June 4, 2023

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +1

Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a

 Psalm 8

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Matthew 28:16-20

Call to Worship  (adapted from Psalm 8)
One:  Gathered to worship the Creator of the stars and all of life,
Many: we lift our hands and hearts to praise God, whose glory
              is greater than all the heavens.
One:  Formed as God’s own people, we are just a little lower than God.
Many:  And it is God who gives dominion to humans!
One:  How excellent is God’s name in all the earth!
Many:  How majestic is

(if you want to focus on the opening and closing verses, or lean into “when I look at your heavens…the moon and the stars you have established”, use this video as an opening for worship, or as a visual opening prayer: https://www.google.com/search?q=o+lord+our+lord+how+excellent+thy+name+acapella&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS849US849&oq=o+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l3j69i57j0i433i512j46i131i340i433i512j46i131i175i199i340i433i512j46i199i433i465i512j46i512l2.3137j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&bshm=nce/1#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:7265adb8,vid:xFsAAsh16vk )

Opening Prayer 

God, maker of all life, we’re together to give you our praise and offer you our heart-felt gratitude for making us in your image. 
We’re surrounded by a billion stars, and yet we only know ONE where you’ve given dominion to your creatures. You’ve called us by name, and made your home with your human sons and daughters. 
So we praise you and ask you to draw us close so we may be filled once more by your Spirit and led into a new week of love and service.   AMEN

Moment for Stewardship

Matthew’s Gospel ends with a blessing from the resurrected Jesus, framed as “marching orders” for the disciples.  Early Christians would have heard these instructions as a job description for followers: 

1)  go make disciples

2)  baptize the new believers

3)  teach them everything I commanded you

4)  remember “I am with you”

As we prepare for our offering, we recognize our financial gifts, joined with our gifts of time and talent, make it possible for us to
make disciples, inviting others through  _________
    [please describe specifically:  advertising?  On-line presence?      
      Billboards? License plates? Support of a food pantry? Free classes?)
welcome newly baptized (describe!  with a reception or lunch?  Banners at baptism? Introductory classes to link newcomers?)
teach Jesus’ commandments (Sunday School?  Bible study?  Book groups?)
remember Jesus will always be with us (communion, small groups who pray together?, support groups for those grieving?, groups for those recovering from addiction?)

Knowing your offering makes a difference for this congregation and for many who yearn for a community with which to identify, let us share our tithes and gifts.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all creation, thank you for each one who is present, and for all who continue to offer portions of their time, their talent and their treasure to follow Jesus’ instructions.  Inspire each of us to be grateful for all you’ve given each of us, and generous in our giving, that we might continue to share the Good News of the Gospel both here and around the world.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

(quotation from F. Buechner and reflection from Joanna Siebert, found at

“There are two ways of remembering. One way is to make an excursion from the living present back into the dead past. The old sock remembers how things used to be when you and I were young, Maggie. The faraway look in his eyes is partly the beer and partly that he’s really far away.

The other way is to summon the dead past back into the living present. The young widow remembers her husband, and he is there beside her.

When Jesus said, ‘Do this in remembrance of me,’  he was not prescribing a periodic slug of nostalgia.”
 (Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words)

Buechner gives us two ways to remember, going back and bringing memories forward. The going back to past memories can allow us to relive a scene from our lives. Anthony de Mello writes that sometimes that scene was too powerful to experience at the first time. As we relive it, we can participate in it again and again perhaps with a greater sense of its meaning.

Bringing memories forward is like doing active imagination with a friend or someone you deeply loved who has died. You imagine their presence with you. My experience is sometimes you will feel their presence even without trying to imagine it. Buechner believes that when Jesus said, “Do this is remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24), Jesus is calling us to bring him back into our presence and know and feel his love so that we might go out and do the same for others. 

Some believe Jesus is actually present in the bread and wine at the Eucharist. Others believe the bread and wine are messengers or symbols reminding us of Jesus’ presence and love in our lives.
Either way, the God of love is present.