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Current Issues Facing Christians (July 26, 2020)

Series: Community Amidst the Coronavirus

Please participate in the following liturgy, reading aloud all the parts in bold italics.

Call to Worship

Are any among us suffering?
We will pray.
Are any cheerful?
We will sing songs of praise.
Are any among us sick?
We will call on the name of the Wounded Healer.
Have any committed sins?
We confess our sins to each other, that we might be healed.

Father God, Creator & Sustainer of all things,
You made all people of one blood.
Lord Jesus, Author & Perfecter of our faith,
You called us to see all people in love.
Holy Spirit, Counselor & Comforter,
we are empowered by you and you alone.

Prayers of the People

O God, your Son remained with his disciples after his resurrection,
teaching them to love all people as neighbors.
As his disciples in this age,
we offer our prayers on behalf of the world
in which we are privileged to live
and our neighbors with whom we share it.

Long ago his disciples were first called to minister
to those closest to them in Jerusalem.
We too now lift our prayers for those closest to us:
the lives in our homes and closely linked to ours.

Offer a spontaneous prayer for our immediate family and friends
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

The disciples were also called to be a witness next door, so to speak.
They were called into Judea, a land nearby where they were welcomed.
We too now offer our prayers for the friend next door.
Let us pray to neighbors, coworkers, and all those we bump into daily.

Offer a spontaneous prayer for the wider community around us
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

To their discomfort, the disciples were also called into Samaria,
a place where they were unwelcome and not inclined to serve.
Still they served and loved and prayed like Christ in Samaria, and the world was changed.
We too now offer our prayers and our service for enemies and those who are the “other.”

Offer a spontaneous prayer for our enemies and those who are “other”
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

Christ said, “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
We too are called to the ends of earth. 

Offer a spontaneous prayer for the world at large
(unmute your microphone and speak for all to hear)

Open our hearts to your power moving
around us and between us and within us,
until your glory is revealed in our love of both friend and enemy,
in communities transformed by justice and compassion,
and in the healing of all that is broken. Amen.

Song: One Blood

O God, you have made us
All of one blood
   And sent us Your blessed Son
Proclaiming Your kingdom,
Justice and peace
   He’s calling to everyone
   The far and the near may come

Let the nations of the earth
Seek after You and find you
   Let our neighbors see in us Your love

Pour out Your Spirit, Pour out Your Spirit
   Pour out Your Spirit upon all people
Hasten the coming, Hasten the coming
   Hasten the coming of Your kingdom

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-8

“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
   he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.”

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Coming to Love in the Current Issues Facing Christians

Song: Thank You for Pain (Song of Lament)

I bring you my pain
I give you my sorrow
I offer my shame
The threat of tomorrow
   I’ve heard that You’re close
   to the brokenhearted
   And near to the cries of the poor
Prove it, I’m on the floor
I’ll wait

Should I thank you for pain?
Do I thank you for sorrow?
I’ll bring You my shame
The threat of tomorrow
   Thank You for all that can finally grow
   In the soil of death and despair
Thank You for meeting me here
Thank You for meeting me here

Thank You for doubt
Thanks for despair
When options run out
The unanswered prayers
   Thank you for all that is possible
   In the space that pain can create
I cling to amazing grace
And wait

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
  That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
   Was blind but now I see

Confession and Assurance

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;

that we may delight in Your will,
and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your Name.

Silent confession (space to confess our sins and wait in God’s presence).

The Lord has already shown you mercy.
The Lord has already had compassion on you.
Jesus strengthens our weak knees
When we still have a long way to go.

Be free!
We are forgiven.
Laugh out loud!
We are forgiven.
Love God with everything!
We are loved.

Silent assurance (space to receive God’s merciful love and say “thank you” in response)

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Is the Father with us?
He is.
Is Christ among us?
He is.
Is the Spirit here?
He is.
This is our God.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We are his people.
We are redeemed.

Therefore we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Sacrament of Desire

Now, in union, O Lord with the faithful at every altar of Your Church,
I present to You my soul and body
with the earnest prayer that I will remain united to you.
And since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
I pray that you would come to me spiritually.
I unite myself to you, and embrace you with my soul’s affection.
Let nothing separate me from you,
that I may live and die in Your love.

Community Life

Cross of Christ

All our problems,
we send to the cross of Christ!
All our difficulties,
we send to the cross of Christ!
All the devil’s works,
we send to the cross of Christ!
All our hopes,
we set on the Risen Christ!

3 Good Minutes

Bishop Todd says “Whatever the issue is, it is best handled at the intersection of reality and coming to love.”
What does that mean for you this week?

Parish Text Updates