United Church of Christ

Reign of Christ - November 22


Seeing Jesus in our Neighbors

Last Sunday after Pentecost: Reign of Christ Sunday
November 22, 2020

Ezek 34:11-24            Psalm 100      Eph 1:11-23    Matt 25:31-46

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

                     Know that the Holy One is God.
People:         Out loud, but muted
                     We are God’s people.

                     Worship the Holy One with gladness;
People:         Out loud, but muted
                     Come into God’s presence with singing.

                     Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving, and God’s courts with praise.
People:         Out loud, but muted
                     Make a joyful noise!

                     For God is good;
                     God’s steadfast love endures forever,
                     and God’s faithfulness to all generations.
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Let us worship with thanks and joy!
                      Let us praise God in song and word and prayer

Invocation

Gracious God, we long to know you better.
Open us to recognize your presence,
to receive you fully,
and to be ready to follow your leading. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Loving God, too often,
 we overlook the needs of people around us
while we proclaim our devotion to you.
We could do so much more to feed the hungry,
clothe the naked, to welcome the stranger, and heal the sick. 
We fail to see how our prison system diminishes the humanity of all of us,
how our medical system denies healing to the poor,
how poverty leaves children without coats,
how legal obstacles keep the strangers at a distance.
Open our eyes to see your presence in every person,
and to respond to their needs so that we may be rightly called by your name. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Though we wander, God searches us out.
Speaking through Ezekiel, God said,
“As shepherds seek out their flocks
when they are among their scattered sheep,
so I will seek out my sheep.
I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered
on a day of clouds and thick gloom.”<
God reaches out to us, longing to bring us ever closer.
Hear this good news:  you are forgiven and free.

 

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

  • 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

Generosity may come as an impulse,
but it is cultivated by the practice of regular giving.
Let us today move from beliefs to actions that make a difference in the world.
We give in gratitude for God’s gifts to us,
and we give because we need to live beyond ourselves.
Use this time of offering as an opportunity
to grow and to grow the realm of God.

Prayer of Dedication

People:         Out loud, but muted
God of abundance,
we give these offerings of material goods
as our commitment to give back to you
and to care for your people. 
Let our giving remind us to see Jesus all around us.
Use our offerings of money and of our lives
for ministry to your purposes. Amen.

Benediction

May God give you wisdom and revelation.
May the eyes of your heart be enlightened.
May you know the hope to which God has called you,
And may the blessings
of the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sustainer
go with you this day and always. Amen.


Written by the Rev. Ruth Garwood, a certified leader of InterPlay, a system of forms in movement, story-telling and vocalizing that brings body and soul together, and brings communities together.  She teaches suicide first aid via Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.  

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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