Worship Connection: November 4, 2018

September 1st, 2018

All Saints Sunday

COLOR: White 
SCRIPTURE READINGS (All Saints Day): Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44 
SCRIPTURE READINGS (24th Sunday after Pentecost): Ruth 1:1-18; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34 

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1

L: Come, let us praise the Lord!
P: Let us shout our songs of thanksgiving to Almighty God!
L: For God has done wonderful things for us.
P: God’s love and blessings have been showered upon us.
L: Come, let us praise the Lord!
P: Let us sing songs of great joy to God. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: God is calling you today.
P: Help us to hear God’s call in our lives.
L: God needs your gifts and graces to help others.
P: May we use the blessings which God has given us to benefit others.
L: Come, let us worship and celebrate God’s love for us.
P: Let us show our faithfulness in our words and actions. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2031, "We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise", offer the following call to worship as directed. Have the organist/instrumentalist play the song through once. The leader should begin the call to worship with great enthusiasm and energy. Pay attention to the exclamation points and make those phrases emphatic]

L. Come, let us worship God and rejoice!
P: We have come to praise God for God’s steadfast love!
L: Let us bring the gift of praise and thanksgiving to God!
All: singing song through once, ending before the key change.
L: Let our praise be great!
P: Let our love of God be known to all!
L: Let us bring the gift of praise and thanksgiving to God!
All: singing song through completely, with the key change included.
L: AMEN!
P: AMEN!

Call to Worship #4

L: Throughout all our lives God is with us.
P: Praise be to God for God’s mercy and love.
L: Even when we are faced with difficult decisions, God’s presence is near.
P: When we don’t know which way to go, God will guide and lead us.
L: Open your hearts today to God’s gently leading.
P: We open our lives to God, that we may faithfully serve God all our days. AMEN.

PRAYERS, LITANY, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer

Lord, we gather here this day in praise and thanksgiving for all the wonderful things you have done for us. Help us to be faithful disciples in all that we think, do and say, that your great love may be revealed and offer healing to all people. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

How often, O Lord, have we believed that the greatest commandment is our love for ourselves solely. We have not heard the cries of those in need; we have turned our backs on opportunities to serve you by serving others. Many times we have thought only of our own wants and desires and ignored the needs of others. Help us to truly understand the commandments to love you with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Let us care for our neighbors both far and near. Bring us back to your loving light. For we ask these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

In the midst of our darkness and ignorance, the bright light of God’s love shines through, healing our anguished souls. Rejoice, beloved of God, for God’s love and forgiveness are given to you this day. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

Lord, we have a tendency to wander in wildernesses of our own creating. When opportunities to serve you and to make commitments to your service are given, we consult our calendars to see if there is anything else we have to do. We place our needs and our schedules before our service to you. Help us to reorder our priorities. Help us to look again at the wonderful opportunities you give us to be of service to you by working with others; reaching out to heal and help. Bring us to the light of your love once again. Heal our wounded souls. Let us love you truly with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Give us courage and persistence as disciples that your great love and glory may shine through our deeds of lovingkindness. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Litany/Reading

L: What gifts do we have to bring to the Lord?
P: First, come into God’s presence with humility and peace.
L: What service can we bring to God?
P: Come rejoicing and praising God for all that God has done for you.
L: How shall we witness to these mighty acts of God?
P: Let your love, that abides deep in your heart, the love that God has placed there, be a beacon for others who feel as though darkness has engulfed them.
L: How shall I praise my God?
P: With all that you have and all that you are.
L: Praise be to God who has blessed me and all of us in such mighty ways!
P: Praise be to God who continually blesses our lives and calls to each of us to be a blessing for others. AMEN.

Benediction/Blessing

The pathway is open before you this day. It is a path of peace and hope, brought to others by God’s mighty love and wondrous blessings. Go in peace, bringing hope to all that you meet. Go, blessed ones, to serve God all your days. 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.

Definitions:

Risers refer to any structure or support which will raise a portion of the worship center above the main level. Some risers may be a stack of books, others may be made from wood or whatever will give the necessary support to the object which is going to be placed on the riser. I have used pieces of 2" x 4" wood, stacked on top of each other to achieve the height I desired. Most risers will be covered with fabric.

Worship Center: Because so many churches have different worship spaces, I have chosen to call the main space for worship display (worship center). It may be called an altar, a communion table, a platform - whatever is the focal point of the worship area.

Flowers/plants: I am not a "purist" if the definition means having only real flowers and plants in the chancel/worship area. I believe that there are some really beautiful silk flowers which will suffice in times when real plants are not available. However, go with the tradition of your local church. Generally speaking I like to use foliage plants (minimal or non flowering) as accent pieces. "Spiky" plants such as sanseveria, mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, are good when you are looking for a harsh, hard, angular effect. Fern (particularly asparagas or Boston) are wonderful along with some ivys, to soften the effect.

Puddling the fabric: Currently interior decorators use the technique with draperies of letting the fabric spill to the floor in a heap, sort of a puddle. It is a less formal design. Puddling the fabric means not creating even edges with the fabric, which is drawing a line, but rather softening the look by creating a "puddle".

SURFACE: Place three risers on the worship center. The tallest riser should be about 10" high, the other two risers may be 6" and 3" respectively. Place a riser in front of the worship center about 6" lower than the table surface.

FABRIC: Cover the entire worship center with green fabric - you may use dark "forest green" or a medium green, but I would stay away from pastel shades or bright "Kelly" greens. If you want to use a print fabric, with various shades of green, make sure that the print is small and gives a sense of texture rather than focusing on the print itself.

CANDLES The tallest riser will have a brass cross upon it, but you may place several 3" pillar candles or other votive candles throughout the worship center.

FLOWERS/PLANTS: Generally I would stay away from floral arrangements and focus on foiliage plants , such as ferns and ivy.

ROCKS/WOOD: Not advised for this setting

OTHER: One of my favorite things as a child was creating a "chain of people" by cutting them out from folded paper. I don’t really know what you call it, but that’s how I describe it. In this setting I recommend making individual "people" (kind of paper-doll style), but cutting them out of cardboard, for foam core board and linking them together with paper hearts. The figures could be sized and painted to represent all people, young and old, a variety of races and ethnicities. The scripture focus, both in the Hebrew Scriptures, story of Ruth, and the Gospel lesson for today reminds us that we should love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and we should love our neighbor as ourselves. The people, linked with hearts, are a simple graphic demonstration of that connection. If the "people" are created individually, they can then be stored and used in other settings. I recommend that the people be the height of no more than 11 inches or no shorter than 5". Get your youth group or others involved in painting the clothing, and faces on the characters, making sure that both the front and back of each one is painted. Use acrylic paints for the best effect. When you place them in the worship center, lead the "chain" of people through out the center with an additional group on the front riser and on the floor. Because the chain should not tip sideways to accommodate moving from the main level to the risers and then to the floor, make a "chain" of hearts to connect them.

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