June 23, 2024

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Givin

Pentecost +5

1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 

Psalm 9:9-20 

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Mark 4:35-41

Call to Worship 
(inspired by Ps. 9)One:  All who know the name of our Creator, in whom we put our trust,
Many:  we say “Yes!” We’ve come to sing praises to the Lord.
One:  May this Lord be gracious to us, and accept our praise!
Many:  May the Lord be made known to us in this time and in this place.
One:  For it is the Lord who acts justly.
Many:  Together we celebrate for the needy shall not always be forgotten.
All: Our Lord is a safe and secure place in times of trouble!

Opening Prayer 

Holy Lord of Life,
Come build your new creation through us who love you
    and yearn to be true followers of Jesus, the Christ.
Give us vision to see your Realm in our midst,
     and strength to seek hope even in the face of fear.

Moment for Stewardship 

In Mark’s Gospel we hear the only parable of Jesus not found in any other Gospel – the parable of the growing seed.

Jesus compares the realm of God to someone scattering seed, which then grows as the sower sleeps, works, sleeps and works.  The sower doesn’t know HOW it grows, but recognizes it will not produce a stalk, a head or the full grain unless the seed first has been scattered by the farmer.

We realize we have opportunity to be like that farmer as it comes to our time of bringing our gifts to offer them to God.  We don’t know how the Good News of the Gospel gets communicated…but we know it takes resources to make that possible.

Today, you’re invited to step into the role of that farmer from Jesus’ parable.  With energy and enthusiasm, let’s bring our financial gifts to offer back to God, that they might become the seeds which will grow into a mighty harvest!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Come, Creator God, bless these gifts and each one who has offered them.  Help us use all that has been offered.  May each dollar become like healthy seeds, planted in good ground, to produce a 30, 60 or 100 fold increase!
May each giver rejoice, knowing the time of harvest will come, and each offering will provide opportunity to become Good News in public form.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

In Second Corinthians Paul pleads “open wide your hearts”.

Week by week, we’re invited to come to the Table, to share in the feast we often call communion.  Our spirit matters when we’re welcomed here.

If we’re annoyed, frustrated, struck by boredom or caught up in anticipating what we need to do when we finish here (who’s watching to see if you’ll be able to get to lunch before folks from the church down the street?), this ritual designed to bind us together as Christ’s body becomes mundane and nearly meaningless.

Yet if we open wide our hearts, we can more fully “re-member” (that is, put the pieces – the members – of Christ’s life together) in this specific time and place.

Let’s take a moment to focus. 
Pull in a deep breath…and as you exhale, 
imagine you, at a dining table with Jesus and his disciples.

Here we share a simple meal,
  in the company of our beloved Rabbi,
  with time to relish how we’ve been named and claimed
  as followers/learners/disciples of Jesus.

Let this food to us be blessed:  bread, given that we may live.

Let this juice be a sign of love:  a covenant connection,
                                              sealed by Christ’s death.
Let this feast be our celebration of the resurrection which holds the promise
 of eternal life.

All is prepared, and you are welcome at this meal.