June 2, 2019

June 2, 2019

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter 7

Acts 16:16-34

Psalm 97

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

John 17:20-26

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 97)

One:  Let all the earth rejoice!
Many:  The Lord our God is the highest of all the earth!
One:  God guards the lives of the faithful and rescues them from evil.
Many:  Light dawns for the righteous and joy for the upright in heart.
One:  So rejoice in the Lord,
Many:  give thanks to God’s holy name!

Opening Prayer 

God, your realm is all around us.
We rejoice because of your power and presence at work in the world.
Thank you for the ways you work with your people,
making a way even in the midst of those who turn away from you.
We come to worship you, to celebrate the light you provide,
and proclaim your righteousness to all the earth.
Hear our prayer!  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship 

In the book of Acts, Paul and Silas are preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ  when a young slave girl began following them.  This un-named girl would shout out loud, announcing: “these men proclaim to you a way of salvation”.

While some might appreciate being announced in such a public way, Paul and Silas were annoyed, and ordered the spirit in her to come out.  That left her owners dismayed, because she lost her ability to know things she could tell the world.

Paul and Silas, jailed because of the result of their action, could have settled into silence. However, they gave what they had to give:  prayer and singing hymns to God!

What about us? When life is good and all is well, many of us find it’s easy to give what we have – time, talent and treasure.

But in those tough times — when we’re discouraged, out of a job, facing divorce, forced to move – or even in the “ordinary” times, when it’s easy to focus on ourselves, what can we give then?

Today, I invite you to give the best of what you have.
If it’s music, then SING! (or play!).  If it’s ability to create something beautiful, then put your hands and heart into producing the best you can.
If it’s financial support for this congregation, for our outreach ministries, or for the larger church, then give joyfully and generously!

In the spirit of Paul and Silas, let us share our morning tithes, gifts and offerings!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of abundance, thank you for the ways you encourage us to give what we have to build up your Realm. Please accept these gifts, bless each one who has given, and encourage us all to find ways we can respond in gratitude to the goodness you provide,

Invitation to Communion 

In the story Luke tells about Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-34), the jailed believers experienced a remarkable earthquake, which opened the jail doors and unfastened the chains on each prisoner.

When they could have escaped, they stayed, thus saving the life of the jailer (who was ready to kill himself).  The jailer, astounded to find the prisoners still in place, immediately asked “what must I do to be saved?”

When he heard the gospel, he believed and then immediately was baptized.  In gratitude, he shared a meal with his family and these preachers.

When we come to this Table, we find a thanksgiving feast, reminding us of the way we’ve answered this same question:  “What must I do to be saved?”

Here’s the crux of our faith life:  we believe, we’re baptized…and we come, week by week, to give thanks to God at this table in remembrance of Jesus the Christ!

All are welcome to join Paul, Silas, and the jailer as we participate in this meal.  Here our spirits, minds and hearts are nourished and we claim our identity as beloved believers.

Come, for the table is spread.