Genuine spirituality is not an individual pursuit, but must be anchored in one’s local community.… This means a constant struggle between freedom and obedience, listening and asserting oneself, possessing and letting go, clinging to stability and embracing change. Each individual rightfully seeks the freedom to develop God-given talents, but any selfish or narcissistic leanings are bruised in the give-and-take of community life.
Kathleen Norris, Foreword to Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict,
by Esther de Waal, The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, MN, p. 8
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: The Holy One calls us to do justice,
to be the change we want to see.
People: We are called to live in peace with everyone we meet.
Leader: The Holy One calls us to love kindness,
to live with compassion for the sorrows of the world.
People: We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Leader: The Holy One calls us to walk humbly,
to serve one another as Jesus served those he loved.
All: We are called to serve the world
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ.
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 Creator, you call us to ground our faith in community.
People: We confess how challenging that can be.
Leader: We want to respond to your call with our full selves,
to develop the talents you provide,
and let our lights shine as beacons of hope
for those who are oppressed.
People: We confess we grow frustrated
when we must set aside our plans
to respond to the needs of others.
Leader: Our fears keep us stuck in dreams of the past,
blind to the wholeness of what is to come.
All: Forgive us for clinging to our freedom
to be separate from your healing love.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One forgives us
and holds a place for us
where we can know God’s love
and learn to heal and serve.
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 eternal God of justice,
we give you thanks and praise,
for you are our shelter, our help,
our light and our salvation.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, your Chosen One,
who humbly walked the path of justice
with lovingkindness towards all.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit
of peace, of compassion, of joy,
who fills us with your grace,
empowering us to love and serve the world.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
the community in which we are called
to give ourselves on behalf of the oppressed,
and to see our light rise in the darkness.
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: Go out to the storms of life,
trusting in the freedom of obedience
and the stability of change.
Let us greet one another
with signs of peace.