Invitation to Holy Communion Christ our Lord invites all to his table who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. There fore, let us confess our sins before God and one another. (Take a moment to look at your puzzle piece. Examine it and say a silent prayer of acknowledgement, confession, and hope for reconciliation and restorative justice.) Confession and Pardon (UNISON) God of grace and mercy, you have always loved us despite our sins, our doubts, and our misgivings. There have been times when we have used our power to oppress your children. We have turned away, despite the cries of our brothers and sisters, We have not done your will. Please forgive us. There have been other times where we have carried hurt and burden on our shoulders, of which we have not been able to let go. Free us. Teach us about your grace and love so that someday we may be transformed and we may help transform, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Leader: Hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; that proves God’s love towards us. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. All: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven, Offering Peace In quietness and humility, offer to your neighbor a sign of peace or reconciliation. Leader: As forgiven and reconciled people, let us offer ourselves and our gifts to God so that we may partner with brothers and sisters in God’s mission, so that we may work for the restoration of God’s kingdom here on earth, and so that we may find God, even when we least expect it.
Taking the Bread and Cup THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION 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. It is right, and a good and joyful thing,… And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn;
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might; Heaven and earth are full of your glory, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ… And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith. Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Pour out our Holy Spirit on us gathered here, … Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and for ever. Amen. And now, with the confidence of children of God, let us pray: Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others, In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Reading Matthew 5:1-12, The Beatitudes When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. And taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Scripture Reading Isaiah 59:14-16 So justice is driven back and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. God saw that there was no one. God was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so God's own arm worked salvation... A Litany for Prophetic Voices Leader: When Isaiah observed that “justice has stumbled in the streets” and “truth is nowhere to be found,” he said, “God was appalled.” At a time of rising vitriol, racism, hate and violence in our nation born of deep economic crisis and global shifts, can you join the Women’s Division directors in speaking out? If we do not, God will be appalled. All: Women of this historic organization, raise a prophetic voice!
Leader: Challenge the climate of distrust. Challenge the distortion of truth and fear. Prophesy and exemplify human compassion, civility, love of neighbor. Consider truly looking at people and their humanness! Connect with their lives, their situation, their desperation or plight. All: Does not God tell us that our brothers and sisters have equal value in God’s eyes? Does this not include whether we agree with them or not? Leader:This is the beauty of God’s Grace. All: This is our calling as Christians! Women of this historic organization, raise a prophetic voice! It is our time to raise a prophetic voice! (partially excerpted from The Women’s Division letter “An Invitation to Speak out for Compassion, Against Hate”