August 22, 2021

Worship Resources

Pentecost XIV

An opening chorus could be “If You’re Happy and you Know it”, with the next line, “clap your hands” x 2, then “if you’re happy and you know it then your life will surely show it, if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.”

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 84)

One:  If you’re happy and you know it,
Many:  we’ll trust in God!
One:  If you’re happy and you know it,
Many:  we’ll forever sing God’s praise!
One:  If you’re happy and you know it,
Many:  then we’ll know our strength is in the Lord our God!

Opening Prayer 

God of every good gift,
We come today, setting aside the frustrations and difficulties of our day,
  ready to focus on you and on your goodness.
We rejoice in the privilege of gathering in this beautiful place,
 joining with others who come to praise your name.
So lift us up through the beauty of this hour, the joy of this faith community,
 and the delight of sharing in scripture, song, sermon and Table celebration.
Receive our praise, which we offer in Jesus’ name.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Ephesians 6)

The scripture reading from Ephesians 6 gives us a whole new picture of “Sunday-go-to-meeting” clothes!

Do you remember having Sunday clothes, saved from all other occasions in order to offer God our best when we came into the sanctuary?

I’ve often imagined what we could have worn if Ephesians 6 described our Sunday “best”, instead of lace socks and Mary Jane polished shoes!

We would show up in the whole armor of God:  a belt of truth,
the breastplate of righteousness, shoes for proclaiming the gospel of peace,
a shield of faith, a helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (the word of God).

Gratefully, we’re not now so concerned about Sunday clothes, but what is the BEST we can offer to God today?

Ephesians helps us hear we need resources to struggle against the powers which threaten to destroy the growing reality of God’s Realm in our midst. 

Our offering this morning is one means for you to participate in building up God’s Realm – with gifts which provide_____________________________.
(name what your congregation is doing to live in love:  food pantry?  Providing space for AA, NA or other helping groups?  Inter-faith conversations?  Habitat for Humanity build?)

What you give matters! 

Our offering today helps provide ways for each of us to stand FIRM,
facing off against the powers and
standing against the lethargy, ennui and fear
which threaten to undo God’s desire for this world.

So let’s offer our Sunday best as we pass the offering trays!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Great Architect of the Cosmos,

Thank you for the ways you’ve designed life to be rich and full and good.
Thank you for each one who has participated in this offering,
   and for these resources, given so we (as believers)
                                            and this congregation
might stand firmly on your side of the confrontation between good and evil.

Receive these gifts and accept our desire to stand with you,
even as we seek to walk in the Way of Jesus, the Christ.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

The pharmacy shelves are filled with assorted vitamins and supplements, encouraging shoppers to buy a bottle and take them in order to strengthen our eyes, hearts, digestive system or whole body.

When we come to this Table, we find two simple elements: 
a simple bit of bread (cracker/wafer)
and a tiny taste of juice (wine).

Yet these elements provide strength for our whole spirit/mind/heart/soul!

Come, all who are weak, weary or worn.
Come, all who yearn to be strong, to have power,
        to be energized to stand against evil.

Come, for the Table is spread, and you are invited to find your place.
“Come, take the bread, come, drink the wine, come share the Lord.”

(consider using CH #408, “Come, Share the Lord” as your communion hymn, or putting the words on the screen for communion meditation)