United Church of Christ

Pentecost 22 - November 1

Come All Who Would be Leaders
Prayers for the 22th Sunday after Pentecost
November 1, 2020   (not All Saints day readings)

Micah 3: 5-12  Psalm 43        1 Thessalonians 2: 9-13            Matthew 23: 1-12

US elections happen on November 3, 2020.  While the churches can take no partisan stands, we can pray and work for a just common life as a natural extension of our faith.  The UCC’s Our Faith Our Vote has prepared a series of one page issue education papers and webinars to assist with voter education: https://www.ucc.org/ourfaithourvote_issue_education_2020

Since Congregations are returning to “in-person” services at different paces, Worship Ways for Summer 2020 will be edited for online use.  “Rubrics” for virtual services will be noted in red;  take and adapt as you need!

Leader should speak the lines of the people, along with the Leader’s lines

Call to Worship

            Come all who are leaders in a turbulent time
People:         Out loud, but muted
                    
Explore God’s ways of justice, mercy, equity.

            Come all who are leaders in a confusing time
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Hear God’s call to honesty, clarity, wisdom.

            Come all who are leaders in a dangerous time
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Trust God’s ways of challenge, courage, presence.

Invocation

O Holy One,
you have created us and placed us in community
Complicated, fallible, searching.
Open your words of life for us today
as we gather
to hear your Gospel,
and sing your praises;
show us the way to justice and peace
that we may follow you joyfully
into the future you hope for our world.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Today’s lessons all share the theme of leadership in community

          For the times when we have let complacency about our own circumstances
          take the place of advocacy for a just world for all
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Lord, have mercy.
           For the times when we have let the appearance of faithfulness
           stand in for truly faithful effort
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Christ, have mercy.
           For the times when we have created burdens of injustice and  inequality
           for others to bear
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Lord, have mercy.

Silence

Words of Assurance

In Jesus Christ, our Messiah and teacher,
we are forgiven
and sent out to the world
to model a leadership of justice for all,
and joy in the reign 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.  The material in the voter education one page papers may be good content for considering a gospel witness to the kind of society we hope to build.
     
  • 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 for the Offering

Paul reminds us of the “labor and toil” which flow into the proclamation of the Gospel.
Let us share generously with the community gifts of time, talent and treasure
which will help to underwrite the ministry of this congregation and the wider church.
         

Benediction          (1 Thessalonians 2:9-13)

God calls us
to be thankful for the Word of truth we have received.
God calls us into the world
to witness in truth to the reign of Christ.  
God calls us to let the Gospel of Christ work through us,
to bless the world.
Let us go forth as leaders into this troubled world
—honest, courageous and hope-filled—
To love and serve our God.

 

Written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister  for Worship and Gospel Arts, United Church of Christ.

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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