Call to Worship
One: Gardeners plant, not fully knowing if their gardens will grow. Yet, they kneel in the dirt, dig with their hands, and bury one seed at a time.
Many: They plant and trust that a harvest will come.
One: God’s word tells us that we are to be co-workers in service to others.
Yet many times, we don’t see how our meager support can help.
Many: We plant and trust that a harvest will come.
One: One plants. Another waters. But God gives the growth. We join
together as co-workers in God’s service to release the healing waters of God’s love throughout our world.
Many: We rejoice, trusting in God’s goodness, and trusting in God’s word.
God of Growth and Abundance,
Prepare the soil of our hearts to receive your life-bearing call that we would invest our gifts with confidence and joy in the fruitful future you bring forth. We pray in the name of the One who makes all things new. Amen.
When violence reigns, disaster strikes, or resources are scarce, a future with hope can seem far away. In those times, our communities can act as sources of important support, embodying the love of the Holy Source of all hope and healing.
Paul writes we are all co-workers in God’s service. We each have gifts to offer that may serve as channels of love and strength to all of us who find ourselves in need of support. We can trust that whatever we offer, God will use to bring
a future with hope.
Through the ministries of this church and through the ministries supported by One Great Hour of Sharing, we have the opportunity to be part of the hopeful future God is already bringing forth. Imagine what the future could be like when we join hands together across distance, cultures, and generations to invest in the growth God promises to bring.
Let us invest our gifts in the future that we can build as co-workers in the kingdom of God. Let us give generously today, believing in the future growth God brings when we work, plant, and build together.
Prayer of Dedication
Bless the investments we commit to your work this day that our efforts would serve the future thriving of the world you so love. Amen.
Holy God, who brings sweet growth, teach us to live for the love of what we do not yet see.
Though we may sometimes feel buried deep, we can trust that your love, your hope, and your healing are always making ready to burst forth. Cultivate in us a belief in what the future could be when each one of us is empowered to fully live into the life your envision for us.
O God, who brings sweet growth, teach us to live for the love of what we do not yet see.
Your life-bringing design is visible in the beauty of creation, in the dawning of each day and in the turning of the seasons. Awaken in us a hope that when we plant, when w
e water, and when we invest in the future you are bringing, we are part of the joyful work of releasing the waters of new life.
O God, who brings sweet growth, teach us to live for the love of what we do not yet see. Amen.
One: Dear co-workers in God’s service, we are called to the feast prepared by Christ.
Many: We come tired yet hopeful. We come with laughter and tears.
We come broken and blessed. We come to taste God’s promise of a world made whole.
One: At this table, may we find rest. At this table, may we find hope. At this table, may we be moved to plant new seeds, to nourish fresh sprouts, and to join in bringing forth all the future fruit God is growing even now.
Many: To this table, we bring our dreams, our prayers, and our gifts with hopeful trust in God’s holy healing power and love.
Words of Institution
On the night that he knew would be his last with them,
Jesus gathered his disciples for a feast.
They had walked many miles together.
They had known trials. They had seen wonders.
They would soon need to trust that God is in the business
of bringing hopeful futures from even the most painful endings.
So after dinner was over, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it,
and shared it with them, saying take, eat, do this in remembrance
Then he also took the cup, blessed it,
saying, “take, drink, do this in remembrance of me.”
Every time we do this, beloved co-workers in Christ, we too remember
that God is in the business of bringing hopeful futures even when we
have no idea of what is to come.
We eat and drink today to be filled to the brim with that good news.
We eat and drink this day to become holy channels
of Christ’s hope and healing for ourselves and for our world.
Prayer for Bread and Cup
God of the table,
You feed the wild birds of the air with fruit-filled
Branches and we flock to your table todayLonging to taste the hope and healing that you promise.
Nourish us with the bread
That sustains our souls and gives us hope.
Wash over us, reviving our roots in you.
Bless these elements we share
That the future you long for might
Burst into bloom in our hearts and in the world.
We give thanks for the gifts of bread and cup
Flowing with your promise of a future full of hope.
Carry us forth with courage to live for the love of all that
we do not yet see.
With trust in your eternal stream of new life we pray.
Go forth bearing the good news that God promises a future full of hope.
Go forth with expectant eyes, watching for the fruit God will bring.
Go in boldness, proclaiming God’s promises to the world.
Hymn suggestions: New Earth, Heavens New; Seed Scattered and Sown; Beyond Dying Sun, For the Healing of the Nations, For Everyone Born, Welcome, Fresh as the Morning (God of the Bible), In the Bulb There
is a Flower, Now the Green Blade Rises, Pelas Dores Deste Mundo, O
Senor/ENGLISH, Si Tu Vieras Fe/If You Only had Faith11