Worship Service

Worship Service

Congregational United Church of Christ
Decorah, Iowa
May 3, 2009, Immigrant Rights Sunday

You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt.    -- Leviticus 19: 33-34

I love my country but I think we should start seeing other people.   -- Bumper Sticker

Call to Worship (sung)
Lord prepare us, to be a sanctuary
pure and holy, tried and true;
with thanksgiving, we’ll be a living
sanctuary, for you.

Lord, please teach us, to be your servants
kind and gentle, humble and true to you
with thanksgiving, we’ll be a living
reflection of you. 

Opening Prayer
Source of Life who is known by many names;
Over-turner and illuminator of hearts;
we gather with gratitude for the earth and all who journey in it.
We give thanks for the interconnectedness of all creation.

Source of justice who is known by many names;
let us not swerve from the path of righteousness
 that leads to just and equitable relationships.

Open our eyes that we may see the immigrant and undocumented;
whose labor enables and sustains our living;
the farm worker, the hotel worker, the line cook,
the childcare provider, the healthcare worker;
Give us the will to leave behind the safety of our sanctuaries
 to become your living sanctuary;
and claim our place in the movement to transform creation;
that our voice, our heart, our spirit will
join the voice, hear and spirit of all who
demand to live with respect, justice, and peace.

May it be so.

Hymn   In Christ There Is No East or West  NCH # 394

Prayer of Confession
Creating and sustaining God, your great commandment in Christ is that we love one another as Christ has loved us. We confess that we fail to embrace your liberating love. We divide where you would have us unite. We exclude where you would have us embrace. We choke the breath from your Word when its truth does not accommodate our fears. Forgive our hardness of heart. Mend our broken human family. Breathe into us the living Word of all-inclusive love.  We ask in the name of your child, our Brother, Jesus, the healer of our souls.

Assurance of Pardon
God’s grace is abundant. God’s love is never ending.
Know that you are blessed and forgiven.
Share signs of this knowledge with each other.

Hymn  You have Come Down to the Lakeshore  NCH  # 173

Scripture Readings:  Isaiah 10:1-2; Romans 13:1-7; Mathew 15:21-28

Sermon  “No Human Being is Illegal”

I’m going to sit at the welcome table
I’m going to sit at the welcome table.
one of these days, Hallelujah.
I’m going to sit at the welcome table.
I’m going to sit at the welcome table,
one of these days.

Invitation to the Table
At the last supper, Jesus, sharing bread and wine invited his disciples to share his journey.
Like many grains of wheat becoming one loaf of bread,
the disciples were invited to become one body with him.
Here today, through bread and wine,
we renew our journey with Jesus and the disciples.
Here through bread and wine,
we renew our unity with one another,
and with all those who have gone before us.
Here through bread and wine,
we renew our communion with the earth,
and with the broken ones of the world including those we call  strangers, our new neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ.
So come taste of this bread and wine
gifts of the earth, work of human hands,
food of earth and heaven.

Santus (Santo, Santo, Santo  #   )

Sharing the Elements
Consecrate by your Holy Spirit,
these gifts of bread and wine,
and bless us  as we receive them at this table.

Merciful God, as sisters and brothers in faith,
we recall a new these words and acts of Jesus Christ.
On the night of his betrayal and death,
Jesus took the bread, the bread that the women had made,
broke it and gave it to his disciples and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you.
Do this, to remember me.”
In the same manner Jesus took the cup after supper, saying:
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it, to remember me.

Through the broken bread we participate
in the body of Christ.
Through the cup of blessing we participate
in the new life Christ gives.
Come, for all is prepared and all are invited
to God’s welcome table.

Communion Hymn  Cuando El Pobre

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thanks be to you, O God,
for your presence and your purpose.
At this table of life, nourished with possibility,
may we leave here renewed and transformed,
your living sanctuaries of love and justice.

Parting Hymn  De Colores  NCH  #402

Resources:  Prayer of Invocation adapted from Jews for Social Justice; Prayer of Confession from Park Ave. UMC; Prayer of Thanksgiving by Paul S. Nancarrow.

insert from bulletin Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time June 29, 2008