October 23, 2022

Worship Resources for

the Center for Faith and Giving 

Proper 25C

Joel 2:23-32 

Psalm 65 

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Luke 18:9-14

(consider using “For the Beauty of the Earth” as an opening hymn, or the John Rutter version as a choral response to the prayer)

Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 65)

Leader:  Rejoice! 
             We’re here to sing our joy in the God of our salvation.
People:  This God – the hope of all the earth!
Leader:  We offer our praise, for God gives us land, air and water.
People:  We’re awed by all God provides!
Leader:  All who are drawn close to God, be happy!
People:  We rejoice, for God is our deliverer.  

Opening Prayer

God of our salvation,

Thank you for drawing us to you in this time of worship,
      (some of us in person, and some by the gift of technology).
Thank you the variety of ways you answer our prayers.  
Hear us now as we offer you our praise.
Receive our heart-felt joy 
 as we raise our songs of thanksgiving for all the beauty of the earth.   AMEN

Moment for Stewardship

In Luke 18, Jesus tells the parable of two men, praying in the temple.  One we would, today, call a braggart or an egotistical show-off.  The other we might call a reserved man, or one who did not think of himself more highly than he ought.

If you could imagine these two on a spectrum of financial givers, where woould you place yourself on that spectrum?  

Are you closer to the one who stood up in public, declaring aloud how great he is because of what he does (including giving 10% to the temple)?  Or are you closer to the one who takes a back seat, knowing he could be doing much more, and praying for God’s mercy?

The truth is, we can never out-give God!  And most of us will never be able, if we’re honest, to brag how we give 10% of our worth to the church.  

But we ALL are able to step away from the temptation to be brassy, bragging, and belittling others.  All of us might be inspired by this parable as we seek to embody a humble spirit and stretch ourselves toward significant financial support of the church and the ministries of this congregation.

As we receive our morning offering, may each of us find courage to be BOLD in our giving, and humble in our heart.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God whom we exalt,

Your generosity continues in every moment.  Thank you for all you provide for us and for this amazing planet on which we live.  

Please accept these gifts as one way for us to signal our desire to be part of your abundant provision for life.  Help us use this cash, these checks, and our on-line contributions to extend your care to the lost, the lonely, and the least among us.   


Invitation to Communion

In many places around the world, elaborate and beautiful cathedrals may be found in town centers of many old towns.  

For those who may have seen such a place, did you notice, no matter how spectacular the architecture, the stained glass or the mosaics, the sanctuary was open for ALL to come in?

Although worship might utilize a different language or different liturgy than ours, in places all over the globe, people come to offer their praise and their petitions.  So it is in our own sanctuary.

Each time we gather, some are filled with elation and others come with shredded hearts and pain-filled minds.  Some come dressed in their finest and others wear clothes which will take them on to the golf course, into the football stadium or out to visit family on the farm.  Some wear a mask of neutrality, some are distracted and unfocused and others are tuned in to the full frequency of God’s presence.

No matter where we gather for worship, or what state of mind we hold, in these moments, let us all be drawn to this Table.  Here we can be confident, for there is a place for each of us, and enough food for all to share.  

Whether we know ourselves to be braggarts or beggars, we are invited to meet Jesus in this meal.  May the bread which we eat and the cup from which we drink be symbols of the life Christ offers to each and to all.  

Come!  Let us eat the bread and drink deeply from the cup.