Worship Connection: May 15, 2022

January 10th, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35


Call to Worship #1:
L: Let praise to God resound in the heavens!
P: Let praise to God fill the earth!
L: Let all God’s angels offer praise and rejoicing!
P: Let all God’s creatures sing praise and joy!
L: Open your hearts and spirits today.
P: Let us praise the Lord today and always! AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: How wondrous! A new heaven and a new earth!
P: The old, bruised and angered, fearful and alienated, will pass away
L: In its place God will offer new hope and peace
P: God will dwell with God’s people forevermore.
L: Worship the Lord who is about to do a new thing.
P: Praise God who establishes God’s reign in the heart of God’s people. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2284, “Joy in the Morning”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
[Note: this is a fun song, and should be sung with an rousing beat. Don’t drag it. Use percussion instruments, notably tambourines, if you have them. Make sure this is sung enthusiastically!]
Choir and instrumentalists: begin by playing the song through once; then choir sing verse one, soloist or small ensemble sing verse two, choir sing verse three]
L: When the new day of the Lord is established, what a joyful day that will be!
P: God shall wipe away every tear!
L: Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more.
P: For God will bring new life and hope to all on the day of God’s coming.
L: God will give water to the thirsting soul.
P: God will pour God’s abundant blessings on all the people. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4:
L: Jesus reminded the disciples
P: Love one another as I have loved you.
L: Jesus taught and witnessed to God’s love
P: Love one another as I have loved you.
L: Jesus encourages us to love each other with tenderness, compassion, and hope.
P: Let us love one another as Christ loved us. AMEN.


Opening Prayer:
Gracious and Loving God, we are grateful that you have called us together this day, drawing us from darkness to the glory of your light. May our spirits rejoice at the good news you have for us today. Open our hearts to your healing love, for we ask this in Christ’s Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Patient God, sometimes we are just too busy for our own good. We pledge ourselves to hectic schedules, demands on time, energy, and resources that erode all too quickly. We seem to be rushing through life. The cries of those in need often go unheeded in our blur of activities which sap our energy, our resources, our spirits. Slow us down a bit, Lord. Remind us again that we are responsible for the care of this world, for reaching out and offering your healing love. Help us to hear the words of patient love that you have for us. Remind us again of Jesus’ words to his disciples when he told them that they should love one another as he loved them. May we take time to bear witness to that love in all that we do. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Words of Assurance:
Wherever you are, Christ is with you. You are beloved of God and God’s care will always surround you. Be at peace and rejoice! AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
When the news is loudly proclaiming anger, hostility, hatred, we are called by Christ to love one another. How hard that is, O Lord! Prejudice abounds in our land, and it is our shame, as we proclaim our faith in you. You call us to love one another, but we put conditions on that love: some of these conditions regard race, economic status, gender, age, nationality. It is easy to love people with whom we feel comfortable. It is more difficult to love those who are different from us. And that, O Lord, is our dilemma. Teach us how to love and accept the diversity in our land. Help us to treasure each other for the wondrous gifts and talents each person has. Sharpen our ears to hear words of love when whispered and shouted. Tune our hearts to your healing message of acceptance and compassion for all. Help us to be the people of the Resurrection - who have been freed from the bonds of death. We place our lives in your care, merciful Lord. AMEN.


Reader 1: (to Reader 2) Look at all these people!
Reader 2: I’m looking (glances around the room)
Reader 1: What do you see?
Reader 2: People. All kinds of people.
Reader 1: What else do you see?
Reader 2: Some people are smiling. Hey, somebody just yawned! Looks like someone else is dozing off. Somebody’s got something else on their mind.
Reader 1: What else do you see?
Reader 2: Well, I see people who have come here to worship.
Reader 1: And…
Reader 2: I see people who seem to be waiting for something
Reader 1: All of us are waiting for something. Sometimes waiting is lonely; sometimes we wait in groups. These people are here waiting for God’s word for them. Some of them will hear it clearly; but for others it won’t be quite so evident.
Reader 2: Jesus’ disciples were always waiting for a word, weren’t they!
Reader 1: Yes. The word of the Resurrection came as a surprise; the words about discipleship, you know “feed my sheep”, came as a challenge; now Jesus offers the word of love as a commandment. Love one another as I have loved you.
Reader 2: That’s true, but it’s not easy.
Reader 1: You’re right. It is not easy. That’s why we are here: to discover how to love one another with compassion, peace, and forgiveness. That’s what God wants us to do…to take care of each other; to listen, to be present, to help where we can.
Reader 2: Sounds good to me. I’m glad I’m here today, with this group of seekers. I’m not so alone. Thanks.

May the love of God which was lavished upon you by Jesus Christ be in your hearts, your minds, and your spirits as you go forth into God’s world. Be bearers of peace and hope to all you meet, and may God’s peace be with you always.AMEN.


The suggested color for this Sunday is WHITE or GOLD. However, I recommend using a medium green color as foundation for the worship setting.

Author's note

The focus I have chosen for this day is love for others as demonstrated in the grouping of candles, representing other people, and the ethnic fabrics which remind us that we are a global community of faith. If you are using ethnic fabric, put a note in your weekly bulletin describing the origin of the fabric. You may want to make a statement about loving people all over the world, not just those near and dear to us.

Place several risers on the main worship center. The tallest riser should be at the center back. You may use this either for a cross or a pillar candle. Other risers may be scattered around the worship center. Place a riser in front of the worship center.

Cover the entire worship center in the green fabric, making sure that it covers the riser in front of the worship center. On the top of each riser, place a piece of fabric about 16” square - this fabric should be brightly colored and some of the pieces may be Kente cloth, or other ethnic cloth pieces, such as sari material.

Using votive candles, place a group of five candles on each riser. These candles will represent the world’s people whom we are called to love.

Use a minimum of green plants, such as ivy or other leafy plants, on either side of the cross/candle riser in the center of the worship center. You may use potted plants near the base of the worship center to soften the look.

Some small rocks may be used near the candles to create texture.

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