For Sunday October 5, 2014
US Reconciliation Sunday
Canada Thanksgiving Special Offering
Year A, Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 19
L: The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
P: The decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple;
L: The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
P: The commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes.
L: Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight;
P: O LORD, our rock and our redeemer.
Omnipotent God, who has ruled throughout the ages, we come humbly to your mountaintop to offer our worship, and to hear a word from you. Help us this day to resolve to keep your commandments. Help us to follow in your way. Guide our steps and draw near to us in this time of worship; that all may know you are our God, and we, are your people.
Stewardship Moment: (US Congregations)
Today is World Communion Sunday. One day a year, all Christians commit themselves to celebrating Communion together. And yet in most places, we look around and realize we are still so very far apart. Sadly, it is still the rare congregation which is truly mixed in age, race, background and belief. We tend to gather and worship with our own. Each year, on World Communion Sunday, as we remember the unity of the body of Christ, we also receive the Reconciliation Special Offering. This offering seeks to undo the damage of years of separation. Years of not only separate, but unequal. This offering seeks projects which heal and bring together the whole body of Christ. Today as you bring your tithes for the work of this church, please consider also bringing an offering for the Reconciliation Mission. Help us plants seeds of hope in Christ’s Name.
Stewardship Moment: (Canadian Congregations)
World Communion Sunday and preparation for Thanksgiving almost always goes hand in hand here in Canada. As Disciples, we celebrate Thanksgiving with a special offering to support Higher Education Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This includes the Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church, Our Seminary partners, and in the case of the Canadian Church, the College of Churches of Christ, which supports our students in Theological Education with direct grants. As we gather together our tithes and offerings which express another year of Thanksgiving to God, let us not forget to also support those who will serve and lead the church in years to come.
God of all people. We come this day to bring our tithes and offerings before you. We give them with the prayer that these gifts will truly bless others. We bring them not looking out for our own interests, but for others. Multiply and use these gifts that all your children may know the confidence and peace which comes through your abiding love. Amen.
It is World Communion Sunday: The day when all Christians gather around the table. For us Disciples, it is simultaneously an ordinary day since we do this every Sunday; and a special day because it speaks to our plea for Christian Unity. There is reassurance in knowing that for all of our divisions on doctrine, interpretation, and practice, today we are one body around this one table. Yet there is sadness in knowing how much work is still to be done. As we celebrate this feast of hope and remembrance today, let us instead focus on the great truth: All Christians are seeking to produce fruits for the kingdom of God, and have truly embraced Christ as the Cornerstone. We may not have agreed on the structure, but our foundation together is sure. Let us celebrate today knowing that throughout the world; wherever Christians are gathered. Christ is remembered, Christ is celebrated, and Christ is glorified. Amen.
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