Worship Connection: September 4, 2022

January 1st, 2022

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost


Call to Worship #1:
L: God is like a potter who shapes and forms our lives.
P: We have been called to be faithful to God’s intention.
L: God seeks for us to be vessels of compassion and service.
P: We have been given multiple opportunities to witness to God’s love.
L: Come, let us worship the Creator who has given us life.
P: Let us send our praises to God who knows us totally and loves us. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: We find it easy to say, “Yes, we will follow Christ.”
P: But sometimes discipleship makes uncomfortable demands on us.
L: Yet, in all of this, Christ calls us continually to follow.
P: He is present with us at all times.
L: Let us place our trust always in his guidance.
P: Let us open our hearts to his will and his ways. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2253, “Water, River, Spirit, Grace,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

L: In the midst of new light, God created all that is - the earth, the waters, living creatures. God called all creation good and blessed it.
P: Yet, human creation rejected God’s compassion. Humanity decided that it would go its own way - living in fear and anger rather than peace and hope.
L: Lord, hear our cries! Heal our wounds.

Choir: Singing “Water, River, Spirit, Grace” through one time, then continuing to sing quietly as the next passages are read.

L: Sweep over us again, O God. Cleanse and purify us that we may serve you.
P: Open our hearts to hear your healing words of love.
L: Let us be the people of your beloved Creation.
P: Let us worship you in spirit and truth, in compassion and love. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4:
L: Look around. What wonders we behold!
P: We see others, gathered here to worship and praise God.
L: Each person here is a unique, beloved creation of God.
P: Each person here is given special gifts and talents by God.
L: Come, let us worship God who has blessed us so mightily.
P: Let us praise God with our whole hearts, souls, minds, and spirits. AMEN.


Opening Prayer:
Lord, from the very beginning of your creation, you breathed your love in to all that you made. You gave us the breath of life and asked us to be good stewards of all creation. You placed your trust and love in us. Help us to turn again with joyful hearts to you, placing our trust in all that you have done for us. Let us be a blessing for you.AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Forgiving God, we have messed up in so many ways. You gave us a wonderful world, filled with beauty, power, and majesty, and we have ravaged it - tearing away at its gifts with our own greed and cowardice. We have not treated this world or one another with compassionate love. We have turned our backs on situations of need in which we could have been instruments of help, healing, and peace. We have neglected service to others and have focused our lives on accumulating things and status. We have chased after false gods - greed, power, fame. You are the potter, O Lord. You fashioned us, but we focused on developing our flaws rather than working with our strengths. Please forgive us, Lord. Refashion us to be your people, celebrating your love in service to others. For we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
God’s loving choice for you is peace and hope. God has fashioned you to be God’s people. Rejoice! For God is with you, reaching out to heal and care for you.AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
We are broken vessels, O God. You have watched us. You have called to us. You have blessed us and yet we have chosen our own flawed ways. Throughout the ages you have sent your prophets to help us return to you. Some people heeded your call and turned again to lives of love and witness. But others chose not to listen. Please help us to tune our ears and our hearts to you, O God. Help us to seek peace and justice rather than greed and complacency. As we have gathered here this morning to listen to your word, to sing praise, to offer our prayers, help us to remember that you hold us dearly in your hands. You cherish our lives and listen to our cries. You respond to our needs. Enable us to place our trust in you totally, that we may faithfully serve you all of our days. In Jesus’ Name, we pray.AMEN.

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2139 “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me,” offer the following presentation as directed.]

Choir: Singing the refrain of “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me” through 3 times.

L: What’s the wonder that has come our way? What’s the good news for us today?
P: King Jesus is giving his love to the poor? He’s telling about God caring for all of us!

Soloist: singing verse 1 of “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me,” with the choir entering in on the “all” portion.

L: He’s come to give us a lesson in love.
P: He’s come to set us on the straight path again.

Soloist: singing verse 2 of “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me,” with the choir entering in on the “all” portion.

L: He knows when we worship in spirit and truth.
P: And he knows when we are just going through the motions, and not really meaning our words of praise and our prayers.

Soloist: singing verse 3 of “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me” with the choir entering in on the “all” portion.

L: King Jesus brings hope and peace to all. We are called to be people of service and compassion.
P: We are blessed to witness God’s healing and restoring love. Praise be to God who has called us and blessed us in such a mighty way!

All: Singing the refrain of “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me.”


Let the joy and love of the Lord flood into your hearts and lives today. Let this day of discipleship be a day of celebration as you go into the world to serve God. Go forth in peace and joy in all that you do.AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is GREEN.

Note: It is a good idea to place a sentence or two in the weekly bulletin outlining the meaning of the symbols you have used in today’s artistic elements.

Place several risers on the worship center. One, approximately 6” high, should be placed at the center back. Others, about 3-4” high, may be staggered over the surface of the worship center. Place two risers in front of the worship center, the taller one being about 6” below the surface of the worship center; the other about 6” below the taller riser.

Cover the worship center with green fabric, including the risers in front of the worship center. Place a long strip, about 10-12” wide, of burlap or some other rough fabric across the worship. The strip may be about 8 yards long, and it should weave back and forth across the risers and down onto the risers on the worship center, finally trailing out onto the floor.

Place one large white pillar candle, about 10” high, on the worship center in front of the tallest riser on which the cross is placed. Use votive candles in the terra cotta pots as described below.

For this setting I recommend “spiky” plants, such as Mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, or other succulent plants, including jade. Two plants may be placed on either side of the cross. Larger plants may be placed on the floor near the risers to break the line of the fabric.

You may use rocks and wood, but let them be sparse. Use them only to create a change in texture.

On the riser to the right of the cross, place a terra cotta clay pot tipped over on its side, facing diagonally toward the front of the worship center. Place a votive candle in this pot. Place some broken pieces of pottery and some broken clay pots on the other risers. On the shorter of the two risers in front of the worship center, place two terra cotta clay pots, one standing up and the other tipped over on its side. Insert a candle into the one that is turned over. You may want to gather some large pieces of broken clay pots to scatter on the worship center as you desire.

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