Pentecost 23 – November 8

Ready Wisdom

Service Prayers for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
November 8, 2020

 Amos 5:18-24   Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20   1Thessalonians 4:13-18   Matthew 25:1-13

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       Wisdom of Solomon 6: 12-16

           One:   Call upon God’s Wisdom
People:         Out loud, but muted
           All:    She will answer! 

           One:   Seek God’s Wisdom
People:         Out loud, but muted
           All:    She dwells in the midst of life.

           One:   Follow God’s Wisdom
People:         Out loud, but muted
           All:    She leads in the paths of light and generosity.

Gathering Prayer

Holy God,
We hear echoes of your Wisdom in Christ Jesu
The One you sent to dwell in our midst and lead us to abundant life.
Keep us alert to the call to follow,
ready to respond with justice and joy
in your holy moment,
which is always Now.

Confession  Amos 5: 18-24

Though we may delight to be here, together, in worship,
let us remember that
the Prophet Amos offers us a word from God
to challenge any complacent comfort.
Our praise, our worship, our singing,
however beautiful and heartfelt,
must be accompanied by the work of justice in community.
What pleases God is to have justice pour from our lives like waters,
and righteousness from our work, like an ever-flowing stream.

So let us pause for a moment: what parts of our lives, our community, our world, are thirsting for waters of Justice and Righteousness?

Assurance of Grace

God’s grace flows through our lives, refreshing and making all things new.
Let this grace flow from us as justice and righteousness,
that our lives and work may bless our world,  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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


Invitation to Offering

Readiness for Mission is one way to interpret
the diligence of the Wise Wedding Attendants.
Their lamps are filled and available to be sparked into light
at the moment the Beloved  appears
to begin the wedding feast of justice, love and peace.

Let us be ready, too, with our tithes and offerings,
to support the work of our congregation and the wider church.


Let us pray.
People:         Out loud, but muted
            God, we have come, and given generously of our gifts. 
            Take, bless and multiply them
            so that they may be a blessing in your world.
            In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  


Keep your lamps filled and your hearts open,
ready for the call of God.
Go in peace, counting on
the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the sweet communion of* the Holy Spirit.

Service Prayers for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts, Faith INFO Ministry Team, UCC. 

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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