Pentecost -- Ordinary Time

Feasting for Justice:
A Post-Modern Celebration of Food, Community and Stewardship
Date:
Some Beautiful Summer Sunday!

 

This service is intended to be a multi-sensory celebration, employing delicious food, beautiful music and prayers, and imaginative technology.  It will work best in a setting with flexible space.  Suggestions for planning are found in the background article which accompanies this service outline.

At the start, let the congregation be drawn in by the aroma of delicious food cooking.

 

Call to Worship

            Leader:             God’s bounty overflows.  Come and taste this glorious bounty.

            Many:             We will delight in the flavors that God has created!

                                    Let your mouth find pleasure in cheeses, sausages, and fruits.

                                    We will let food and drink awaken our senses

                                    to the glory of God’s creation.

                                    Come.  Let us worship and praise God with all our senses!

 

Hymn:                    Touch the Earth Lightly                                               TNCH  569

 

Scripture Reading        Psalm 104                            excerpts from TNCH, pages 689-90

            (unison)

 

                                    Bless God, O my soul!

 

                                    O God my God, you are very great!

                                    you make springs gush forth in the valleys;

                                    they flow between the hills,

                                    giving drink to every wild animal;  

                                    the wild asses quench their thirst.

 

                                    By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;

                                    they sing among the branches.

                                    From your lofty abode you water the mountains;

                                    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

 

                                    You cause grass to grow for the cattle,

                                    and plants for people to use,

                                                to bring forth food from the earth,

                                                and wine to gladden the human heart,

                                                oil to make the face shine,

                                                and bread to strengthen the human heart.

 

                                    O God, how manifold are your works!

                                    In wisdom you have made them all;

                                                the earth is full of your creatures.

                                    These look to you to give them their food in due season;

                                                when you give to them, they gather it up;

                                                when you open your hand,

                                                they are filled with good things.

             

                                    When you hide your face, they are dismayed;

                                                when you take away their breath,

                                                they die and return to their dust.

                                    When you send forth your spirit, they are created;

                                                and you renew the face of the ground.

 

                                    I will sing to God as long as I live;

                                                I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

                                    May my meditation be pleasing to God, 

                                                for in God do I rejoice.

                                    Bless God, O my soul!  Praise be to God!

 

Homily  

Offer a brief reflection on the connections between this feast, and justice for those who cultivate and prepare it. Some sources are included in the background paper.  Following the brief reflection, invite the congregation to get up, circulate among the other folks present, and taste the goodness of the food provided! 

If Powerpoint or video technology is available, play a slide show or brief video in the background, to tell the story of the preparation of the service/feast, or to offer more information about some of the themes and issues lifted up.  Offer handouts with more information listed, or have some laptops open to sites with more information, if people are interested.  Gently gather people back after an appropriate time, perhaps using a simple song.

 

Song                         We Will Take What You Offer           Sing! Prayer and Praise 182

 

Responsive Litany

 

One:                Spirit of earth, our Mother,

                        you give generously to us from your body,

            sustaining our lives.

            We praise you for your cheese and sausage and cider.*

            Remind us that when we eat your good foods we worship you.

 

            O God, how manifold are the foods that come from your hands.

 

    All:              May our feasting bring justice to farmers and to the earth!

                              * name the specific foods you are preparing and using in the service.

 

                        Spirit of unity,

            You draw us together and show us how we depend upon one another.

            Connect us to our local economy and food producers

            through the kinds of food we decide to buy,

            that we might understand how our choices affect others.

 

            O God, how manifold are the foods that come from your hands.

 

                        May our feasting bring justice to farmers and to the earth!

 

                        Rushing-wind-spirit-of-God,

            preserve open spaces for growing plants and grazing animals.

            Teach us sustainable agricultural practices that benefit the earth,

            so that we can grow good food,

            sow respect for one another and reap compassion.

 

            O God, how manifold are the foods that come from your hands.

 

                        May our feasting bring justice to farmers and to the earth!

 

                        Farmer God,

            you cause the grass to grow for the cattle,

            and plants for people to use,

            to bring forth food from the earth,

            and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine,

            and bread to strengthen the human heart.

            For these many blessings we thank you.

 

            O God, how manifold are the foods that come from your hands.

 

                        May our feasting bring justice to farmers and to the earth!

                       

Hymn                       For the Fruit of all Creation                                         TNCH   425

 

Benediction

 

 


 

Feasting for Justice:  A Post-Modern Celebration of Food, Community and Stewardship was written by the Rev. Mr. Quentin Chin, a member of United Church of Christ in Lenox, Lenox, MA. Mr. Chin currently serves as Intentional Interim Minister at the United Methodist Church of Lenox, MA.  The Litany was written by Meagan Manas, M Div, a certified candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA), who currently staffs the Justice for Women Working Group’s Expansive Language Project of  NCCC.

Copyright 2007 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. 

 

 

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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