Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service of Worship

Food for All:
Service Prayers for
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Food for Fifty: Lentil-Sausage Soup*

Brown in a large kettle 5 ½ lbs. of pork sausage, broken into chunks. Remove meat and pour off all but
1 cup of drippings. Add: 10 medium onions, chopped; 5 cloves garlic, minced; and 20 medium parsnips, cut in chunks (optional). Cook 5 minutes until onions and garlic are tender. Then add: 4-4 ½ lbs. lentils;
5 Tbsp. salt; 1 Tbsp. marjoram; 6 qt. Cooked tomatoes or juice; 7 qt. water; and browned sausage.
Simmer about 30 minutes. Makes about 4 gallons.
- Doris Janzen Longacre, Living More with Less

Call to Worship
One:     We join together as hungry eaters to be nourished by the food that you offer us.    
Many:   God of sustenance, give us this day our daily bread.
One:     As you care for the wheat fields that turn into bread and the vineyards that labor to produce sweet wine, tend to our bodies by feeding us what we need for healthy growth.
Many:   God of abundance, give us this day our daily bread.
One:     The rich crops that you have prepared are now ready to be harvested by our hands and our hearts.
Many:   Holy Spirit, come! Give us this day our daily bread.
Unison Prayer of Invocation
Holy Chef, may we savor the dishes that you have prepared for us this day. With each bite of your holy feast, give us heightened senses so that we may be attuned to the new and tantalizing flavors you have created.    

Great Provider, we recognize that widespread hunger is no longer necessary. You have given us humans the resources to feed all people, yet we are selfish. While we overfill our bellies with food and lay to waste the spaces needed for crops to flourish, others are crying out for crumbs from our tables. Living God, cultivate within our hearts reckless generosity, and plant within us spirits of simplicity and balance in body and soul.             (Moment of silence and reflection)

Assurance of Pardon
Though, at times, we fail to be generous, your generosity toward us is never-ending! By sending Christ and the Spirit to your people, you have extended generosity beyond measure. Let us now do the same by greeting each other with a sign of peace.
Call for the Offering
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” As we have been granted great abundance, let us offer up those blessings in God’s name.   

God of wonders, who enabled Jesus and Elisha to feed the multitudes, bless these gifts and use them to fill empty stomachs and empty hearts. May our offerings be multiplied to abundantly nourish all the people.

        God’s love is overwhelming!
        As we have been fed this day,
        let us go and offer food and drink to others.
        Grant us holy instincts of faith
        as we trust in you, O God, to place the final touches
        on our culinary masterpieces. Amen.    

* This recipe can be utilized as an “epigraph” at the beginning of the worship bulletin or as a practical sermon application printed in an insert, along with recipes that may appeal to your own particular community.

Some other ways to practically and creatively use this recipe:
-    Create a community supper and invite the “5000”--the whole neighborhood, or a local shelter community, or some local population in need. Who is Jesus inviting your particular congregation to feed at this time?    
-    This summer Sunday service could be presented in the context of a community lunch or supper, perhaps even outdoors.

Additional Worship/Sermon Resources:
-    Living More with Less, Doris Janzen Longacre, Herald Press, 1980 (particularly pp. 245-268)
-    The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Michael Pollan, Penguin Press, 2006 (smaller articles on food consumption at
-    For They Shall Be Fed: Scripture Readings and Prayers for A Just World, edited by Ronald J. Sider, Word Publishing, 1997
-    Proposed Resolution of Witness for General Synod 27: “On the Roles of Church and Government in Addressing Global Food Crisis,” submitted by Justice and Witness Ministries and Wider Church Ministries,

“Food for All” Service Prayers for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost was written by the Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Minority Student Life Specialist at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. 
Copyright 2009 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship 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.


Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115