Monday, September 15, 2008

For September 21, 2008 -- Proper 20, 19th After Pentecost

CALL TO WORSHIP
We have been called and we have come,
but where are we, where are we going?
We find ourselves in a wilderness time, and the future is uncertain,
will we have everything we need? Were we better off before?
We need hope, we need faith, we need trust.
God has brought us here, God will take us forward, let us worship the God of the journey.

OPENING PRAYER
God of the desert, the urban jungle, the wilderness places, we come together again in worship. During this time of prayer and singing and listening reawaken in us the hope of the unknown. May this time together empower us to go forward boldly even when we want to go back to the familiar. Amen.

Offering Prayer
God, these pieces of paper and metal only have the meaning we give them,
And so we choose to give them properties like hope, love and freedom. May these gifts, and we the givers, be active in your changes in the world. We give them in gratitude for what we have received. Amen.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION/ASSURANCE OF PARDON (adapted from Seasons of the Spirit)
God, we stand at the brink of what has been and what is yet to be.
We long to receive the gift of your liberation
and to taste the sweetness of your promises.
But the way forward is unknown and so we hesitate:
discouraged, frightened, insecure, complaining.
Yet we know we must move ahead on our journey.
When the uncertainty of change leads us to call for a return to what we used to know,
Forgive our grumbling and our fear.
When we choose our comfortable chains over the possibility of freedom,
Forgive our reluctance to try something new.
Help us move past our fears and inertia into the world of hope and promise.
...time of silent prayer...
God leads us into the wilderness of the unknown but God knows that we are afraid. God works with us, not giving up when we grumble but constantly calling us forward as forgiven people.
We are forgiven, we are freed, thanks be to God! Amen.

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