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Opening Prayer

Worship Words: May 16, 2021

PRAYER 1 by Sarah Erickson Merciful God, you invite us to be in beloved community, connected to you and one another. Help us nurture these connections so that they lead to the fullest expression of our shared humanity instead of building walls of separation between one another and the community you desire. We pray in the name of the One leads in the way of resurrection hope. Amen.

PRAYER 2 by Sarah Erickson Merciful Jesus, you shower us with grace. You show us how to be faithful disciples. Yet we are often quick to dismiss the complex simplicity of it all. Forgive our stubbornness. Help us see your vision of shalom and do our part to make it so. In the name of the One who is mercy incarnate. Amen.

PRAYER 3 by Sarah Erickson You, Lord, are the thread connecting us to one another. You weave together days into months and years. As this week begins,  hear our prayers and make sense of them, the laments and wails of despair, the sighs too deep for words, the acclamations of praise and wonder. Open us to receive your responses, so that we may connect our lives to You and the world you so love. In the name of the Christ who binds us together in love. Amen.

CALL to WORSHIP by Barb Hedges-Goettl

Why are we waiting on the promises of God?                                                            

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.                                      

Why do we believe in the coming of God’s kingdom?                                                            

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.                                           

What do we witness to?                                                                                        

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again.                                 

Why do we devote ourselves to prayer?                                                                           

 Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again. 

PSALMS in a TIME of SICKNESS: PSALM 1 paraphrase by Barb Hedges-Goettl

O God, bless us by making us more and more your people.

Keep us from following the bad advice of those who aren’t seeking you.

Redirect us away from the paths taken by those who don’t listen to you.

Free us from sitting with those who disbelieve the truth

    and scorn compassion.

Let us delight in you: in your Word and your teachings.

Fill our hearts, minds, and souls with you every hour of the day and night.

Plant us by your streams of living water. Grow us into trees rooted in you.

Make us fruitful according to your time and plan.

Let us flourish as your people, following your way,

    without withering or faltering.

Those who don’t follow you are like chaff driven by the wind.

They cannot withstand judgment.

They do not stand with the congregation of the righteous.

Their way perishes.

Chart the path for us, O God.

Watch over us on the way, O Lord, to you.

May your way guide our feet,

    and our paths help others find their way.

In the name of Jesus, our Guide and Pioneer, Amen.

PRAYER of CONFESSION by Barb Hedges-Goettl based on the Belhar Confession

Prayer of Confession #3

Call to Confession:

One: God has given the church the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ, but we fall short of God’s call to be salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Prayer of Confession:

All: God, our fears and prejudices run deep. Sometimes we can only see our own point of view.

We stick with those who are like us, rarely venturing outside our comfort zones. We do not hear

those crying for justice and true peace. We blame those who are suffering and in need instead of standing by them. We deny the power of your gospel to unite us with those who are different from us.

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear. Use us to open new possibilities of life for all of your people.

Assurance of Forgiveness

One: We are reconciled with God and with one another through Christ’s work. Thanks be to God

for the Good News: All:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Confession of Faith #3/Litany by Barb Hedges-Goettl (drawn from the Belahr Confession)

The three parts of this litany may be used separately or in flexible combinations.

a.

One: We believe that unity is both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ.

Many: Through the work of God’s Spirit, unity is a binding force.

One: At the same time, unity must also be earnestly pursued and sought.

Many: We must be continually built up to attain this unity.

One: Our unity must become visible to the world.

Many: Separation and hatred between people and groups is sin, already conquered by Christ.

One: Anything threatening our unity has no place in the church.

Many: We commit ourselves to resisting anything that threatens our unity.

One: The unity of the people of God is active and made manifest.

All: Thanks be to God.

(For this next section it works well for the two groups to make the proclamations below to each other.)

Group One: The communion of saints called from the entire human family is united by God.

Group Two: As the people of God, we love one another.

Group One: We experience, practice, and pursue community with one another.

Group Two: We give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another.

Group One: We are a benefit and blessing to one another.

Group Two: We share one faith and have one calling.

Group One: We are one body, and are of one soul and mind.

Group Two: We have one God and Father.

Group One: We are filled with one Spirit.

Group Two: We are baptized with one baptism.

Group One: We eat of one bread and drink of one cup.

Group Two: We confess one name and are obedient to one Lord.

Group One: We work for one cause and share one hope.

All: Thanks be to God.

c.

All: Together we confess that God unites us in faith.

Together we come to know the height, and the breadth, and the depth of the love of Christ.

Together we are built up to the full stature of Christ.

Together we know and bear one another’s burdens.

We admonish one another. We comfort one another. We suffer with one another.

We need one another and we build up one another.

Together we pray. Together we serve God in this world.

Together we fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.

Thanks be to God for drawing and keeping us together.

Charge/Benediction in 2 voices by Barb Hedges-Goettl

L: By the power of the Holy Spirit         P: we are Christ’s witnesses. 

L By the power of the Holy Spirit          P: we witness to Christ at work in you. 

L: By the power of the Holy Spirit          P: we witness to Christ at work in others. 

L: By the power of the Holy Spirit         P:  we witness to Christ in the world 

ALL: We live, love, and are blessed by the power of the Spirit. Thanks be to God. Amen. 

______________________________

Barb Hedges-Goettl is a Presbyterian pastor with a doctorate in liturgy. She and her husband recentlly moved from Philadelphia to Rehoboth Beach, DE. She has been working with inner-city middle school students as a special ed teacher and will soon begin to serve as a full-time interim pastor at Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Snow Hill, MD.

_____________________________

If you are looking for some words to use for worship, or some inspiration for your own, here are some you can use or adapt, thanks to members of our RevGals community. If you can please give credit in video descriptions or print versions, that would be great, though spoken verbal attribution is not necessary.

Worship Resources for Transfiguration Sunday (2/14) and Ash Wednesday (2/17)

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY

IMAGE

Photo by Tamar Dolev.
Sunset from Norfolk Island. Feel free to use it. If you want to know more about this beautiful island, then visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfolk_Island

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

by Barb Hedges-Goettl
‘God Almighty, we give you thanks for your creation and care,
for the words and witness of those who have gone before us,
and of those who live the Christian life alongside us.
We thank you for your steadfast, eternal presence,
even when we do not see, hear or follow you.

You sent your son Jesus to reveal you love.
Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection,
you reveal to us the way, the truth and the life–
not just at the Transfiguration on the mountain,
but in this very time and place
through the bread and cup you give us to share.
And so we praise and thank you
with these people in this place,
and with all your people across every time and place.

By the work of your Holy Spirit,
reveal to us that we eat together at the very table of Christ Jesus.
Make us one with you and with each other.

Through this holy meal,
teach us to know and follow your way.
Ground and settle us in your truth,
and make us sharers of your abundant and eternal life.

[Confirm what we know.
Reveal to us what we do not know.
Fill us up with whatever we lack.
Keep us faithfully in your service
until we feast together in your eternal kingdom.]

Following Christ Jesus, himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
we do what he commanded us to do:

Like him, we take bread, and having given thanks,
we break it and give it to the disciples, saying, as Christ Jesus did,
“Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

And, also like Jesus, we take the cup, saying
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Prayer of Confession

(from Psalm 51:1-4, New Living Translation adapted by Barb Hedges-Goettl)
 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Forgive me, O God.
In your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Forgive me, O God
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Forgive me, O God
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Forgive me, O God
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned. Forgive me, O God
I have done what is evil in your sight. Forgive me, O God

=

Opening Prayer/Confession of Faith

by Barb Hedges-Goettl

We gather together as the church

When we can’t summon our “Jesus-loves-me” smiles

When we are not feeling happy or better

When traditions don’t seem to suffice

When we know all too well that we are ashes and dust

                    Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

When we are not sure how to come before God

When we miss being in our building

When we miss being with our community

When all seems strange and uncertain           

          Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

When we need to lament

When we are a grieving people, a weeping people,

When we are dependent on God for help and healing

When we seek God’s Kingdom until that Kingdom comes

          Then God calls us to return to God.

We gather together as the church

Because God creates in us a clean heart, a new and right spirit within us

Because God restores to us the joy of salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit

Because God does not cast us away, or take God’s holy spirit from us

Because God restores to us the joy of God’s salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit

 we gather together as the church. THANKS BE TO GOD!

Children’s sermon (good for grownups too!)

Found at https://katyandtheword.com/2021/01/12/lent-ideas-with-children-narrative-lectionary-luke/

JANUARY 12, 2021 BY KATYANDTHEWORD.COM
Lent Ideas with Children: Narrative Lectionary Luke

Children Ideas: Meditate on Dirt together (Ideally with dirt): What is dirt? 
Discuss God as creator and make clay/playdo people together, Bury the Alleluias: http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/01/burying-alleluia-for-lent.html
(Post includes an image of Pigpen from Peanuts, with his quote about where his dirt has been before it landed on him!)

See also https://worshipwords.co.uk/transfiguration and https://worshipwords.co.uk/ash-wednesday and nfleshed,  a non profit creating and facilitating resources or spiritual nourishment for collective liberation, which can be found at https://enfleshed.com/pages/ash-wednesday

Commentary by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome on Rafael’s painting Transfiguration on the possessed boy and the female figure depicted there! https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/arts-and-faith-for-lent/cycle-a/arts-and-faith-week-2-of-lent-cycle-a/ in text or https://youtu.be/GYo5VyNv7fg in video

Ignatian prayer exercise to match the above art commentary exercise/https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/arts-faith-lent-second-sunday-imaginative-prayer-exercise/

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