And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Attributed to Anais Nin
CALL TO WORSHIP
Come, people on the way,
come gather as a family of faith.
We come to be together
in the presence of the Holy Mystery,
maker of all creation.
The Holy One searches us, knows us,
and is here with us.
When we are afraid,
we long for some safe place,
some refuge from the storms of life.
Here we can set our fears aside
to let God’s holy love flow freely.
We come together, people on the way with Christ.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Holy One, although we profess our faith in you,
we are still afraid.
We grasp our possessions and our lives
instead of giving them up for the sake of others.
We put up barriers between ourselves and others
instead of being open and welcoming to all.
When we cannot find you
in the storms that rage outside and within,
we feel abandoned.
You say to us, “Do not fear, only believe.”
But the fears we embrace seem more real than you.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
The Holy One
holds us in mercy and steadfast love.
We receive comfort and forgiveness
and are made new.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
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.
This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
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;
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.
Holy God of all that grows,
we give you thanks
for the bountiful variety of your creation.
Holy God of perfect love,
we give you thanks
for the life, death and resurrection
of your child, Jesus, who offers us new life.
Holy God of constant presence,
we give you thanks
for your Spirit moving in us and among us,
ever nudging us along your way.
Holy God of new beginnings,
we give you thanks for your Church
ever losing faith and finding it again.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
On the night of his arrest, 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.
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.
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.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
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.
Have no fear of the way that is before us,
for God is with us in every storm
and in every quiet place.
The One who calls us holds us all in grace.