God's People Are Cool - a video celebration
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Spirit of Life, you have called us into being through love. You have joined us to one another in love. Our lives are but a breath, but our breaths are drawn from your Spirit. You have created us as walking paradoxes: specks of dust and images of the divine both. Grant to our spiritual family a deeper fullness of being and spirit. May we carry the experience of this morning in our continuing journey. May all the people say, Amen.
Celebrating Community With One Table
One: Our celebration of life and love continues with our sharing of bread and cup. When Jesus gathered with his friends to tell them of a re-imagined way of living and being, the conversations often went on into the time for a meal. Jesus ate and conversed with the high and mighty, with the pious and self-righteous, and with those considered outcasts and sinners.
All: His table fellowship included everyone. He often told them stories that caused them to wonder and ask questions.
One: He also welcomed these opportunities to eat with those who disagreed with him and engaged them in open discussion.
All: In this way, the issues of life and death, justice and injustice, conflict and peace, goodness and evil, were talked through and made real to ordinary people.
One: Jesus used the meal as a demonstration of his teaching. He urged his followers to include a wide variety of people in what he called the realm of God. And he encouraged them to be open to the insights and understandings that come from honest and respectful dialogue among those who seek a worthy way of life. We are here to carry on the traditions of seeking truth and recognizing goodness wherever they may be found. To this end, everyone is invited and encouraged to share in this symbolic meal.
All: This being so, we embody the Spirit of Life and Love when we gather around this table and pledge ourselves anew to each other and the remaking of the world.
Communion Song ~ Here I Am, Lord
I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord, Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.
I, the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people's pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone
Give them hearts for love alone
I will speak my words to them,
Whom shall I send?
I, the Lord of wind and flame
I will send the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
'Til their hearts be satisfied
I will give my life to them
Whom shall I send?
Word About Life - Shared by Rev. Ken Heintzelman
Acts 9: 1-6, 7-20
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord." The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."
Spiritual Direction Tip - Shared by Karen Richter
see the box below
Words for Mission
One: As we go forth, let us strive to sustain our resurrection joy, despite grief and despair—despite everything!
All: May we live in gratitude for those with whom we share this journey.
One: These are the times.
All: We are the people.
One: All of Creation is blessed.
All: May we love all and serve all.
One: May God be with you.
All: And also with you.
Send-Off Song ~ Weave, Weave