October 1, 2023

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost + 18

World Communion Sunday

Exodus 17:1-7 

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 

Philippians 2:1-13

Matthew 21:23-32

World Communion Sunday, begun 90 years ago in Pittsburgh, PA, offers Christians an opportunity to be “at one” around the Table with sisters and brothers throughout the world.  Many of the following resources are adapted from work by Maren Tirabassi, and have been offered by her for free use.  Find some of her material here:  https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2020/09/25/holy-communion-liturgy-for-world-communion-sunday-october-5-2020/

Consider sharing varieties of communion breads, varieties of languages, world flags, or other visuals and tastes to lift up this world-wide celebration.

Call to Worship 

One: The whole world is in God’s hands.
Many:  Everything!  Everything that lives and breathes.
             Everything that is!
One: From the farthest spaces, to our inmost places —
Many: God is with us! Around the world, we are with God.  Alleluia!
One:  As people of Christ, we recognize this Table stretches
          from north to south, and east to west,
Many:  So let us praise God with song and prayer, with bread and cup,
           in varied languages, and with varied elements;  praise God!

Opening Prayer 

With all we have, with all we are,
  we worship you, God of all creation.
May our time, our gathering, our gifts and our voices
  praise you with overflowing love!  Alleluia!  Amen!

Moment for Stewardship  (in response to Exodus 17 and Psalm 78)

In the wilderness, God’s people complained because they’d come away from all that was familiar.  They were hungry, and thirsty.  In response, God’s chosen leader, Moses, obeyed God and struck the rock, which split, releasing abundant water! 

Even when we may feel crabby and out of sorts, fearful and disappointed, the stories of God’s provision for God’s own people can fill us with hope and anticipation.  When we open our eyes to recognize the abundance with which we are blessed, our natural response is gratitude!

Take a moment right now to call to mind the gifts of your own life.  Air!  Light!  For many, we rejoice with good health.  So many know love.  This congregation provides relationships of care and compassion.  (List several gifts, and/or invite people to speak out, if that’s comfortable in your setting)

With grateful hearts, we come to share signs and symbols of gratitude through our morning offering.  Mindful of our abundance, especially in light of so many across the globe, let’s share our gifts, knowing this is one way we can respond to some of the needs which are all around us, in Jesus’ name.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Loving God, receive these gifts as one way we can respond to the abundance with which our lives are filled.  Accept them, and help us use them to share the love of Jesus Christ for the people of the world.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

The ears of wheat are broken and scattered on the hillside to grow.
Gathered, they are broken again
and scattered throughout the city to make bread.
The bread is scattered to each home and broken to make nourishment.
Broken and scattered, broken and scattered,
and some becomes Christ’s body broken for us
as we are the people of God scattered through the city
and, perhaps, broken to give nourishment to others. (South Africa)

We receive this bread, broken, scattered and made whole.
We drink this cup, thirsty, longing, willing to be poured.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give you thanks O Lord, for all food that has arrived at our table from your generosity. Bless the people who have made it possible, from the cultivation of the earth until it arrived to us.

Give bread to those who are hungry, and to those who have bread give us hunger for you. Amen    (Mexico)

Benediction/ Bendicion

Que el Dios de la Vida,
sea tu guía en el camino de cada día,
sea tu refugio en momentos de inseguridad
y sea tu descanso en tiempos de fatiga.
Que el Dios de la Vida, te fortalezca cuando te sientas débil,
te consuele cuando estés triste y te abrace cuando te sientas sola.
Que el Dios de la Vida, que te quiere y te conoce,
te cubra con su ternura de Madre por siempre.  Amén.

May the God of Life be your guide on the road every day,
be your refuge in times of uncertainty
and be your rest in times of fatigue.
May the God of Life strengthen you when you feel weak,
comfort you when you feel sad and hug you when you feel alone.
May the God of Life who loves you and knows you,
cover you with the tenderness of a Mother forever.
Amen.    (Argentina)