Looking for liturgical language that suits this moment in our world — a world of pandemic, uprising against racism, virtual gathering, and so much more? Here we offer some…feel free to use as is, to adapt, or to use for inspiration for your own. If you use these in written materials, please credit the author. If you use them in online worship, there’s no need for verbal attribution but if you post the video and it’s possible to mention the author in the video description, please do.

Prayer, by Kathy Swaar
Help me, Holy One, to listen and learn.
Tune my ears to your voice,
and to the cries of those who suffer.

Still my rambling thoughts,
quiet my spirit, open my heart,
that I may truly hear and understand.

Forgive me for the many times I’ve fallen short:
when I’ve misconstrued, misinterpreted, denied, ignored,
and otherwise damaged others – your good and blessed creation.

Redeem the brokenness
of my present and my past,
whose tendrils have embedded themselves
into every facet of my life.

Deliver me from lip-service and complacency.
Catchphrases – no matter how catchy –
do not equal doing the hard work of forming real relationships.

Wake me up, Sacred Presence.
Breathe new life into my arid bones,
that I may be aware, alive, actively bearing Spirit’s light,
not just existing, stuck in my same old, same old rut.

Help me reach out, Creator of all.
Teach me what is mine to do – and how –
as I seek to “do justice, love mercy,”
and walk humbly with you, and each of your children.

Help me love as You love.

Hold us all, Holy One, in your everlasting arms.
Gift us with grace and hope, with dedication and perseverance,
as we work for the day when our land resounds,
not with rage,
but with the silence of your Shalom.

Call to Worship by Katya Ouchakof
God of grief and pain,
You weep with us when we sorrow.
God of love and joy,
You rejoice with us when we celebrate.
God of all seasons,
You are with us in the transitions of life.
God of resurrection,
You promise to always bring us to new life.
We come to you today in grief and in hope.
Be with us as we worship, in your holy name. Amen.

Confession by Teri Peterson
How often, O God, have you appeared, calling us, and we have said “I didn’t expect you today”?
We are shocked, surprised, caught off guard.
But at the same time we proclaim you everywhere present.
We ask for a sign, something obvious, please, to show us the way.
When we get it, though, it wasn’t what we expected.
YOU weren’t what we expected.
We confess that we were hoping for something that fit our lifestyle, our preconceptions, our plans, a bit better.
We admit that maybe we didn’t want the sign, didn’t want the calling…didn’t want you…today.
Forgive us, God.
Forgive our blinkered vision and our timid hearts.
Forgive our unwillingness to have seen what was right in front of us the whole time.
Forgive our faltering following and our wishful thinking.
Give us the courage to stand up, welcome you even when you ask hard things of us, and follow your call.

Musical ideas are offered here for your inspiration…if you use them in online worship in any way other than simply embedding/linking them in a post like this one (ie, if you re-use the video in your own video, or if you use the song in your online service), you’ll need all the relevant licenses. This song fits with both the Genesis cycle in the RCL this summer and the reality of work to be done in racial justice:

We don’t normally offer sermon illustrations, but after reading the RCL text for this week, this story immediately came to mind: An illustration of radical hospitality?

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com. For Worship Words, you may use or adapt what you find here, but please credit the author in printed orders of service/web publications and in public video descriptions if possible.

If you have written words for online worship that you are willing to share, please send us an email: revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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