Worship Connection: August 30, 2020

July 18th, 2020

13th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28


Call to Worship #1:
L: Give thanks to the Lord!
P: We will sing God’s praises!
L: Seek the Lord and God’s strength.
P: We continually seek God’s presence in our lives.
L: Remember all the wonderful things that God has done.
P: Praise the Lord! AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: How shall we get along with one anther in this world?
P: The Apostle Paul said that our love should be genuine. We should hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good.
L: We should honor one another with kindness and compassion.
P: We should always be strong in our enthusiasm to serve God.
L: Come, let us joyfully worship God in all that we do.
P: Let us praise God in our words, our thoughts, and our actions. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2242, “Walk with Me,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

L: God is calling us today to be a part of the healing ministry for this world.
P: But we aren’t sure we are the ones for this job.
L: Moses received God’s call and he wasn’t sure either. Peter was so afraid of what was going to happen to Jesus that he tried to prevent Jesus from going to Jerusalem. All of us experience concerns and questions when it comes to following God.
P: It may be difficult, but we will place our trust in God’s guidance.

Choral Ensemble: singing verse 1 and 2 of “Walk with Me”

L: Come, let us offer our lives in service to God.
P: Let us praise God and serve by helping others in need. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4:
L: Have you heard God’s call in your life?
P: We’re not sure. Sometimes we think we know what God wants us to do; but at other times things are not very clear.
L: Place your trust in the Lord. God is with you always.
P: Lord, it is a scary thing to do--to just place our trust in you.
L: God is with you. You will be safe.
P: Thanks be to God who watches over us and guides us. AMEN.


Opening Prayer
Lord, we have gathered here today to hear your word for us. We marvel at the witness of Moses who received your call to liberate your enslaved people. We also struggle with the issues of safety and security that plagued Peter when Jesus set his sights on entering Jerusalem. Be with us this day, guiding our spirits and opening our hearts to hear your forgiveness and call to us. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession
Lord, perhaps your voice issuing forth from a burning bush is what we need to shake us from our complacency. We have a hard time comprehending your call to us because we feel so inadequate to respond in faithful service. So we look to others to do the work. We are happy to support their efforts with our funds and our limited interest. Now, Lord, we need to take the next step into actual service to you. Forgive our slowness of action and heart, O Lord. Quicken our spirits to accept the call you have for us. Give us courage and strength to do your will and help others in need. We ask these things in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

Words of Assurance
In the power of the burning bush, in the quiet stillness, in the everyday noises of living, God is calling to each one of us, telling us to trust in the gifts with which God has bestowed on us. You are beloved and blessed by God to be a blessing to others. Rejoice!

Pastoral Prayer
Lord, we love the drama of the burning bush. Here is the quaking Moses, telling God that God has made a mistake. Moses does not believe that he can perform the task to which God has called him. But God knows better. God will provide the support structure for this awesome task. We are just like Moses. We tell God that God has made a mistake; we are not able or worthy to undertake the task of hope and peace for this world. We mumble about responsibilities and commitments, but God chides us to be in service by helping others. God will give us the strength, the tools, the support that we need. What do we need to fear? This day we have brought before God the names of people and situations that lay heavily on our hearts. We feel powerless to bring the healing words of hope, and so we offer these situations to God for God’s compassionate mercy. Our trust in God is rightly placed. For God hears our prayers and will respond. We can count on God to be present with us and with all those in need. Now it is our turn to respond to God’s call with a fervent yes, trusting in God’s presence and guidance. Let us go forth to serve joyfully and confidently in God’s world. AMEN.

[Note: Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2139, “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me,” have a soloist or small choral ensemble sing verse 1 with the refrain at the beginning of this reading and again at the end just prior to the pastor’s statement.]

Soloist: singing verse 1 with refrain of “Oh I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me”

Reader 1:
God wants me to work in the local food pantry, helping stock shelves and bag groceries. It’s only one day a month. I think I can handle that.

Congregation: I know the Lord has laid His hand on me!

Reader 2:
I have been asked to offer one morning a month at the local library reading to small children. I have always loved to read, and my own kids say I’m a very dramatic reader. I should be able to do this.

Congregation: I know the Lord has laid His hand on me!

Reader 3:
Several people from our church have just come home from the hospital, and the pastor wondered if I might be able to find several people to help prepare meals for a couple of days. I love to cook and am always the one to organize the church potluck suppers. I can do this!

Congregation: I know the Lord has laid His hand on me!

Reader 4:
My friend received a call from the battered women’s shelter in our community. They need some clothing and personal items, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. She asked if I would like to be part of a new group that will gather these supplies and deliver them to the shelter. I always have more than I need and would be willing to help gather supplies. I know I can help with this!

Congregation: I know the Lord has laid His hand on me!

Reader 5:
I wish I could do something. I am in a wheelchair and have a hard time getting around. So I’m home most of the time, knitting or crocheting items for family and friends. A neighbor called and asked if she supplied the yarn would I be willing to knit some hats for the cancer victims at the local cancer center. You know how cold it gets here during the winter and most of them will be losing their hair due to chemotherapy or radiation. That’s something I could do! I love to knit and crochet and that would be a way to help someone. The neighbor said she would deliver the yarn, pick up the hats, and deliver them to the center. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Congregation: I know the Lord has laid His hand on me!

Soloist/choral ensemble: singing verse 1 with refrain of “Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me”

Pastor: How has the Lord’s hand been placed on your heart today? Is there a way you could make a difference?

Go boldly into the world in the confidence that God goes with you, guiding your steps in paths of peace and healing. Bring the good news of God’s love to all you meet. Go in peace. AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is: GREEN
[Note: The following setting will take some advanced planning. You should have photographs of some of the ministries and mission work in which your church is involved, such as a food pantry, thrift shop, work with children and youth, work with the elderly, environmental work, anything in which people can participate. A list of opportunities for service should be included in the bulletin so that people can begin to think about ways in which to serve as they enter the most active portions of the church year.]

Place a 10” riser in the center of the table. Place two 6” risers to the right and left of the center, slightly forward from the 10” riser. Place two 3” risers to the right and left of the two 6” risers and slightly forward.

Cover the worship center with green fabric, so that it drapes to the floor.

In front of each riser, place a votive candle.

Place two large leafy plants on the floor at the corners of the worship center to soften the edges of the fabric.

Not necessary for this setting.

Place a brass cross on the center 10” riser. Place photographs on the 6” risers and the 3” risers. These should be large photos (smallest would be 8x10”) on each of these risers. These are pictures of your church’s mission and ministries. If you have more than four in which you are involved, take more pictures and place them on the worship center. If you wish, you may add additional risers in front of the worship center, placing the additional pictures on them. Place a votive candle in front of each picture (the candle represents the divine spark and light in all that we do).

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