Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 148)
(consider using the scripture chorus “Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah!”
as an opening hymn or as the completion of this call to worship)
One: We’re here to praise God!
Many: Yes! Praise the Lord!
One: God’s glory is above all creation,
Many: God’s faithful actions sustain us all.
One: From the pew and from the chancel, let us praise the Lord our God.
Many: (sing “Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah!”
Can you sing it joyfully? Can you sing it as a round?)
God of all times and all places,
we turn to you in this hour of worship, eager to offer you our praise.
We remember our ancestors in the faith, gathering to praise your name
in temples, in the open fields, in underground catacombs.
We picture John’s vision of you, coming to dwell with mortals.
Thank you for your presence here and now.
Thank you for receiving our prayers, our hymns, our gratitude, our worship.
Open us to hear your Good News in this hour,
and to live it out each day
until the coming of your new heaven and new earth. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship (inspired by Acts 11:1-18)
Peter is one of my favorite Bible figures! Why?
Peter followed Jesus from early on, giving up his identity as a fisherman.
Peter gave up his resistance when Jesus offered to wash his feet, blurting out “not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!”
Following a dream vision of animals he might eat, it’s Peter who gives up his life-long discipline of eating only “clean” animals, understanding that vision as a signal to welcome non-Jews into the company of the baptized followers of Jesus.
Today, we’re invited to follow in Peter’s footsteps, giving up our claim to ALL our financial resources. Intentionally reaching deep into our wallets, our savings, our set-aside resources, today we’re invited to give financial symbols of our whole lives as we receive our morning offering.
When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, like Peter, we’ll see what God-inspired ministries can emerge from our shared resources.
Prayer of Thanksgiving (inspired by Acts 11:1-18)
Generous and Ever-giving God,
we offer these gifts today in gratitude,
knowing you have given us so much more.
You gave your Son, Jesus, to us. You offer the wonder of creation to meet our needs for food and shelter. You provide your love to all.
You allow us to claim “the repentance that leads to life!”
Although our giving pales by comparison, we pray you will use these gifts and use each of us to build up your Realm on earth.
(adapted from https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship-planning/we-are-witnesses/fifth-sunday-of-easter-year-c-lectionary-planning-notes/fifth-sunday-of-easter-year-c-offertory-prayer)
Invitation to Communion
For many people here, this Table is a reminder of an old, old meal.
Old because it was Jesus who instituted what we now call “the Last Supper.”
Old because Christians have remembered Jesus in bread and wine for nearly 2000 years.
Old because some of us have shared communion from this Table for all the years (or decades!) of our lives.
Yet today, we come to hear the promise of a new thing.
In the book of Revelation, John declares,
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…
and the one seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”
This meal anticipates the NEW thing God is doing!
So you are invited to participate today in a feast which comes like water pouring from a spring – the spring of the water of life.
Fresh! Clean! New!
Come, drink in the good draught!
It carries the promise of a new thing: “God with us.”