Sunday’s service: A Service of Healing and Wholeness for Re-Gathering

As this past Sunday was our first Sunday worshiping in-person together since March 2020, we did things a little differently. We began by remembering the promise and hope of our baptism. We also held time and space for a service of healing and wholeness for the congregation. And we celebrated the Lord’s Supper with one another, reminding ourselves and each other of the unending, all-consuming grace of God given to each of us in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The following is the outline of our service.

 

 

GATHERING IN GOD’S WORD

Prelude

 

Sharing Our Lives in Prayer

               Prayer Requests

               Silent Prayer

               Pastoral Prayer

 

Welcome

 

Letting God In

               During this time, we invite you to prepare your heart and your mind for worship. We want you to be able to use this quiet time to settle your thoughts, set aside any distractions that may be troubling you, and focus your whole self on God. Open your heart, your mind, and your spirit, and let God into your life.

 

Centering Prayer: Make us one, Lord. Make us whole.

As you breathe in, pray, “Make us one, Lord.”

As you breathe out, pray, “Make us whole.”

 

* Opening Praise:

One: In this community,

Many: We find God’s promise.

One: In this community,

Many: We feel the stirring of the Holy Spirit.

One: In this community,

Many: We meet Jesus just where we are.

One: In this community,

Many: We show one another love, grace, compassion, and comfort.

One: In this community,

Many: We get to be the hands, feet, and heart of God.

One: In this community,

ALL: We are the body of Christ.

 

* Invitation to Confession

 

* Joining in Prayer: (from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018)

               O Lord our God, you call us to work for a world where all will be fed and have dignity, but we find ourselves distracted by our own desires. You call us to seek justice and peace, but we are satisfied with injustice and discord. You call us to bring liberty to the oppressed, but we do not insist on freedom for all. Forgive us, O Lord. Turn us to your will by the power of your Spirit, so that all may know your justice and peace. (Please take a moment for silent reflection and confession.)

               Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior.

               Amen.

 

* God’s Promise of Grace

 

Remembering Our Baptism (adapted from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018)

               Being Reclaimed by God’s Word

                              One: Hear these words from holy Scripture:

                                             Just as the body is one

                                             and has many members,

                                             and all the members of the body, though many,

                                             are one body,

                                             so it is with Christ.

                              ALL: For in the one Spirit

                                        we were all baptized into one body –

                                        Jews or Greeks, slaves or free –

                                        and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.   

               Giving Voice to Our Faith – Apostle’s Creed:

                              I believe in God, the Father almighty,

                              creator of heaven and earth.

 

                              I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

                              who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

                              born of the Virgin Mary,

                              suffered under Pontius Pilate,

                              was crucified, died, and was buried;

                              he descended to the dead.

                              On the third day he rose again;

                              he ascended into heaven,

                              he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

                              and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

 

                              I believe in the Holy Spirit,

                              the holy catholic church,

                              the communion of saints,

                              the forgiveness of sins,

                              the resurrection of the body,

                              and the life everlasting. Amen.

               Thanksgiving for the Water

                              One: Remembering the grace God has poured out upon us

                                        and trusting in the future God has promised to us,

                                        let us give thanks to God for the gift of baptism.

                                        Marked, claimed, cleansed, and called,

                                        through the gift of baptism,

                              Many: We are yours, O God.

                              One: Your breath moved over chaos in the beginning.

                                        Your feet danced with Miriam at the edge of the sea.

                                        Your voice tore through the clouds at the river Jordan.

                                        Your heart broke on the cross

                                        when you poured out your life for us.

                                        Your hands caught fish for Easter breakfast on the shoreline.

                                        Your tears water your thirst world as the rain.

                                        Your fingers mark our foreheads

                                        with abiding grace, perfect freedom, holy truth.

                                        Through the gift of baptism,

                              Many: We are yours, O God.

                              One: You wash us with grace,

                                        you anoint us with promise.

                                        You feed us with mercy,

                                        you fill us with joy.

          Fruit of the earth,

                                        watered and fed,

                                        we remember:

                                        in baptism we are risen to new life in Christ –

                                        forgiven sinners,

                                        beloved children of the covenant.

                                        Through the gift of baptism,

                              Many: We are yours, O God.

                              One: Thanks and praise to you,

                                        O holy, triune God,

                                        today, tomorrow, and forever.

                              ALL: Amen.

Being Blessed by the Water

 

* The Peace of Christ

               One: The peace of Christ be with you.

               Many: And also with you.

 

* Song of Peace: “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

(reprinted with permission, © Jan-Lee Music, copyright-protected alternate lyrics)

               Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

               Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

               With God our Creator, we are family.

               Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

 

               Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.

               With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow.

               To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

               Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

 

HEARING GOD’S WORD

Prayer to Open Minds and Hearts

 

Scripture reading – Isaiah 40:1-11 (from the Common English Bible)

               1 Comfort, comfort my people! says your God. 2 Speak compassionately to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended, that her penalty has been paid, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins! 3 A voice is crying out: “Clear the LORD’s way in the desert! Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God! 4 Every valley will be raised up, and every mountain and hill will be flattened. Uneven ground will become level, and rough terrain a valley plain. 5 The LORD’s glory will appear, and all humanity will see it together; the LORD’s mouth has commanded it.” 6 A voice was saying: “Call out!” And another said, “What should I call out?” All flesh is grass; all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass dries up and the flower withers when the LORD’s breath blows on it. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass dries up; the flower withers, but our God’s word will exist forever. 9 Go up on a high mountain, messenger Zion! Raise your voice and shout, messenger Jerusalem! Raise it; don’t be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 Here is the LORD God, coming with strength, with a triumphant arm, bringing his reward with him and his payment before him. 11 Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock; he will gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap. He will gently guide the nursing ewes.

 

Moving Toward Wholeness Together (adapted from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018)

               Offering of Our Lives

               Inviting Healing Together

                              One: God, our creator,

                                        your will for us and for all your people

                                        is wholeness and salvation:

                              ALL: Have mercy on us.

                              One: Jesus Christ, Son of God,

                                        you came that we might have life

                                        and have it in abundance:

                              ALL: Have mercy on us.

                              One: Holy Spirit,

                                        dwelling within us,

                                        you make us temples of your presence:

                              ALL: Have mercy on us.

                              One: To the triune God,

                                        the source of all love and all life,

                                        let us offer our prayer.

 

                                        For all who are in need of healing,

                                        in body, in mind, in spirit, in community …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who are distressed by injury or illness …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who are troubled by confusion or burdened by pain …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all whose increasing years bring weariness …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who cannot sleep …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who have been hollowed out by loneliness …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who have ached for the balm of community …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who have missed anniversaries, celebrations, funerals, holidays,

          and milestones with friends and loved ones …

          Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: For all who are staying home for the health of themselves or their families

                                        but long to be back in-person all the same …

                                        Lord, in your mercy,

                              ALL: Hear our prayer.

                              One: In your hands, gracious God,

                                        we commend all for whom we pray,

                                        trusting in your mercy;

                                        through Jesus Christ our Lord.

                              ALL: Amen.

               Laying on of Hands

               Prayer

 

Hymn #792 – There Is a Balm in Gilead

               There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;

               There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

 

               Sometimes I feel discouraged,

               And think my work’s in vain,

               But then the Holy Spirit

               Revives my soul again.

              

               There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;

               There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

 

               Don’t ever feel discouraged,

               For Jesus is your friend,

               And if you lack for knowledge,

               He’ll not refuse to lend.

 

               There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;

               There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

 

               If you cannot preach like Peter,

               If you cannot pray like Paul,

               You can tell the love of Jesus

               And say, “He died for all.”

 

               There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;

               There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.

 

RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

Our tradition in this congregation is to partake of the bread whenever you feel prepared to do so and to hold the wine/juice until all have been served so that we can all partake together. This gives us the chance to participate in this holy mystery as we participate in our faith – both as individuals and as a community.

               Invitation to the Table

               Great Thanksgiving

                              One: God be with you.

                              Many: And also with you.

                              One: Lift up your hearts.

                              Many: We lift them up to God.

                              One: Let us give thanks to God Most High.

                              Many: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

               Prayer for the Feast

               Lord’s Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

               Words of Institution

               Sharing the Bread and the Cup

               Prayer of Thanksgiving

 

Hymn #525 – Let Us Break Bread Together

               Let us break bread together on our knees;

               Let us break bread together on our knees.

               When I fall on my knees,

               With my face to the rising sun,

               O Lord, have mercy on me.

 

               Let us drink wine together on our knees;

               Let us drink wine together on our knees.

               When I fall on my knees,

               With my face to the rising sun,

               O Lord, have mercy on me.

 

               Let us praise God together on our knees;

               Let us praise God together on our knees.

               When I fall on my knees,

               With my face to the rising sun,

               O Lord, have mercy on me.

 

BEING SENT OUT IN GOD’S WORD

* Charge & Blessing

 

Postlude

 

 

 

* indicates please rise in body or spirit as you feel led

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