Liturgical Resources For Sunday April 13, 2014
Year A, Sixth Sunday in Lent, Palm Sunday
EASTER SPECIAL OFFERING FOR GENERAL MINISTRIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (Disciples of Christ)
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 118
L: O give thanks to the LORD, for God is good;
P: God’s steadfast love endures forever!
L: Open the gates of righteousness,
P: That we may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
L: The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
P: This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
L: This is the day that the LORD has made;
P: We will rejoice and be glad in it!
Morning by morning we come, O God. You waken us and bid us to listen as those who are being taught. Grant those who speak the tongue of a teacher, and let them sustain the weary with a word. You who vindicates me and helps me are near; therefore I will not be disgraced. Guide our thoughts and reflections, O God, our words and actions, as we proclaim Hosanna to the King of Kings.
Twenty-two Disciples undergraduates gathered last November to look into the future of the Church.
They were HELM Leadership Fellows, part of the mission of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries to nurture leaders for the next generation of Church, meeting on Sand Island in Rock Hill, SC for their annual conference.
Fellows spent an intense weekend
sharing the results of their
“investigations” into both new and familiar forms of Christian congregations—from traditional Disciples congregations to evangelical mega churches to post-denominational and post-Christian communities. The goal: To find out what we know and what we need to know to be faithful and creative Christian leaders in the next 50 years.
Fellows also spent time with North Carolina Regional Minister, John Richardson, talking about the current state of Disciples congregational life and the challenges of leading in the midst of challenging times and circumstances.
They visited the Hyaets community a (www.hyaets.org) “new monastic” community committed to living and working in partnership with their neighbors in an economically challenges neighborhood in Charlotte. While at Hyaets they also met with J. Charles Jones, an icon of the Charlotte civil rights movement and one of the leaders of the sit-ins and freedom rides through the South in the early 1960’s.
They ate together at The King’s Table, a non-profit restaurant with an evangelistic and job training ministry in uptown Charlotte.
They worshiped on Sunday with Warehouse 242, a new and growing congregation focused on younger and newer Christians.
They talked and worshipped together and considered what God will require of them in the coming years.
HELM Leadership Fellows are chosen each spring from among Disciples college freshmen at both Disciples-related and other colleges and universities. Fellows participate in activities—including the annual conference—designed to add value to their educations whatever their career goals. In addition to the other benefits fellows receive an annual scholarship grant during their four years in the program. The majority of fellows attend Disciples-related colleges and universities.
Now entering its 14th year, the HELM Leadership Fellows program has over 90 alumni serving the church and their communities as pastors, teachers, missionaries, social workers, communications consultants, and non-profit leaders. Our gifts through the Easter Special Offering are helping HELM nurture the next generation of Disciples leaders—providing living water for the Church’s future.
God of wonder and love, who calls together ministries of help and hope, we come before you offering our gifts. Inspired by those who learn and grow in vision, we pray our gifts will continue to bless the whole church. We pray that together we will continue to reach out to new generations. We pray that unity will one day be restored. We pray that you will lead us into newness of life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Cheering Chanting Crowd, anticipating the arrival of a new reign on earth. That’s what we encounter on Palm Sunday. Perhaps that crowd, and their assumptions about how the reign of God would come should also stop us short today. Perhaps it should cause us to think and reflect on God’s ways versus our anticipation. And perhaps it should force us to look deeply at the meaning of this table. This table, which NO ONE in that crowd anticipated, yet forever changed the world. We come to the table week in and week out because it changes the world, and it changes us. Come to the table of transformation.
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