Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers -- Proper 22

Seeds of Faith
Service Prayers after Pentecost
Proper 22 (Semicontinuous)
 

   Lamentations 1:1-6    Psalm 137    
2 Timothy 1:1-14      Luke 17:5-10

 Call to Worship

Leader:             Come, listen to the One

People:            who calls seeds of faith to sprout from our hearts

                        each new day.

Leader:             Come, see the One

 People:           who nurtures seeds of faith with sunny grace

                        and a fresh embrace.

Leader:             Come, bring thanksgiving, a rich soil that feeds the One         

 People:           who blossoms seeds of faith into beauty,

                        hope and love.

 Leader:            Come, rejoice in the One

People:            whose harvest of wheat and grape we bless and share.

 

Invocation

                                    God of ever-blooming beauty,

                                    all the earth is fertile ground for the seeds of faith

                                    you have planted around and in us,

                                    which allow us the freedom

                                    to create in partnership with you all that is good and holy. 

                                    We await the sun and rain

                                    of daily joys and pains that cause us to grow new life

                                    into a world that is reaching

                                    towards the evergreen fields of heavenly gardens.  Amen.

 

Confession

The Divine Gardener cannot sow seeds of justice and peace

where there is nothing but hearts of dry, hard rocks. 

We confess that our hearts may need tilling

and the digging out of the deeply rooted sins

that crowd out seedlings planted with divine compassion.

 

God of steadfast love, you change bitter tears of remorseful hearts

with raindrops  of mercy,

 Now let us germinate a new life, growing with integrity!

 

God of steadfast love, you change the cold shame of contrite hearts

with sunrays of mercy

 Now let us sprout a new life, growing with honesty!

 

God of steadfast love, you change the stony edges of repentant hearts

into landscapes of mercy,

 Now let us branch out into new life, growing with generosity!

 

Assurance of Pardon 

Divine Gardener,

You tend us in steadfast love,

Unending mercies, and eternal faithfulness;

you cultivate true friendship with you

through boundless forgiveness. 

In Christ, this faithful love is planted in our hearts. 

Gathered as your community of believers, our family of faith,

with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us,

we can now produce forgiveness for each other as we are forgiven.

 Thanks be to God!

 

Call to Offering             

                        The fruits of our labor are the results of the seeds of faith

                        that God first planted in us from our very beginning;

                        they have grown us into God’s image and likeness. 

                        We bring these fruits now to the table

                        to share in the banquet feast of God’s abundant goodness.

 

Dedication

 Bountiful God,

the seeds of faith you planted in our hearts

call us to set before you the harvest of who we are and what we have.

May our offering be like a pleasing and plentiful garden in your sight,

providing for the greater good of all creation.


Holy Communion

 

Leader:             God is with you.

People:            And also with you.

 

Leader:             Up with your hearts.

People:            We have them with God.

 

Leader:             Let us give thanks to the Divine Gardener!

People:            It is right to give God thanks and praise.

 

                        We give you thanks, Divine Gardener,

                        God of heaven and earth,

                        who created land, sea, and sky; all creatures great and small. 

                        In your own likeness you planted us in your splendid garden,

                        like mustard seeds of faith

                        to blossom as caregivers of your precious world.

                        We praise you for the beauty and abundance

                        of a planet shared by all,

                        in which we strive to reflect ever more clearly

                        the brilliance of your reign,

                        where all nations, races, cultures, and societies

                        may live in harmonious unity.  

                        In that reign our myriad colors, shapes, and contours

                        will form one oasis of peace.

                        We thank you for nurturing within us the witness of

                        Torah, Prophets and Wisdom of the Hebrew Scriptures.

                        We celebrate your harvest of Good News                   

                        in the life, death and resurrection

                        of  your Messiah who has shared our life,

                        and announces that your reign has begun in our midst.

                        Through our Savior, you have sent forth your Spirit

                        to renew the face of the earth and

                        to cultivate the church in its mission of Justice and Peace for all,

                        in the radiant and refreshing light of your beloved Jesus Christ. 

 

People:            Holy, holy, holy God of Justice and Peace,

                        the whole universe speaks of your Just Peace,

                        O God Most High.

                        Blessed is the one who brings Just Peace

                        in the name of our God!

                        Hosanna in the highest!”

  (adapted from Service of the Word and Sacrament I, UCC Book of Worship,
and A Just Peace Church edited by Susan Thistlethwaite)

 

Leader:             We remember that in the night of betrayal, desertion and arrest,

                        and on the eve of violent destruction,

                        Jesus invited his disciples to gather together

                        for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

                                    “The Lord Jesus took some bread,

                                    and after he had given thanks,

                                    he broke it, and he said,

                                    ‘This is my body, which is for you;

                                    do this in remembrance of me.’ 

                                    And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying,

                                    ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. 

                                    Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’

                                    Whenever you eat this bread then, and drink this cup,

                                    you are proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes”.    

                         Therefore we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

 

People:            Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

 

Leader:             Gracious God, accept with favor this our sacrifice of praise,

                        which we now present with these holy gifts. 

                        Send your Holy Spirit on this bread and cup

                        so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

                        Send your Spirit upon us as well,

                        that we may become one body in Christ.

 

                        We offer to you our lives as a gift,

                        giving you thanks for calling us to your service. 

                        Through Christ, we pray:

                        Make us  instruments of your Just Peace,
                        where there are seeds of hatred, let us sow seeds of love;
                        where there is injury, pardon;
                        where there is doubt, faith;
                        where there is despair, hope;
                        where there is darkness, light;
                        where there is sadness, joy;
 

                        O Divine Gardener,

                        grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
                        to be understood as to understand;
                        to be loved as to love.
 

                        For it is in giving that we receive;
                        it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
                        and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


                        (adapted from Prayer of St Francis)

Leader:             Now let us pray as Jesus taught us…..

 

Benediction

 As we go forth to proclaim and live

through the loving care of the Divine Gardener,

may we spread seeds of faith throughout the land.

May we always welcome your sun and rain, the joyful and sorrowful.

May we know by faith that, like the tree that produces mulberries to eat,

our lives may feed the world that hungers

for everlasting justice, beauty, and love

which only sprout and grow because of you.                          Amen!

 


 


 

Seeds of Faith:  Service Prayers for the Nineteenth  Sunday after Pentecost was written by James E. Janecek, an ordained minister with standing in the South Texas Association of the South Central Conference, currently serving as United States Air Force Installation Chaplain, Morón Air Base, Spain.

Copyright 2010 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