Thursday, March 26, 2009

Worship with Us Sunday Mornings 10 am in A Third Place

We like to say church meets all the time here, and it does, and one of those meetings is worship, now at 10 am Sundays (or thereabouts; worship here is more like a party than a program); followed by cooking a meal together for ourselves and others. During worship instead of a sermon, we have Holy Conversations and often they follow a video clip of current biblical scholarship, and this past Sunday and again on April 5 Palm Sunday, our video experience will be an immersion Into The Great Silence, the documentary that puts you into the monastery in France for the silence, the service to the community, the chanting worship of God. On this Sunday, March 29, we will be at All Souls (see below) for Revival worship at either 10 or 11:30 am.

This past Sunday, March 22, we had a typical wonderful mix of traditions of ecumenical or small c catholic Christian worship that was a beating heart of different pulses in our LivingRoom liturgy. We sung several hymns from the evangelical old-fashioned revival tradition, and we also sing favorites from the UUA hymnal; we have morning prayer elements from high church Anglican tradition; we have prayers and candles and sharing from a low-church tradition in keeping with small group worship, and end our prayer with the Lords Prayer; we have communion and communion songs that come from the African American tradition and a liturgy that is free and open to anyone in keeping with the progressive Christian tradition, passing the cup and bread and then after holy conversations we have a benediction from the 18th century American Universalist Christian tradition.

See here for the bones of our common liturgy, with few variations from time to time...

Church at A Third Place
Sunday Worship & Conversation 10 am; Community Meal 11 am – 1 pm
“doing small things with great love changes the world”
“you don’t have to think alike to love alike”
“following the deeds of Jesus, not the creeds about Jesus”

Invocation
Today is the day which God has made:
Let us rejoice and be glad therein.
What does the Eternal require of us?
To do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Chalice Lighting Covenant
This is our covenant, with one another and with God, as we promise to walk together in life, and to make Jesus visible in the world, wherever we are, together or apart:
In the light of truth, and the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather in freedom, to worship God, and serve all.

Words of Welcome

Morning Song
“Spirit of Life” “Dona Nobis Pacem” “Love Will Guide Us” and more

Morning Prayer
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you. For behold, darkness covers the land; deep gloom enshrouds the peoples. But over you the Lord will rise, and his glory will appear upon you. Nations will stream to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning. Your gates will always be open; by day or night they will never be shut. They will call you, The City of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Violence will no more be heard in your land, ruin or destruction within your borders. You will call your walls, Salvation, and all your portals, Praise. The sun will no more be your light by day; by night you will not need the brightness of the moon. (Third Song of Isaiah)

Eternal Spirit, we come with hungry hearts, waiting to be filled: Waiting to be filled with a sense of your presence; Waiting to be filled with the touch of your spirit; Waiting to be filled with new energy for service; We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. Loving Creator, we confess what seems always with us: broken things within us that seem never to mend, empty places within us that seem always to ache, things like buds within us that seem never to flower. God of everlasting hope and forgiveness, help us to be open to your Presence within us, mending and tending to our aching hearts and to our hurt and wounded land. Help us to listen to others, and empower us to be your hands of action and healing, sowing seeds of compassion and justice into our families and communities and to support all those in need in our one world which you made and called good.
Let us pray for those who weep, and for those who cause their weeping. Hear our prayer, O God. For those who are without food, clothes, and a place of shelter this day and everyday. Hear our prayer, O God. For those who live without hope and meaning. Hear our prayer, O God. For those who live in fear or sickness. Hear our prayer, O God. For those who make gods of things and of themselves, Hear our prayer, O God. For those who are working to serve others this day, Hear our prayer, O God. For those travelling today, Hear our prayer, O God. For those in harm’s way, in homes and on battlefields, Hear our prayer, O God. For those who are finding their way again to love and laughter, Hear our prayer, O God. And for the great mission of God to bless the poor, to pardon the imprisoned, to bring sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to provide hospitality to the resident aliens, to clothe all, to visit the sick, and to proclaim the year of the Lord and end all debts, Hear our prayer, O God.

Lighting Candles of Cares and Celebrations, Joys and Sorrows and Thanksgiving
(You are invited to light candles and share in silence or in speaking)

Let us keep and remember all these reflections of our minds, meditations of our hearts, and prayers of our souls , as we join in saying the prayer Jesus taught to all those who would follow in his radical, inclusive, compassionate and transforming way. Feel free to use the words you were taught in the diverse faith traditions, or the words you have chosen for the spirit of the prayer: Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Free and Open Communion at Jesus’ Welcome Table
Celebrating the Simple Abundance and Feast of Life For All Faiths
Communion Song: “Let Us Break Bread Together”
Here is the bread of life, food for the spirit. Let all who hunger come and eat. Here is the fruit of the vine, pressed and poured out for us. Let all who thirst now come and drink.
We come to break bread. We come to drink of the fruit of the vine. We come to make peace. May we never praise God with our mouths while denying in our hearts or by our acts the love that is our common speech. We come to be restored in the love of God. All are welcome. All are worthy. (Robert Eller-Isaacs, based on Matthew 25, alt. Singing The Living Tradition hymnal)
Passing the Bread of Life and the Cup of Hope
Communion Song: “We’re Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table”

Story & Children’s Recessional Song: “Go Now In Peace”

Holy Conversation

Benediction
Let us go out into the highways and byways.
Let us give the people something of our new vision.
We may possess a small light, but may we uncover it, and let it shine.
May we use it to bring more light and understanding
to the hearts and minds of men and women.
May we give them not hell, but hope and courage.
May we preach the kindness and everlasting love of God.
---John Murray, 18th cent. American Universalist minister

Please stay and join us as we cook and eat together and share with the world our common meal—Grace for our meal is “It is a blessing to be. It is a blessing to be here. It is a blessing to be here now. It is a blessing to be here now together. It is a blessing to be here now together in freedom and in love. Amen.” Our Song of Grace is “Shalom Havyreem” (Peace, Friends).