Worship Connection: July 10, 2022

January 7th, 2022

Fifhth Sunday after Pentecost

Color: Green 
Scripture Readings: Amos 7:7-17; Psalm 82; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10: 25-37


Call to Worship #1:
L: The world cries to us in its distress. How shall we answer?
P: We cannot pass by as though nothing is wrong.
L: How shall we answer?
P: We cannot become so focused on ourselves that others mean nothing to us.
L: How shall we answer?
P: We shall be the neighbor in service, reconciliation and compassion wherever we can. In Jesus’ Holy Name. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:
L: Gather us in, Lord, and hear our prayers.
P: We have come to this place in need for healing and hope.
L: Gather us in, Lord, and heal our spirits.
P: We come here seeking guidance and strength.
L: Gather us in, Lord, and open our hearts to receive your word.
P: Open our hearts, our spirits, our souls to comprehend your word and follow you faithfully. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2086 “Open Our Eyes”, offer the following call to worship as directed]
L: Lord, we come today, seeking your presence and your healing love.
Congregation [singing song through once]
L: Release us from the blindness of indifference and self-importance.
Congregation [singing song through once]
L: Give us hearts and hands willing to reach out to people in need wherever we find them.
Congregation [singing song through once]
L: Give us courage to be of help to all your beloved children.
Congregation [singing song through twice]

Call to Worship #4:
L: Sometimes it seems as though God is far away.
P: There is so much trouble in the world.
L: We look to the heavens and wonder why God doesn’t deal more strictly with the wicked and
more compassionately with the innocent.
P: We are overwhelmed with the needs of others.
L: Come, let us turn to the Lord, whose very heart is compassion and hope.
P: Let us be partners in caring for all who are in need. AMEN.


Opening Prayer:
Lord of justice and mercy, we come to you this day seeking your healing and reconciling love. Help us to be open to your word, your presence, your compassion. Clear our hearts of those things which block your will. Keep us focused on your enabling power so that we, having been healed, may more fully serve you. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession:
Lord, sometimes we are confused. We hear the bad news continually shouted on TV, radio, in the newspapers, magazines. The whole world seems to be shrieking in pain. Innocent people are being destroyed by the whims of the wicked. Disease and pestilence reign supreme in too many parts of the world. We turn an indifferent ear to the cries of others, often because we are so overwhelmed by the needs and feel helpless in the face of such chaos. We close our eyes. We walk away, often crossing over to the side of self-importance and indifference because we are afraid to become involved. Our society is quick to sue and slow to heal. We succumb to those pressures in our fear. Help us, O Lord. Heal our spirits as well as our bodies. Open our hearts and our eyes to see you, O Christ, that we may be empowered to service rather than apathy. Forgive us, Lord, forgive us. Make us ready to truly become your disciples. For we ask these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance:
Do not be afraid. God’s love is reaching out to you, to touch your hurt and wounds and to provide healing. Receive God’s blessing and be assured of God’s eternal love for you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer:
Lord, how are we ever going to be your disciples? We are overwhelmed by the needs of the world. The cries of people who feel threatened by others, those who are in need, those who are in danger, those who are alienated, ring in our ears and in our hearts. Sometimes we would just like to run and hide, hoping that all this turmoil will go away. But it doesn’t. It sits outside our doors and waits for us to do something. Lord, help that “Something” be service and compassion. Help us to remember how you have forgiven and blessed each one of us, how you have called us blessed and beloved. You remind us in today’s scripture of the compassion a Samaritan had on one who was injured. We like that story, but now is the time for us to take that story to heart. We are called to reach beyond our comfort zone, to those in need, to the alien, the injured, the lost, the lonely. It is difficult for us to do and we need to feel your powerful presence with us. Bless us again, O Lord, with a good measure of courage and strength that we may truly serve you. Bless those whose names and situations we have brought before you today for healing and hope. In your mercy and love, help us to reach out to others as you have reached out to us. For we ask these things in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2130, “The Summons”, offer the following reading]
Choir: singing verse 1 of “The Summons” p. 2130
L: Well, are you ready? I am calling your name. I need you go and work for me.
P: Where are we going? How will we get there? Who’s going with us? What is the pay scale?
L: I’ll let you know when I am ready. Just trust in me. Your payment is always to live in my love.
P: Well, we don’t know. It sounds too risky. We might need more convincing.
Voice: And so they hesitated, wanting reassurance, finding it hard to trust in God.

Choir: singing verse 2 of “The Summons” p. 2130
L: There are lots of people in need who cry out in pain. Some of these people are not very nice, others are lost and lonely. You might not be welcome, and your friends may think that you are crazy for wanting to help. Are you ready to come?
P: Oh, you didn’t mention that we would have to work with “undesirables”. We aren’t sure that we are prepared for that, after all we have other lives to lead.
L: They have prayed long and hard, and I am sending you with my compassionate love to them.
P: This is getting more difficult. At first it just sounded like an adventure, not it is work.

Voice: And so they wondered if they could do this. They waited and wondered.
Choir: singing verse 4 of “The Summons” p. 2130
L: Let go of your fear. I am calling you and will be with you. Place your trust in me.
P: It’s not that easy, Lord. There are so many things that could happen.
L: That’s right! Love, Healing, Hope, Faith, Peace...all these things can happen if you are willing to listen for my call and go in my name.
P: singing verse 5 of “The Summons” p. 2130

Place your hand in the hand of God. Go forth into this world in complete assurance of God’s presence and love. Bring hope, healing, and peace to all whom you meet. Go in peace and may God’s peace be with you. AMEN.


The traditional color for this Sunday is Green.

Author's Note: the main scripture for today is the story of the Good Samaritan, who was truly a “neighbor” to the person in need. You will want to remind the congregation that this setting focuses on the people of God’s world and the needs. The rocks are symbolic of the difficulties of life. The candles are symbolic of the hope that we have in God as we reach out to help others.

Place several risers on the worship center, the tallest riser should be about 8” high and should be at the center back of the worship center (you will place a cross on this one). Place a riser in front of the worship center.

Cover the entire worship center with green fabric. You may use several different pieces of green, in differing shades if you wish. Make sure that the riser in the front of the worship center is covered.

On two of the risers on the worship center, make a grouping of 3-5 candles. These may be votives, pillar candles, or tapers. On the riser in front of the worship center, place a tall white pillar candle.

On either side of the cross place ivy or fern, or some other leafy green plant. In front of the worship center, beside the riser, place a tall leafy plant.

Place large rocks at the base of the worship center. Place bunches of smaller rocks and stones on the other risers and on the riser in front of the worship center.

If you can do this, make 25 cutouts of people - approximately 8” in height. They can be made from poster board and should be designed so that they can stand up on their own. Have them in colors representing the various races of the world. You do not need to provide features, just the silhouettes of the people in the groups. You may want to have about 4 or 5 gathered in a group, preferably near the rocks and a group especially on the riser in front of the worship center. 

About the Author

Nancy C. Townley

  Nancy C. Townley was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She consulted on visual arts, drama read more…
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