This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.
Terry Tempest Williams, Leap, 2001
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Let us come together to worship the Holy One,
who is present in holy action
with us, for us, and through us.
People: We come, seeking a living faith
in the One who calls us.
Leader: The Holy One calls us to do good,
seek justice, and rescue the oppressed.
People: We come, seeking an active faith,
to move toward holiness
even though it is hard.
Leader: Let us follow the Holy One
by faith – a living, active faith.
All: We come to listen, to pray,
and to follow the way of Jesus,
the living Christ, in all our actions.
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: Holy Maker, Holy Lover, Holy Spirit,
you call us to pray for our enemies,
to risk the hard work of compassionate love.
People: Faith is hard!
We want to repay evil with evil,
to strike out in righteous anger
instead of breathing out your love.
Leader: You call us to deny our selves,
to explore and learn,
to confront and create new kinds of caring.
People: Faith is hard!
We want to ignore the pain of the world,
to hold on to our habits,
instead of seeking your good news.
Leader: You call us to live in your realm of love,
to let your grace-filled breath
flow through us for the good of all.
All: Faith is hard!
Forgive us for our selfish ways.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One leads us in a creative dance
of endless love and compassion,
forgiving us even before we ask.
Thanks be to God.
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 God, maker of challenges
and source of support, we give you thanks
for the reality you have made for us
with all its complexity and richness.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who embodied the hard choices of faith
and showed us the meaning of love and service.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
ever present, always with us,
offering guidance and comfort
as we confront the contradictions of our lives.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
the company of the committed,
supporting our decisions and our work.
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 grain and grape,
and work of human hands
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.
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: Having gathered to pray and listen to God’s Word,
which ignites in us an active, vibrant, living, faith,
let us move into the broken and beautiful world,
proclaiming God’s steadfast love and faithfulness,
and greeting everyone we meet with signs of peace.