This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies. If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call to Worship
we have gathered to worship the One in whom we live
and move and have our being
the Father of all creation,
who cares for the suffering and lowly of the world
seeking to be formed more fully in the way of Christ
the One in whom the Father’s love was embodied,
who displayed for us how we might love one another
and to be shaped by the Spirit of God
to be formed in the way of Christ,
and to embody the love of the Father
in our living and moving in this time and place
Thus says the Lord God:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
All the trees of the field shall know
that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
I will accomplish it.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
Holy God, whom we call Father, we give you thanks for the people who have been fathers to us, and we pray for all sorts and conditions of fathers.
For fathers who have striven to balance the demands
of work, marriage, and children.
For fathers who, lacking a good model, have worked to become a good father.
For fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support.
For fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.
For fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children's lives.
For fathers who, as stepfathers,
freely chose the obligation of fatherhood
and earned their stepchildren's love and respect.
For fathers who have lost a child to death,
and continue to hold the child in their heart.
For those who are about to become fathers for the first time.
For those men who have no children, but offer fatherhood to whomever might need it.
For those men who have "fathered" us in their role as mentors and guides.
And for those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and in the communion of your Saints, whose love continues to nurture us.
For all of these, we give you thanks.
In the midst of the complexity of emotions that surround days like this, we ask that you would hold our joy and pain together and use us to care for one another.
All this we ask of You who are both father and mother to us all, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.