Worship Connection: May 22, 2022

January 1st, 2022

Sixth Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
 Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:1-10, 22–22:5; John 14:23-29


Call to Worship #1:
L: We come together this day, drawn by the light of God’s love!
P: In God’s eternal kingdom, darkness and despair are vanquished.
L: In God’s eternal realm, peace and hope reign!
P: Let all the people praise God with their music and their voices!
L: Let all the people praise God with their deeds of loving-kindness!
P: Praise be to God. AMEN!

Call to Worship #2:

[Using the hymn “Shall We Gather at the River,” offer the following call to worship as directed. You will want to have a rehearsal for each part, prior to the worship service. If you have people who can play percussion instruments such as drums, tambourines, maracas, etc., it would be fun to use them during the singing of each verse. Let the atmosphere for this call to worship be joyful.]

L: Come, one and all. Gather together! For this is the day of the Lord!
P: Let’s gather at the river by the throne of God! For there is blessing forever!
Choir (entering and processing, if able) sings Verse 1 of “Shall We Gather at the River”
L: From the throne of God flows a mighty river of peace and hope for all God’s people!
P: And there shall be rejoicing at the sight of the healing waters!
Choir: singing verse 3 of “Shall We Gather at the River”
L: Our journey brings us to God’s wondrous river of Life!
P: Praise be to God who has drawn us from darkness and filled our world with light.
All: singing verse 4 of “Shall We Gather at the River”

Call to Worship #3:
L: May God be gracious to us and bless us.
P: May God’s face shine upon us and bring us peace!
L: Let all people praise you, O Lord.
P: Let all people shout their joy to your holy name.
L: God blesses us continually throughout all our lives.
P: Thanks be to God, for God’s eternal love and blessing. AMEN.


Opening Prayer:

How magnificent the sight must be! The vision of John proclaims a crystal river flowing from God’s throne, comforting light, peace and hope for all God’s people. Darkness is vanquished. Open our eyes and our hearts to catch a glimpse of this vision. Help us to place our trust in you, that we may faithfully serve you, knowing what awaits our eyes in glory. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Lord, You know how easy it is for us to sit here, tethered to our darkness and fear. We get bound up by chains of mistrust. We dare not to hope, for so many times before we have been disappointed. So we sit here and wonder where you are. We are not unlike the disciples who wondered also, who feared. Lord, come to us in our darkness. Flood us with your powerful light of love and mercy. Help open our eyes to the good news of your eternal glory. Give to us visions of the place in which love and hope will reign. Forgive our stubborn resistance to your mercy and your love. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
Let the light of God’s eternal love flood into your hearts this day. Feel the healing presence of God in your lives. Accept God’s love and hope for you. This is the gift freely given for you by Jesus Christ, God’s risen Son our Lord. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
Lord, we can only imagine the scene painted for us in Revelation in which we are given a glimpse of eternity. The light of your love pours over all the land, bathing it in healing warmth and hope. We have gathered this day to celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ. He said to the disciples “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid”. How many times we are troubled and fearful. We feel hopeless in the face of an uncertain future. Help us to place our trust in your love. Open our hearts to see the wonder of your eternity. Release us from our anger, loneliness, and despair. Bring us to the realization that in your love we may find peace and joy. For it is in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we offer this prayer. AMEN.

Reader 1:There is darkness all around. I can’t see anything. I feel so alone, so helpless.
Reader 2: “And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.” (Rev. 21:10)
Reader 1: Where is the place of refuge? Where can I find hope? Let me run to sanctuary and there hide myself from fear.
Reader 2: “I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:22-23)
Reader 1: Lock the gates! Keep people out! Hide! Danger is ever present! Help me, O Lord! Help me!
Reader 2: “Its gates will never be shut by day and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it….but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21: 24-27 abridged)
Reader 1: All around me is desolation. Starvation and hunger loom before me as a giant spectre. My soul withers and perishes.
Reader 2: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit for each month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22: 1-2)
Reader 1: I am not worthy of God’s love. I have not lived as I should have lived. I am impoverished in spirit and soul.
Reader 2: The throne of God and of the Lamb is in the city and all God’s people worship God, they will see God’s face and God’s name shall be written in their hearts and souls. God’s Son will heal their every wound so that they can stand before the throne of God’s grace, receiving light and forgiving love.
Reader 1: How shall I come before the Lord?
Reader 2: Come humbly. Bow down before the love of God. Feel the warmth of forgiveness and healing love flooding over you.
Reader 1: Please bless me, O Lord of Life.
Reader 2: God’s peace is given freely to you. Now you are called to be a blessing to others by serving God. AMEN.

Beloved of God, go to be a blessing. Bring the good news of forgiveness and healing to this hurting, lonely world. Bring hope to all, for God’s love is poured out for all God’s people.AMEN.


The suggested color for this Sunday is WHITE or GOLD

Focus on Easter 6:

Although the traditional color for this day is white or gold, I suggest using the medium green fabric as the background for this worship center.

Surface: Use four risers; three on the worship center, with the tallest one in the center; and two others toward the front of the worship center. The fourth riser will be in front of the worship center.

Fabric: Cover the worship center in green fabric. From the center riser, place a long strip (about 45” wide) of shiny light blue fabric - this may be suit lining fabric. Let it flow down from the center riser, across the worship center, and down over the riser in front of the worship center, puddling on the floor in front of the center (representing the water of life)

Candles: Place a large white candle on the tallest riser on the worship center, or in front of the cross, representing Christ. Smaller candles may be placed throughout the worship center.

Flowers/Foliage: You may use small, flowering plants, fruit, on the other risers and on each side of the blue fabric, representing abundance. Do not overload the setting with plants and foliage, just give an impression of fruitfulness and brightness.

About the Author

Nancy C. Townley

  Nancy C. Townley was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She consulted on visual arts, drama read more…
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