Worship Connection: May 5, 2019

March 27th, 2019

Third Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20); Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1

L: Christ asked Peter if he loved him.
P: Peter affirmed three times his love of the Lord.
L: Christ asks us if we love him.
P: We affirm our love of the Lord in our worship
L: Christ calls us to demonstrate our love in service.
P: Lord, help us to witness to your love in the ways in which we care for others. AMEN

Call to Worship #2

L: Great Spirit of God, you have healed our wounds.
P: You have brought us from paths of hurt and anger.
L: You have blessed our life that we might be a blessing to others.
P: Let us worship you in great joy.
L: Let us remember the ways you have turned our mourning into dancing.
P: Let us give thanks to you forever. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2045, “Sing a New Song to the Lord”, offer the following call to worship as directed. As this is being sung, have four groups of people setting the worship area/altar. Group one group places a fishnet on the worship center. Group two placees five loaves of bread, unsliced, on the worship center. Group three places a large pillar candle (on the highest riser in the center) and three shorter pillar candles (clustered in front of the taller candle) on the worship center. Group four places three clusters of votive candles on the worship center. If it takes longer to place the items on the worship center, continue playing the song. ]

L: Come, let us sing our songs of joy to the Lord!
P: We will tell of God’s power and victorious love!
All: Singing verse one of p. 2045 “Sing a New Song to the Lord”
L: Let our voices be heard everywhere!
P: Let our songs of praise never end!
All: singing verse two of p. 2045 “Sing a New Song to the Lord”
L: Let all the earth echo the songs of God’s mighty love!
P: Let us feel the strength of God coursing through us!
All: Singing verse three of p. 2045 “Sing a New Song to the Lord”
L: Shout the good news!
P: Christ is Alive! Christ calls us! Praise be to God!
All: singing verse four of p. 2045 “Sing a New Song to the Lord”

Call to Worship #4

L: Who releases us from our bondage to sin?
P: It is God who draws us up from Sheol!
L: Who feeds and tends our lives?
P: It is the Risen Christ who nourishes us!
L: Praise be to God who has saved us!
P: Praise be to Christ who calls us to worship and serve. AMEN.


PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer

God of power and might, let your love shine on us and through us to others. Take the blindness from our eyes and our hearts. Give us the joy of knowing and serving you in all that we say, think and do. In Jesus’ Name, we pray.

Prayer of Confession

We rejoice in the wonder of your resurrection, O Christ, but then tend to sink back into our old ways of thinking, behaving, responding to people’s needs. We can dance with the angels and all humankind on Easter Sunday, but the days following the Day of Resurrection cause us to slip back into apathy or despair. Forgive us when we so easily become distracted by our own cares and worries that we ignore the needs of others around us. Forgive us when we forget your power and love for us. Charge us up, O Lord! Set our hearts to dancing! Give us a spirit for rejoicing, willing hearts and hands for helping, voices for praising you forever! AMEN.

Words of Assurance

Sing! Shout! Rejoice! Jesus calls you to serve because of his love for you. He believes in you and all the gifts you have been given! Do not be afraid. Christ is with you always.

Pastoral Prayer

Lord Jesus, we slouch in our seats. We sit back and relax. The rush of Easter is over, the excitement which carried us to Easter and to the room where Jesus appeared to the disciples is wearing off. We just aren’t sure what to do now that the journey to the Cross is completed. Help us to understand that the Cross is not our ending point, but rather the pivotal point. Help us to be people of astounding faith, who have seen the light of Resurrection, who know that you have conquered death. Fear cannot claim and bind us. You have released us to serve others and witness to the glorious good news. As we have brought the names of those near and dear to us to you in prayer, help us to feel the rejuvenating power of your love in our lives. Inspire us to move into compassionate ministries to your world. For we ask these things in the name of our Risen Lord. AMEN

Litany/Reading

L: Bring to God all the fears and anger you have.
P: God will heal your life.
L: Bring to God the sadness you feel.
P: God will heal your life.
L: Bring to God the loneliness and sorrow.
P: God will heal your life.
L: Do not be afraid, for Christ has called you.
P: Christ brings you new life.
L: Reach out in service and love to others.
P: Christ brings new life to all.
L: Rejoice, sing with joy!
P: God heals us and Christ restores our lives! Let us praise God with our whole hearts. Let us serve God by serving others. AMEN.

Benediction

You are people of the Resurrection! You know the powerful love of God! Go into God’s world proclaiming hope, peace, and joy, in the name of the Risen Lord.AMEN.


ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The suggested color for this Sunday is WHITE or GOLD.

Author's Note

A word of caution…..today is Native American Ministries Sunday. It is important, if you are doing a worship art display to be respectful of the dignity and grace of our Native American brothers and sisters. Do not carelessly adorn the worship center with token pieces of Native American art. Make sure you appreciate the grace and elegance of Native American spirituality.

During the call to worship #3, you may have the net, candles, and bread placed on the worship center as directed, or you may set the worship center prior to Sunday.

Focus theme

My focus in this display is the call of the disciples to tend and care for others.

Surface:
Place a riser, approximately 4” high, in the center, toward the back, of the worship center (in front of the cross, if you are using a cross on the worship center. The cross should be elevated on a riser about 6” high) Place two other risers toward the front on either side of the worship center.

Fabric:

Cover the worship center in gold fabric (however, do not use bright shiny gold fabric such as lame, but rather a burnished or antiqued gold fabric).

Candles:
Place a 10” white pillar candle on the riser in the center, in front of the cross.. Place three white pillar candles about 6-8” high in front of the white pillar candle, representing the disciples. Place the clusters of votive candles on the other two risers.

Flowers/Foliage:
Use ferns or ivy, any soft, leafy plant on each side of the candle and cross arrangement. You may also place green plants near the base of the worship center. This takes away the harsh edged appearance.

Rocks/Wood:
You might use some rocks near the base of the worship center, but this should be optional.

Other:
Place a fishing net, flowing down from the center under the Christ Candle and draping across at least one of the risers, spilling over the edge of the worship center. The fish net might be about 4-6 feet long. Loaves of uncut bread may be placed in front of the two side risers, leaning loaves against each other. You may want to place loaves of bread on the floor in front of the worship center also (that is up to your personal preference).

About the Author

Nancy C. Townley

Nancy C. Townley is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She consults on visual arts, drama, liturgy and read more…
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