Sunday, August 23, 2020
Give us grace, O God, to build the city
that has stayed too long a dream, whose laws are love,
whose ways are God's own ways,
and where the sun that blazes is grace for all our days.
From O Holy City Seen of John by Walter Russell Bowie
Call to Worship
from Christine Longhurst, for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Praise be to God,
who rescues us from the power of darkness;
who redeems us and sets us free!
Praise be to Jesus Christ, the first born of all creation,
through whom all things were made,
in heaven and on the earth.
Praise be to the Spirit of God,
whose presence sustains us,
and whose breath renews all creation.
Behold! I am making all things new!
Come, O God, and make your home among us.
Pour out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Hymn O Day of Peace

Assurance Of Forgiveness
Sisters, brothers, siblings in Christ, by the mercies of God, the Spirit transforms and renews our minds, and washes us in grace. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace. Thanks be to God. 
Encountering God's Word
Prayer for Illumination
from Making All Things New: Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, written by the Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive

Speak to us, Giver of Life, and make us new. We thirst for the waters of eternal life, we yearn to know ourselves as Resurrection People. Send your Holy Spirit upon us this day and create in us your new heaven and new earth. Speak to us words of comfort and hope, words of challenge and courage. Come: move among us, we pray. Amen

Scripture Revelation 21:1-6
 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.

Rev. Katie Ebel, pastor of Faith Springs Presbyterian Church in Pewaukee reflects on God's promise of a "new heaven and a new earth," in her sermon Chipped and Broken. "This new wonderful place is not somewhere out there. Our new life is not in the clouds or in the cosmos, but rather here, on the earth. Among the masses of humanity, among the plants, among the animals. It is in the world. For God is not making new things; God is making all things new."
Prayers of the People
Rejoicing in God’s promise of new creation,
let us pray to the Maker of heaven and earth,
saying: God of new life, hear our prayer.

We pray for the church . . .
Make your home among us, O God.
Let us be a true and trustworthy sign
of the new thing you are doing. 
God of new life, hear our prayer.

We pray for the world . . .
Heal the suffering of your creation.
Let all creatures join together in praise
for your renewal of the earth.
God of new life, hear our prayer.

We pray for this community . . .
Give us a new dream, a new vision
of your amazing love for all people,
without prejudice or partiality.
God of new life, hear our prayer.

We pray for loved ones . . .
Be with them in their suffering.
Wipe away the tears from their eyes.
Let mourning, crying, and pain be no more.
God of new life, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, keep us working and praying
for the coming of your holy realm of peace,
when we will share abundant life with you;
through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Hymn O Holy City Seen of John
Sent Into the World
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, with those whom you love, and with those whom God alone loves. Amen.

The liturgy for this service was put together by Rev. Katie Ebel.