Links of Interest/Bibliography:
Text Week – World Communion
Jordan Rimmer – World Communion Sunday Ideas and Liturgy
A Poetic Kind of Place – A Table With No Edges
The Painted Prayerbook – The Solace of Others At the Table
Lectionary Liturgies – Liturgy w/Communion
Worshiping with Children – World Communion Sunday
Patheos – Why I Take Communion
Religion Online – A Local Display of World Communion
Rex Hunt – Liturgies
The United Church of Canada – World Communion Sunday
Merriam-Webster’s – Faith
Becoming Wise – Episode 1
UCRD Store – Celebrate God’s Presence
St. Luke’s United Church
October 2nd, 2016
Hymn This is God’s Wondrous World VU 296
Words of Welcome and Announcements
Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering
Invitation to Worship (Deuteronomy 16:11, 12, 15b)
One: Rejoice before God you and your children.
All: Rejoice with the stranger, the widowed, the orphan.
One: Rejoice, you who were once enslaved.
All: Break the bread of freedom.
Drink deep from laughter’s cup.
One: Rejoice, for God has blessed us in all we produce, in all we undertake.
All: Together, let us celebrate.
One: As we come to this table, we are reminded that this is not the table of this congregation; nor is it the table of The United Church of Canada, or any particular denomination. It is the table of Jesus Christ, the family feast of the whole people of God. All who seek to be nourished and sustained in the journey of faith and long to live justly and in peace with their neighbour, are welcome here. Let us eat and drink together for our strengthening in the faith, and for the sake of the world.
Hymn: Let Us Build A House MV 1
Call to Give Thanks
One: May God be with us.
All: God is here among us.
One: Let us open our hearts to God.
All: We open them to God and to one another.
One: Let us give thanks to God.
All: It is right to give thanks and praise.
Passing the Peace
A word about the Importance of Consent
During the Passing of the Peace, consent is a must. You should not feel guilty if you are unable to receive someone’s gift of peace, nor should you feel guilty if your gift of peace is not received. Please be aware of body language and the variety of needs in regards to personal space.
Eternal God, Maker of heaven and earth, we join with all your people to give you thanks and praise. You formed the universe in your wisdom and created all things by your grace. We praise you for all your good gifts: the witness of saints and prophets; the work of faithful women and men; this earth in all its blessing and promise; and this bread, once scattered, now brought together and made one. In the hope that your people may be brought together from the ends of the earth into your reign of justice and compassion, we gather with those of every time and every place to give you praise and glory:
Hymn Holy, Holy, Holy (Sanctus et Benedictus) VU 944
Readings: Luke 17:5-10
The Power of Love
I don’t know how Jesus did it. He was able to say some pretty outrageous things to his followers and while he may have offended some, he still managed to gain a following. Translation, I suspect, doesn’t help much though. My hunch is that today’s passage from Luke is far less inflammatory in its original language of Greek or the Hebrew that Jesus likely spoke. Essentially, Jesus is telling his most loyal followers that their spirituality isn’t the problem. It’s their lack of faith.
Accusing someone of not having enough faith is a pretty big deal, and I’m glad that many churches are beginning to move away from that. Your faith comes from your life experience and hope – according to my favorite psychologist, is born of struggle. Faith and hope are nearly impossible to separate. Faith is strengthened by hope and defined by experience. The technical definition of faith is “trust or belief in something”. Faith isn’t what you believe, but the act of believing itself. Faith – mislabeled as belief – is a hot topic in the United Church these days. While this has given us many great conversations, we seem to forget that faith isn’t the belief itself, but the act of believing.
Communion is a symbolic act of faith. It’s an act of remembering Jesus’ ministry. Remembering the small acts that inspired a large movement. Communion is a demonstration of putting the love of relationships ahead of your own personal gain. It’s an equalizer – everyone who comes to the table is offered the same meal, regardless of their age, status, background or ability. Communion builds community and calls us back to our original purpose of unity, justice and peace for all. World Communion is the opportunity for us to acknowledge that even though we have different ways of saying it and sometimes even living it, all followers of Jesus have the same goal of unity, justice and peace for all.
So today, as we share in the bread and the cup, use it as an opportunity to recommit to the purpose of the original Jesus followers. Recommit to using your power and privilege for the good of the whole people of God. Recommit to holding relationships as sacred and more important than anything else. Recommit to dignity and justice. Recommit to the greater sense of Love. Amen.
Hymn Bread of Life, Feed My Soul MV 194
Minute for Mission
We each have an obligation to do what we can for the Good of the Whole. Together we can make a difference.
Offertory Called by Earth and Sky MV 135 (ref, v4, ref)
Bless these gifts and those given through PAR. May they be symbols of our commitment to each other and to your vision of what is to come. Amen.
One: Let us remember together that vision of God’s reign shown to us in Jesus at table:
All: he shared food with followers and friends,
One: with saints and sinners,
All: with crowds of thousands on the hillside,
One: and a few friends in an upper room.
All: On the night before he died, he had supper with his companions.
One: He took a loaf of bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them, saying:
All: “Take, eat. Do this in remembrance of me.”
One: Then, he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he passed it among them, saying:
All: “Drink this. Do this in remembrance of me.”
One: Through this loaf and cup, Jesus lives within us.
All: In word and deed, Jesus lives among us.
One: Remembering your boundless love for us in Jesus Christ, we offer you our praise, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
We remember Jesus Christ, who is, who was, and who is to come. (based on Revelation. 1:8)
Holy Spirit, unite us at this table and strengthen us to live the resurrected life of Christ in the world. (from Celebrate God’s Presence)
At this time, we also remember all those with whom you would have us share your feast.
We pray for all who are in sorrow or in pain . . .
all who are ill or alone . . . all who live with fear, oppression, or hunger . . . all whom the world counts as last and least . . . We pray for your church and its varied ministries . . . for the nations as they strive for peace and justice . . . for the earth, and the fragile web of life we share . . . for our families and friends
Praise be to God, the Source of love!
Praise be to Christ, Love incarnate!
Praise be to the Spirit, Love’s power!
With Jesus, we pray together, saying:
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice. A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 921-927.
The bread of freedom.
The cup of solidarity.
All: Thanks be to God.
Come, for all things are now ready.
Our communion this morning is by intinction, an act of solidarity with our Christian sisters and brothers. After the choir has been served, an usher will indicate to your row an invitation to move toward the front to receive the elements. If you have mobility issues or require gluten free, please inform the usher. We would be happy to serve you.
Music Ministry (during Distribution)
Prayer after Communion
may your gifts of love transform and enliven us that we may live lives of thanksgiving. May your presence among us provoke such longing for your realm, that we will never be satisfied until the whole earth knows your justice, your peace, and your love.
In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Commissioning and Benediction
Musical Blessing Spirit God, Be Our Breath MV 150, v4