Recommitment 2002

Responding Joyfully With Our Lives




A Christian Community

In the Tradition of the Church of the Saviour

Recommitment 2002


Responding Joyfully With Our Lives




A mouse and a frog meet every morning on the riverbank.

They sit on the ground and talk.


Each morning, the second they see each other,

they open easily, telling stories and dreams and secrets,

empty of any fear or suspicious holding back.


To watch and listen to those two

is to understand how, as it's written,

sometimes when two beings come together,

Christ becomes visible.

Rumi, from “The Essential Rumi,

(translated by Coleman Barks), pg. 79.





Leader:      When we are in the wilderness,

God walks with us.


Voice 1:      When we are burdened

by the groaning cares of Creation,

the Risen Christ shares the heavy load.                     

Voice 2:     When we reach deep enough, 

God's Holy Spirit bubbles up

as unexpected joy.


All:             We claim the promise of God's joyful presence

in this time of recommitment to the Risen Christ,

this place of new beginnings.












Leader:      You call us, Compassionate One,

to lives of joyful participation,

to openness to the world,

to an ever-deepening commitment

as members of the Body of Christ.


People:      We look through tear-filled eyes,

afraid of an unknown future,

afraid of not living up to your expectations,

or our own,

afraid of the responsibility

of living as your people.


Leader:      You call us, Merciful One,

to lives of justice and kindness,

to working to end all war,

to being your hands and feet and body

working in the world.


All:             We look through tear-filled eyes,

knowing our weakness,

knowing our failures,

knowing our yearning to live in joy.







Leader:     The good news is this:

In forgiving we are forgiven,

in loving we are loved.

The Compassionate One looks

through tear-filled eyes,

holding us in joy.


All:             Amen




















Leader:      As we leave the safety of this sanctuary

See Christ in your own reflection

and in the faces of everyone you meet.

Share joy in the simple pleasures,

in the challenges of the daily,

in the hardships of the world.


The seeds of hope are all around you.


All:              Amen.


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Preparation for Recommitment 2002

As Seekers Church prepares for its annual celebration of recommitment to being part of the Body of Christ, we invite you to see this coming year of change and challenge as a special opportunity to think and pray about how you are called to contribute to this community in terms of time, energy and money.

In the coming year we will be opening a headquarters for Seekers Church in our own location. We can look forward to a year of promise, challenge and mystery. As you reflect on your life as part of this community of faith, we invite you to look both at what Seekers Church has been for you in the past and what you would like to see us become. We encourage you to reflect not only on what Seekers Church means to you but also on what you mean to the community. Every choice you make, every call you answer changes all of us, and the change doesn’t stop with Seekers!

We pray that each of us will use this recommitment season to envision the future for Seekers Church and the part we are called to play in this new chapter of our life together. Here are some general questions about commitment to help guide your reflection.

As part of the Seekers’ celebration of recommitment on October 20th, each of us will be invited to sign the Seekers membership log and make a personal statement of commitment to the community using the appropriate statement on the next page. All those who attend regularly and who identify themselves as Seekers will use the Seekers’ statement. The Stewards will use the longer statement. If you are not now a Steward but feel called to that deeper level of support for the Seekers Church, please let us know. Stewardship is open to all who are called and who have completed the preparation.

Seekers’ Servant Leadership Team
Peter Bankson
Kate Cudlipp
Jeanne Marcus


Call. In Seekers, we believe that God calls each person and the community as a body, to a life of meaning and purpose. The call of Seekers Church, which has guided us for the past 25 years, is included on the last page of this paper.

  • Do you view yourself as living out a call from God?
  • What is that call, and how are you living it out?

Participation in Common Worship. The life of Seekers is centered in corporate worship.

  • Is Sunday worship with Seekers a priority for you?
  • Are you fed by this experience? How?

Community Life. Seekers Church offers each of us different opportunities to participate in the life of the community. We count on the leading of the Holy Spirit in each other to bring forth our gifts and make Seekers what it is now and what it will become in the future.

  • Where do you offer yourself into the life of Seekers Church, and how are you received there?
  • How do you hope your presence will make a difference in the coming year — to you, within Seekers and in the wider circle of God’s Creation?

Personal Spiritual Growth. Seekers Church is committed to spiritual growth for everyone in the community.

  • Do you take your spiritual life seriously?
  • Are the practices of daily quiet time and other spiritual disciplines a priority for you to nurture your inner life?

Commitment to the Future. This is a time of great uncertainty in the life of the nation and the church. Seekers Church is on a faith journey with new opportunities for richer life as a part of the Body of Christ.

  • How are you being called to be part of these new opportunities?
  • What do you need from Seekers during these uncertain times?

Seekers’ Commitment Statement

I am a Seeker. I come today to affirm my relationship with this Christian community in the tradition of the Church of the Saviour, linked with the people of God through the ages.

As a member of this church, I will deepen my relationships in this local expression of the Body of Christ, sharing my gifts from God with others who worship with Seekers Church, and in the wider world. I will:

  • Nurture my relationship with God and Seekers Church through spiritual disciplines;
  • Care for the whole of creation, including the natural environment;
  • Foster justice and be in solidarity with the poor;
  • Work for the end of all war, both public and private; and
  • Respond joyfully with my life, as the grace of God gives me freedom.

Stewards’ Commitment Statement

I come today to make my commitment as a Steward of Seekers Church, a Christian community in the tradition of the Church of the Saviour, linked with the people of God throughout the ages. We worship God as triune being. Along with the Disciples, we believe:

That the Creator — father and mother to us all, ground of our being — loves, sustains and calls us;
That Jesus is the Christ, who calls us to a ministry of love and justice;
That the Holy Spirit, as the empowering presence and breath of God, confronts and inspires us to do God’s work in the world.

We believe that we are all ministers of the Church, which is both universal, grace-filled body of Christ and fragile earthen vessel.

I commit to:

  • Be a faithful witness to God’s presence among us;
  • Nurture my relationship with God and Seekers Church through specific spiritual practices or disciplines;
  • Care for the whole of creation, including the natural environment;
  • Foster justice and be in solidarity with the poor;
  • Work for the ending of all war, public and private;
  • Share responsibility for the spiritual growth of persons of all ages in the Seekers Church community;
  • Take responsibility for the organizational health of Seekers Church;
  • Respond joyfully with my life, as the grace of God gives me freedom.

If I move from this place, I will join another expression of Christ’s church.

The Call of Seekers Church

Our call is to be a "Seekers community" which comes together in weekly worship rooted in the Biblical faith, with shared leadership; and disperses with a common commitment to understand and implement Christian servanthood in the structures in which we live our lives.

By "Seekers community" we mean an intentional body which sees Christ as our true life source. Koinonia with one another and genuine self-giving to the world are the ways we can be in Christ today. Seekers are not persons who have arrived, but persons who are intentionally on the way.

By shared leadership we mean empowering the gifts of women and men to help our worship flow out of and feed into the life of the community. We are committed to evoking and giving space to new gifts of preaching, liturgical leadership, creative worship forms, giving, mission and other acts of faith.

For us, Christian servanthood is based on empowering others within the normal structures of our daily lives (work; family and primary relationships; and citizenship) as well as through special structures for service and witness. We desire and welcome participation in Seekers of women and men of every race and sexual orientation. In Seekers Church we will equip and support each other in all of these areas and seek a balance among them.

The Seekers community sees itself called into Christ's ministry of deliverance from bondage to freedom in every personal and corporate expression. We recognize the value of each individual and seek to heal any wounds of discrimination inflicted by our society and church.

Seekers is committed to participation by persons of all ages. We see children, youth and adults of all ages as valuable and valued parts of our community, and desire their inclusion in our care, our ministry, and our life together.

– Issued by Seekers Founding Members in July 1976
– Revised by Seekers Core Members in November 1989
– Revised by Seekers Core Members in May 1991

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Additional Prayers during Pentecost (Recommitment)

September 8, 2002

Prayers by: Peter Bankson, Liturgist

Lessons:  Exodus 12:1-14

Psalm 149

Psalm 148

Romans 13:8-14

Matthew 18:15-20



O Holy Fountain of Forgiveness,

we come together on this Sabbath day

to join our selves with all creation

in praise and thanksgiving

for the mighty mystery of your love.


We join our voices with the heavens and the earth

to claim the presence of your joyful being in this troubled time.


Come, Holy Spirit,

fill us full to overflowing

with the saving mystery of your love,

for we gather here

as one small part of the body of the risen Christ.  Amen.


Community prayers

Fiery, Harmonizing Sculptor of Joy,

we revel in the change of seasons,

glad for subtle signs that summer has not yet

become our steady diet. 


We join the heavens and the earth in praising you. 

It is your will

that makes this complex reality exist

and grow from day to day;

It is your love

that keeps us searching for the peace

that passes all understanding.


God of hope,

we thank you for the children in our community,

and those beyond our tiny circle, too. 

We know that in the enthusiasm of these younger folks

lies the hopeful future we dream about. 


God of life and love,

we thank you, too, for those quiet voices

that counsel careful confrontation in the face of war. 

We know the pain and desolation caused by war and terrorism.

we see it daily from afar;

We’ve felt it close at hand –

death and destruction,

the loss of life and livelihood,

the choking rage that feeds the hunger for revenge.


Holy God of loving confrontation and accountability,

we bring our prayers to you,

our prayers of thanks and praise,

our prayers for those in pain and need.


In this time of quiet, prayerful contemplation

as we enter this week of painful remembrance

I invite you to offer your fears and joys

by sharing them aloud,

and if you wish lighting a candle on our altar table.


Let us offer now our fears and joys to God…


<< 5 minutes>>



O holy fountain of forgiveness

We join our voices with the heavens and the earth

To claim the presence of your joyful being in this troubled time.


Come, Holy Spirit,

Fill us full to overflowing

With the saving mystery of your love,

For we have gathered here

As one small part of the body of the risen Christ,

In whose name we pray.  Amen.


September 15, 2002

Prayers by: David Lloyd, Liturgist

Lessons:  Exodus 14:19-31

Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21

Romans 14:1‑12

Matthew 18:21‑35



We come to give thanks to the Lord,

to make God’s deeds known in the world around,

to pay God honor with song and psalm

and think upon all the Creator’s wonders.

Exult in God’s holy name;

let those who seek the Lord be joyful in heart.

Let us turn to the Lord, our strength,

let us seek God’s presence always.



We come to extol thee, O God,

and bless thy name for ever and ever.

Every day we bless thee

and praise thy name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise;

God’s greatness is unfathomable.

Each generation commends God’s works to the next

and sets forth God’s mighty deeds.

Our theme shall be thy marvelous works,

the glorious splendor of thy majesty.

Men shall declare thy mighty acts with awe

and women shall tell of thy great deeds.

Everyone shall recite the story of God’s abounding goodness

and sign of thy righteousness with joy.


Petition and Intercession

Abba God, thou art ever merciful,

compassionate and just to those who cry out for relief.

You brought the children of Israel out of Egypt,

gave them bread in the wilderness to sustain them.

Jesus your son healed the sick,

brought the dead back to life,

and gave the multitudes bread and fish in the wilderness to sustain them.

Your Spirit has empowered your people throughout the ages,

and fed the world with the example of Christian community.

We cry now unto you for relief,

knowing that you will heal us, sustain us, and feed us.

Hear us as we voice our prayers of petition and intercession.



During this time of recommitment, the Hebrew Scriptures remind us

of the people of Israel moving from Egypt into the wilderness.

We know their anxiety, as we plan to move from this place,

the only home Seekers Church has ever known.


If you have a concern about the move and want to offer a prayer,

I invite you to come forward and light a candle.

We will be continuing this ritual in the weeks to come.


September 22, 2002

Prayers by: Peter Bankson (from 2000)

Lessons:  Exodus 16:2-15

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45

Psalm 78

Philippians 1:21-30

Matthew 20:1‑16



O Holy Spinner of the bridge from Summer into Fall,

apple-polisher, reaper of ripeness, harvest-maker,

vision-keeper of the winter yet to come,


We come, this morning, called to be your people gathered,

called to celebrate the new beginnings you are bringing forth.


You have said, "Seek my face." 

From our hearts we say to you,

"Your face, o God, do we seek." 


Hide not your face from us.

Turn not your servants away in anger,

You who have been our help.

Cast us not off, forsake us not, o God of our salvation,

for we come to worship you

in the name of our Savior Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.


Praise and Thanksgiving

O God, you braid this day from yarns of love.


One yarn’s your loving presence with us

in the trusting smile of a child;

another is the loving presence of your spirit we can feel

as visions of our future come to life;

another is the way your spirit moves in unexpected places,

tempering us with fire, loving us to life through our humanity.


Spinner of the forest, you made the oak that shades my house

at least a hundred years ago.

To me, it stands for life:

you’ve made a steady trunk too big to reach around,

a vaulted ceiling moving gently in the wind,

and fruit! 

Last year I gathered bushels of acorns,

and still there is a young tribe of oaks standing tall in the ivy.

All night new acorns fall, like stones from heaven…

living stones, the promise of another year, another generation.


We celebrate the way the life of this community

is blessed with children —  living stones from heaven…

The promise of another year, another generation.


Hear now, o sculptor of oaks and infants,

the prayers of praise and thanks we bring.



Intercession and Petition

O gentle gardener of all creation,

we know how much you care for all creation,

because in Jesus Christ you came to be among us.

You carried the load we carry, You felt the pain we feel,

You wept the tears we weep.


You are our rock and our salvation, our very present help in time of need.


O God of ancient oaks and acorns full of promise,

O God of joyful children, signs of hope and change,

hear now our prayers of praise and thanks,

our prayers for those in pain and need.



We lift our prayers to you,

O holy spinner of the mystery of life

in the name of our savior Jesus, the Christ,



September 29, 2002

Prayers by: Sherri Alms, Liturgist

Lessons:  Exodus 17:1-7

Psalm 78:1‑4, 12‑16

Philippians 2:1-13

Matthew 21:23‑32



Life‑giving water from solid desert rock,

nourishing manna from a cloudless sky,

your presence comes among us

in many forms, Compassionate Sustainer.

Open our hearts and minds to

feel the depth of your love,

to touch and hear and taste and smell

your rich gifts in our lives.



Bountiful Source of Joy,

we often forget your presence in our lives,

move forward with our daily tasks and chores,

our meetings and work, our families and friends

without noticing your Spirit at work among us.

The news calls out to us of tragedy and heartache,

disaster and war, corruption and greed, power run amok

and we wonder where you are in the midst of darkness.


Where the wind lifts the last late blooms of summer to a cloudless sky,

where a community gathers for dinner, teaching, and sharing,

where pouring rain falls on parched ground,

where people stand for justice and peace,

where the moon hangs orange and full in a quiet night,

where hungry children find food for body and soul,

there is your presence among us.


It is call and joy, it is commitment and love.

It is your hand on our hearts,

guiding us to the places where our

most humble sacrifices and greatest gifts

are most useful in the world.


Joy speaks our name.

Wisdom calls out in the marketplace.

Faith whispers in the wilderness.

"Come to me and I will give you shelter, guide you home,

give you a vineyard ready for harvest."


We offer up our thanks and praise

for the signs of your presence in the world…



Like the children of Israel,

Faithful Guide,

it is easy to believe that the desert is endless and wide,

offering only suffering and death.

It is so easy in the midst of violence and suffering

to despair that you are at work in the world.

As we face our own doubts and fears,

our shadows and sins,

our burdens and griefs,

our suffering and loss,

we cry out to you to do something.

Just do something. Take care of this.

Take care of us. Do what you are supposed to do.


Merciful, eternal Saviour,

Come among us

with your whispered wisdom,

your healing hands,

your joy‑filled dancing.

Give us the vision to see

and the faith to know what it is we are seeing.


Here us as we invite your healing, comfort, and presence among us.


Special Intercession

As we in this community consider

our faith journeys and what we are

called to in the coming year,

as we consider the world

and its great needs,

we have set aside time for

bringing forward our individual

hopes and fears.


Please pray silently or come forward

to light a candle.


In this time of Recommitment,

Holy Light and Path,

we live in the tension

of your call on our lives

and our needs and desires.


In this time especially

as we live out our last days

at 2025 and look forward to a new home,

as the voices of war shout out in the world

and much that we have taken for granted

has been upended,

we bring you our hopes and fears,

our deepest longings and griefs.


Wrap Up

Incline our ears to your teaching,

Wisdom of all Ages,

open our eyes to your spirit in the world.

Bathe us in your life‑giving streams

and bring us peace.


In the name of the One who embodied peace,



October 6, 2002  

Prayers by: Sherri Alms, Liturgist

Lessons:  Exodus 20:1-20

Psalm 19

Philippians 3:4b-14

Matthew 21:33-46



Day to day pours forth speech,

and night to night declares knowledge.

This created world sings out your presence,

Breath of Life.

In its cloudless blue and starry velvet,

your peace abides.

In its translucent sunlight and silvered midnight,

we see your beauty.

Breathe on us your creative, life‑giving presence.

Shine on us your holy light.



The knowledge of you, God of heaven and earth

and what lies within, is purity.

When we can rest our minds, our hearts and our souls

in the palms of your gentle hands, we know peace.

When we can go and lay down with the wild things,

we find the grace of your world, the freedom to be.

When we can breathe with your holy, life‑affirming breath,

we know no enemies, recognize no strangers, love as we are loved by you.

When we can hear your whispered words as you write them on our hearts,

then we know Sabbath, sacred space,

then we are led to your call on our lives.

For this life you give us, for the lamp you shine before us, for your mark

on our foreheads, for our willingness to be your body in this world,

we give you our deepest thanks and praise.


For the signs of your presence among us this week, Holy One, we thank you.



Redeemer, Mediator, Peacemaker,

Come among us. Bathe us in your love.

As the calls for war resonate throughout the world,

as strangers shoot and kill people who are our neighbors,

we find that there is always more fear to dig out of our souls,

we learn that grief can be a dark and endless tunnel.


What are we to do when we see our family and friends

suffering with illness, injury, the presence of death?

What are we to do when we read the stories of hunger, abuse, neglect,

and violence to children, to the environment, to creatures of the earth?

What are we to do when we struggle under heavy burdens

of responsibility, shadow, and fear?


You seem so far away, a wraith of mist and fantasy, a thin and hungry hope,

a tired and much abused theology, a doubtful history.


It is in these places of despair, cynicism,

exhaustion and doubt that we find

the mustard seed of faith,

the vision of your kingdom

that will move mountains of disbelief,

the love you hold that will displace

all of the violence, from that of war to that

which creeps into our neighborhoods.


Reveal to us that mustard seed,

however it comes to us,

through quiet meditation,

through the strong arms of community,

through the wisdom of your prophets and teachers.


Grant us the ears to hear and the eyes to see

your wisdom, your strong spirit at work in us and in the world.


Where we need that wisdom and strength, we pray aloud and in silence…



We walk in our integrity,

our feet standing on the level ground

of your Word made Flesh.

In the great congregation of believers,

we count ourselves and

we bless your holy Name.



October 13, 2002

Prayers by: Sandra Miller, Liturgist

Lessons:  Exodus 32:1-14

Psalm 106:1‑6, 19-23

Philippians 4:1‑9

Matthew 22:1‑14



Holy Creator, we come to you

in the cool morning of the changing season.

In this sacred space,

as one incarnation of The Body of Christ

we come  to bathe ourselves in the love

you so graciously bestow on us

just as the gentle rains of the past few days

bathed the parched earth and turning leaves.

We come to hear your call so that we may respond

"I am here" and,  "We are here."

As we pray together this day

sharing our doubts and fears,

sharing our joys and hopes,

we know that you are with us one and all.



A squirrel finds a stash of acorns

and runs and jumps with cheeks full

from tree to tree to harvest and store

food for the coming winter –

right outside our doors.

Crickets sing us lullabies

in the lengthening nights,

replacing the white noise

of air conditioners and fans.

Paul invites us to look at

whatever is true, whatever is honorable,

whatever is just, whatever is pure,

whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,

if there is any excellence and if there is

anything worthy of praise,

think about these things.



Violence surrounds us and fear overcomes us

as snipers terrorize our very neighborhoods,

as we live with the threat of war

whose scope we cannot imagine.

Children go to bed hungry the world over,

and AIDS is still spreading like a wildfire

at home and abroad.

We struggle individually

and as a congregation with our pledge

to work to end all war public and private

in these difficult times.

May we open our hearts to Paul’s invitation:

"Do not worry about anything,

but in everything by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving let your requests

be made known to God.



Paul’s words ring out and bring us comfort:

Rejoice always in God.  God is near.

Keep on doing the things that

you have learned

and received and seen in me,

and the God of peace will be with you.



October 20, 2002

Prayers by: Deborah Sokolove, Liturgist

Lessons:  Exodus 33:12-23

Psalm 99

Thessalonians 1:1-10

Matthew 22:15‑22




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