Worship Connection: June 21, 2020

May 23rd, 2020

Third Sunday After Pentecost

Scripture Readings: Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 10:24-39
Color: Green


Call to Worship #1:

L: The Lord listens to us in times of trouble and joy.
P: We call to the Lord in our anxiety and fear.
L: God will not turn away from us.
P: God will heal us and restore us.
L: Let the Lord of life enter into your spirits.
P: Lord, come to us and heal our brokenness and sorrow. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:

L: Discipleship is never easy.
P: People don’t understand when you say you want to serve the Lord.
L: They think you are peculiar, and they are fearful.
P: But the Lord is with us, giving us courage and strength.
L: There is much work that needs to be done, and we cannot be slowed down by those who don’t understand or are fearful of serving the Lord.
P: Come, Lord, inspire us with your power and presence. Be with us as we prepare to be your disciples. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2130, “The Summons,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

Soloist: singing verse 1 of “The Summons”

L: Call to us, O Lord, and ask us to come to you.
P: We come without fear, even though we do not know what the future holds for us.
L: Give us courage and strength to be your disciples.
P: Help us reach out to all those in need.

Soloist: singing verse 5 of “The Summons”

L: Lord, we will come and follow you all of our days.
P: Be present with us, O Lord, and inspire our steps in your service. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4:

L: Sometimes we just don’t understand what God wants us to do.
P: We hide in our chains of fear away from God’s call.
L: God calls us to service and freedom, and it won’t necessarily be an easy life.
P: There is so much that needs to be done. We can’t do it all.
L: That’s the beauty of it. We don’t have to do it all. We just have to try and do something to help those in need. Our example will inspire others to service, and so on it goes.
P: Lord, make us ready to be your disciples. Free us from our fears. AMEN.


Opening Prayer

Gracious and loving God, come to us in our fears and frustrations. We feel unable to serve and often beaten down by life. Give us courage and strength and help us joyfully serve you by serving others. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

Lord, we are so beaten down by life. We see the shadows all around us and shrink away from your light in our fears. We turn our backs on others because we don’t believe that we have anything to offer. Our attitudes and our actions often reflect anger and hostility rather than compassion and hope. Please forgive us, Lord. Please heal and restore us to wholeness and hope. Give us courage to be your disciples. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

Jesus does not say that discipleship is easy. He says that we are called to serve and that he will be with us. That is truly good news. Our service will be supported and encouraged by our Lord who has healed and restored us. Rejoice! For you have been called and made whole by the love of God. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

Patient Lord, how trying we must be to you sometimes. We whine and whimper about our inabilities and our lack of trust. Yet when we want something from you we shout from the rooftops and demand your attention. You quietly call us into service, not offering the road of easy service and cheap discipleship, but rather sharing with us the needs of the world and proclaiming that you will be with us always. Our ministries of faithful service are based in the knowledge of your powerful, healing presence and mercy. Give us courage, Lord, to be your disciples. Let us be bold in our proclamation of your healing mercy in our attitudes and our actions. For it is in Jesus’ Name, that we pray. AMEN.


Reader 1:
Ha! The preacher thinks we should go and serve Jesus. Does the preacher have any idea what that means, you know, leaving the comforts of home. People won’t understand what we are doing. They will think we are nuts! Even our own families won’t get it! Go and serve Jesus? Not me.

Reader 2:
Well, now, the preacher has got it right. If we sit here, or stand here, and proclaim our faith, and sing the great songs, but do nothing we are just spitting in the wind. We really need to do something. People don’t have to understand. God understands. That’s what’s really important. You’re not doing this for the approval of people; you are doing this for God.

Reader 1:
Yeh, right! Listen, God has lots of do-gooders to get things done. What makes you think you can do something special? Are you better than everyone else?

Reader 2:
No, I’m not better than anyone else. I just want to serve God. I want to act on what I say. I know it won’t be easy. That doesn’t matter. I just want to serve. You are welcome to serve also.

Reader 1:
Not me. I can’t serve. I won’t serve. My service is coming to church once a week. That’s all I have to give.

Reader 2:
Perhaps that’s enough for now. Just wait and see. Don’t close the doors to service.

Even if the whole world does not understand, go in God’s peace to bring the news of hope and healing to this world. Be at peace, for God is with you wherever you go. AMEN.


The traditional Color for today is: GREEN

[This is a very dramatic worship setting. You will want to give an explanation for the symbols of the chains and the bars in your worship bulletin.]

Place a 12” riser on the upper right corner of the worship center, diagonally facing toward the center of the table. Place a riser in front of the worship center, to the left of center.

Cover the worship center in green fabric so that all risers are covered, and let the fabric drape onto the floor. Place some tattered pieces of burlap (use some sections of about 1 yard of landscapers’ burlap) on the left side of the worship center so that it trails partly down the riser in front of the worship center and toward the right of the center on the floor.

Place a 10” white pillar candle in front of the 12” riser on which the brass cross is standing. Place groupings of 3 to 5 votive candles near the chains and bars.

No plants are recommended for this setting.

Place a pile of rocks near the chains and near the bars on the floor on the right side of the worship center.

BARS: Create a wood frame with an interior dimension of 28”. Make this frame square. It will receive the “bars” that are created from PVC pipe (8 bars, 30" high x ½ diameter). Drill holes in the wood to receive the 8 bars of pipe. Insert the bars and spray paint the whole unit with black paint. Lean these bars up against the worship center on the floor on the right side. Some of the burlap fabric should be under this “bar” setting. Place stones in front of the setting and also a grouping of 3 to 5 votive candles. These bars represent our own imprisonment in self-doubt and anxiety.
Place a large rough basket on the left side of the worship table. From the basket cascade a group of chains. These chains should be reasonably large so that they can be seen from the congregation. They may be rusted. They should cascade from the basket across the table and down onto the riser on the left side. These are the chains of our weakness and our fears.

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