April 18, 2021
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Easter III/Earth Sunday
Call to Worship
One: Peace be with you!
Many: It’s Jesus’ blessing for his followers…including US!
One: Peace be with you.
Many: Jesus continues to startle us, calling us to be witnesses.
One: Peace be with you!
Many: We receive the gift of God’s “shalom”,
and rejoice as disciples of the resurrected Christ!
Stepping into the turmoil of life, God,
you still offer peace to all who seek to follow Jesus as the Christ.
We rejoice as we read of that calm voice chasing away darkness and distress, bringing new light and insight to life and death.
In an upper room, the Living One made the extraordinary experience of resurrection an everyday encounter.
Today, those words of peace still our hurry. We’re grateful the Easter story is able to be savored,
filling our imaginations, encouraging each of us to dream of what is possible.
So continue to make us whole in our identity as disciples.
Challenge us to be truth-telling witnesses of your love made known in Christ.
Adapted from https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship/weekly-worship/monthly/april-2021/18-april-third-sunday-of-easter#prayers
Moment for Stewardship
This week marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day (April 22). We recognize our calling as “stewards” means we are care-takers of the creation God has provided. From Genesis right through the rest of the Bible and on to today, people of faith recognize God’s good gifts include earth’s land, air and water on which our lives depend.
In this Easter-tide, we continue to rejoice in the new life of the resurrected Jesus. Yet our own lives so often ignore the actions we can take to be stewards.
So, today, we pray for our own lives to be raised up/inspired to the point that we might willingly become witnesses to God’s love made known in Jesus.
As we receive our morning offering, which allows our congregation to thrive, may we also dedicate ourselves to take actions of restoration and resurrection for our Earth.
(you can find images here for use on your screen.
(Consider asking folks to plant a tree at home or in their neighborhood.
Is it possible for you to plant a tree following worship today? Or next Sunday? Could you send home bags and invite each one to pick up litter, or gather plastics to be re-cycled rather than trashed?)
Prayer of Thanksgiving
We thank you for the creation which you freely give to us.
In gratitude for your gifts, we respond with our desire to be faith-filled stewards, caring for creation.
Please receive and help us use these gifts for the on-going life of this congregation and for ways we will engage as witnesses to your desire for full and abundant life on Earth. AMEN
Invitation to Communion
After more than a year for many Christians, some are able to return to gathering in person for worship. However, even with vaccinations, some congregations may be meeting for worship, but not yet ready to bring their favorite food to “fellowship meals”. Do you remember great bowls of fruit salad, platters of fried chicken and a dessert table groaning from all the cookies, pies, cakes and puddings?
But an even more significant meal is taking place when we hear the invitation for all to come to Christ’s table. Here, a crust of bread and a sip of wine shared in community become the core ingredients of our discipleship diet. The Table before us provides a mysterious combination of spiritual health food and comfort food, low in fat and high in grace and mercy.
Come to Christ’s table. Come as you are. Come hungry, come helpless, come hopeful.
Eat and live to go and tell, for now WE are the witnesses. Whether bold or fearful, we’re called to be full and faithful as we go, tell and invite. There is room for all and plenty of comfort food to share.
(adapted from https://www.stewardshipoflife.org/2012/04/potlucks-comfort-food-and-faith/)