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We Gather Together

Musical Prelude


Promise of Divine Welcome

Centering Song: Lord, Prepare Me, MV 18

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true;
with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.  (2x)

Call to Worship:

One:Come, let us praise our wondrous God!
All:The God who gives us hope
when all seems hopeless.
One:The God who brings us peace
All:when our souls are restless.
One:The God who brings us joy
All:when all seems lost.
One:The God who brings us love when we feel most alone.
All:The God who brings us Jesus
when we need God’s presence.
One:Come, let us worship our wondrous God!

Lighting of the Christ Candle

Listening in the Light of Reconciliation

One:…We acknowledge that this is only the first step towards living in right relationship.
All:All: May we listen today,
May we learn today,
May we love today.

Opening Hymn: All Praise to You, VU 297

All praise to you, O God of all creation:
you made the world, and it is yours alone.
The planet earth you spun in its location
amid the stars adorning heaven’s dome.
We lease the earth but for a life’s duration,
yet for this life it is our cherished home.

To tend the earth is our entrusted duty,
for earth is ours to use and not abuse.
O gracious God, true source of all resources,
forgive our greed that wields destruction’s sword.
Then let us serve as wise and faithful stewards
While earth gives glory to creation’s Lord.

Opening Prayer

Invitation to Confession

Song: Listen, God Is Calling, MV 97

Listen God is calling, through the Word inviting,
offering forgiveness, comfort, and joy.

Prayer of Confession

One:Joyous Creator, from your Generous Self flows forth a world of brilliant beauty and amazing interdependence. You have honored us with the tasks of being caretakers and observing mirrors of this flaring river of deep life.
All:Yet, we seek to control and own, and lose our place in our story.
One:You came to liberate the captives.
All:set us free from the arrogance that holds us,
isolated from others in this shimmering web of life.
One:In the name of the One who wore humility like a crown,

A time of silence

Words of Assurance

Choral Anthem

Children’s Hymn: Seek Ye First the Kingdom, VU 356

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness,
and all these things shall be added unto you, Hallelu, hallelujah.

Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and you shall find;
knock and the door shall be opened unto you, Hallelu, hallelujah.

We do not live by bread alone, but by every word
that proceeds from the mouth of God, Hallelu, hallelujah.

The 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 trespasses,
            as we forgive those who trespass against us.
 And lead us not into temptation,
            but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory
            forever and ever. Amen.

Children’s Prayer:

God, be in my eyes and in my looking.
God, be in my ears and in my listening.
God, be in my mouth and in my speaking.
God, be in my heart and in my understanding. Amen.

God Calls and We Respond to the Word

Amos 8:4-7

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
   and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, ‘When will the new moon be over
   so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
   so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
   and practise deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
   and the needy for a pair of sandals,
   and selling the sweepings of the wheat.’

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 113, with sung response:

God of all to you we raise this our song of joyful praise.

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
   praise the name of the Lord. R

Blessed be the name of the Lord
   from this time on and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
   and his glory above the heavens. R

Who is like the Lord our God,
   who is seated on high,
who looks far down
   on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
   with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
   making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord! R

Luke 16:1-13

“The Problem with Money or Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” – Rev. Cynthia O’Connell

Hymn:  For the Healing of the Nations, VU 678

For the healing of the nations,  God, we pray with one accord;
for a just and equal sharing of the things that earth affords.
To a life of love in action help us rise and pledge our word.

Lead us forward into freedom, from despair your world release;
that, redeemed from war and hatred, all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness fear will die and hope increase.

All that kills abundant living, let it from the earth be banned:
pride of status, race or schooling, dogmas that obscure your plan.
In our common quest for justice may we hallow life’s brief span.

You, Creator-God, have written your great name on humankind;
for our growing in your likeness bring the life of Christ to mind;
that, by our response and service, earth its destiny may find.

Invitation to the Offering


Doxology: Grant Us, God, the Grace, VU 540

Grant us, God, the grace of giving,
with a spirit large and free,
that ourselves and all our living
we may offer faithfully.

We Pray

Prayers of the People

Song: Send Your Holy Spirit, VU 370

Send your Holy Spirit on your gathered people,
merciful and loving God, hear us, as we pray.

Poem: Sabbaths 1999, VII by Wendell Berry

Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.
Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.
                                       The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite.
                      What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.

Closing Hymn: Lord, Speak to Me, VU 589

Lord, speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of your tone;
as you have sought, so let me seek your straying children lost and lone.

O lead me, so that I may lead the wandering and the wavering feet;
O feed me, so that I may feed your hungering ones with manna sweet.

O teach me, so that I may teach the precious truths which you impart;
and wing my words, that they may reach the hidden depths of many a heart.

O fill me with your fullness, Lord, until my very heart o’erflows
in kindling thought and glowing word, your love to tell, your praise to show.


One:One:Go into the world:
dance, laugh, sing, and create.
All:All:We go with the assurance of your blessing, O God.
One:One:Go into the world:
risk, explore, discover, and love.
All:All:We go with the assurance of your grace, O God.
One:One:Go into the world:
believe, hope, struggle, and remember.
All:All:We go with the assurance of your love, O God.
Thanks be to God!


Song:  Go You Now in Peace

Go you now in peace and know that the love of God will guide you.
Feel his presence here beside you, showing you the way.
Go you now in peace, go you now in peace.