Special -- Service of Prayer -- New Venture
All Things New:
A Service of Prayer to
Bless a New Venture
Purchase a quantity of different color ribbons. Ribbon with some wire reinforcement works
especially well. Cut the ribbons into 6
foot lengths. Have at least enough for
each person present at the service.
Find Scripture verses which highlight new things, new ventures, new challenges. To find and select such passages could serve
as a good preparation exercise for the planners, or they could use the list
which is included at the end of the service.
Cut the verses into strips, and glue or
tape them to the ribbons, one verse per ribbon.
Make sure there is enough blank space around the words for people to
write thoughts and prayers. Roll each ribbon up with the scripture texts
inside, fasten the rolls with paper clips, and place them in a basket on the
center of an empty table.
Have color pens and pencils available,
and if the service will conclude with a candle lighting or with Holy Communion,
have those elements at hand.
to Worship Psalm 96: 1-4; 6
Praise to God Who Comes in Judgement
1O sing to our GOD a
sing to our GOD, all the earth.
2Sing to our GOD, bless the Holy name;
tell of salvation from day
3Declare God’s glory among the nations,
the marvelous works among all the
4For great is the Holy One,
and greatly to be praised;
6Honor and majesty are before GOD;
strength and beauty are in this
Song [Choose song or hymn
appropriate for new venture]
Everyone invited to take a
ribbon out of the basket; unwrap the ribbon
and read out loud the scripture
verse about “new” things….
[The verses selected
should reflect many dimensions of the “new”:
its possibility and hope, its risk and ambiguity, even inherent grief at
loss of the old. As the verses are read
aloud, all those dimensions interpret one another and create a sense of the
whole, complex situation. The hope is
that individuals will find their own feeling represented in the mix.]
Take couple of minutes of
quiet reflection, then write a word somewhere around the scripture passage
-- a prayer, a fear, a hope
about the new venture the
group is entering into
Place the ribbons back in
the basket (they don’t have to be re-rolled!)
Blessing Our Prayers for the New Isaiah
65.17-19; 21-23; 22b
We will extend our hands
over the basket and bless these ribbons, symbols of our participation in
God’s making “All things
One side: 17For
I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
the former things
shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
Another side: 18But
be glad and rejoice forever
in what I am creating;
for I am about to
as a joy,
and its people as a
19I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people;
no more shall the
sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
21They shall build houses
and inhabit them;
shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
shall not build and another inhabit;
shall not plant and another eat;
23They shall not labor in vain,
bear children for calamity;*
for they shall be
offspring blessed by the HOLY ONE—
their descendants as well.
All: 22bfor like the days of a tree shall the days
of my people be,
my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
The New Thing
We will each draw someone
else’s ribbon from the basket, and begin to weave the ribbons together
to form a tablecloth for
the worship space.
tablecloth will probably be a bit lumpy and uneven--part of its charm! It can later be sewn together for future
All gather around the table with the new
cloth and sing a song appropriate for the new venture, or offer a simple
service of Communion, or light a candle to symbolize Christ in the center of
the new venture.
All Things New: A Service of Prayer to Bless a New Venture was written by the Rev.
Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation of Local
Copyright 2010 Local Church Ministries,
Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church
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.