Call to Worship Call: People of faith, we are God's children. Response: We are God's family, God's own flesh and blood. Call: We are God's heirs, God's legacy. Response: We are beloved and redeemed, chosen and called. Call: We have nothing to fear, for in Christ, God's love is poured out upon us. Response: It is our joy to bear the family resemblance of Christ to the world. All: Let our lives proclaim the truth that God is love and perfect love casts out fear.
Presider: Turn to the people around you and tell them this news using the sign for “Peace be With You.”
Liturgist: Listen! (pause) The body breathes in together... and out. As close as breath, the Holy is present with us, uniting us through life given so graciously to all of Creation. (pause) So we lift up our hearts.
(People lift their hands, palms up)
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Holy Living One because it is the right thing to do, not only now, but always, for "always" is when God is with us: I invite you to open both palms upward in the sign language for “give.” We thank you, Creator God, that you formed every one of us in your image–conveying the limitless diversity of who you are.
Liturgist: Now place your hands together in the sign meaning “to be with.”
Presider:(as the motion is done)...We thank you, Sustainer God, that you are here with us and call us to be with one another across lines that divide us by nation and location, ways of worshiping you, language and creed.
Liturgist: Bring your hands close to your face, in the sign for “prayer.” Close your eyes and become aware of your breath. (pause) Presider:(as the motion is done)... We thank you God for breathing into us the breath of life. Even when we have turned away, you have remained with us, close as breath. We remember and honor that this same breath unites us all as your children and as your body in the world.
Liturgist: And so, we open our eyes, our hands and our hearts to your will for us as told to us through your prophets. We praise you along with all who do, have ever done so and ever will do so, repeating: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Presider: [piano begins to underscore softly, slowly] Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God. Blessed is your Son who came to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce that the time had come when you would save your people.
Liturgist: Listen people! (pause) The Lord is with you. He healed the sick, fed the hungry... and sat down at the table and ate with especially those others considered “unworthy” or “different” or “not my kin” or “other.” The Lord is present with everyone."
Presider: On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples. And said, This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples. This cup is the new covenant. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”
Liturgist: Let us be a community of messengers, proclaiming and reminding each other and creation that: "Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again." I invite you to raise your hands in the ancient Christian posture of prayer.
Presider: Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Let them be for us the body and blood of Christ so that we may be for, and with, the world the body of Christ, liberated by life and witness to our connection with God and with one another. Be with us, Holy Spirit, fill us so you can move through us, making change in the world for the good of all people.
By your spirit we are one with Christ, the host of this table, and one with each other. Let this joy be seen in us outside of this place. It is with great thanks that all God’s people say, “Amen!”
May the God who is our Father fill that which is empty in us, complete that which is incomplete, mold with care that which is poorly formed, bring to life that which is dead; and through our Lord Jesus, all which causes emptiness or misdirection in our lives is forgiven, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen --Miriam Therese Winter, God-With-Us: Resources for Prayer and Praise (Abingdon Press, 1979), 68