closeup photo of sprout
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on

We Gather Together

Musical Prelude: October 


Promise of Divine Welcome

Invocation: What Does the Lord Require of You?

            What does the Lord require of you?
            What does the Lord require of you? (sing twice)

            To seek justice, and love kindness,
            and walk humbly with your God.

Call to Worship:

One:Righteous One, you are ever listening.
All:We come boldly, lifting our praise to you, because we know you hear us.
One:Bringer of Justice, you reveal truth to us.
All:You help us to see how things are and how they can be.
One:Eternal God, you persist in love and justice.
All:We want to persist in love and justice too.

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:May we listen today,
May we learn today,
May we love today.

Opening Hymn: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, VU 264

            Immortal, invisible, God only wise;
            in light inaccessible hid from our eyes;
            most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
            almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

            Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
            nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
            thy justice like mountains high soaring above
            thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

            To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
            in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
            we blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree,
            then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.

            Thou reignest in glory, thou rulest in light;
            thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
            all praise we would render, O help us to see
            ‘tis only the splendour of light hideth thee!

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: Source of Wisdom, we confess that at times, we can be self-serving, and we lose sight of community.
All:Sometimes, we don’t respect you, ourselves, or each other.
One:Yet, you are just toward us even when we are not.
All:We know that we can trust you, so we yield our hearts and minds to you.
One:You are persistent in your desire to restore us because you want us to have what is best for us.
All:Thank you for this moment of transformation.
One:We give you thanks that we are better for it.

Words of Assurance

Song: In the Lord, I’ll Be Ever Thankful (Taize)

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful, in the Lord I will rejoice!
Look to God, do not be afraid:
lift up your voices, the Lord is near;
lift up your voices, the Lord is near.

Choral Anthem

Children’s Hymn: The Little Church by Donovan

If you want your dream to be, build it slow and surely.
Small beginnings, greater ends, heartfelt work grows purely.

If you want to live life free, take your time, go slowly.
Do few things, but do them well; simple joys are holy. 

Day by day, stone by stone build your secret slowly.
Day by day, you’ll grow too; you’ll know heaven’s glory.(2x)

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

Psalm 119, Part 4, VU 840, with sung response

Teach me, O God, the perfect way of your divine commands.

O how I love your law! It is my study all day long.
     Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies;
     for it is always with me.
I have gained more insight than all my teachers,
for your instruction is my study.
     I have more understanding than the aged,
     for I keep your commandments. R

I have held my feet back from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
     I have not swerved from your judgements,
     for you, yourself, have taught me.
How sweet is your word on my tongue,
sweeter than honey in my mouth!
     Through your commandments I get understanding;
     therefore I hate every false way. R

Luke 18: 1-8

Sermon: “Persistence and Prayer”
~ Rev. Cynthia O’Connell

Hymn: As We Gather, VU 457

            As we gather at your table, as we listen to your word,
            help us know, O God, your presence; let our hearts and minds be stirred.
            Nourish us with sacred story till we claim it as our own;
            teach us through this holy banquet how to make Love’s victory known.

            Turn our worship into witness in the sacrament of life;
            send us forth to love and serve you, bringing peace where there is strife.
            Give us, Christ, your great compassion to forgive as you forgave;
            may we still behold your image in the world you died to save.

            Gracious Spirit, help us summon other guests to share that feast
            where triumphant Love will welcome those who had been last and least.
            There no more will envy blind us nor will pride our peace destroy,
            as we join with saints and angels to repeat the sounding joy.

Invitation to the Offering

Music: The Prayer

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, with response

One:…hear our prayer
All:and in your love answer.

Song: O Give Thanks to God for Steadfast Love  

O give thanks to God for steadfast love;
            God’s love endures forever.
O give thanks to God, O give thanks to God,
            for God’s love endures forever.

Poem: Harvest for the World by The Isley Brothers

All of us together, everyone a seed;
Half of us are satisfied, half of us in need.
Love’s bountiful in us, tarnished by our greed,
When will there be a harvest for the world?

A nation planted, so concerned with gain;
As the seasons come and go, greater grows the pain.
And far too many feelin’ the strain;
When will there be a harvest for the world?

Gather everyman, gather everywoman;
Celebrate your lives, give thanks for your children.
Gather everyone, gather all together,
Overlooking none.

Dress me up for battle, when all I want is peace;
Those of us who pay the price, come home with the least.
Nation after nation, turning into beast;
When will there be a harvest for the world?

Closing Hymn: God of Freedom, God of Justice, VU 700

            God of freedom, God of justice,
                        you whose love is strong as death,
            you who saw the dark of prison,
                        you who knew the price of faith:
            touch our world of sad oppression
                        with your Spirit’s healing breath.

            Rid the earth of torture’s terror,
                        you whose hands were nailed to wood;
            hear the cries of pain and protest,
                        you who shed the tears and blood:
            move in us the power of pity
                        restless for the common good.

            Make in us a captive conscience
                        quick to hear, to act, to plead;
            make us truly sisters, brothers
                        of whatever race or creed:
            teach us to be fully human,
                        open to each other’s need.


One:Depart this space, committed to persisting in prayer.
All:May we add our voice with those who cry out for justice
One:Go and take the actions to ensure justice prevails.
All:We go forth knowing that we are heard, and can hear.
One:Go into the world, knowing God is with you.
All:We depart in the goodness of our God.


Song:  I Am Walking A Path of Peace, MV 221

            I am walking a path of peace; (3x)
            lead me home, lead me home.

            I am walking a path of hope; (3x)
            lead me home, lead me home.

Postlude: I Say a Little Prayer for You