August 27, 2023

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +13   Proper 17A

Exodus 1:8 – 2:10 

Psalm 124 

 Romans 12:1-8

Matthew 16:13-20

Call to Worship  (inspired by Psalm 124)One:  In the face of heat and storm, our help is in the name of the Lord!
Many:  As we return to school and look to the fall,
                  our help is in the name of the Lord.
One:  Even when troubles mount up, we know the Lord is still on our side.
Many:  When we face challenges with nature or neighbors,
                   we know the Lord is still on our side!
One:  We’re gathered to bless the Lord, who has not given us up to despair.
Many:  Together, we declare “our help is in the name of the Lord!”

Opening Prayer 

We know you by many names, God. 
With gratitude we sing our praise to you as Creator.
In solemn reverence, we call you Redeemer.
Speaking with confidence, we declare “You are our Sustainer” and
thank you for the times you reveal yourself as Lord of Life!
Today, we bring many names to worship you in our prayers and songs,
   in our reading of scripture and our gathering round the Table.
Receive our gratitude and our efforts to honor you in this hour.  AMEN

(if you use an opening hymn, consider using CH#10, “Bring Many Names”)

Moment for Stewardship 

Matthew 16:16  is known by many Christians as “the Good Confession”.  In some congregations (yours?), individuals coming to join the church are asked to make a confession of faith, declaring “I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God”.

When we not only speak this, but we believe this statement, we want to align our life with the life of Jesus, who came to show people the Way of Life. 

Week by week, we acknowledge one way of moving into alignment is to share gifts with the One who has first given to us. Shirley Erena Murray, a contemporary Christian song writer, puts this idea into words with the hymn “Take My Gifts” (CH#381). 

(if you can sing one verse, do so.  Or invite the congregation to sing!)

      “Take whatever I can offer – gifts that I have yet to find,
        skills that I am slow to sharpen, talents of the hand and mind,
        things made beautiful for others in the place where I must be;
        take my gifts and let me love you, God who first of all loved me.”

Let us offer our gifts to God, with thankful hearts.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Receive these gifts, Lord God, as signs and symbols of our desire to line up our lives with the life of Jesus, the Christ.  By your power, multiply these gifts and challenge us to be ever-more generous, that we might share the Good News of your love with this hurting, hungry world.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

When Jesus asked Simon, “but who do YOU say that I am?”, Simon responded with a clear declaration:
           “You are the Messiah (the Christ), the Son of the living God”

Each time we come to this table, we, too, make a declaration, that Jesus is not simply a good man, a fine teacher, or a marvelous healer.  Who do YOU say Jesus is?  With Simon Peter, we can proclaim “Jesus is the Christ”. Remember!  He shared bread and wine with his followers on the night he was betrayed by one of his closest disciples.

Whether you count yourself a claimed and named disciple, a questioner seeking truth, or someone yearning to closely align your life with the Way, you are welcome at this table.

Come, for the feast is prepared and there is room at the Table.