Worship Connection May 29, 2022

April 8th, 2013

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1:
L: Praise the Lord, all the people!
P: For our Savior has been raised on high!
L: Jesus Christ who was crucified and has risen from the dead
P: Now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
L: Jesus will come again, bringing the fullness of God’s kingdom.
P: Praise be to our Lord! AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: Why do you look upward?
P: Our Lord has been taken away into heaven.
L: Look around you. What do you see?
P: There are so many places where the love of God is needed.
L: Look beyond you. Where will you go?
P: Christ calls to go into the world, bringing God’s healing love to all. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2115 “Christ Has Risen”, offer the call to worship as directed. At the beginning of the call to worship, have the pianist/organist play a spirited rendition of this song. You may want to use percussion instruments.]
All: singing verse 3 of “Christ Has Risen”
L: Even though people doubted, Christ has risen as he said he would.
P: All the promises he proclaimed are true. We can rely on his word.
L: Now he calls us to be people of abiding faith, reaching out to others.
P: We are called to proclaim his love and compassion throughout the world.
L: Hallelujah! Christ has risen and is seated at the right hand of God.
P: And Christ will come again in glory. Hallelujah!
All: singing verse 4 of “Christ Has Risen”

Call to Worship #4:
L: Blessings on you all this day, from our Lord Jesus Christ.
P: This is the day of his ascension. He is seated on the right hand of God.
L: Honor, Power, glory and majesty are his!
P: Let us praise him with shouts of joy!
L: We are called to be witnesses to this great wonder.
P: We are called to proclaim God’s Good News of love for all God’s people. AMEN.


PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer:
Astounding God, we come before you this day as witnesses to Christ’s ascension from this realm to the heavenly kingdom. We stand in awe and wonder at what we hear and see. Open the eyes of our hearts to see the power and truth of your words. Give us courage and joy that we might be witnesses to your eternal love through Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Lord, we are “what’s next?” people. We want to know what we are supposed to do. We journeyed through the Lenten Season, stood at the foot of the Cross, witnessed Jesus’ Resurrection and his appearances to his disciples in an upper room and on the lakeshore. Now in this day we are called to wait. That’s hard for us to do. We want to jump into some kind of action. Calm our hearts and help us to wait for the Spirit. Forgive our impatience and our lack of faith. We place our trust in your redeeming love. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
Jesus commanded the faithful ones to wait for the power from on high. Be patient. God’s love is given to you and the power of God will enable you to be witnesses for God in this world. Be of great courage. Be still. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
The watchword for this day is “Wait!” We have a hard time with that, O Lord. We want to get out and do something for you. We want to serve. We are itching to move and be about your work. Yet you call us to wait, until the spirit is given to us. We are afraid of waiting - because sometimes it means losing our enthusiasm. Give us courage and strength to prepare our spirits for your service. Help us to know that you are with us always, opening our hearts and minds to your work and your will for us. As we have gathered this day to hear of Jesus’ ascension, make us ready for your service. Help us to trust in all that Jesus said. For the time is coming, when our witness will be crucial, when our words and actions will reveal your love and healing power. Make us ready, Lord, for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Litany/Reading:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2074, “Shout to the Lord”, offer this dramatic reading as directed. If you do not have the music for the congregation, have the choir or a small ensemble sing this song. It is very powerful!]
L: Jesus has ascended to God.
P: What can we do? Where will we go? How will we live?
L: We will sing his praise and remember all that he said to us.
P: But he is gone. He is not here.
L: Do not fear. Everything he said is true. We can count on him.
P: We are called to wait - and we are called to praise him!
All (or choir/ensemble): Sing “Shout to the Lord”

Benediction:
You are called to witness to God’s love. Prepare your hearts and spirits to receive power from on high. Go into God’s world in confidence, offering healing and hope to all you meet. Go in peace and may God’s peace be with you.AMEN.


ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for this Sunday is WHITE.

Author's Note: The focus for this day is the Ascension of Jesus Christ and his command to be ready to serve. Have people write their name on a 3x5 index card. These cards will be brought forward during the service and placed on the worship center. This can be done during the early part of the service or as part of the message which suggests that we are called to be witnesses. Do not throw out the cards. Give them back to the people during the next several weeks, with the following scripture on the reverse side “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).

Surface:
Place many risers on the worship center, creating many levels. On these levels will be placed candles and names of people who are present.

Fabric:
Cover the worship center with white fabric, making sure that all risers are covered and that the fabric puddles on the floor in front of the worship center.

Candles:
Using votive candles, place them in groups of 3-5 on each of the risers on the worship center. Place a large white pillar candle on a riser in the middle of the worship center.

Flowers/Foliage:
Use a minimum of foliage or plants for this setting. I suggest using some larger plants on the floor in front of the right and left corners of the worship center. You may use some ivy as a backdrop on the worship center itself, but it is important to let the groupings of candles and the cards play a dominant role in the setting.

Rocks/Wood:
Not recommended for this setting

Other:
Place signs on the worship center, one in front of each of the risers. Each sign should contain one word, written in bold print, such as “Wait”, “Listen”, “Serve”, “Help”, “Love”, “Teach”, “Heal”, “Create” . Prepare a stack of 3x5 index cards to be given to each person in the congregation. Ask them to write their name on the card, and for the children who can‘t write, have a parent/guardian place their name on the card. Have the ushers or other designated persons collect the cards to be brought to the worship center, as a proclamation that we are called to be witnesses to God’s love and power. You will need to provide a place for people to sign the cards, pens for the signing and baskets which will be brought forward. I suggest that several people be enlisted to help place the cards on the worship center. Following the worship service, collect the cards and have the stickers containing the scripture (Acts 1:8) affixed to the reverse side. Be prepared during the next several weeks to give these back to the people who signed them.

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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