November 7, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

All Saints Sunday

  Isaiah 25:6-9

Psalm 24

 Revelation 21:1-6a

 John 11:32-44

(These are the texts for All Saints Sunday B)

Call to Worship  (adapted from Revelation 21)One: Surrounded by the saints of all ages,
Many: we rejoice, for the home of God is among us!
One:  We trust God to be with us,
Many: wiping away every tear from our eyes.
One:  In the new heaven and earth, 
             mourning, crying and pain will be no more.
Many: Today we worship the One who is the Alpha and the Omega
             who is making all things new.

Opening Prayer  (adapted from a prayer by Thom Shuman)

God in Community, Holy in One, 

It is your hope which wipes away every tear, 
your grace which restores our souls, 
your mercy which makes us one with you. 

As we worship, eagerly offering you our praise, 
    grant us refreshment from the water of life.
With all the saints, we celebrate, 
   for you are with us, and we are your people.
Alleluia!     Amen  

Moment for Stewardship  

(This would be a great Sunday to tell of the generosity of one of the “saints” no longer living but whose influence continues to be felt in the congregation.  Consider asking one of your long-time members to tell the story of someone s/he remembers from years past who modeled generosity)    

 or, tell this:

Gretchen, a life-long member of the congregation, never had more money than what she needed for basics.  After raising 10 children, experiencing the death of her beloved husband, and working in the high school cafeteria until she was 70, Gretchen yearned to have something big to give to her church.

Quietly, Gretchen took on the weekly task of preparing communion.  Each Saturday, she would let herself into the building and lovingly prepare 10 trays of cups and 10 plates of what she called “the crackers”.  Then, after the hour-long process, she would go to the sanctuary for a time of prayer.

Following that morning routine, Gretchen would return home to put her “first fruits” offering in an envelope, carefully set-aside from the money she earned by selling to anyone who came to purchase fresh eggs.  

This pattern continued for nearly fifteen years, until Gretchen was no longer able to drive, stand for an hour, or keep her chickens.  Only a few months after that, Gretchen’s earthly life came to an end.

At her funeral, the whole congregation took communion, remembering Gretchen’s faithful offering of her time, talent and treasure.

What will this congregation remember of you and your faithful offering?

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give you thanks, O God, for these gifts provided by living saints, 
and for gifts which have come from all the saints who ever worshiped you,
from brush arbors or cathedrals,
weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses.
We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:
manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,
strong hands and those gnarled with age
holy hands used as wave offerings across the land.

We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;
whether hard-hatted or steel-booted, head ragged or aproned,
blue-collared or three-piece-suited.

These gifts and all our lives are leaving their mark on the earth for you, 
     for us, for our children yet to come.

Thank you, God, for the sacrifices made by those who have gone before us,
  and for all who are sacrificing to offer you these gifts of finances, 
  and gifts of time and talents.
Bless these gifts,
 bless each giver, 
and bless our memories of your gone-before-us saints, AMEN  

Adapted from:

Invitation to Communion  

We gather at this table, knowing we meet here to share Jesus’ love.

Long before we were born, this table was set for all who would come.

We rejoice because the table makes space for all who are here, 
          and all who have lived before us.

Reach out, then, and sense the opportunity to take their hands,
     these faithful ones from all generations.

Tho’ unseen, they make up part of the great cloud of witnesses, 
     surrounding we who are gathered in this place 
        and all who participate in virtual space.

Together, come to the table of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Come!  Drink the wine and share the Lord.

(consider using “Come, Share the Lord”, CH #408, as communion hymn)