Monday, March 23, 2009

For March 29, 2009 -- 5th Sunday of Lent -- Charity or Community – What’s It All About?

CALL TO WORSHIP
We come together as a collection of individuals.
And we become something different.
We come together with a shared purpose.
We come to explore how God is active among us.
We come together to be refreshed.
We come to be part of a community of faith.
Let us worship together, let us pray…

OPENING PRAYER
God of community, move among us here today.
As we sing and pray and listen speak to us of how good stewardship of your gifts strengthens the lives of our global community and then send us out ready to keep on the work of embracing your kingdom coming to reality on earth.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught his friends to pray the words that we now sing…

PRAYER OF CONFESSION/ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Loving community we seek O God.
In the seeking we sometime find it easily and sometimes find it missing.
And yet the community is made by “us”, not by “them”
which reminds us of the times the community may have been lacking because our efforts at community building have been half-hearted.
You have graced us with great abundance.
Help us remember that with abundance comes responsibility.
As we attempt to be good stewards of what we have,
help us to use our gifts in aid of that loving community we seek.
Even though we may occasionally misuse the abundance God has provided the gift is never withdrawn. God forgives our poor choices, God gives us a second chance to embrace God’s community. We are forgiven, and loved.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Offering Prayer
Creator God, we who have been given much now share what we have with the world.
We offer these gifts of time talent and treasure out of our desire to build a better community.
May the offering of these gifts change we who give them.
May the offering of these gifts change the world in which we live. We offer them in your name, God of our abundance. Amen.

COMMISSIONING AND BENEDICTION
We came here from our various homes and lives, now we return to those lives.
But we leave reminded that we are members of a community of faith, reminded that we do not walk alone.
As part of that community we leave as those who have been called and empowered to build God’s community, God’s kin-dom “on earth as it is in heaven”.
With God’s help we commit ourselves to the task.
As you go out to re-build our community go knowing that the Three-In-One: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer walks and works alongside you.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

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