After Pentecost 27 — November 6
November 6, 2022
“Take Courage” (Overall theme Keep Watch)
(Pre-call-to worship engagement possibility)
Leader: We begin with a small exercise. If you are willing, (raise your hand/stand/say, ‘yes’) if any one of these describes you:
I remember a Christmas Eve in this sanctuary.
I remember attending a funeral or a wedding here.
I remember how I felt walking through the door today.
I remember a time I was touched by music in any church.
I remember once feeling angry in a church sanctuary.
I remember being in a church and feeling I would never be alone.
Call to Worship
We gather with joys and sorrows and memories of joy and sorrow.
We gather from hope or habit, with happiness or heartbreak.
We gather knowing every scuffed pew/chair is a place a child sat
and that every dusty hymnal was held by someone singing.
We gather, not only to remember,
but to be present in this place to our own faith,
and to be truly supportive of one another.
We take courage, O God, for your Spirit abides with us and we rejoice in your treasure that enriches the community inside these walls and online today in word and song, prayer and story, and the community of those who live around us and are blessed by this church, and those who will be blessed by them, and those who will be blessed by them, and those who are always blessed by an expanding circle of love. amen.
Prayer for Transformation (Unison or single voice)
God, we confess our church-building-sins.
Sometimes we are more engaged with how our church looks or the technology it uses, than the needs of each person who enters and the needs of so many just outside the door. Other times we ignore the church building because of community ministry and forget to care for its gifts of access and inspiration.
We often welcome strangers to meeting rooms and hall more easily than to worship and we have vetted visitors as member-possibilities or potential-vandals.
We are confused that church is both a people and a building. Forgive us and teach us how to welcome your children to our hearts and our faith home. amen
Words of Grace
Take courage. Take heart. God’s peace is in a tuned piano and your outreaching hand, a beautiful place for water blessings and every beautiful child of God touched with it. You are forgiven and balanced anew in love.
Invitation to Generosity
We are invited to offer financial resources, time, abilities, compassion, in a tangible expression of our hope for the future of the indoor and outdoor of this community of faith and for many others near and far away. [include directions for receiving in the particular church.] Be generous, my friends, with your trust in the future.
We take courage, O God, for your Spirit abides with us and we rejoice to bring our treasure to meet yours enriching the community inside this familiar place, and the community of those who live around us and may be blessed by our gifts and share your love as our hearts expand. amen
In the sixth day of the eleventh month,
(include or leave out) the one with a fall-back gift-hour,
God blesses us all to be prophets, so we can
lift people’s memories, stir people’s courage,
confident that God’s Spirit abides within us, and that we need not fear
for God fills this house with splendor looking out of every face.
Take Courage: Service Prayers for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost were written by Maren C. Tirabassi, 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.