Worship Resources

Our Faith Our Vote, which seeks to engage and empower the public witness of the UCC, is deeply informed by our Christian faith and theological grounding. 

We have included worship resources to help congregations lift up and affirm the connection between corporate worship and the living out of faith in the public sphere.  In this section you will find liturgical resources that reflect our call to pray for a more just, peaceful and compassionate world, and to engage in political and public efforts that will help bring it about.   

Your congregation may choose to highlight or wrap up your Our Faith Our Vote campaign efforts during worship on October 28, November 4 or another Sunday in the weeks leading up to the November 6 election.

Look for additional worship resources to be added monthly here.

 Trusting in the Source

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Service Prayers for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost

November 4, 2012

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Psalm 119: 1-8 Mark 12:28-34

Call to Worship

Leader: Hear, O people of God:
our God is one.
Hear the commandments of our God.

All: First, love your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

Leader:    Hear, O people of God:
our God is one.
Recite the commandments to your children
and hold them in your hearts.

All: Second, love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these calls to love. Amen.

Invocation

O Holy One, Source of all life and Ground of all love,
we thank you for your love that never lets us go.
Thank you for the privilege of gathering in this space
with these your people – our neighbors – to worship you.
We do not come merely to open the doors of the church,
but we come that our hearts might be opened to you and to one another.
As we worship you today, help us to respond to the call of love
– to love you, our neighbors, and ourselves.
May we be transformed from individuals to members of your one body.
We pray for our nation that we be united as a people tied to a single garment of destiny.
We pray for those who we elect to serve all citizens
that they may be guided not by ego, politics or money,
but by compassion for all people.
Guide us as families, as a community of faith, as a nation
to follow the path of love. Amen.

Prayer of Confession           

Again and again you call us
to care for widows and orphans,
to advocate for  those in prison,
to welcome the strangers.
God, we hear your call,
but all around us we hear the cry
that there is not enough for all, and that some are undeserving.

Again and again you call us
to love you with our whole heart, understanding, and strength;
such love demands that we seek justice
for those who are oppressed, poor, and forgotten.
God, we hear your call,
But all around us are competing calls
of worldly loyalties, political parties, and public acclaim.

Again and again, you urge us to seek you first.
We long to trust the path of love for you and our neighbors as ourselves.
Yet we fear that our “land of milk and honey”
Has become a land of moral famine and economic hardship,
And we wonder at times if
you have abandoned us.

Again and again throughout this election season,
we have seen the divisions in this nation become great.
At times, we have been more inclined to debate than pray.

Again and again you urge us not to lean on our own understanding
but in all our ways to acknowledge you, and yet
we are often distracted by the clamor of fear dressed up as reason.  

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the upcoming elections,
at times we forget to observe
your statutes of compassion and your ordinances of justice.
Again, you remind us to follow you
so that it may go well for us, our neighbors, our nation, and our world.

Assurance of Pardon

Sisters and brothers, God is at work in us and with us!
We know that you are the one who lifts up those who are bowed down.
We know that you promise to uphold us, and yet,
again and again, we get caught up in the ways of those
who
put their trust in politicians, power-brokers and pundits
instead of the Ruler of Peace. 

Hear the word of God for this season and all seasons:
“Do not be afraid! I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Know that our God who began a good work in us is able to complete it.
As we open ourselves to the Spirit of God,
may we see more fully the wonder of God already at work in us.
And so it is.      Amen. 

Offering Invitation

Brothers and sisters, Dr. Martin Luther King reminds us:
“I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.
You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”
The invitation to bring our tithes, pledges, and offerings is an invitation
to support one another, those within this community and beyond,
to become all of what we are called to be.
Our tithes, pledges, and offerings—both monetary and other—
enable us to give thanks to God for the resources we have been given
and enable us to be resources for others.
As we give to this ministry,
we help others become what they can be and we become more of what we can be.
Give generously and watch the miracles of God
unfold in our lives and our ministry together.

Dedication

Thank you, O God, for the gifts of your people.
Help us that we rely not on our own understanding in the use of these gifts,
but to seek your wisdom.
Knowing that as we do,
your will be revealed and your people near and far will be blessed. Amen.

Benediction

Go forth, following as the Holy Spirit leads you,
moving in love and compassion, pursuing justice and mercy,
and trusting in the God of peace.
For the Source of all life and love is as close as your very breath.
Breathe deeply.
Amen.


Our Faith Our Vote:  Trusting in the Source.  Service Prayers for November 4, 2012 was written by the Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, founder and director of the Center for Spiritual Light, New York City.

Copyright 2012 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.

 Our Call to the Common Good

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Prayers for a Sunday in Election Season, 2012

Isaiah 58: 2-12 
Psalm 67 Philippians 2: 1-4
Matthew 5: 14-16

Song of Welcome - Come to the Water (Sing! Prayer and Praise 16)

Invitation to Worship (from Psalm 67, CEB)

One: Let the people celebrate and shout with joy,

All: Because God judges nations fairly and guides all nations on the earth.

One: May God’s way become known on earth,

All: so that love and justice may reign.

One: Let the people thank you, God!

All: Let all the people thank you!

 Invocation

O God, bless our time together.
Let us be inspired.  Let us be encouraged.
Let us be moved to make a difference, just as Jesus taught us:
to serve, to speak up, to bring together,
and to stand with one another for the sake of the Common Good.
Through song, scripture and sermon, may your reign be our call.
Rejoicing in the power of the Spirit, we pray.  Amen.

Opening Song - Love and Justice (Sing! Prayer and Praise 13)

Call to Confession – Epistle ReadingPhilippians 2: 1-4 (NIRV)

Are you cheerful because you belong to Christ?
Does his love comfort you?
Is the Holy Spirit your companion?
Has Christ been gentle and loving toward you?
Then make my joy complete by agreeing with each other.
Have the same love. Be one in spirit and purpose.
Don't do anything only to get ahead.
Don't do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride.
Think of others as better than yourselves.
None of you should look out just for your own good.
You should also look out for the good of others.

Prayer of Confession – Litany from Isaiah 58 verses selected as noted

 Leader: Let us hear the challenge of Isaiah 58:

People: Day after day we seek You, O God, and delight to know your ways… (vs. 2a)

Reader #2

Is this not the fast that I choose? –
to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free, and to break every foe? (vs. 6)

Reader #3

Is this not the fast that I choose? –
to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your home;
when you see them naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own family? (vs. 7)

People: Day after day we seek You, O God, and delight to know your ways…

Reader #1

But you ask, “Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” (vs. 3a)

People: Day after day we seek You, O God, and delight to know your ways…

Reader #2

In truth, if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom will be bright as the noonday. (vs. 10)

People:  Day after day we seek You, O God, and delight to know your ways…

Reader #1

But many serve their own interest on their fast day,
and oppress all their workers.
Look, they fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. 

People: Day after day we seek You, O God, and delight to know your ways…

Reader #3

If you serve the needy,
your God will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and restore your crushed bones to strength;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. (vs. 3b-4a, 10a; 11)

All: We must choose this day whom we will serve.
May the light of our faithfulness break forth like the dawn,
and let our healing spring up quickly;
Then we shall call and our God will answer;
We shall cry for help, and our God will say, “Here I am. (vs. 8a, 9)

(Silent reflection)

Assurance of Grace

People: Day after day we seek You, O God, and delight to know your ways…

Reader# 1        

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.  (vs. 12)

One: May it be so!

 All: Thanks be to God!

Response in Song - Come Sweet Justice (Sing! Prayer and Praise 137)

Gospel Reading - Matthew 5: 14-16

Sermon

Response in Song - Dream God’s Dream (Sing! Prayer and Praise 120)

Invitation to Share Our Tithes and Offerings          

The Kingdom of Heaven,
The Reign of God,
The Common Good is not cheap.
It requires everything we have – our minds, bodies, soul, and strength.
It takes money.
If we wonder how we can sacrifice even more, Isaiah asks,
“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”
Let us share our tithes and offerings.

Offertory

Offering Response - Here Are Our Hearts (Sing! Prayer and Praise 178)

Prayer

O God, here are our hearts, hands, and lives
– encouraged by all that you have done for us,
inspired by everything that can be done by us –
for the sake of your people, for the love of creation.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Closing Song - Go Make a Difference (Sing! Prayer and Praise 199)

Benediction  (from the Franciscan Blessing Prayer)

May God bless us with the foolishness
to think that we can make a difference in our world,
so that we will do the things which others say cannot be done.
For the love of God, go.
For the love of the world, vote.  Amen.


Our Call to the Common Good: Prayers for Sunday in Election Season was written by the Rev. Dr. David Bahr, pastor of Park Hill Congregational UCC of Denver, CO.

Copyright 2012 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.

 Possible Song Choices from Sing! Prayer and Praise

13        Love and Justice

16        Come to the Water

47        Why?

50        Song of Mercy

69        God Weeps

77        Blessed Are You

86        Taste and See

101      Make Us All One

112      Come to the Table of Grace

120      Dream God’s Dream

127      Dance of the Spirit

137      Come Sweet Justice

170      We Share a Hunger

178      Here Are Our Hearts

199      Go Make a Difference


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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org