Worship Connection: June 12, 2016

May 28th, 2013

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Kings 21:1-21a; Psalm 5:1-8; Galatians 2:15-21; Luke 7:36–8:3


Call to Worship #1:
L: In the quiet of the morning, as we stir to greet the day...
P: God hears our sighs and gives strength to our spirits.
L: In the busyness of the day, as we work and strive...
P: God goes with us, giving us courage and confidence.
L: In the tiredness of the evening, as we begin to settle down...
P: God is present, refreshing and comforting our souls.
L: In the hush of night, as sleep overcomes our weariness...
P: There is God, watching over us with patient love.
L: Thanks be to God throughout all our days.

Call to Worship #2:
L: God’s love is extravagant!
P: God pours out God’s love as a cleansing lotion for our weary souls.
L: God’s love is healing!
P: God’s healing balm soothes and comforts us.
L: God’s love is generous!
P: God continually reaches out for us and helps us throughout all our lives.
L: Thanks be to God for such extravagant, healing, generous love.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE UNITED METHODIST HYMNAL, p. 367 “He Touched Me”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
L: We enter the house of the Lord as people upon whom God’s love has been lavished.
P: God, through Jesus Christ, has healed and restored us.
L: We enter this time of worship in gratitude for all God’s blessings.
P: God, through Jesus Christ, reaches out to comfort and bless us.
L: O how wondrous is God’s touch in our lives!
P: How magnificent are God’s blessings and love for us.
ALL: singing “He Touched Me”, UMH p. 367

Call to Worship #4:
L: Jesus said that we should love each other as he loves each of us.
P: God rejoices at our love and compassion for others.
L: Sometimes we let prejudice and fear get in our way.
P: But when we truly confess our sins, God will forgive us.
L: Let us worship God and rejoice in God’s love.
P: Let us praise God who forgives and restores us to life. AMEN.


Opening Prayer:
Open our hearts today, Lord, to feel the power of your extravagant love for us. Help us to be free of our fears and prejudices so that we may see your love in action in the lives of others. Comfort and calm our spirits in readiness for us to become your disciples. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Gracious and Forgiving Lord, in these times when we feel pressured from all sides about how we feel about people who differ from us, we need your hand of love and patience. From every corner we are confronted with issues of terror and fear. We draw into ourselves, fearful that someone is out to get us, to hurt us, to make our lives miserable. Life is so much more complicated today than it was in previous years. You, too, Lord, were confronted by fear and alienation. You stood strong in the presence of prejudice and alienation, voicing support for those who lived lives of love and compassion. Forgive us when we so easily are offended and take sides, perceiving that we are personally being threatened. Help us to take the time to get to know others, to see you at work within their lives. Open our hearts to feel the healing power of your love. Strengthen us to truly be your disciples, proclaiming your transforming love through our words and our deeds. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
In this world of fear and hurt, God is with us, offering healing balm and comforting peace. We are loved by God, even though we are imperfect. We are loved eternally. Be at peace and rest in God’s complete love. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
Patient God, how it must cause you sorrow when we erect walls of fear and condemnation when you would have us build bridges of peace. We want to hold onto things and push away people who differ from us. We want to grasp and grab for all that we can get, not understanding that it is we who have proclaimed this to be a place where all are welcome. In the midst of the turmoil and terror stands your church, built with love and hope for healing. Let us truly be the church you have called us to be. Help us to break down barriers that divide people and build bridges of extravagant love that others may know of your love for us. As we have brought before you this day the names and situations of our dear ones who need your healing touch, may we be reminded that healing needs to take place in our hearts also. Surround us with your care. Bring us to places of hope and compassion, offering to build rather than demolish, offering to listen rather than pronounce our own ideas. Remind us that you are the God of all the people, seeking hope and healing for each one. For it is in this extravagant love of yours that we have our very hope and lives. AMEN.

L: In the midst of fear, we are called to be the church of hope.
P: Call us to be lovingly bold in our faith.
L: In the midst of sorrow, we are called to be the church of comfort.
P: Call us to be lovingly compassionate in our deeds.
L: In the midst of alienation, we are called to be the church of unity
P: Call us to be lovingly responsive to the needs of others.
L: In the midst of anger, we are called to be the church of peace.
P: Call us to be those who would build bridges of peace and communication.
L: Help us hear the cries of those in need.
P: Help us feel the sorrow of those who are lost and alone.
L: Help us reach out to each other in your love.
P: Help us to be the church of trust and witness to your will, O God. AMEN.

As God’s extravagant love has been poured out for you and on you, go now into God’s world offering healing hope and love to all, building bridges of peace wherever you go.AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is Green.

Author's Note: This Sunday I have been struck with the images of extravagant love and the need to build bridges of healing rather than barriers which cause alienation. So the worship setting will reflect this concept. The break in the wall represents the power of Jesus’ love to break through our barriers, and the jar/pitcher of ointment, spilled out over and under the bricks and rubble, represent the extravagant compassion of Christ.

Place several risers, about 3” in height, on the worship center. One of the risers should be at the center back - on this riser you will place a cross. Place a riser in front of the worship center, somewhat to the right.

Although the traditional color for this day is green, I am suggesting that you cover the worship center with burlap, making sure that it covers the riser in front and puddles on the floor. A small piece of shiny pale blue fabric will be needed for the pitcher.

Place a 4” pillar candle, color of your choice, on each of the other two risers on the worship center.

Use “spiky” plants on the floor in front of the worship center, and one or two small plants on the worship center itself.

If it is possible, find old bricks and build a wall that goes across the worship center (the wall should be about 3-4 bricks high). At the center of the wall, remove the bricks so that they look as though they have been broken down - the Cross on the riser should appear behind this break in the wall. Other rough stones and bricks should be placed as though they are rubble on the worship center and on the riser in front of the worship center.

Place a terra cotta bowl or pitcher, resting over on its side, slightly in front of the broken opening of the wall, as though its contents have been poured out. You may use a piece of pale blue shiny fabric coming from the pitcher and spilling out over and under the bricks.

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