Worship Connection: June 19, 2022

January 21st, 2022

Second Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 1 Kings 19:1-15a; Psalm 42; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39


Call to Worship #1

L: Come, let us worship the Lord our God, whose love quenches our thirst.
P: We are parched and thirsty for God’s healing word.
L: Let us praise God who is with us always.
P: We seek the one who will not desert us.
L: Let us open our hearts to God who calls us by name.
P: We come, seeking reconciled relationship with God. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: Break down the barriers that divide us, O Lord.
P: Tear down the walls of hostility and fear.
L: Melt the barbed wire of anger and hatred.
P: Breathe new life into your people, O God.
L: For we are called to newness in Christ Jesus.
P: We are all brothers and sisters through God’s love.
L: Come, let us worship the God who removes obstacles from our paths.
P: Let us praise God who seeks to unite us in peace. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2214, “Lead Me, Guide Me”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
Choir: singing refrain of “Lead Me, Guide Me”
L: We are weak and need God’s strength and power to lift us up.
P: Lord, we come to you our weakness and fear.
Choir: singing refrain of “Lead Me, Guide Me”
L: So many times we are tempted to take the easy way, the way of hurt and anger rather than peace.
P: Lord, we come to you seeking your guidance on the pathways of peace and hope.
Choir: singing refrain of “Lead Me, Guide Me”
L: Though we are lost, Christ calls to us.
P: Help us, O Lord, to hear and respond to your call.
All: singing refrain of “Lead Me, Guide Me.

Call to Worship #4:
L: We come to you this day, with burdens and cares in our hearts.
P: Lord, take these burdens from us and ease our souls.
L: We come to you this day, with fear and uncertainty about the future.
P: Lord, calm our fears and help us to place our trust in you.
L: Come, let us worship God whose love is abundant.
P: Let us praise the God of our salvation who watches over us always. AMEN.


Opening Prayer:
Open our hearts today, O Lord, to feel the powerful strength and love you have for us. Help us to listen, not only with our ears, but with our spirits for your words of compassion and healing. Enable us to become more faithful disciples for you; for we ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Life is sometimes like a giant spider web. We seem to get caught and entangled in its threads, not knowing which way to turn or how to extricate our selves from the dilemmas in which we are trapped. Lord, you know that so many of these dilemmas and burdens are of our own creation, coming out of our stubbornness and fear. We find it much easier to turn our back on people in need, or just write a check and hope that the problems go away. Forgive us when we decide not to become involved in the solution, when we would rather back off from helping and turn and run for cover. Give us an extra measure of courage and strength along with your forgiving love, that we may again place our whole trust in you. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
Let go of the demons that bind you in sorrow. Christ has broken those bands and reaches out in love for you. Receive God’s loving blessings, for they are given especially for you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
Lord, we hear the stories in the Bible of Christ’s forgiving love. We look at them from a distance, believing that we could never be forgiven by God. We want to measure our sins on a grand scale, but in truth it is the little ways in which we disown you and run from your presence that form the foundation of our sins. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to be open to the needs of others. We have so much that we can do, and sometimes, O Lord, we are overwhelmed by the needs. We become paralyzed and fearful. Ease our hearts and give us strength and courage to be active witnesses for you. Give us such faith that we may place our whole trust in you. This day we have brought before you the names of people near and dear to us to be lifted in prayer. Some of these needs are for healing, for comfort, for solace; others are prayers of celebration and joy. All of these things we offer to you. Help us to truly believe in your abiding love in answer to all prayers that we willingly place our lives in your care. Heal and restore us; for we ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Reader: There, that should do it. I think that I have erected enough barricades and barriers to prevent anyone from harming me and my family. We will be safe, come hell or high water. We don’t have to fear. We have full provisions, weapons, blankets, food, portable radio, cards and games to play, candles. We can ride out any storm. Bring it on!
Voice: God is waiting for you to act in ways of peace.
Reader: Peace! Hah! I don’t have time for that kind of talk! This is war! My way of life is being threatened!
Voice: God is waiting for you to place your trust in God’s care.
Reader: Right! Where has that ever gotten me? You hear the news and see the terror. It’s everywhere. I intend to make sure that it doesn’t come here.
Voice: The terror has won. It has laid claim to your life.
Reader: No it hasn’t. I’m just cautious. I don’t want to be caught unprotected, unready.
Voice: Your fear is growing; blanketing you in deep darkness. Speak your fears!
Reader : I’ve already told you. I don’t want things to change. I have worked hard for everything I have and now it could be all wiped out.
Voice: God will provide for you.
Reader: I don’t think so. My sins are too many. God doesn’t want anything to do with me. I stand here behind my walls - God doesn’t break through - God doesn’t hear my cries.
Voice: Do not be afraid. God is with you. Let your heart find rest in the Lord.
Reader: But what will happen? I am so frightened!
Voice: Come out from behind the barriers of fear and terror. Place your trust in the Lord. Build walls of peace; set tables with the food of compassion and understanding; look at one another as God’s beloved children. Know that God is with you.
Reader: Help me, Lord. Help me…….please, help me.
Voice: God will always help you.

God has poured blessing after blessing upon you. You are healed and sent forth to serve in God’s world. Go in peace and may God’s peace always be with you. AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is Green.

Author's Note: Today is an interesting mix of scripture. As I think about it I focus on the journey of discipleship, to those in need, moving past barriers and hostility to faithfulness to Christ, represented by the cross. The “footprints” are our own, as we journey.

Place a riser on the worship center, about 6” high. A cross will be set upon this riser. Place a riser in front of the worship center about 6” lower than the main level.

Cover the entire worship center in green fabric. Taking some muslin fabric or some room darkening fabric (about 30“ wide and 15 feet long), place foot prints on it, leading the full length of the fabric as though they are walking on a path. You may have footprints of just one person, or of several people. If you are using various colors of acrylic paint, make sure that you have plenty of soap and water handy for cleaning the feet and also make sure that the paint does not get on clothing. Tempera paint works well, but I am not sure if it stains clothing. Place the “footprint” strip in front of the cross and down the center of the worship center, across the riser in front, and trailing out onto the floor.

You may use candles in any way you choose.

Use some leafy plants, such as ivy and fern, on the floor at the base of the worship center.

At various places, slightly overlapping the “footprint” fabric, place broken wood, rocks, bricks, even some barbed wire (but handle this very carefully)

Make sure you have a cross to set on the top riser on the worship center. If you are going to add some barbed wire to the setting, handle it carefully, and when the worship is over, dispose of it properly.

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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