June 9, 2024

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Pentecost +3

1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15) 

 Psalm 138

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Mark 3:20-35

Call to Worship
(inspired by Psalm 138)One:  With whole-hearted energy let’s offer our thanks to the Lord, our God!
Many:  We sing “praise” to the One who answers our cries.
One:  Not only this congregation, but across the world, people remember
            and give thanks for God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.
Many: Great is God’s glory!
One:  Even in the midst of trouble, the Lord delivers us.
Many: So we sing our praise!  (use a verse ofCH#23 “Praise, My Soul, the
                                              God of Heaven”, or CH# 24 “The God of
                                              Abraham Praise”, or #26 “God, we Give
                                              You Thanks and Praise”)

Opening Prayer 

Lord of Life, thank you for your faithfulness even in the face of our forgetfulness or faithlessness.  We remember you’ve answered us in
moments of our greatest need, strengthening our spirits.
With gratitude we remember how you’ve offered us your care. 
So receive our praise, from the depths of our hearts!  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship 

In the early chapters of Mark’s Gospel we read of Jesus coming into his own clear identity, baptized and claimed as God’s beloved Son.  He begins to heal, to teach, and to surround himself with his chosen disciples.  At the end
of chapter 3, Jesus makes clear he’s claiming this community of chosen
individuals (those who do the will of God) as his family.

As one part of the Body of Christ, this congregation becomes our family when we do the will of God, loving each other and those whom we serve.
Week by week, we have opportunity to build up this faith family with our gifts of financial support, our shared talents, and our commitment of time.

If Jesus were standing among us, I wonder if he would claim each of us?  Would he claim this congregation?  Would we be identified as “my brother, my sister, my mother”? 

Yearning to be claimed, let us share our gifts, our tithes and our offerings.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Creator God,

In the name of your beloved Son we’ve gathered to sing your praise,
hear the words of scripture, and offer back a portion of our financial resources, our talent and our time. 
We’re eager to build up your Realm on earth as it is in heaven, so please accept our gifts and help us put them to best use.

Such as we have, we give you, willingly! AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

Jesus, despite those who believed he was “out of his mind”, pointed out
“…if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”

Does that apply here?  For us?  If so, know, as we come to this communion table, we’re invited to come together – recognizing and demonstrating we are not a divided congregation. 

Come together.  Let this meal bind us to one another like a meal can do in the middle East, where people came together to eat and are no longer able to identify as enemies.1

Chosen, named and claimed as followers of Jesus, the Christ, let us feast in remembrance of the One whose Spirit leads us into a life as covenant partners.

  1.  In Bedouin tribes and in Arab villages communities there is the practice of “sulha” (an Arabic term, sulha is related to the Hebrew root for the word “table” – “shulhan”). Sulha means a meal between enemies for the purpose of reconciliation.  If there is a conflict (for example, if someone from one tribe gets hurt by a member of another tribe), blood revenge may swiftly follow, usually resulting in injury or death. Before this happens, or even after it happens, an attempt at reconciliation is often made. The two families who are involved in a conflict come together to eat. The guilty party confesses they were wrong and the wronged party accepts the apology.