Worship Connection: October 6, 2024

August 1st, 2021

20th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Job 1:1; 2:1-10; Psalm 26 (or Psalm 25); Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16


Call to Worship #1

L: Praise be to God who has called us together.
P: We come here seeking healing and hope.
L: Open your hearts to God’s redeeming love.
P: Help us to hear your words, O Lord, and follow your ways.
All: AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: In the midst of struggle and strife, God is with us.
P: Praise be to God for God’s steadfast presence.
L: Even though many things in life hurt and disappoint us, God is with us.
P: We seek God’s mercy and grace to heal our wounded souls.
L: Come, bring your needs and wants to God, for God will hear your cries and restore your souls.
P: Praise be to God for mercy, peace, and hope. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2236 "Gather Us In", using the first two verses of the song, offer the following call to worship as directed]

L: Come, all who are weary and burdened. It is here that you will find rest.
P: We come, bringing our joys and sorrows, hopes and dreams to God.
Choir: singing verse 1 of "Gather Us In" (FWS, p. 2236)

L: Though we are different and have encountered a host of differing circumstances, God awaits us with God’s healing touch.
P: Stress and strife, sorrow and sadness claim too much of our lives.
Choir: singing verse 2 of "Gather Us In" (FSW, p. 2236)

L: Come, now is the time to give to God all the brokenness you have experienced.
P: Healing and Restoring God, touch our lives and bring us to wholeness with you. AMEN.

Call to Worship #4

L: God whose love is pouring over us, welcomes us here today.
P: Praise be to God!
L: God whose healing power is ready to bind up our wounds, welcomes us here today.
P: Praise be to God!
L: God whose transforming presence offers us hope and peace, welcomes us here today.
P: Praise be to God who loves, heals and restores us. AMEN.


Opening Prayer

Lord, we come to you today with so many things on our hearts. You call us to be in relationship of trust and love with you and you offer healing to us for those portions of our lives that are broken and injured. Help us to be open to your mercy and healing love. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

Merciful Lord, you know that we are stubborn and willful. We believe that we know the right way to do everything and to heal all the troubles of the world. We resort to extraordinary means to provide healing only to find that we have not placed our trust in your redeeming love. Our efforts fall far short of the goal of reconciliation. Forgive us our stubbornness and arrogance. Heal our wounded souls and restore hope and compassion to our relationships with you and with each other. Lift us up and cause us to serve you by serving others in this world. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

God’s love and restoring mercy are poured out for us. Receive these blessings, for we are loved by God and granted forgiveness and mercy. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

Patient God, we want to have things go well and to have everyone be happy and content, but all too often we stand in the way of peace and hope. We recognize that life is not a fantasy in which everything turns out just right. We know that there is strife and struggles and we stand in the midst of them. Our hearts and spirits carry the scars of the struggles and disappointments we have borne. Today we come to seek restoration, reconciliation, and relationship with you and with others. We want to overcome the barriers which prevent us from being people of compassion and hope. There is so much that needs to be done to aid in the cause of your peace and justice. Help us to become peacemakers and those who would bring hope. Give us courage to become disciples who follow your will and your way. For we ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. AMEN.


[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2216, "When We Are Call to Sing Your Praise" you may offer this as a Litany by making the Readers parts into a responsive statement by the congregation, or you may offer this as Reader’s Theater presentation. The Choir or a soloist sings the verses of the song as directed]

L: Sometimes we find it difficult to praise God.
Reader 1:
We want to come to God when we feel good about what is going on in our lives. We don’t want to be in a situation where our pain is etched on our faces and trembles in our voices. We are afraid of our pain and vulnerable to our sorrow.
Soloist: singing verse 1 of "When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise"
L: With pain too deep for words, with emptiness and loneliness too dark for vision, we come before God - silently crying our anguish.
Reader 2: God, accept our pain and our anguish. Hear our cries and laments. Help us in our hearts speak the words that ache in our souls. Then let us release these points of pain to you for your healing love, for your Son has walked the path of pain.
Soloist: singing verse 2 of "When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise"
L: Though the path be strewn with shadows and the way unclear, God is with us.
Reader 3: Though we cry in sorrow, we know that God hears our cries and answers our prayers. God’s mercy is ever before us, pulling us forward, healing and restoring us.
Soloist: singing verse 3 of "When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise"


Having been healed and made whole by God’s love, now go out into God’s world to be a healer and one who brings peace and hope to others. Know always that God is with you. AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is GREEN

Note: I recommend putting a brief paragraph describing or explaining the symbolism used in your visual display. These become good teaching tools for a congregation.


Risers refer to any structure or support which will raise a portion of the worship center above the main level. Some risers may be a stack of books, others may be made from wood or whatever will give the necessary support to the object which is going to be placed on the riser. I have used pieces of 2" x 4" wood, stacked on top of each other to achieve the height I desired. Most risers will be covered with fabric.

Worship Center: Because so many churches have different worship spaces, I have chosen to call the main space for worship display (worship center). It may be called an altar, a communion table, a platform - whatever is the focal point of the worship area.

Flowers/plants: I am not a "purist" if the definition means having only real flowers and plants in the chancel/worship area. I believe that there are some really beautiful silk flowers which will suffice in times when real plants are not available. However, go with the tradition of your local church. Generally speaking I like to use foliage plants (minimal or non flowering) as accent pieces. "Spiky" plants such as sansevaria, mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant, are good when you are looking for a harsh, hard, angular effect. Fern (particularly asparagas or Boston) are wonderful along with some ivy to soften the effect.

Puddling the fabric: Currently interior decorators use the technique with draperies of letting the fabric spill to the floor in a heap, sort of a puddle. It is a less formal design. Puddling the fabric means not creating even edges with the fabric, which is drawing a line, but rather softening the look by creating a "puddle".

SURFACE: Place three risers on the worship center. One riser, placed in the upper left corner as you face the table, should be about a foot tall. The second riser, about 6" tall, should be placed at the right side, toward the middle of the worship center. The third riser, about 3" tall, should be placed in the center front of the table. An additional riser, about 1' lower than the level of the worship table, should be placed in front of the worship center

FABRIC: Although the traditional color is green, I suggest covering the entire worship center with burlap fabric, making sure that it "puddles" on the floor in front of the riser. Smaller squares of green fabric (particularly dark green), approximately 12" square, can be placed on the 6", 3" and floor riser".

CANDLES: Using white pillar candles of various heights, place them to the right of the highest riser, near the center of the worship table. Votive candles may be placed on the risers as you choose.

FLOWERS/PLANTS: I do not recommend flowering plants for this setting. I would use succulent plants for the worship center itself, placing them as you see fit. However, do use them sparingly. On the floor in front of the worship center, place a large fern on the left side of the floor riser, and an ivy plant on the right side of the floor riser. These will soften the look.

ROCKS/WOOD: I recommend using stones in clusters on the worship table near the risers, and large rocks on the floor near the front riser. Wood is not necessary.

OTHER: Broken terra cotta pots, jugs, pitchers, any vessels should be placed on each of the risers, with some of the shards of broken pottery at the base with the stones. Also place broken pottery on the riser in front of the worship center. You may wish to use a terra cotta or clay jug and cups, which are whole, in some portions of the worship center. Use them sparingly, they will create a statement for wholeness, just as the broken pottery reflects brokenness. A large brass cross may be placed at the center back slightly toward the right I n the worship center.

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