Monday, February 18, 2008

For Mar 2/08 -- Lent 4, Who is the Church? Who isn't?

NOTE: THis year's Lenten liturgies will not be based on the lectionary readings for YEar A. Instead they will be following a series called The 5 W's of Church (the link shows what themes and readings are being used)

CALL TO WORSHIP
The world is a place of uncertainty, a place of questions.
We bring our questions here to the church,
In this place we lay out our wonderings before God and neighbour
In this place we trust that we can find clues that will help us find some answers
Here in this place we proclaim that all are welcome
The newcomers to faith and the cradle church types
All gather together to worship and explore
Let us worship as a community
Let us pray together…

OPENING PRAYER
Welcoming God, once again we have gathered in your presence.
In this place we affirm that everyone is welcomed into the circle. At this time we celebrate your presence within and around us all.
As we worship may you fill our hearts with hope,
As we sing and pray may you empower us to be your servants. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Offering Prayer
Gift-giver, here we return some of our gifts to you. May they become tools of love in the world. Amen.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION/ASSURANCE OF PARDON
God, it is so easy to say the words: “all are welcome in this place”.
But sometimes it is so challenging to make the words a reality.
We confess that at times we inadvertently make people feel less than welcome.
We confess that we sometimes look at our own needs more than those of the visitor or newcomer.
For those times when our welcoming has been less than perfect, forgive us.
For those future times when we will welcome others, help us to always do it well.
…time of silent prayer…
God comes to us in friend and stranger. God teaches us what it means to welcome and be welcomed. God offers us forgiveness and new starts.
Thanks be to God! Amen

COMMISSIONING AND BENEDICTION
We have sung, we have prayed, we have worshipped together.
Now we go out into the world where we do most of our living and serving.
As you go out remember to practise radical hospitality, welcoming all you meet
For in doing so we may well welcome angels.
And know that in all you do and all you are you are Held in the Arms of Love, Strengthened by the Spirit, and Named as God’s Beloved Child. Amen.

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