Monday, September 7, 2009

For a Service Focussing on Inclusivity

NOTE: These resources use phrases and images taken from Come Join the Circle by Gordon Webber, Draw the Circle Wide by Gordon Light, and The House of Our God by Jim Manley.

CALL TO WORSHIP
Come join the circle for Jesus is calling…
God calls us into the circle of visions and dreams where all are welcome and included
Look around and see who’s here, look at all the faces
God has called us here to celebrate the wideness of God’s community and grace.
Let us worship the God of justice for all times and places together. Let us pray…

OPENING PRAYER
God we hear your voice calling out to us, reminding us to do one thing:
Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still.
As we gather in this place and time open our hearts to the breadth and width of Your vision for the church.
Awaken in us a dream larger than we have dreamed before; a dream of a place and time where all are welcome and included.
We pray in the name of Jesus who taught us about the wideness of your grace and taught us to pray words like these…

PRAYER OF CONFESSION/ASSURANCE OF PARDON
The house of our God is not just for the holy, or the wise, or those who fit in
But often we have tried to limit access to God’s house in many ways.
Sometimes we have done it on purpose, sometimes purely by accident.
But still we have shut the doors, leaving others outside.
For the times we have not lived out your call to inclusivity forgive us,
Open our eyes and hearts to the needs of those who wait by the door.
…time of silent prayer…
The God who calls us together welcomes one and all, sinner and saint, old and young. When we stray from God’s Way we are forgiven and given a new start.
We rejoice in the wideness of God’s grace and love. Amen

COMMISSIONING AND BENEDICTION
We go from this place to draw the circle wider,
May our hearts and love know no borders, may our dreams be larger than before
We go from here to open the circle to those who call us,
Seeking to answer their cry for justice as part of a global community.
And we go to do this knowing that we travel the journey of life with the God whose love encompasses the whole world.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

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