It is unearned love – the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It’s the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, p. 139
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God calls us out of the whirlwind, the fire, the silence.
People: We come,
listening for the Word that is more than words.
Leader: God shines in the shadows,a
showing us a way when there is no way.
People: We come,
looking for the good news that we cannot yet see.
Leader: God’s love leads us on,
calling us into life together in Christ.
All: Holy One, we open our hearts to your Holy Spirit,
yearning to discover again
that your grace is always enough.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
SONG AS THE CHILDREN LEAVE FOR CLASS
Jesus loves us as we grow,
meets us on the paths we go,
keeps us safe and keeps us free,
helps us learn who we should be.
Yes Jesus loves us,
Yes Jesus helps us,
Yes Jesus shows us,
the best way we can go.
Leader: There are moments when we feel overwhelmed,a
when life seems way too much.
People: Hear us, Holy One,
when we call out to you from our desperation.
Leader: There are times when we allow the pain of being alive
to erase our joy.
All: Forgive us when we resist the grace
that would take us out of our isolation.
Leader: The Holy One knows our emptiness and desperation,
and fills us with abundant grace that is truly sufficient.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader 1: Holy Source of grace and love,
we thank you for your promise to be present with us,
even in the darkest of times,
a beacon of hope so we do not lose heart.
People: We thank you for Jesus, who was faithful enough
to calm the storm and heal the sick,
and yet humble enough to learn something new
from the woman who touched his robe.
Leader 2: We thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit,
our comforter and source of strength,
who by her continual presence
reminds us that your grace is enough.
People: We thank you for our Mother Church,
who welcomes us when we are empty
so that by grace we can join with others
and become the Body of Christ.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night he gave himself up, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups. The crackers are gluten-free.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world. Amen.
Leader: Remembering that the grace of God is always enough,
let us go forth with new-found energy,
rejoicing in the power of God’s unearned love.
In communion with God the Creator,
the Healer, and the Comforter,
let us follow the path of God’s love
and greet one another with signs of peace.