Worship Connection: October 13, 2019

August 24th, 2019

18th Sunday after Pentecost

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7; Psalm 66:1-12; 2 Timothy 2:8-15; Luke 17:11-19

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1:
L: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you people!
P: With shouts of joy we celebrate the good news of God’s love.
L: Open your hearts to the warmth of God’s redeeming love.
P: God has poured such wonder into our lives!
L: Come, let us worship God with hearts and souls and voices!
P: Let our praise ring to the rafters and ascend to the heavens! AMEN.

Call to Worship #2: 
L: In the midst of your hectic week you have come to worship God.
P: Our lives are pulled in so many directions, we seek God’s guidance.
L: Let go of the burdens that weigh you down. God will take them.
P: We thank God for the respite we are given.
L: Tune your hearts and voices in praise to God.
P: Let our voices bear the joy we feel because of God’s love for us. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3 
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2036, “Give Thanks,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

[Have the congregation sing the song through one time.]

L: Come! Dance! Sing! Celebrate the goodness of the Lord!
P: God continues to give us such great gifts of love.
L: We are made strong in the Lord.
P: We are made rich in the Lord.
L: God’s blessings are lavished on us every minute of every day!
P: Come, let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

[Have the congregation sing the song through one time.]

Call to Worship #4: 
L: When we are lonely and feeling lost . . .
P: Jesus calls us and brings us hope and peace.
L: When we are angry and frustrated . . . 
P: Jesus heals our wounds and soothes our tempers.
L: When we are sorrowful and broken . . . 
P: Jesus binds up our wounds with his healing love.
L: Come, let us worship the one who cares so abundantly for us.
P: AMEN.


PRAYERS, LITANY/READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer
For the healing love you have offered to us; for the patience you have with us; for your presence that will never fail, we give you thanks, O Lord. Bring our hearts and spirits to you that we may grow in our faith and service to you by serving others. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession
Patient Lord, you know how easy it is for us to whine and complain bitterly about all those things in our lives that are difficult. We focus on them as though they were the only things that ever happened to us, forgetting the many blessings that you have given to us and the opportunities you give us to serve you. We feel alienated--you call us beloved. We feel lost--you seek us. We feel broken and battered--your love is a healing balm. Forgive us when we forget those things. Help us to always look to you for our healing and to return thanks to you by praise and serving others in your name. For we offer this prayer of confession of our failures and gratitude for your blessings. AMEN.

Words of Assurance
Turn again to the Lord, for you are beloved of God and have been given many blessings. Rejoice in God’s love for you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer
Lord, we thank you for the wondrous ways in which you have healed and restored us. There have been countless times when we wondered if the trials and struggles of our lives would overcome us and swallow us up; yet you have reached out to redeem us. Just as in the scriptures when Jesus healed the ten people afflicted with leprosy, one, when he saw that he had been healed, returned to Jesus, praising God for the healing that had taken place. Make our faith as strong as the one of that man. Give us the wisdom to know the source of healing is not in our pleading, but in our acknowledging your love and power. As we bring before you the names and situations in our hearts that are filled with strife and trouble, we ask for their healing as well. We know that you hear the cries of our hearts and respond always in love. Help us to place our complete trust in your never-ending compassion. For it is in Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN

Reading
[I have used the lyrics from THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2183, “Unsettled World,” as the lyrics, for the most part, for the Voice. If you are going to use this reading, it would be a good idea to place a notice in the bulletin that the basis for this reading is this song.]

Reader 1: 
Shootings in schools, domestic violence, warfare all over the world, anger, hatred, violence, destruction . . . 

Voice: 
Unsettled world where people long to find their way, to feel secure, from lives of turbulence and rush we come, to seek your peace, our God. Your word to hear, our faith to live.

Reader 2:
 
Greed, gambling, grabbing for all the wealth, subservience, domination, control, authority . . .

Voice: 
Unsettled world where money rules and greedy systems call the tune, for strength to keep our values straight we come, with trust in you, O God, your word to hear, our faith to live.

Reader 3
Savagery, oppression, slavery, crushing of people’s lives and spirits . . . 

Voice: 
Unsettled world where angry poor from grinding need at affluence stare, with tears and thirst for truth and right we come, with longing in our hearts, your word to hear, our faith to live.

Reader 4: 
In such a time our faith is sorely tested. Who will bring us through this valley of death? Where, O Lord, is the voice of hope?

Voice: 
Unsettled world, unsettled church, whose structures creak and doctrines swirl, by faith, and in the strength of Christ we strive in true community, your word to hear, our faith to live.

Leader: 
O God, give us healing and strong faith

All voices: 
For we offer this in Christ’s name. AMEN.

Benediction
Having opened your hearts to God and received God’s healing love, go now into this hurting troubled world with the good news of God’s presence and compassion. AMEN.


ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for this Sunday is GREEN.

Note: the following artistic element is meant to create a serene atmosphere. The blue fabric will need to look like a flowing stream, which emanates from the cross on the center riser. It is important to remember that when Jesus sent the healed lepers to the priests to be declared clean, one of the first acts of cleaning would have been a ritual bath. Jesus has already bathed us in his healing love and washed away our sins and dis-ease. Let this setting reflect the peacefulness and beauty of the healing that has been given.

SURFACE:
Place a 6” riser in the back center of the worship table. Place a 2” riser about 5 inches in front of the other one and slightly to the right. Place a riser in front of the worship table.

FABRIC: 
Cover the entire worship center with green fabric. Take a 6 yard, 30” wide stripe of silky light blue fabric. Put in on the riser in the center, weaving it across the second riser and down the front of the worship center so that it puddles into a “pool” like arrangement in front of the worship center.

CANDLES: 
Place two 6” white pillar candles on either side of the center riser on the worship table.

FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: 
Using green leafy plants, such as ferns and ivy, put them beside the main riser on the worship table and down on the floor surrounding the base of the worship table. You may place some smaller ivy plants near the blue strip of fabric (which is like a “healing stream” of water). Be careful not to place too many plants so that the effect of the healing stream is obliterated.

ROCKS/WOOD: 
If you have some good sized rocks, place them around the puddle of “water” fabric on the floor in front of the worship center. You may also add some smaller pebbles near the larger rocks to soften the look.

OTHER: 
Place a cross on the center riser on the worship table.

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