August 9, 2020


From the Center for Faith and Giving

August 9, 2020


Lectionary Readings

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b

Romans 10:5-15

Matthew 14:22-23

Call to Worship (Based on Psalm 105)

Leader: Give thanks to the Lord, call on God’s name.

People: Make known God’s deeds among the peoples.

Leader: Sing praises to God, tell of God’s wonderful works.

People: Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Leader: Seek the Lord; seek God’s presence continually.

People: Remember the wonderful works God has done.

Leader: Give thanks to the Lord, call on God’s name.

People: Praise the Lord.


Opening Prayer

Holy God, we remember your majesty as we bow down to you in worship today. Remind us of your steadfast love and mercy and call us once again to be your people in this world. May this worship be a time of reconnection and recommittal. Amen.


Moment for Stewardship

Is there any room for dreamers in our world today? We are constantly beaten down by bad news, our plans are forever in limbo, our hope for the future fading as it becomes more uncertain. In order to dream, we have to be able to imagine a better world than the current one in which we are living. Right now, that’s hard to do.


And yet, it is the power of our imagination that can fuel our creativity and our generosity, just as it did for Joseph. His brothers tried to sabotage his ministry out of sheer envy, just as our world seeks to squelch our faith and douse our dreams. Sometimes, it may feel like there is no room for dreamers.


Your offering proclaims otherwise. When you give to God through this church, you are putting hands and feet to your dream, making tangible what exists in your soul. You are saying that you believe so much in the work of God that you’re willing to give away what you have in order to make it happen. It may feel like there is no room for dreams in our world right now, but the witness of Jesus Christ and your giving begs to differ. May God help us make our dreams for God’s kingdom become real. Let’s collect our tithes and offerings.


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Creator God, we know that faith is belief in things unseen, so we express our belief in you and your vision through our gifts today. May what we give fuel our dreams of a world that reflects your glory, your justice, your peace. Bless our offerings and receive them as our dreams put into action. Amen.


Invitation to Communion

Do you remember communion last week? It’s always so meaningful to come to this table, to float on God’s extravagant welcome, to be buoyed by the love Christ has shown us through these elements. Every time we leave this table, we are so filled with God’s grace it’s like we’re walking on water.


But at some point this week, I bet you started to sink. Maybe it was a harsh word uttered in anger, or an injustice that went without challenge. Maybe it was a disappointing diagnosis. Maybe it was just life. At some point, the tidal wave of grace offered at communion receded, and like Peter, you looked around and realized this world is full of whitecaps and flash storms. And you started to sink.


So, we’re here at this table again, crying out, “Lord, save me!” We are extending our hands, hoping against hope that God will hear our cries. And then, into our hands are placed a piece of bread and a cup, the spiritual lifeline we need to pull us from the depths of despair. Christ grabs us, pulls us up, and provides peace in the midst of our storms. All you have to do is extend your hand and receive the life-saving grace of God. Let us prepare our hearts for communion.


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