May 14, 2023

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Sixth Sunday of Easter 

Acts 17:22-31

Psalm 66:8-20

 1 Peter 3:13-22

John 14:15-21

Call to Worship  (inspired by Psalm 66)

if you have someone who could sing these responses from
         “How Firm a Foundation” CH#618, try this:
One:  From work and school, from travel and home, 
          from exhaustion and enthusiasm, we come to worship God.
Solo:  Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed, 
              for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”
Many:  Our hearts are filled with gratitude.  We lift our voices to praise God! 
One:  We’ll tell the stories of what God has done, and is doing.
Solo:  When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
           my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
          The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
           thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
Many:  Blessed be God, who keeps filling us with steadfast love!
One:  From the noise all around us, to a quiet heartbeat in the silence,
Many:  let us step into this spacious place where we can focus on God.
Solo:    How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
            is laid for your faith in God’s excellent word!
            What more can be said than to you God has said,
              to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled

Opening Prayer  

Holy God, we lift our voices to worship you.
When we’ve faced trying times, we’ve cried out to you,
  and in so many ways, you’ve listened and lifted us up.
As we worship you today may the words of our mouths and
  the meditations of our hearts be a psalm of praise to honor you.
Blessed are you, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (inspired by John 14)

John’s Gospel records Jesus telling his disciples “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  (John 14:15)  

You may remember from the other three Gospels how Jesus responded to the one who asked: “what is the greatest commandment?”  

We know the greatest commandment as “love the Lord your God … and love your neighbor as yourself”.

Just as many of us have tried to demonstrate our love of Mothers today, we have this opportunity to demonstrate our love of God and neighbor as we receive our morning offering. Your gifts will help keep ministries flowing through this congregation to our community and to the wider world.

Eager to show our love in response to God’s love made visible, let’s present our tithes and offerings.

(if not using it later, this could be the best time to sing or have an ensemble sing verse 1 of CH#171, “God’s Love Made Visible”)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

On this day the US recognizes as Mother’s Day, we stand before you, God, 
whether our earthly Mother is someone who loved us or not, 
whether our earthly Mother is still among the living or not,
we rejoice that we have not been left orphaned.  

We remember Jesus providing the Spirit as our Advocate, the ever-present Spirit, who will not leave us comfortless.  We offer up these gifts as signs and symbols of our love for you and our gratitude for the Spirit among us.  Please help us translate this offering into ways of building up this congregation and the ministries to which you call us.  

Use us, our talents and our treasure, to proclaim the Good News of your love, which we know best in Jesus the Christ.  AMEN

(a vocal prayer could be verse 1 of CH 171, “God’s Love Made Visible, following the spoken prayer)

Invitation to Communion  

For many people, an invitation to dinner with family or friends is an appreciated opportunity to share time, laughter, stories, and good food.

We sometimes find it challenging to remember we are invited to share a meal with the Spirit of Christ each time we come to worship.  Here we do not pile our plates high.  Instead, we receive tiny tastes of bread and juice, sufficient to nourish our spirits as we remember the love Jesus poured out through his life and in his death.

An amazing gift comes as we recognize this table is enough not only for this congregation, but it stretches around the globe!  All are welcome to find a place and receive these elements in a symbolic meal some Christians know as a “love feast”.

Come!  The table is set, the feast is prepared, and all are welcome to connect here with God’s beloved ones.