After Pentecost 21C – September 25

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 25, 2022
In an Earthenware Jar

Call to Worship

Come to this place and time of promise.

We are becoming the house of hope,
the field of sunflowers,
the vineyard of great caring.

Come to a shared commitment
to abundance possible for all people.

We are an earthenware jar,
to keep safe the tomorrow of children.
Our security question is – the word of God,
and our password is love.


God, we give you thanks that you make us redeemers, not just receivers of redemption. You bring us among friends and then ask for each one of our signatures to change your world. We hold the earthenware jar you call the church and fill it with all your promises. amen.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life

God, I have defaulted to un-hope in my life
and I have encouraged un-hoping in others.
I have criticized plans before hearing them out
and I have turned to family, church,
friends, colleagues with my face painted,
“we’ve tried that before
and it didn’t work.”

Together we have laughed at new ideas
and circulated only bad news.

Plant your promises deep in the field of our lives,
and forgive us our presuming to define your future. amen

Words of Grace

God wipes pessimism from the open heart and sends others to affirm in us even the most fragile possibilities of the future. We are forgiven.

Invitation to Generosity

We are invited to offer resources, time, abilities, compassion, in a tangible expression of our hope for the future for ourselves, this community of faith and many others near and far away. [include directions for receiving in the particular church.] Be generous, my friends, with your trust in the future.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving

God, we have received hope; we give you time. We have received hope; we give one another the church. We have received hope; we offer these gifts that they may become the change or simply the promise of change among those who need this clear image that they are not abandoned. Amen


May you be as blessed as Jeremiah –
with a word-of-God whisper when you are waiting,
a glimpse of freedom when you are confined,
a friend to show you the way forward,
an earthenware jar of God’s love
in which your signature is precious.

In an Earthenware Jar: Service Prayers for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost were written by Maren C. Tirabassi is a UCC pastor, author of fiction and non-fiction, and also a hiker in autumn leaves and a lover of fireside moments in the company of dogs, reading poetry and novels and finding myself praying.