Summer 2002

Sabbath Keeping




A Christian Community

In the Tradition of the Church of the Saviour

Summer 2002


Sabbath Keeping




Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy!  For six days you will labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Your God. Do no work on that day, neither you nor your daughter nor your son, nor your workers women or men nor your animals, nor the foreigner who lives among you.  For in six days Your God made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that they hold, but rested on the seventh day; this is why Your God has blessed the Sabbath day and made it sacred.

Exodus 20:8-11

(from the  Inclusive Hebrew Scriptures, Priests for Equality)







All:              Give thanks, acclaim God’s name,

tell all that the Lord has done. 

Make music and sing

the Lord’s mighty wonders.


Revel in God’s holy name,

delight in seeking the Lord. 

Look always for the power,

for the presence of God.














Leader: You search us, God, and know us.

Whether we sit or we stand,

whether we walk or rest,

you know what we intend,

what we have already done.


People: You know the words on our lips

before we say them.

Your presence overwhelms us,

how can we ever understand your intentions?


Leader: There is no place to hide,

no way to escape your call to us.

In the heights, in the depths,

your call on our lives is with us.


All:              No matter how deep our longing

to hide from you,

your light shines on our hearts,

illuminates the shadow within.







Leader: We call out to God,

                 and God answers in steadfast love.

                 God’s loving eye is upon us,

                 we are shielded beneath her outstretched wings.


All:              Amen.




















Leader: Go into the world in peace;

have courage;

hold onto what is good;

return to no one evil for evil;

strengthen the fainthearted;

support the weak;

help the suffering;

honor all people;

love and serve God,

rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.  


People: Amen.


 Worship Resources

Reflection Note:       The “Your God” in the reflection is a convention adopted by the Priests for Equality to represent the unpronounceable name of the Creator.


Call to Worship:       Psalm 105:1-4 (The Psalter, Liturgy Training Publications)


Confession:              Based on Psalm 139.


Assurance:               Based on Psalm 17.


[Seekers] [Write us] [Seekers Liturgies] [Fair Use]  

  Additional Prayers during Pentecost (Summer)


July 7, 2002

Prayers by: Peter Bankson, Liturgist

Lessons:        Genesis 24:34‑49, 58‑67

Psalm 45:10‑17

Psalm 72

     Song of Solomon 2:8‑13

     Zechariah 9:9‑12

     Psalm 145:8‑14

Romans 7:15‑25a

Matthew 11:16‑19, 25‑30



O holy, loving creator of the universe,

We come together in the presence of your holy mystery;

we come, drawn by the promise of your healing presence;

we come, knowing that your gifts are given in community.


Fill us with the deep assurance that we are your people,

part of your body,

called to witness to the mystery of your presence in this time,

for we gather in the name of our savior, who is Jesus, the Christ.  Amen



O guide and ruler of all creation,

we marvel at the fullness of life:

the way our gardens grow,

so rich with life

that we must search to find the harvest hiding in the weeds.


We marvel at the rich complexity of life:

the dusty silk road trails that linked so many different peoples

across the deserts of Asia

and the life that flowed from hand to heart to head to hand.


We marvel at the gift of life itself:

the forest of relationships,

with soaring ecstasies and tangled feelings binding us together.


We come to praise and thank you for the rich feast of your gifts,

for children’s play and patriots’ dreams,

for celebrations filed with energy

and quiet evenings stroked by gentle breezes,

for time to stop and rest and realize

that all we know is part of you. 


Hear now our prayers of praise and thanks

for being in your world.



O God who cares for every bit of this creation,

we know of many places where your presence is so hard to see.


We hunger for the assurance

that your justice and your righteousness will triumph.


We long to see the poor defended,

the needy delivered from their want,

and those who would oppress others stayed from evil

and brought, themselves, to justice. 


O God, you came among us as Jesus of Nazareth,

the redeemer of creation,

to show us just how love can heal,

even when it does not own the power to overthrow. 


Fill us with that love, we pray,

for we would be your healing people.


Hear now, o God of love,

our prayers for the oppressed,

for those in need, and for the poor.



O God who cares for every bit of this creation,

God of bright sun and brighter hope,

we sing our prayers to you

in the name of Jesus,

who is the mirror of your presence in the world.  Amen. 



July 14, 2002

Prayers by: Sherri Alms, Liturgist

Lessons:        Genesis 25:19‑34

Psalm 119:105‑112

Psalm 25

     Isaiah 55:10‑13

     Psalm 65:(1‑8), 9‑13

Romans 8:1‑11

Matthew 13:1‑9, 18‑23



Astonishing and mysterious Creator,

enter this, our house of prayer and renewal.

Engrave the words of your heart

on ours.


Lift the burdens that we carry,

that the world carries.

Ease our hurrying and scurrying,

our worrying and complaining.


As we rest here,

come among us with your healing breath.

Whisper in our ears.

Touch our minds with your truth

and our souls with your joy.



To you, life-giving, joyful Spirit,

we lift our voices in praise.

In you we place our trust and hope

for your dreams to take shape in our world.

Teach us your paths;

give us light as we walk through our lives;

lead us in your truth and teach us.

We wait, we wait for you all the day long.

We long for your visions to come to pass.


In you, we can know Sabbath,

rest for our weariness,

balm for our souls,

laughter that lights the path before us,

hope for the renewal of your creation.


Steadfast love and faithfulness are your gifts to us.

Presence and joy are your blessings for our days.

We give you our humble thanks for what you have given us this week.




O Joy of our desire,

Saviour of the oppressed,

Creator of all that is whole and good,

we come here often distracted,

anxious, despairing.

We look for ways to mend our lives

and the world around us.

We busy ourselves and bury ourselves

in work, in relationships, in the narcotic of activity.


Slow us down, ease the frantic beating of our hearts,

Fill our bodies with the serenity of deep breaths.

Show us the refuge that is your presence.

Illuminate for us the places where we may take rest.

Give us the wisdom to understand the need for renewal.


Where we have seen your absence in our lives,

where the world is cracked and broken,

send your healing presence¼



God who is, who was and who always will be,

create in us your Sabbath sense.

Renew in us a right spirit.

Take away our burdens

so that we may take away the burdens of others.

 Let us take from here your life-giving seeds

to fling on a world that needs them so badly.




July 21, 2002

Prayers by: Deborah Sokolove, Liturgist

Lessons:        Genesis 28:10‑19a

Psalm 139:1‑12, 23‑24

     Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16‑19

     Isaiah 44:6‑8

     Psalm 86:11‑17

Romans 8:12‑25

Matthew 13:24‑30, 36‑43


All-knowing, all-loving Breath of Creation,

the ancient story tells us

of Jacob dreaming in the wilderness,

of your messengers moving

between heaven and earth,

of your promises of blessing.


You have promised to be with us always,

to show us the way that we should go.


You have promised to be our rock,

to hold us firmly, and shield us from danger.


You have promised to hold us in your heart,

and to bless all the families of earth

in us and in our children.


As we gather in praise and prayer,

in this Sabbath-keeping season,

let us feel your holy presence

among us and within us,

so that we, like Jacob, might say

“Surely God is in this place!

This is nothing less than the gate of heaven.”




Community Prayers

For bringing heaven and earth out of chaos and emptiness,

we give thanks.

For daylight and starlight and moonlight,

we give thanks.

For water in lakes and rivers and seas and rain,

we give thanks.

For fruit trees and pine trees and plants that bear seeds,

we give thanks.

For creatures that fly and creatures that swim

and creatures that walk on the earth

we give thanks.

For days of work and days of rest,

we give thanks.


Holy Maker of all that is and all that ever shall be,

hear our prayers of praise and thanksgiving,

aloud and in the silence of our hearts.


From the beginning,

all of creation has been groaning

in one great act of giving birth

to justice, to mercy,

to abundant life for all.


We pray for that abundant life—

We who have homes,

and we who are homeless;

we who have much,

and we who have little;

we who are loved,

and we who are alone;

we who are whole,

and we who are broken—

we bring our prayers of petition and intercession

to the Triune One who hears all prayers.


Holy Maker, Holy Lover, Holy Breath,

receive these, the prayers of our hearts,

in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ.





July 28, 2002

Prayers by: Peter Bankson, Liturgist

Lessons:        Genesis 29:15‑28

Psalm 105:1‑11, 45b

     Psalm 128

     1 Kings 3:5‑12

     Psalm 119:129‑136

Romans 8:26‑39

Matthew 13:31‑33, 44‑52



Holy spring of living water,

we come together on this Sabbath morning

to celebrate your presence in our time and place.


We come together to remind ourselves

that we really are your people,

one small part of the body of the risen Christ.


We come together to celebrate the mystery of community,

the healing power of love,

the covenant that you have made to never leave us.


Come, fountain of every blessing

fill us with your holy spirit,

call us to your service,

and let us know that you are here among us,

for we gather in the name of Jesus,

who is the Christ.  Amen



Holy, loving gardener of hope

maker of the wisdom hidden in the mustard seed,

you whose life-giving energy flows from the smallest sources,

we come to you in joyful celebration.


We see those little signs that mark your holy presence:

the leaping basil, feet firmly planted in rich, wet soil,

laughing at the drought;

the smiles of gratitude from those whose lives we touch;

the eager brightness of a child’s curiosity.


We know the joy of slower summer schedules;

the kiss of twilight breezes;

the welcome wink of fireflies that hold the night at bay

until the stars arrive,

then stay to celebrate their kinship

with these distant mysteries.


We bring our joys, our prayers of praise and thanks,

for all the good news that rises up like steamy dawn

to fuel our hope and lift our spirits. 


Hear now our prayers of praise and thanks,

O maker of this steamy summer reality.



God of all creation,

holy maker of that pearl of such great value

hidden in a bucket of muddy shells,

God of mystery and hidden treasure waiting to be found,

we come to you with burdens on our hearts.


We see the pain of those

who can not find the work they need to do;

we hear the cries of those whose pain

is narrowing their vision ‘til nothing else seems real;

we feel the tug of fear as unknowns cloud our future.


Holy God of faithful service,

you who gave Jacob that extra measure of commitment

to labor for his love

even when he’d paid the price and been deceived,

we bring to you the images we carry of the rocky road ahead.


Help us, we pray, to carry what we can and leave the rest to you.


Help us to do the work you call us to

even when we’re tired and discouraged,

and leave the bigger pieces for the mystery of your healing love.


O holy maker of the long-awaited rain

hear now our prayers for those in pain and need,

and for ourselves, as we are bold to share with you

the burdens we’ve been keeping to ourselves.



Holy spring of living water,

we offer all our prayers this Sabbath morning

in the spirit of the risen Christ,

who shows us what it means to be a servant in the face of power.





August 4, 2002

Prayers by: Peter Bankson, Liturgist

Lessons:        Genesis 32:22‑31

Psalm 17:1‑7, 15

     Isaiah 55:1‑5

     Psalm 145:8‑9, 14‑21

Romans 9:1‑5

Matthew 14:13‑21



O holy creator of the universe,

God of the thirsty forest and the saturated shore,

God of city street and mountain path,

of stalking cats and leaping squirrels and mocking birds,

we gather together in this holy moment as your people.


We gather here before this table of confession and forgiveness

eager to know your presence;


We gather together as your body,

called by your grace to feed the multitudes.


O God of all salvation,

in this hour of celebration fill us with your spirit,

for we gather in the name of our savior,

who is Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.


Praise and Thanksgiving

God of new hope, holy lover of creation:

we come together as your people,

moved by your call to care for every part of your creation.


We praise you for the flavor of this rich reality,

for the variety of the creatures you have placed here,

an particularly for the variety of our sisters and brothers,

the human ones whom you have made so like your holy self.


We celebrate the mysteries of truth we do not yet understand,

and give thanks for the power of questions

which can call us to new levels of understanding.


We pause to claim the gentle, healing power of Sabbath,

the manna of empty silence that keeps us going

even in the face of work and worry.


Hear now, o holy giver of the wine of hope,

our prayers of praise and thanksgiving

for all the richness of your beautiful creation.



Holy maker of miracles,

we know that there are so many people

who hunger and thirst for more than food can satisfy;

for love and acceptance,

for hope and healing,

for peace and justice.


We see that hunger in the eyes that dim from loss of hope;

we hear it in the cries of the forgotten and oppressed;

feel it in the push of prophets,

calling us to give ourselves away,

to spread the hope that feeds a longing bread can never satisfy.


O you who set a table in our midst

and spread a banquet from the from the scraps

that we’ve forgotten in our pockets,

we sift in silence through the painful places in our hearts

and raise to you our prayers for those in need

for those who hunger and thirst for bread — and so much more.



O lover of the universe, open our eyes and ears

so that we may know some work of peace

that we may do for you.


Fill us with the bread of hope,

the heady wine of sheer delight,

the deep determination

to be about that call you’ve planted in our hearts. 


Fill us full, we pray,

for we gather in the name of our savior

who is Jesus, the Christ. 





August 11, 2002

Prayers by: Sandra Miller, Liturgist

Lessons:        Genesis 37:1‑4, 12‑28

Psalm 105: 1‑6, 16‑22, 45b

    1 Kings 19:9‑18

     Psalm 85:8‑13

Romans 10:5‑15

Matthew 14:22‑33



Oh Holy Creator of all possibilities,

just as Jesus came down from the mountain

towards the disciples early in the morning

we have come from our time of solitude in sleep

towards you, to be with you.


As the heat begins to rise from the pavement

on this bright summer day

we gather as community.

hearing the cicadas outside

we are mindful of

how beautiful are the feet

of those who bring the good news.



The sounds of the air conditioner

remind us that the temperature each day

is rising by degrees again

after a blessed respite of

three days of warm comfort and

clear blue skies with dancing white clouds

that invited us to relish our time outside.

how great is your capacity oh God

to provide us with season after season

of variety like Joseph’s coat of many colors.

We remember that we are the offspring of Abraham,

the children of Jacob,

the followers of Jesus Christ

with blessings bestowed by you

in awesome abundance

and we humbly bring you our prayers

of praise and thanksgiving.



Locally people are still trying to recover

from the travails of last winter’s floods.

In the West fires sweep over ancient redwoods and residences.

The stock market is unstable

affecting the ability of investors

including museums and universities

to plan for the future.

Illegal migrants coming through Mexico

are at the mercy of ruthless smugglers,

and legal migrants in Israel

are losing their jobs as the result of

a lessening of positions available

because of war.


As we reflect on our need for help

with concerns both near and far,

we remember Joseph sold into slavery

by his own brothers

and bring you our prayers of intercession.



Holy Creator of all possibilities,

even in our fright like Peter’s on the water

we trust that you will reach out your hand

just as you did when your son

Jesus Christ saved Peter.




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