United Church of Christ

OGHS Worship Resources

Coinbox_2018_1.jpgTheme Interpretation!
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at all the areas of need in God’s world: there is hunger, sickness, and injustice in so many communities. It is easy to feel there is nothing we can do to help. We can feel trapped by hopelessness and fear that what little we can do — won’t have an impact.

But there is hope!
Better yet: we are that hope!

As the Apostle Paul writes, “by the power at work within us,” God is able to “accomplish abundantly more than we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). “We are the agents of transformation that God uses to transfigure this world” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu). Wishing and dreaming of a better world means nothing if we don’t realize that God gives us community to practice love and compassion. We cannot only care for ourselves, but we must also care about those around us, both near and far. Our gifts become part of a loving legacy in ways we can’t foresee. Our gifts become blessings to people we don’t know and blesses in ways we can’t expect. We can make a difference beyond what we can imagine.

Call to Worship
One: We come into the presence of Love today
Left: who calls us into community
Right: who calls us God’s people
Left: To worship
Right: To sing
All: To pray
One: To imagine together
All: How God can use us
Left: To spread love
Right: To spread justice
All: To spread peace in the world. Amen.

Litany: Sharing the Blessings
Based on Ephesians 3:14–21

God, Creator of all that is and all that will be
We praise and honor you
God, who calls all the families on Earth
We praise and honor you
God, who recognizes and celebrates our diversity
We praise and honor you
God, who has granted the Spirit to lead us
We praise and honor you
God, whose love is our root
We praise and honor you
God, who offers abundant blessings to all
We praise and honor you
As God calls us to open our hearts and share with each other
Make us more generous, we pray
Recognizing that we have more than enough blessings to share with the world
Open our hearts to the needs of the world, we pray
Knowing that we are the hands and feet of our God in the world
Move us to compassion and solidarity, we pray
As we seek to become a more generous community
Inspire us to see the plenty where others see need, we pray
We, your people, are ready to continue planting the seeds of your abundant love
Guide us, O God, and help us to follow Christ’s leading.
Amen.

Sermon Starter

Children's Sermon

Weekly Lectionary-based Sermon Notes

Invitation to Offering
As we share our gifts today, to support the work of this congregation and our work through One Great Hour of Sharing, we
celebrate God’s love and abundance in the world. In our generosity, we recognize that we are all part of God’s family. In our giving, we dare to imagine that God will use our gifts in the world to do great things; more than we can imagine! Let us give generously!

Prayer of Dedication
Holy and generous God, We pray that you would grow these gifts to bless the world. We imagine a world with enough food, water; resources, education, justice, laughter, and freedom for all of your people. Do with our gifts even more than we can imagine, Holy One, and make of us a loving and generous people. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving
Lift up your broken hearts:
We lift them up to God.

Let us honor our Creator.
It is right to honor God.

It is right to honor God and to give our thanks.
We give our thanks to God.

God of all, we come before you knowing that we need your presence in our lives; knowing that our communities are broken and in need of restoration:
God, we yearn for your healing to make us whole.

God of abundance, at times we failed to share the blessings you have offered us:
God, we yearn to be more generous.

You imagine a renewed community rooted in love that expands beyond the confines of our walls:
God, we yearn for our own glimpses of your imagination, to see what is possible in your world.

Recognizing that through Jesus, the Christ, all things are made new, we come to this table of abundance and plenty, to proclaim the restoration your Spirit continues to offer us. We come as a community, seeking renewal, searching for wisdom, yearning to be made whole.

May this table be a place to remember and to imagine; a place to dream of a time when love, reconciliation, and restoration help us see your abundant love for all.

Prayer for Bread
God of abundant gifts for life, take hold of our feeble imaginations and reveal the fertile fields, the weathered hands, and the Body of Christ in this bread. May it fill our spirits, that we may be rooted in your garden and share in your harvest. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayer for Cup
O God, who fills our cup with oil until it overflows, pour yourself into this cup that we share and hold it to our lips. May each sip wet the parched garden of our hearts so that your grace and love spring forth to feed all your children. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Come! The table is ready, and God is here to meet us! Come!

Prayer After Communion
How do we lift our thanks to you, O God? For you have blessed us in the bread and cup far beyond anything we deserve, with an abundance that defies our imagination. May the unity we express at this Table go with us as we work in your fields! Amen.

Other OGHS Resources