Worship Pieces for Epiphany 2

This week at Peace Mennonite, three people will be sharing about personal epiphanies. The call to worship is based on Psalm 19:

The heavens declare
and we declare
the glory of God.
Our voices join the speech of creation
to tell of our known and unknowable God.
Now may these words of our mouths
and these meditations of our hearts
be pleasing in God’s sight
and life-giving in our world.

And a prayer of confession:

God of shadows and light,
God of hiddenness and revelation,
Forgive us when we miss you–
when we overlook the love,
when we turn our backs on the hope,
when we gaze too intently at ourselves
ignoring the blessed others that surround us.
Forgive us, God, and in your infinite grace
shine your holy light
or perhaps sit with us in the dark.

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.


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.”

Good Friday Worship

This is the Good Friday service I put together for this year. We will again be using a script put together by a church member that simply pulls out the dialog of the passion story. I find this to be a powerful reading, though it could be confusing for people unfamiliar with the story.

You can find an alternate opening prayer here, and the order of worship from a couple of years ago (which includes foot washing) is here. As always, you are welcome to use material from this blog in your own worship settings. Blessings to you as we enter into Holy Week.

*A couple of notes: There should be seven candles plus the Christ candle lit at the beginning of the service. During the tenebrae section, one candle is extinguished following each reading, with the Christ candle being the last. Also, all hymns are from Taize.

– – – – – –

Welcome and Introduction

 Call to Worship

On this dark night, as the shadows deepen,
We come to be present with Jesus.
With the glory of Palm Sunday behind us and the victory of Easter not yet come,
We will sit together in this space with our breaking, our broken hearts.
In this world that is at once beautiful and holy and tragic,
We seek to be present with all who suffer.
In the dark valleys of life, when sorrow threatens to overwhelm,
We long for a safe and sacred space to sit with our grief and our questions.
Jesus Christ, holy friend,
we know that you are here with us.
Let us be here with you. Amen.


Hymn: Stay with me

Prayer of Confession (from Psalm 51)

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love.
According to your abundant mercy, blot out our transgressions.
Create in us clean hearts, O God,
And put new and right spirits within us.


Assurance of Pardon
(God will not cast us from the Divine presence. God will not take the Holy Spirit from us. Through Christ, God forgives us and restores us. May the peace of Christ be with you.)


Hymn: Kyrie


Holy, loving, suffering God,
Give us eyes to see
the injustice and suffering that abound.
Give us hearts to feel
the depth of this world’s brokenness.
Give us ears now to hear
the words of your passion.


Tenebrae Service

Hymn: Kyrie
Jesus, Chief Priests, Judas
Hymn: Kyrie

TABLE: Peter, Jesus
Hymn: Kyrie
Jesus, Peter
Hymn: Stay with me
Judas, Jesus, Chief Priests
Hymn: Kyrie
Servant Girl, Peter, Two Others
Hymn: Kyrie
Pilate, Jesus, Crowd
Hymn: Kyrie
Soldiers, Jesus
Hymn: Jesus, Remember me
Crowd, Priests, Criminals, Jesus, Soldiers
Hymn: Kyrie

~Please leave the worship space in silence.~

Wednesday Worship Pieces: Church Celebration

church bigThis Sunday we are celebrating the work of our little church and encouraging people to step forward and serve according to their gifts and passions. Here are some of the worship pieces we will be using:

–One of my favorite calls to worship from Ann B. Day, which you can find here.

–A hymn I wrote with another church member, which is here.

–This prayer of thanksgiving (adapted from an earlier post):

Dear God, giver of life, for each and every part of this church body
We give you thanks.
For those who teach and those who learn. For those who speak and those who listen.
We thank you Jesus, holy teacher.
For those who lead and those who follow. For those working up front and those working in the background.
We give you thanks, O Spirit who enables all work.
For those who share gifts of writing, drawing, sewing, cooking, singing, playing instruments, gardening, and all spirit-filled creative endeavors
We thank you, our Creator God.
For those who share gifts of administration, organization, planning, visioning, coordinating, hospitality, wisdom, discernment, faith, knowledge and all godly attributes necessary to the well being of this body
We give you thanks, O Word of light.
For those who give their time and money; who do what needs done: moving chairs, fixing toilets, caring for children, conducting worship, distributing mail, making phone calls, paying bills,
We thank you, the Giver of all Good things.
For those who share your love and care with others by praying, smiling, hugging, baking, laughing, reaching out and settling in,

We give you thanks, Holy Spirit, our bond of unity.
We thank you for each part of Peace Mennonite church, and we thank you for your power and grace that forms the parts into something more than we could ever be on our own–participants in the Body of Christ.

–This prayer of confession & assurance of pardon (opening line from 1 Peter 4:10):

Holy One,
We long to be faithful stewards of your abundant grace.

To serve each other in love and humility.
To serve your world with wisdom and energy.

Forgive us when we stumble over pride,
when our words and actions are not guided by love.

Turn our hearts when we act in folly.
Restore our energy when it is gone.

Sometimes, many times, O God, our efforts fail.
But your abundant grace is strong and eternal,
And forgiveness is ours through Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God.

–And this offertory prayer:

God, whose giving knows no ending,
we offer up the treasure that you have entrusted to us;
we offer up the skills and time that you have graciously given to us;
we offer up ourselves in service and praise.
Receive these gifts by your grace.
Multiply and use them through the power of the Holy Spirit
to accomplish Christ’s work of love in the world. Amen.

*As always, you are welcome to use these pieces in your own worship setting. Attribution is appreciated.

Wednesday Worship Piece: Being Disciples

This Sunday will be our final Sunday in a series on Jesus’ disciples. I will preach on Luke 24:36-53–Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples. Plus we will share communion together this week.

Call to Worship

Leader: We come this morning to spend time on the path with other disciples.
Side 1: Others who are wondering.
Side 2: Others who are waiting.
Side 1: Others who are growing.
Side 2: Others who are giving.
Side 1: Others who are messing up.
Side 2: Others who are speaking up.
Side 1: Others who are stepping out.
Side 2: Others who are standing down.
Side 1: Others who are hungry
Side 2: Even as they reach out to feed others.
Leader: May our journey this morning be worship.
All: May the One we follow be praised!

Prayer of Confession & Assurance of Pardon

God, You have told us to trust in you with all of our hearts.
You have told us not to lean on our own understanding.
And so we try to trust,
but we get very nervous when we don’t understand.
We don’t understand what you mean by
“This bread is my body.”
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”

We don’t understand who will betray you
or why
or what that will mean for us.

We don’t understand how death is victory.
We don’t understand post-resurrection life–yours or ours.
We don’t understand why you ask us to stay here,
And we’re afraid we will somehow miss the power when it comes down from on high.


Assurance of Pardon

Jesus is gentle with our doubts. The Spirit offers us peace in the midst of our lack of understanding. The One who created us leads us step by step into deeper trust. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Weekly Worship Piece: Confession

This prayer of confession and assurance of pardon is adapted from the Message version of Ephesians 2:1-10.

Holy God, there is always a temptation to be mired in that old stagnant life of sin.
We let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell us how to live.
We fill our lungs with polluted unbelief,
and then exhale disobedience.
We want to do what we feel like doing,
when we felt like doing it.

It’s a wonder God didn’t lose loose the divine temper
and do away with the whole lot of us.

Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love,
God embraces us.
God takes our sin-dead lives
and makes us alive in Christ.

Saving is all God’s idea, and all Divine work.
All we do is trust.
We neither make nor save ourselves.
God does both the making and saving.
Thanks be to God!


Weekly Worship Piece: Mark 6

The worship piece this week is a prayer of confession and assurance of pardon based on the New Testament lectionary readings for the upcoming Sunday.  Blessings to all who are planning worship this week!

Prayer of Confession (based on Mark 6:7-13)

Holy One of Nazareth,
We see you calm storms, heal illness, even restore life,
Yet we still struggle to trust you.
You send us out,
But we want to stay home.
You provide partners for the journey,
But we want to go it alone.
You give us authority over evil,
But we don’t know how to use it.
You say we need only the clothes on our back and a staff in our hand,
But we pile the car full of food, clothes, tools and toys. We make sure our phones are charged and our GPS is on.
You tell us to accept hospitality,
But we don’t like to put people out.
You say that if people are unkind, we should simply shake the dust off of our feet,
But we would rather get mad and post about it on Facebook.
We have much to learn from you, Jesus, about traveling gracefully through this life.
Forgive our failings and grant us a deeper trust.


Assurance of Pardon (from 2 Corinthians 12:9):

Hear these words from Christ: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So go forth in the power of the almighty, who forgives you and loves you. Amen.