For Sunday, May 17, 2015
Year B, Seventh Sunday of Easter
Pentecost Special Offering
Seventh Sunday after Easter :: White ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 1
L: Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
P: Or take the path that sinners tread;
L: But their delight is in the Law of the LORD,
P: And on his law they meditate day and night.
L: For they are like trees planted by streams of water,
P: Which yield their fruit in season.
Holy God, we come before you as a gathering of those whom you have called together from the world. We come as your own, seeking in word and truth to worship you. Grant us words and spirit which are pleasing to you. Grant us faith and hope. Grant us wisdom and courage. For we seek to keep your word, and glorify your name.
Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. We will gather together once again to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the conversion of new souls. We will celebrate the birth of the church. As Disciples, we have been celebrating a LOT of Pentecost. Since 2001, we have celebrated over 835 births. That’s congregations. I am talking about Pentecost early, because today marks the beginning of the Pentecost Special Offering for New Church Development. Together we have not only been changing the landscape of Churches in North America, but we have all benefited. The New Church movement has taught us much about established church as well. So as we celebrate the gifts of New Churches, I am asking you to make a special gift to the Pentecost Special Offering. As we extend and expand the table of the Disciples, all of us are enriched and blessed. We will now receive the tithes and offerings which help empower this new church movement.
As members of your human family, O God, we celebrate new life. When a baby is born, and when the church grows, we give thanks and praise. As we offer our gifts today, we ask your blessings upon them. Use and empower these gifts, O God, with power only you can give. We pray in giving them, that these tithes and offerings will grow your reign on earth. Now and forever. Amen.
“Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts.” Thus begins First John 5:10. Sometimes as Mainline Christians, we get nervous with that term: testimony. It feels to us like public speaking and show off Christianity all in one. But let’s remember where John places that testimony: in our hearts; in the very core of our being. When we come to this table, that testimony John is speaking of screams out from every pore of our being. It happens when we take, eat, remember, and are connected; truly connected with God. In that moment, there is testimony in our hearts. As we join together today around Christ’s table, it is my fervent prayer that your heart testifies to you the truth of the living God.
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