October 29 (All Saints Focus)

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

      All Saints Sunday       
(additional resources, focused on All Saints)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12 

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Matthew 22:34-46

Sing “For All the Saints” or “Give Thanks for Life” as an opening hymn.  

Call to Worship 
(inspired by Psalm 90)

Leader:  Gathered in this space, we’re surrounded by                            
                    so great a cloud of witnesses!
People:  We remember saints no longer living among us,
Leader:  those who knew the favor of the Lord our God.                         
People:  We give thanks for those whose witness laid a foundation for
                    our own lives.
Leader:  We give thanks for the ways God continues to speak through
                    those who do God’s will —
                    saints whose lives inspire and model for us all.            
People:   For all the saints, both past and present,
                    we lift our hands and hearts in gratitude as we worship God.                               

Opening Prayer

Holy God, even as we count our days and number our years, we give thanks that you are from everlasting to everlasting.  

Before any of your saints came to life, and a thousand years after we all die, you were creating and you will still be caring for this cosmos.  

So make yourself known to us in these moments. 
Share your face with us in ways we can recognize you. 
Show us your steadfast love both here,
     and throughout this war-torn and weary world,
     that, with your “hesed”, the work of our hands might prosper
        and your cosmos will sing with the psalms of the saints.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (inspired by 1 Thessalonians)

Paul, writing to the believers known as Thessalonians, declared his intention to share the gospel (Good News) of God with them, accompanied by sharing his own self.  Today, as we remember and give thanks for saints who have gone before us, we recognize the many ways they gave of themselves to this congregation, and to us.

Week by week, at our offering time, we invite each person to share time, talent and treasure, all of which is needed to build up the koinonia, the community, of faith.  I remember … (if possible, using names of those who have died but who will be remembered by some in the congregation, tell in a short description, of someone who gave their time, someone who gave their talent, and someone who gave their treasure).

What will you bring to offer today?  And how will you plan to make your contributions in the future to share your very self with this part of the body of Christ?

Prayer of Thanksgiving

All things come from you, O God. 
Receive and accept the gifts we now offer you.  Help us use them wisely, that our love for you and for our neighbor might be made known as we
utilize these gifts in the ministries of this congregation.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion

Much to my amazement, I read Americans spend more than $10 BILLION on Halloween.  This includes costumes, candy, decorations, treats – the second highest spending holiday for the year (Christmas being the first).

Few today seem to connect Halloween to “All Hallows Eve”. Probably the origins come from “Samhain”, a harvest/new year celebration of the Celts, 2000 years ago.  Christians may have adapted this as a preparation for All Saints Day in the early years of the church.

While many will be dressing up in costume today, or Monday or Tuesday, to party for Halloween, we’re invited here and now to a “come as you are” party given by Jesus.

No need to dress up, or pretend to be what we are not.  Rather, this is a time and place we’re invited to turn away from all that distracts us, and turn toward the Way of Jesus.  It’s the Way of Love – love for God and love for neighbor. 

All who seek to live in the Way of Love, come find nourishment! 
All who yearn to be wrapped in the steadfast love (hesed) of God,
    most clearly made known in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus,
    come share these gifts of bread and cup as we remember the One
    who called fisherfolk and tax collectors, women and men,
    poor and those who lived with plenty.

Come!  The table is set, and there’s a place for you,
   just as you are, just as you pledge yourself to become.