Personal photo from trip to Ireland in 2019

Are you sorting it out between the sheep and the goats or are you listening to a prophet this week? Either way, our writers have some words to offer to you. Our community is both talented and generous in sharing gifts of liturgy. You are free to use/adapt or use for inspiration. If you use them in printed materials, please note the author and If you use them in online worship and it is possible to give credit in video descriptions, that is sufficient (no need for verbal attribution).

Prayer of Confession based on Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 from Kathy Swaar

Searching, Shepherding God:
We confess we’re scattered; torn;
scraped thin over too many tasks,
with too little time, energy, and focus.

Wandering in the wasteland of these pandemic days,
resources stretched to the limit,
our patience wears thin, our tempers fray,
even as our to-do lists bloat and balloon.

Everything is SO IMPORTANT! we don’t know
what to put down.
So we just keep doing and doing and doing.

Forgive us for mistaking frenetic activity for faithfulness;
for straying from the peace of your Presence
and the Living Water of your Word,
for believing we are what we do.

Quiet all the other the voices clamoring
for our attention, so we can hear yours.
Secure us in the lush, green pastures of your fold.
Nurture us at your table of grace.
Restore, strengthen, and heal us, Holy One.

Silent prayers of confession may be offered here.

This is what God says:
I have searched for you, cared for you,
loved you with an everlasting love.
My faithfulness endures to all generations,
my grace and forgiveness are without end.
Believe the Good News, and be at peace:
In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

Some words from From Sarah Agnew on the RCL

’The Witnesses’ (Matthew 25:37–46) 

Angels will bear witness
when the Son of Humanity comes,
when people are divided,
the inheritance of blessing received. 

Angels will bear witness
as the stories then are told,
of hungry fed, or left to starve;
of thirst quenched, or panting, wanting;
the naked clothed or left exposed;
strangers welcomed or neglected;
the sick cared for or abandoned;
prisoners remembered, or shunned. 

Angels will bear witness
to kindness inviting kindness,
cruelty reaping punishment,
and God’s Wisdom understood, at last.

For the Letter:

‘A Prayer like Paul’s’
Ephesians 1:15–23

for the church
We pray for your church,
Holy One, descendants
of those to whom Paul wrote.

May your church and its people
live faithful to the Way of Jesus the Christ,
show love for each other,
be grateful for each other,
pray for one another always.

Give to your church and its people
your Spirit of Wisdom, and may we
accept this gift, this presence,
this Way, wholeheartedly.

Help us to live with hope,
trust in your empowerment,
and share these gifts with the world.

May your church and its people
proclaim the good news of life
in all its fulness, proclaimed by Christ
in his living, his death, his
return to life.

May your church and its people
be known by the world to be
the body of Christ, embodying
his Way of Love, Peace, Justice,
enacting hope and trust in you,
Holy One, Holy Three,
Parent, Wisdom, Spirit
incarnate in Jesus the Christ.

For the alternative Psalm:

‘Psalm 95’

We come to worship you, our God,
we bring our songs of joy and praise.

Thank you, Faithful Friend and Guide,
thank you, Creator of all that is.

In your hand you hold the earth,
from its deepest core to its highest peak;

you made the oceans, the lakes and rivers,
the forests and plains, deserts and fields.

We come to worship you, our God,
kneeling, standing, singing – together.

Thank you for being our God, our Maker,
and that we are your people, beloved and home.

Listen, people, to the voice of God!
Keep your hearts warm and open to love.

Our ancestors tested God, broke the promise,
to be God’s people with honour, in faith:

God will turn, must turn away,
when the people break the covenant again.

We come to worship you, our God,
help us remember to stay, and how.

Liturgy for Narrative Lectionary – From Deborah Roof

Call to Worship (Using three voices):
One: Holy, Holy, Holy! God, we come again into your Holy Presence.
Two: We remember the gifts of Jonah and Isaiah and we come to hear more.
Three: Let us hear the message of Jeremiah and step into the wisdom of God.
One: In these days of physical distance, let us remember the core message of our faith.
Two: No matter where we come from, we are united in our love for You.
Three: And no matter where we are, we are together in Spirit.

Holy God, sometimes when we hear your message we, too, may feel like running from it or even throwing it into the fire. This is not one of those times. We come here right now to listen deeply and to hear. We gather to learn how we might grow into your dream for us. Be with us, compassionate God, in this time of worship and praise. May we hear your love for us above all else. Amen.

Call to confession:
When God invites us out of our privilege, we want to act as if we do not truly understand. Let us confess the honesty of our fears.

Prayer of confession:
Holy God, You show us over and over again that your Word is for our good and not our ill. We hold on to our imagined comfort and we argue, we try to get away, or we even try to destroy the message we have heard. But you are relentless in your pursuit of us. Thank you, God, for giving us this opportunity to repent our reluctance to reach for your standard of living. Amen.

Assurance of pardon:
Hear oh Children of God: no amount of avoiding – not even trying to destroy the Word of God – can separate you from the love of God. God’s steadfast love will pursue you to the ends of time.

Offertory Invitation:
God’s love is for all of Creation. We have been given much. These resources are more than enough for us. We are called upon to share the bounty we have received.

Prayer of Dedication:

Holy giving God, you call us to share the abundance you have given us and so we give. Bless these gifts, we pray, and multiply the goodness that they provide your children near and far. May we be motivated by giving to give even more – knowing that your blessing is in each heartfelt gift. In your generous name we pray, Amen.

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

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