Worship Connection: June 30, 2019

April 5th, 2019

Third Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1:
L: Great is our God and greatly to be praised!
P: The whole earth reflects God’s power and might.
L: When we recall the wonders of God’s creation….
P: We rejoice at the awesome complexity of it all.
L: Lord, you have brought us up from fear to hope.
P: Let us worship and praise God for all God’s faithfulness. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: We gather here today to praise God for God’s mighty acts in our lives.
P: There are many people who do not believe in God’s presence.
L: We are called to learn of God’s love and power.
P: We are called to proclaim God’s transforming love to all people.
L: Let us worship God who is with us now and forever.
P: Let us open our hearts, souls, and spirits to hear God’s word. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2137 “Would I Have Answered When You Called”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
L: Following Jesus is difficult. So many things have laid claim to our lives.
P: We don’t know if we can let go and truly follow him.
Soloist: Singing verse 1 of “Would I Have Answered When You Called”
L: Lord, search our hearts and speak to our spirits. Encourage us to freely follow you.
P: Help us to be dependable disciples, joyfully proclaiming your transforming power and love.
ALL: Singing verse 4 of “Would I Have Answered When You Called”

Call to Worship #4:
L: Welcome to worship today. Bring your joys and burdens to the Lord.
P: For God hears the cries of our hearts and heals our wounded souls.
L: Remember the wondrous deeds that God continues to perform in your life.
P: Let us be thankful for all the mercies and tenderness that God offers to us.
L: Come, praise the Lord with all your heart and soul.
P: Let our voices raise in a powerful concert of praise and thanksgiving. AMEN.

PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer:
Lord, we want to follow you whoever you lead. Reach out to us this day, stirring our souls and spirits with the winds of your power that we may faithfully be your disciples. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Merciful Lord, we know that you want the best for us. It must really disappoint you when we fail to be the kind of devoted followers that you need. You know of the needs in this world and the capability that we have of meeting those needs and bringing words of hope and healing through actions of compassion and justice. Yet we are hesitant in our commitment to you and to ministries of peace. We want good things to happen. We just aren’t sure that we are up to the tasks you set before us. Forgive us when we so easily doubt your call, your presence, and your abiding love. Lift us up from lives of self-pity and self-centeredness, and bring us to you with hearts filled with joy, praising you for opportunities to witness to your love in our service to your people. Heal us and restore us, for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
Although following Jesus is difficult, you can be assured that God is always with you, bringing you encouragement, strength, and peace. Rise up and follow the one who offers his life for you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
We need your healing love today, O Lord. Create in us a new heart of compassion, as Christ has called us to be witnesses of redemption rather than alienation. Hold us gently. Heal us. Enable us to truly be your disciples, O Christ. AMEN.

Litany/Reading:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2133 “Give Me A Clean Heart”, offer this dramatic reading as directed]
Reader 1: I’m not good enough to follow you, O Lord. I haven’t been the kind of person that you would seek for your disciple. I’ve lied, cheated, been hostile to others. I have not welcomed people who are different from me.
Reader 2: I’ve tried my best to be a good person. I have faithfully participated in ministries of justice and help. I have worked tirelessly so that others may have hope and peace. I am truly ready to be your disciple.
Reader 3: I get a picture of disciples in my mind that is a group of people who are smiling and following Jesus along the dusty roads and green hills of Galilee. It seems nice, just walking with Jesus. Discipleship shouldn’t be a problem for me. I can fit it into my schedule, I am sure.
Reader 4: I’ve seen those “disciples” before. They talk a good game, but when it comes to really being part of ministries of justice, they don’t want to get their hands dirty. They aren’t truly disciples. They are just playing a game. I watch out for them. They are hypocrites!
Voice: Come, follow me. I will heal your wounds, give you strength, stand with you, help you to bring peace, hope, and justice to others. But I warn you, the path is not easy. There is no simple way to be a disciple. It means truly dedicating your life to loving others. So again, I invite you to come, and follow me.
Soloist: singing “Give Me A Clean Heart” through one time.
Small group: singing “Give Me A Clean Heart” through one time.
Congregation: singing “Give Me A Clean Heart” through one time.

Benediction:
You have been healed and restored in Christ Jesus. Go in peace, proclaiming the good news of God’s absolute, eternal love through ministries of peace and hope. AMEN.

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for this Sunday is Green.

Surface: Place a central riser on the worship center (on this riser a cross will be placed).

Fabric: Cover the worship center with green fabric. Use a long strip of shelf-lining paper, white, on which you have placed foot prints, place it under the cross at the center of the worship center and let it flow across the center and down onto the floor.

Candles: On either side of the cross, place white pillar candles, about 6” high

Flowers/Foliage: On either side of the candles you may use leafy plants or small bouquets of flowers. At the base of the worship center on either side of the footprint strip, place ferns or ivy, or other green leafy plants.

Rocks/Wood: Place some rocks at the base of the footprint strip to hold it in place. You may also scatter small stones on the footprint strip, being careful not to obliterate the footprints themselves.

Other: Use a brass cross on the center riser on the worship center.

About the Author

Nancy C. Townley

Nancy C. Townley is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She consults on visual arts, drama, liturgy and read more…
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