Worship Connection: September 12, 2021

July 24th, 2021

16th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38

Call to Worship #1

L: The heavens shout of God’s glory!
P: There is so much beauty in this earth and in the heavens!
L: Day by day we are reminded of God’s creative love.
P: Day by day we are blessed with large and small visions of God’s glory.
L: Come, let us praise the God of creation.
P: Let us sing and shout our praises of thanksgiving and joy to God. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: We are called to follow Jesus.
P: But following Jesus isn’t easy.
L: No. It will demand our dedication and our energy.
P: It will change our whole lives.
L: Come, all of you. Come and learn of the Lord Jesus.
P: Lord, we come, seeking your wisdom and your guidance. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2165, “Cry of My Heart”, offer the following call to worship as directed]

L: This day Jesus is calling to you.
P: Lord, help us to hear your call.
L: This is a time of decision.
P: Lord, help us to be strong and faithful.
Soloist: singing “Cry of My Heart” through one time
L: Come, let us celebrate God’s love.
P: Let us rejoice in the call of our Savior.
L: Teach us your ways, O Lord,
P: Help us to be closer to you. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4

L: Just as the heavens burst forth in praise to God…..
P: We celebrate God’s abundant and powerful love.
L: Day by day, and night by night…..
P: God watches over us, loving and healing us.
L: Come, celebrate with joy the love of God.
P: Open our hearts and spirits, Lord, and teach us your ways. AMEN

PRAYERS, READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer

Lord, we have come this day to hear your words of healing love and hope. Enter our hearts and our spirits and teach us to follow you. Give us courage and strength to be your faithful disciples. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

Lord, it is easy for us to say that we will follow you; and then turn our backs and act as though our commitment to you does not mean anything to us. Jesus challenges us to take up our crosses, and when we don’t understand what that means, we just shrug and turn away. Forgive us for our lack of commitment and faith. Heal us of our greed and fears. Give us courage to be disciples and enable us to joyfully proclaim your healing mercies and your transformational love. In Jesus’ Name, we pray.. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

Receive the healing love of Jesus. Give your lives to his service by serving and caring for others. Be at peace. AMEN

Pastoral Prayer

God of mercy and of hope, be with us this day. We have gathered here to learn of your will for us. Sometimes it is not easy for us to realize that if we are to follow Jesus we will have to make a total commitment to his ways. We will have to actually put into practice the good news of compassionate love, and healing mercies. Our hearts are filled with situations concerning family and friends, concerning neighborhood and world. We seek your healing mercies for these situations. Help us to remember that the same healing mercy is offered to each one of us.. Give us strength and courage to really follow Jesus. For it is in His Name, we pray. AMEN.

Reading

Reader 1: singing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” (TFWS p. 2129).

Reader 2: What? You’ve decided to follow Jesus? What in the world do you mean by that?

Reader 1: Well, I’m not really sure. I just want to be the kind of person who would make Jesus proud. I want to help others and that kind of thing.

Reader 2: So, you want to do good things to make Jesus like you and be proud of you?

Reader 1: No…..not exactly. It’s hard to put into words. I want to do the kind of things that Jesus would want me to do, you know, like helping people, and being a person of peace. I want to feel some joy in my life…..and maybe I can find this joy by being a Jesus-person.

Reader 2: Following Jesus isn’t easy, you know! You really have to make a commitment. Maybe what you need is to seek Jesus’ healing for yourself - to let go of the sorrow and fear in your life. Maybe when those things are gone, following Jesus won’t be so hard.

Reader 1: I just want to make a difference.

Reader 2: You can. Learn forgiveness, patience, mercy, justice, kindness. Be willing to “go the extra mile” in helping someone. And do it, not because you want to make Jesus proud, but because, as a follower, it is what you do….live by the words you speak.

Reader 1: “…..no turning back…….no turning back.”

Reader 2: That’s right. The road of hope and peace is before you. The journey awaits your first step…….no turning back…….no turning back..

Benediction

Go in peace and know that God walks with you on this journey. Bring the good news of Christ’s healing love to all whom you meet. AMEN.

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for this Sunday is: GREEN

SURFACE: Place a 10” riser on the back left side of the worship center. Place a riser in front of the worship center.

FABRIC: Cover the entire worship center in dark green cloth so that it puddles to the floor in front of the worship center. Create a fabric path, using muslin fabric. Either paint footprints, or have someone paint the bottoms of their feet, using acrylic paint, and carefully walking the length of the muslin fabric. This fabric should be about 6 yards in length. Take the “footpath” placing the head of the fabric (destination point), under the brass cross, bring it across the table and down onto the riser in front of the table and from there, onto the floor, spreading it out toward the congregation.

CANDLES Place one 10” white pillar candle on the right side of the worship center. Place several votive candles on the “path”

FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: On the right side of the worship center place a pot of ivy, trailing over the side and down the front, but make sure that it is behind the white pillar candle..

ROCKS/WOOD: Place rocks here and there along the “footpath”, on the worship center, on the riser and on the floor.

OTHER: Place a brass cross on the 10” riser.

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