Pentecost 5 – July 5

Come to Me!
Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
July 9, 2017

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 and Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13  •  Romans 7:15-25a  •  Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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 to Worship (Matthew 11:16-19)

Leader:          Jesus says Come to me—Everyone!

Leader:          When I play a joyful tune
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      we’ll dance!

                     When I sing a lament
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      we’ll weep!

                     When I chant for justice
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      we’ll sing along!


Come to us, Holy One,
And immerse us in the beauty of life with you!
Come to us, Holy One,
And enliven our community with the intensity of your love
Come to us, Holy One,
And embolden our community with the urgency
of your justice
in the name of the One who calls us to play and to work in community,
Jesus, our beloved.

Prayer of Confession

Eugene Peterson’s translation of Romans 7: 15-25 in The Message  offers a classic confession of our human struggle against sin:

Leader:          I know that all God’s commands are spiritual,
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      but I’m not.

                      I decide one way,
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.

                     I decide to do good,
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      but I don’t really do it;

                     I decide not to do bad,
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      but then I do it anyway

                     I truly delight in God’s commands
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      But the power of sin sabotages my best intentions

                     My decisions to good don’t result in actions:
People:         Out loud, but muted
                      Sin is there to trip me up.

                     I’ve tried everything …
People:         Out loud, but muted

                      Who can help me?
The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Invite silence for a time to ponder the contradictions of our lives, and our need for God’s generous grace.

Assurance of Pardon

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does  help us.
He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions
where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind,
but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
He calls us:  Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened.
I will share your yoke and make it light;
I will lead in the Way you desire to travel.

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 brief passage from the Song of Solomon, offered as an alternative to the responsorial Psalm, gives voice to the longing of a lover for the beloved.  What are people who have been so long in quarantine longing for, these days?  The Lover invites the Beloved out from a place of shelter and into new experience.  “Arise, my love, and come away…” into what kind of new world?

  • 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 to Offering

The treasure of God’s glory is Jesus, shining in our hearts.
We hold this treasure in the earthen vessels of our lives. 
Let us share freely of the gifts we have been given,
that the glory of God may be known
in the works of community, justice and peace.


People:         Out loud, but muted
            Take and receive these gifts dear God,
            bless and multiply them
            that they may show the world your glory,
            shining through our lives.


Go forth in peace to live into  Jesus’  most joyful command:  Come to me!
And may we follow him into a rest that bears fruit
in justice, love and peace
for each of us, and all of us.

Come to Me! Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, were written by  the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship and Art, 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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