Call to Worship

Advent 4 Worship Pieces

IMG_2302And for this week:

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 63:7-9 and Luke 2:8-20

Call to Worship:

Glory to God in the highest!
And hope to every discouraged heart.
Glory to God in the highest!
And peace to every conflicted soul.
Glory to God in the highest!
And joy to every downcast spirit.
Glory to God in the highest!
And love to every one.
Let us sing praises to our God.
Let us offer this light against the darkness.

Prayer:

Holy God of Love,
There is light in our lives because of the abundance of your steadfast love. A love so vast, so deep, so real, that you became one of us. May we live within the power of this love. And may we share its light with a world where too many dwell in darkness. Amen.

Blessing:

May you live within the light of love in these coming days. May love call forth the songs you sing. May love enliven your celebrations. May love be within you, and may love surround you. May you know–deeply know–the abundance of God’s steadfast love. Amen.

Categories: Advent/Christmas, Benediction/Blessing, Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent 3 Worship Pieces

This past Sunday we focused on the song of Mary and practiced group lectio divina together.

(The children had been invited to draw a picture as a way to reflect on the scripture readings. I nearly lost it when one boy handed me his drawing to share with the congregation. It pictured the annunciation with a startled Joseph standing next to Mary saying, “What the heck!?”.)

Anyway, here are some pieces of the service that I actually planned ahead of time:

Scriptures: Psalm 146 & Luke 1:46-56

Call to Worship:

Our souls proclaim your greatness, O God.
And our spirits rejoice in you.
We will praise you as long as we live.
We will sing praises to you our whole lives long.
We will not trust in the powerful of this world,
But will trust in you–Creator of heaven and earth,
the One who gives food to the hungry,
the One who enacts justice for the oppressed.
Our souls proclaim your greatness, O God
As we worship you in this place,
As we light these candles in hope, peace, and joy.

Prayer:

Holy God of Joy,
We rejoice in the reality of who you are. We live within the joy of your love for us. Our contentment comes and goes. Our happiness ebbs and flows. Our feelings depend upon our circumstances, our physical health, our brain chemistry. But our joy is deeply rooted in our identity as your beloved children. And we give you thanks. Amen.

Blessing:

As you go out, go with the light of joy. In moments of delight, in moments of frustration; in moments of beauty, in moments of fear; in moments of enthusiasm and moments of exhaustion; may the joy of Christ be ever-present, grounding you in the deep love of God–our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Amen.

 

Categories: Advent/Christmas, Benediction/Blessing, Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worship Pieces: Advent 2

I thought I had already posted these, but I guess not.  Our scriptures are Matthew 3:1-12 and 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Hannah’s song).

Call to Worship

We come to prepare the way;
The way for Christ–
the hope of Christ, the peace of Christ–
to enter our world,
to enter our hearts.

We cry out together in the wilderness:
The kingdom of heaven has come near.
We come to be part of the light–
the light that shines in the darkness.

Prayer

Holy God of Peace,
We seek your peace in these darkening days. We seek a calm within, yes. And an absence of conflict between people and nations. But more deeply, we seek your shalom–the deep and abiding peace that will come only through the justice of your kingdom. Amen.

 

Benediction

May you carry the light of peace with you this week. A strong and holy peace that strengthens the weak, feeds the hungry, exalts the poor, and guards the feet of the faithful. Amen.

Categories: Advent/Christmas, Benediction/Blessing, Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worship Piece: Advent 1 Call and Candle-Lighting

This year for Advent we are looking at four different songs from scripture: Psalm 147, Hannah’s Song in 1 Samuel 2, Mary’s Song in Luke 1, and the Song of the Angels in Luke 2. Secondary readings for each week are chosen from the Lectionary options. This week we will read Romans 13:8-12. The call to worship candle-lighting liturgy and the benediction for this Sunday are below.

Call to Worship:

The night is far gone.
The day is near.
And so we wait.
We wait with hope,
for the brokenhearted to be healed,
for the downtrodden to be lifted up.
We wait for the coming of the Christ child.
In this meantime,
We will sing into the silence.
We will light a candle against the darkness.

Lighting of the Advent Candle

Prayer

Holy God of Hope,
Give us ears to hear and hearts to trust the promises you offer to us in this season of Advent. As we worship together, we offer ourselves to you and we open ourselves to your abundant grace. Amen.

Benediction

May you carry the light of hope with you this week. And may that light burn with the power of the Holy Spirit against all the darknesses you encounter–a stubborn light to mark this season of waiting, this season of hope. Amen.

Categories: Advent/Christmas, Benediction/Blessing, Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worship Pieces: Advent Emergency Edition

IMG_2277Yes, it’s true. This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Ready or not . . .

Some of the Rev. Gals are helping each other out by sharing Advent resources today, and I thought I would join the party.

Yesterday I posted this piece over at Practicing Families about Advent practices at home.

Last year (2012) Peace Mennonite focused on the themes of the Advent Conspiracy, for which I wrote weekly candle-lighting liturgies:Advent 1
Advent 2
Advent 3
Advent 4

Here is the offertory prayer we have used for Advent the past few years–changing the second word of the prayer to reflect the “candle word” for the week: hope, peace, joy, love.

God of Peace, in this season of Advent, this time of waiting, we offer to you our money, our time, our energy. Accept what we offer. And use these offerings to shine the light of your peace in the dark places of our world. Amen.

And for those truly planning ahead, Christmas Eve services:2012
2011

And a simple liturgy for family worship on Christmas morning.

Finally, here are a few Advent reflections:on Mary
on Zechariah
on Ashes and Advent
on living these days “Advently”
on Kairos at Christmas

 

Categories: Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Worship Piece: Psalm 119

I’m excited because Jill Clingan, my good friend and a fabulous writer, is preaching at Peace Mennonite this Sunday! We are still worshiping our way through Acts, and she will be focusing on Acts 21:17-26. I’ve chosen Psalm 119:33-40 as the Old Testament reading–thinking about our love for the law and the interplay of grace.

So here is our Call to Worship:

Like the psalmist,
we worship with faithfulness and longing.
God, give us understanding;
Lead us on your paths;
Turn our hearts to love;
Turn our eyes to truth;
Confirm your promise of life–
abundant and eternal life.
May our worship be your praise.
May our lives be holy offerings.
Amen.

 

And the prayer of confession (also based on/inspired by these verses from Psalm 119):

Forgive hearts consumed with selfish gain.
Turn our hearts toward love for others.
Forgive eyes gazing at worthless things of this world.
Turn our eyes toward your presence, your action, within us and around us.
Forgive hands that push people away.
Turn our hands to welcome the stranger, the outcast, the enemy.
Forgive feet kicking up dust on dead-end roads.
Turn our feet onto your path of righteousness and life.
By the grace of the forgiving, transforming One–Jesus Christ–
Forgive us, turn us, O God.

And the assurance of pardon: “Hear now the Good News: By the grace of the Holy One, we are forgiven. By the Holy power, we are being transformed. Thanks be to God.”

Categories: Call to Worship, Prayer of Confession, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Worship Piece: All Saints

Just a little Call to Worship for All Saints day. Our opening scripture is Isaiah 25:6-9.

 

This morning we remember our loved ones who have died,
And we remember God’s promise of eternal life.
This mourning we mourn the absence of many,
And we celebrate God’s continuing presence.
We listen for the Divine voice in ancient words of scripture,
And we hear of miracles, we hear that death will be swallowed up forever.
Through sorrow and through joy, let us worship our Holy God.
Let us be glad and rejoice in our salvation.

Categories: Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Worship Pieces: Genesis 2:4-9

This week the sermon will be on Acts 17:22-31, which lead to an opening reading from Genesis 2:4-9, which led to this call to worship and benediction:

We believe God still creates–
We want to see more clearly.
We believe God still speaks–
We want to listen more carefully.
We believe God still guides–
We want to walk more faithfully.
We believe God still breathes life into the world–
We want to inhale more deeply.
May this be a time of seeing, hearing, walking, breathing.
May this be a time of true worship. Amen.

 

May you go forth to see clearly, listen carefully, walk faithfully, and breathe deeply. And the Holy One–Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer–go with you. Amen.

 

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Wednesday Worship Piece–Acts 15

This week we will be looking at the story of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 . . . AND we will be worshiping with board members from the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests. (I wish I could say that I plan stuff like this–but I don’t.) Below is the call to worship and benediction that I have written for the service.

Call to Worship

We are here because we have heard rumors of God’s grace,
of Divine love poured out
on people of all colors
from all places
people of all classes
all abilities
all genders
all sexualities.
We have heard stories of this Jesus,
of Divine inclusion for former outcasts–
people who were confused
and unclean
and broken
and unwanted
and powerless
and searching.
We want to hear more of these stories.
We want to sing and shout and live these stories,
so that we might help spread this scandalous rumor
of Divine grace,
of boundary-less love.

Benediction

As you go from this place: may you live within the Creator’s divine grace; may you live out Jesus’ boundary-less love; may you live through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Categories: Benediction/Blessing, Call to Worship, GLBT Concerns, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Worship Piece: Psalm 67/Acts 14

This week’s call to worship is based on Psalm 67 and Acts 14:15-17. The idea is that the leader would read the plain text, the congregation the bold, and everyone the bold italics. (The picture is from my yard.)

We come together to praise you, God.
For you are the Living God
who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything in them.
You have shown kindness
by giving us rain from heaven
and seasons of harvest.
You provide us with food for our bodies
and happiness for our hearts.
Let us be glad and sing with joy!

IMG_2676

 

Categories: Call to Worship, Worship Pieces | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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