New Worship Connection: Thanksgiving 2017

October 20th, 2017

Thanksgiving Sunday or Thanksgiving Day

Color: Red or White
Scripture Readings: Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Psalm 65; 2 Corinthians 9:5-15; Luke 17:11-19

Call to Worship #1

L: We live in a beautiful land, flowing with abundant harvest.
P: Yet people in our country are hungry every day.
L: We have so many blessings given to us by God.
P: Children go to bed hungry and cold; they live on the streets.
L: Lord, we thank you for the blessings you have bestowed upon us.
P: Lord, remind us that we must share these blessings for all so that no one goes hungry; no child goes to bed cold; people no longer live on the streets. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: God visits the earth with abundance!
P: Praise be to God for the blessings which enrich our lives.
L: Make us stewards of your creation, sharing the abundance!
P: Teach us to share and help others.
L: We praise you for the gifts and ask your guidance in sharing them.
P: Enter our hearts and fill us with the joy of sharing for we ask these things in Jesus’ name. 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.]

L: What shall we sing in the new land of God’s promise?
P: A new song of power and hope!
Choir: singing verse 1 of “Sing a New Song to the Lord”
L: In the angry city streets and the desolate wastes, what shall we sing?
P: A song of redemption for Christ has saved us, a sign of God’s promise.
Choir: singing verse 2 of “Sing a New Song to the Lord”
L: With dancing and singing, with shouts of joy and great gales of laughter….
P: Let us praise God who has been so gracious to us on this day and all the days of our lives. AMEN.
Choir: singing verse 3 of “Sing a New Song to the Lord”

Gathering Prayer

We gather this day to praise God for the abundance gifts God has given to us as we feast around the table. As these gifts are a blessings to us, help us to be a blessing to others.

Opening Prayer

Open our hearts to your word and your will this day, O Lord. As we count our blessings around the table, help us to remember those who dwell in lands of poverty and war. Help us to find ways to reach out to them in ministries of hope and peace, for we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN!

Prayer of Confession

Forgiving and Loving God, we love this day of Thanksgiving when we gather around the table to share food, memories and love. Be with each one of us today. Remind us, as we pass the platters and bowls laden with food, that there are many people who go to bed hungry and cold, who thirst for fresh water. Open our eyes to see those people who would be very grateful for a day old crust of bread or some water that is not stagnant. We live in bounty but are surrounded with poverty. We are a nation of wealth, but an island which is part of our nation is devastated by several hurricanes and very little help is forthcoming. How selfish and petty we are! How can we allow those resources to rot in containers on docks when we could easily distribute them to those in need. As we fill ourselves to overflowing, help us to remember those dear ones. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us as a nation. Forgive us as a church. Forgive each one of us when we turn our back on you, proclaiming there is nothing we can do about these problems. We should be ashamed to voice such attitudes. God soften our hearts and our spirits to reach out to all in trouble anywhere, for we ask this in the precious name of our Savior, Jesus. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

By God’s mercy and grace we have been saved. We are called to be those who bring help and hope to this aching world. AMEN.

Morning Prayer

Lord of abundance, we thank you for all you have given to us this day. We are mindful of the many blessings that have poured into our lives over the years and we pray that we have been worthy of them. Be with us today as we gather in this congregation to celebrate the bounty of your transforming and forgiving love. We are blessed and rejoice in these blessings. For the gathering of family and friends we are truly thankful. Lord, we are reminded of all those for whom this day is like all others, filled with sorrow, suffering and pain, loneliness and alienation. Touch their hearts and spirits. Help us to reach out to them. We lift all these dear ones in prayer, confident in your healing and redeeming love. Be all of us as we gather in your name. AMEN.


Lord, as we have received so much from your bounty, let us return tokens of these gifts that they may be used to help others in this broken world. AMEN.

Prayer of Dedication

Bless these gifts, O God and cause these gifts to work bringing hope and peace to this world on this day of Thanksgiving. AMEN.

Closing/Sending Forth

Having been blessed with so many gifts, go into the world joyfully serving God by helping others in need. Go in peace. AMEN.

Children’s Time

[Have enough apples for each member in the congregation to receive one. These will be given out by the children.]

Good Morning! Happy Thanksgiving! This is a day to recognize all the wonderful things God has given us and done for us and express our thanks to God. Every day God gives us a blessing; for some it is waking up; for some it is feeling better after a long illness; for some it is a kind word or a smile from a friend; for some it is a helping hand……there are so many ways in which we receive blessings. Today we are going to think about our congregation and the blessings we offer to others. Take a look around. Lots of things had to happen so that we could have our worship service today. We could talk about a long time ago when someone decided to build our church right here and all the people who have worked hard to keep things going and to be faithful to what God wants us to do – but we are just going to talk about today. Someone cleaned the church to make it nice for people; someone made sure that the heat was on and that the lights worked. Another person worked hard on the order of worship, that’s what we do in worship. Someone typed the bulletin and ran it off on a copy machine. Someone folded the bulletin and others handed them out as people came this morning. Someone got the music going today and helped to prepare our choir to offer beautiful music to God’s glory. Someone lit the candles; someone prepared the altar/worship table. Someone got teachers for our Sunday school and several people said they would teach. Someone ordered the lesson books and other materials…… many things and there are even more that I left out. I want you to see that worship is the work of the people, from the preparation of the church to the actual worship service itself. We are blessed to have this congregation here, Sunday after Sunday and we thank God for all these good people. Thanksgiving isn’t only a time to remember the first time the Pilgrims and Native Americans worked together to help each other; it is also the time to be thankful for all that is happening in and through our church in God’s name. I am thankful for all of this and especially for you – you will be the future leaders of the church and God is already preparing you. Happy Thanksgiving, dear ones, God loves you so much.

Art for the Altar/Worship Center

Place several risers on the altar/worship center. One of the taller risers should be at the center back and should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the cross. Cover the altar with white cloth, draping it over the whole altar and onto the floor. From the center of the altar place a runner of white cloth, on the cross riser and directly down the front of the altar with the fabric puddling on the floor. Place the brass cross on the back riser and two large candles on either side. To the each side of the cross place green leafy plants or trailing vines. The other risers may be used to display pictures of church people at work. In the very center of the altar, on the white fabric, place a cornucopia or basket tipped over on its side and spilling out some produce such as pumpkins, corn, various vegetables and fruit.

Scripture into Script

Narrator: On the outskirts of town the people with dangerous diseases, particularly disfiguring or skin diseases, were forced to live. They were not permitted to come near any townspeople, even their own families and food was placed in baskets a little distance from their caves or rude shelters, and they would come and retrieve the baskets to be shared with everyone. One day Jesus was passing by.

People: Lord! Master! Have mercy on us! Heal us, Jesus. Heal us.
Narrator: Their cries were heard by Jesus who stopped and turned toward them
Jesus: I have heard your cries. You are healed. Go and show yourselves to the authorities and let them verify what God has done.
Narrator: so the ten people who were healed headed for town, to demonstrate to the authorities that they were indeed clean and healed. But one man, a Samaritan, turned back toward Jesus. He ran to him and threw himself down at Jesus’ feet, thanking God for the blessing of healing.
Jesus: Ten were healed and yet only one returned to praise God. Good servant of God, your faith has made you whole – go now to the authorities.
Narrator: How many times will we receive God’s blessings and yet forget to take a few minutes to thank God? Are just like the nine, who received the blessings and went on their way, or are we like the one who offered God praise for the gift of healing? Think about it, for it will say a lot about you and your faith.

Message Movers

A central focus of the message can be highlighted by the song “You Are the Seed” UMH p.583. It may be sung, a verse at a time, punctuated with reflection on how God has blessed us and called us to ministry and mission in God’s world.

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