this worship setting.]

Place a 10” riser in the center of the worship table.

Cover the entire worship table with white fabric, letting the fabric fall to the floor in front of the worship table. Place a drape of gold fabric over the riser, letting it spill down to the floor in front of the worship center.

On either side of the center riser, place a 10” to 12” white pillar candle.

Use ferns or green leafy plants on the back of the worship center and also down on the floor to the right and left of the gold fabric to soften the edges of the set.

Not necessary for this worship setting.

Create a scroll: using a ½” diameter dowel, affix about 2” for parchment paper to the dowel, winding it tightly around the dowel. On the parchment paper write the single word LOVE. Place the scroll leaning against the 10” riser so that it unfolds in the center of the worship center. The word LOVE should be easily seen and should be the central focus of the worship table.

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