Pentecost 3–June 13
Sowing Seeds of Ministry
Service Prayers and Worship Ideas
for the Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 13, 2021
Ezekiel 17:22-24 and Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15 • 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17 • Mark 4:26-34
CALL TO WORSHIP (based upon Psalm 92:1-4)
One: Come and give thanks to our God.
Sing praises to the holy name.
Many: With the melody of the lute and the harp
and the song in our hearts,
we declare God’s steadfast love in the morning
and faithfulness at night.
God’s works make us glad.
Your works are great, O God.
We sing our praises of joy to you.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
O God, maker of all that is beautiful,
Jesus gave us the seeds of your justice and peace.
In this time together, touch us, teach us, inspire us
to sow those seeds through our ministries
so that all may share in Creation’s abundance
to make true the promise
that no one will know scarcity
and no one will suffer deprivation in this community and beyond. Amen.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Let us take a moment of silence and reflect on our own lives,
on our limitations, on our sins.
Gracious God, you are indeed generous.
You give us the gifts of the spirit which enable us to have so much.
We forget, however, that we have been recipients
of other people’s generosity.
Believing that what we have is ours,
we forget that all we have is yours.
Help us to remember that being made in your image,
we should be as generous as you. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a humble spirit and a contrite heart.
By God’s steadfast love for us, we are forgiven of our sins. Thanks be to God.
Jesus’ teachings give us many seeds to sow in this community and beyond.
It is, however, through our offering that we can nurture these seeds
so all may know the gospel’s promise.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
You have been exceedingly generous to us, O God.
We return a portion of what we have to you in grateful thanksgiving.
Bless our offerings that they will nurture the seeds
of hope and healing in this community and beyond. Amen.
May God’s love be with you as you sow seeds of justice and peace
along the paths you will travel so all may know the gospel’s promise. Amen
If weather and space permit, conduct worship outdoors. Invite people to wear their gardening/work clothes and bring some garden tools. Have a garden bed prepared prior to the service. Use the worship to plant a garden to attract birds or butterflies.
* Flowers to attract songbirds: Aster, Calendula (pot marigold), Bellflowers, Bachelor’s Button, Cosmos, Coreopsis, Sunflower, Black-eyed Susan, Marigolds, Verbena, Phlox, Zinnia
* Flowers to attract hummingbirds (tend to prefer red): Hollyhock, Fuchsia, Four O’clock, Petunia, Phlox, Nasturtium, Columbine, Bee balm, Impatiens
* Flowers to attract butterflies (tend to prefer purple, followed by yellow, pink, and white): Dogwood, Butterfly Weed, Purple Coneflower, Impatiens, Lavender, Bee balm, Peony, Phlox, Primrose, Black-eyed Susan, Pussy Willow, Lilac, Marigold, Zinnia
If the church does not have space for a garden or weather does not permit gathering outdoors for worship, set aside time during the service for people to plant seeds in small plastic pots to take home.
Flower suggestions come from The Gardener’s Companion A Book of Lists and Lore by Roberta M. Coughlin Publisher: Harper Perennial 1991. ISBN: 0-06-271531-3 Pages 386-391.
An excellent resource for plant and planting information is The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch. Publisher: Workman Publishing Company 2008. ISBN: 13: 9780761122753
Sowing Seeds of Ministry: Service Prayers for the Third Sunday after Pentecost was written by the Rev. Quentin Chin, member of Church on the Hill in Lenox, MA.
Copyright 2021 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.