Pentecost 14 – September 6

Ready to Go
A Service of Holy Communion
for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost
September 6, 2020

Exodus 12: 1-14         Psalm 149      Romans 13:8-14                  Matthew 18:15-20


US elections happen on November 3, 2020.  While churches can take no partisan stands, we can pray and work for a just common life as a natural extension of our faith.  When Religion and Politics Meet, a video produced by the UCC Justice Witness Ministries, offers a clear outline of dos and don’ts of congregational political (not partisan) involvement.

The scripture readings today, and the Communion service, offer a number of images, metaphors and instruction for a good community life.

Since Congregations are returning to “in-person” services at different paces, Worship Ways for 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

Praise God!
People:Out loud, but muted
Sing to God a new song!
People:Out loud, but muted
Give thanks to our Maker.
We rejoice in our sovereign God.
People:Out loud, but muted
Let us praise God with dancing and music.
Let the faithful sing for joy as we praise God together!


As we gather here in your name, O Christ,
you are already among us.
Keep us open to your presence in us and around us
that we may grow closer to you. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, too often we take you for granted.
When you call us to leave the situations that constrain us,
we are too complacent to hear your voice,
and too timid to leave what is familiar.
Make us ready to go where you lead us. Amen.


God grace is abundant, God’s love is never-ending.
As children of God, receive forgiveness and blessing.

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 Exodus passage tells the story of the preparations for the original Passover, and the enslaved Hebrew people made ready to  leave their oppression behind:  the focus, the urgency, the sparseness of preparation may have some resonance in today’s congregations, trying both to stay healthy in isolation, but also to be present in meaningful ways to address social inequity in communities.  Urgency is also a strong tone in the Romans passage:  “The commandments, ….are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep…”
  • 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

God gives to us continually.
In each breath, we receive God’s spirit.
Responding to God’s generosity,
let us give to God in thanksgiving.

Prayer of Dedication

We dedicate to you, generous God, our lives.
Receive these offerings as a sign of our gratitude and commitment. Amen.

Holy Communion


Jesus sets the table where we dine today.
Jesus’ welcome extends to all of humanity. 
People of all ages, of all genders, of all cultures and cultures,
of all economic conditions are welcome here.

No one can earn a place at this meal.
Come of your own choice.
You need only desire a deeper relationship with the risen Christ.
Bring your hopes and your history.
Bring your deliberations and your doubts.
Come as your whole self.

Great Thanksgiving

    May God be with you
People:    Out loud, but muted
    And also with you!

    Lift your hearts
People:    Out loud, but muted
    We lift them up to God!

    Let us give thanks to God most high.
People:    Out loud, but muted
    It is right to give God thanks and praise!

Creating God, we give thanks that you brought this world
and all of humanity into being,
breathing life into us.
You show yourself in each face we encounter,
each and all created in your image.

We thank you for your covenants.
You taught us how to serve you,
and how to honor each other.
To bring us into relationship with you,
you sent us prophets and teachers.
We offer thanks that when we ignored your embrace,
you persisted in reaching out to us.
We thank you most for the life and ministry of Jesus.
The death and resurrection of Christ taught us
that nothing, not even death, can separate us from you.

Through your Holy Spirit, you breathe through us, gathering us as church.
Thank you for continuing to bring us together that we may celebrate you.
We join our voices with all of creation to praise you:


Still Speaking “Sanctus” by Mark A Miller
© 2020Mark A Miller, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given congregations to play recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.

Words of Institution
Tell the story of the last supper of Jesus and his disciples in your own words, from memory.

Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Gracious God, we thank you for this meal
and for all of the ways you nourish us.
Grow in us that we may nourish others.
Sustain us as we press toward the goal of your call in Christ Jesus. Amen.


Let us go forth into the world
to meet all creation with the Spirit of Hope and Justice! 

Written by the Rev. Ruth Garwood.  Rev. Garwood is 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 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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