United Church of Christ

Online Easter 6 - May 17

Community Advocate
Service Prayers for the Sixth Sunday of Easter
Online Worship
May 17, 2020

Acts 17:22-31  •  Psalm 66:8-20  •  1 Peter 3:13-22  •  John 14:15-21

Call to Worship
Leader will speak the words of the people, as well as the leader’s part

 

Leader: We long for community
and the Presence of God.
People: out loud, but muted
In whom we live and move and have our being.

This day Christ tells us that we will never be alone. An Advocate—spirit of Truth--will share our journey.
People: out loud, but muted
With whom we will live and create community and celebrate being.

May love of God be with you.
People: out loud, but muted
And the joy of Christ surround you.

May we know the presence of the Advocate
as we gather in this community of peace,
May your Truth lead us to the path of discipleship
with deeds of bold mercy and courageous justice.
People: out loud, but muted
As an Easter People following a Risen Lord,
may the life of Jesus live on in us and through us. Amen.

 

Opening Prayer

Ever-Present One,
we have come here today for many reasons,
each with our own story.
May these reasons and stories be immersed in your Sacred Story,
finding ourselves caught up in the drama and beauty
of Jesus’ teachings, life, and ministry.
Enable us to move boldly into the future
and to fulfill the hope of love that Jesus taught,
even as we pray the prayer he taught us saying,

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayer of Confession

Holy Advocate,
It seems, at times, we forget that you know us at our very depth.
We become anxious and afraid that you are not with us,
in these days of isolation and worry.
Yet even now you call us to the work of imagination,
generosity and patience,
which are possible when we remember Whose we are.
By your mercy, help us to live out the commandments of Christ
within these walls, beyond this hour.

People: out loud, but muted        
                        May we become for the world
                        the very presence of justice, hope and peace.

Words of Assurance

All of us have been created and called to be in community
Which today takes many forms!
Know this, but more importantly, live this:
As God’s children we are loved and equipped for great ministry.
Follow Jesus’ commandment to love boldly, even in solitude,
as you are held in the grace and love of God.

Scripture, Sermon, Prayers of the People

Notes for the worship planners in 2020:

    • Consider a simple message or even an  interactive Bible Study that engages people with the Scriptures for today.  Each in their way may have a word for people living in quarantine, or considering leaving quarantine.  Acts 17 recounts Paul’s sermon at the Areopagus, talking about the “Unknown God, not known in shrines, but found in our lives, when we search (who do we find when we search, these days?); 1 Peter invites people to be ready to give an account of the hope we carry within us (can we name that hope?); John 14 promises an Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, who abides in us (how do we recognize Truth in these confusing days?)
    • For the Prayers of the People, you might use a bidding prayer (“God, we pray today for those who are sick, including ….”) and encourage folk to type in their prayers using Zoom chat or Facebook Live; allow for more time in silence for those prayers to be typed and read. Consider a collective response at the end of each bidding prayer.
    • A caution regarding prayers of the People online: Folks gathered in-person often recount a lot of detail in their prayers concerning other members or family (“Elderly Name, living alone, experiencing isolation…”  In  a private, in-person gathering, this information may be safe, but online, it can expose vulnerable people to harm, since we can’t control who will join the gathering or access it later online.  Invite people to be prudent in offering prayers:  “For First name only, in need of healing”; “For First name only, comfort in grief”  etc. 
      Encourage people to contact the pastor directly with news of those needed extra pastoral care.

Call to Offering

Today we call upon you as Children of God
to share in the love and work of Jesus.
We, as the gathered Church, the Body of Christ,
continue in our day to witness and work on behalf of our Lord,
returning our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Offertory Prayer

People: out loud, but muted 

May these gifts, O God,
become action and intention,
fulfilling Christ’s commandment to love. Amen.

Benediction

Now leave this time of worship, refreshed and hopeful;
let love be true and freely given.
And may you be encouraged and blessed by the Advocate
whose love warms and surrounds you like the sun,
believing that God is with us always,
as close as our beating hearts. Amen.

Community Advocate: Service Prayers for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts, UCC.

Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO 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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