Gathering as the Body of Christ
(in-person service only)
Welcome and Sharing of Announcements
*Call to Worship
Liturgist: May God bless each one of us.
People: May God bless our siblings across the world.
Liturgist: May God’s face shine upon us.
People: May God’s face shine upon each of our neighbors of other races and religions.
Liturgist: May God’s way be known across this earth.
People: May all nations experience God’s mercy and love. Liturgist: Let all nations be glad and sing for joy.
Source of Life, Creator of heaven and earth who is known through Jesus Christ by many names; Over-turner and illuminator of hearts; we gather with gratitude for the earth and all who journey in it. We give thanks for the interconnectedness of all creation. Source of justice who is known by many names; let us not swerve from the path of righteousness that leads to just and equitable relationships. Open our eyes that we may see the immigrant and undocumented; whose labor enables and sustains our living; the farm worker, the hotel worker, the line cook, the childcare provider, the healthcare worker; Give us the will to leave behind the safety of our sanctuaries to become your living sanctuary; and claim our place in the movement to transform creation; that our voice, our heart, our spirit will join the voice, hear and spirit of all who demand to live with respect, justice, and peace.
Lyndale United Church of Christ, Minneapolis, MN Adapted from a prayer by Jews United for Social Justice
“One Bread, One Body”
(online read by Youth Group, Linda Keefer; in-person read by Pastor)
Friends, siblings, on this World Communion Sunday you are invited to gather around this table. This is not this church’s table, it’s not a Methodist table, it is certainly not a US-American table. This is God’s table, and we are, each one of us, invited as honored guests. On World Communion Sunday, as we and thousands of Christians around the world gather to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded that this table stretches beyond all borders and all walls. Today, we gather with Christians around the world who are also celebrating this meal today: with Palestinians and Colombians and Syrians and Guatemalans and Germans and Kenyans and people of no nation. This table does not ask for citizenship status nor any other status that we could come up with. This is a table where all the languages of our lips and our hearts are spoken and understood. This table has no room for weapons or hatred, but is ever-extending to make more room for anyone who seeks a place here.
Greetings by Sunday School
(online: Liz Berglund; in-person: Pastor)
One: God be with you,
Many: And also with you.
One: Open wide your hearts!
Many: We open them up to God.
One: Let us give thanks for this time and space,
Many: Giving praise to God for this meal we will share.
(Pastor Seok-Hwan) We are surrounded by a world of hunger and hurt. We are surrounded by injustices, loneliness, illnesses, and hate. Yet through you, God, we know a different story.
(online: Joe Wesley, in-person: Pastor) Our sacred story tells us of many times when our ancestors dined with the Divine. When the Israelites left Egypt, they escaped with little resources. As refugees, they moved into the wilderness. In their exile, God rained sacred sustaining bread from heaven.
Our sacred story tells us of times when our ancestors dined with those who hungered. When Abraham was approached by three strangers, he offered them bread to rebuild their bodies and refresh their souls.
(Pastor Seok-Hwan) Our sacred story tells us that when sojourners listening to the teachings of Jesus became hungry, Jesus gathered loaves and fish, ultimately providing enough for all in attendance with twelve additional baskets to share.
Our sacred story tells us that on the night before Jesus died, as he and his friends gathered in a room, Jesus clenched a loaf of bread. He broke the loaf and said “do this in remembrance of me.” And after supper, as the night grew long, Jesus took a cup. As he blessed its contents, he exclaimed “Drink in remembrance of me.”
(online: Mabel Johnson; in-person: Pastor) And our sacred story tells us that two of the disciples were on their way to Emmaus and came upon a stranger on the journey. In a spirit of hospitality, they invited him to stay. As their new friend broke the bread, they were able to see the Christ.
Our table extends beyond this time and space: to food pantries, to community meals, to dinners shared with home-bound friends, and to coffee shared with friends who grieve. When two or three are gathered, the Christ is present. As scriptures detail, in showing hospitality to strangers, we entertain the angels in our midst. As we have experienced, while sharing bread and cup, we have encountered angels among us.
(online: Ken Muzykewicz, in-person: Pastor) May the Spirit of God encircle these gifts with love. May the Spirit of God bless these gifts and, in doing so, bless the connections between all here and all in our hearts. May the Spirit of God bless the widows and spouseless ones, children without parents and children from foreign lands, the last and first, the poor in spirit and the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness. May all of your children in each space on our earth feel your love and experience the winds of your righteousness. Amen.
(online: Joe Wesley in Kannada)
(Pastor Seok-Hwan) Sharing of the Gifts of Bread and Cup
Look. Here is your Lord, coming to you in bread and wine.
The gifts of God for the people of God.
Prayer After Communion
We celebrate our gratitude, Divine Companion. As this spiritual meal has nourished us, inspire us to feed our neighbors and journey with the lonely. Through our co-creation together, may we spread love throughout our world and extend your hospitality to people in need. Amen.
(c) Rev. Michelle L. Torigian. Free to use with attribution
(on-line: Matthew Cron) Poem for World Wide Communion:
“THE TABLE WITH NO EDGES”
We will sit down where feet tire from the journey.
We will sit down where grief bends the back.
We will sit down under roofs wrecked by artillery.
We will sit down where cries sound from cracked walls.
We will sit down where heat beats like hammers.
We will sit down where flesh shivers in cold.
We will sit down where bread bakes on thin charcoal.
We will sit down where there is no grain in baked fields.
We will sit down with those who dwell in ashes.
We will sit down in shadow and in light.
We will sit down, making friends out of strangers.
We will sit down, our cup filled with new wine.
We will sit down and let love flow like language.
We will sit down where speech needs no words.
We will sit together at the table with no edges.
We will sit to share one loaf, in Christ’s name, in one world.
by Andrew King: https://earth2earth.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/poem-for-world-wide-communion-2015/
Deuteronomy 26: 4-11
4 When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the LORD your God, 5 you shall make this response before the LORD your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. 6 When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, 7 we cried to the LORD, the God of our ancestors; the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9 and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me.” You shall set it down before the LORD your God and bow down before the LORD your God. 11 Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house.
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
"Immigration: Welcoming the Stranger"
Message 1 - Pastor
Testimony: Tina Gleich
Message 2 - Passage
Message in Music
“Hold Us Together”
by Matt Maher & Steve Wilson
Praise Band, September 8, 2019
(online service only)
Dear God, for whom and through whom all things exist, you are the Sovereign of the universe! Yet you have named us among your beloved children and call us to live as brothers and sisters of Christ. On this World Communion Sunday, we rejoice that you gather us around the Table of your Son, the risen Lord. May our offerings reach out to bring hope and grace to our near and distant neighbors, whom you know and love. We pray in the most excellent name of Jesus. Amen.
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
The Blessing and Sending Forth
May God, the Great Connector, open our souls to the ones across our cities.
May Christ, the Great Vine, open our hearts to the ones across our states.
May the Holy Spirit, the Great Soul, open our minds to the ones across our country and world.
We are many branches on the one Great Vine.
Love and care for the people connected.
(in-person service only)
Organist: Matt Cron
Usher: Roy Higgins
Greeter: Sharon Lipp
Liturgist: Nancy Keelan
Liturgist: Jill Lohmeier
Video: Spencer Murata