Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Special Service and Meal 2012

The Welcome Table Gathering

Thanksgiving Worship Meal


Experiencing God in Radical Hospitality and Service To Others

“While at Levi’s House, Jesus ate with tax-collectors and sinners (today we would say he was eating with terrorists and child sex offenders); when the religious authorities saw him doing so, they asked his followers why he was shaming himself and them and their whole community by doing so; on overhearing this, Jesus stepped in (reminding them by his action that if anyone had a problem with another they should go directly to that other with it and not to someone else) and he said, “Anyone can eat with those who are like them, and who they like and are liked by them, but those of us especially who follow our God of Israel, a God who commands us to treat the strangers as one of us because we were once strangers in another land, we must do more than that in order to do God’s will. After all, even though the world of the Empire may think and do otherwise, should doctors treat only the well and not the sick? Our meals are like doctors for the soul.  If you are full and happy and think you are perfect  and have brought nothing to give, you won’t understand God is at this table, that God is for the ungodly. But if you are not well, take off your heavy burdens and lay them down, and come rest and be nourished at this table and yes, even by these people of God.” ---a rendering of the gospel based on Mark 2

“We’ll stay hungry if we eat alone. We’ll starve if we believe that a community is a supernatural kind of miracle, or a product we can buy—not something we create by offering ourselves recklessly to others. We’ll never feel truly fed if we’re constantly competing to get our share, if we believe that love is scarce, and are afraid to give it away.”---Sara Miles

Invocation and Gathering

Today is the day which God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad therein. For what does the Eternal require of us? To live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. We covenant to walk together with one another not in creed, but in deed, to walk together in the ways of God known and to be made known. In the light of truth, and the loving and liberating spirit of Jesus, we gather in freedom, to worship God, and serve others.

Responsive Reading 425: from Psalm 65

First Movement: Washing and Blessing The Hands

Blessed are you, Holy One. You hold us in your hands. Be with us in THIS day. Bless our hands, that we might hold others as dearly as you hold them. Blessed be the hands that grow food and those that prepare meals. Blessed be the hands that wash dishes and clean floors. Blessed be the hands that anoint the sick and offer blessings. Blessed be the hands that guide the young. Blessed be the hands that grow stiff with age. Blessed be the hands that comfort the dying and have held the dead. Blessed be the hands that greet strangers. Blessed be the hands for all the work, all the play, all the love, that we give. Blessed be the hands into which we receive life; bless be the hands into which we pass the future. Blessed be the hands that pass peace.

Greetings and Conversation: Awareness of our Meal and Our Space. Preparing for the Meal and Space…Where did our components of the meal come from? Do we just eat with an assumption of food that just appears? Sharing Stories of where our food ingredients came from, whether shopping or gardens. How have we prepared the space for our meal? How does food grow community? Where is God in the garden, in the slaughterhouses, in the factories, in the transport, in the stores, in the kitchen, in our space and time for the meal together?

Responsive Reading: We Give Thanks This Day, #512

Songs of Thanksgiving: For The Beauty of The Earth, #21, Tis A Gift to Be Simple #16, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, #126

Second Movement: Deepening Our Lives At The Tables and The Altar

Setting the Altar and Sharing Stories

Songs of Meditation and Mindfulness: Find A Stillness, #352

Prayers of Community

Dona Nobis Pacem, #388

The Prayer Jesus Taught Those Who Would Follow in his Radical Compassionate Way:

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.

Responsive Reading: We Lift Up Our Hearts in Thanks, #515

Third Movement: Breaking Bread/Pouring Cup/Eucharist/Meal

Songs of Communion: We’re Gonna Sit At The Welcome Table, #407

Responsive Reading: Food For the Spirit, #726

Communion Prayer: O God, we gather at this welcoming table open to all no matter what, remembering how Jesus gathered people from all the walks of life, stranger and friend and enemies, gave thanks to you, offered all the bread of life and the cup of blessing and proclaimed a covenant of love for all in your name.  We remember too the wonder of his life, as we remember the wonder of all of Creation given unto us and how all are One, and all lives sacred.  We remember his death and how on the night before he died he still gathered in love to share a meal and the hope for a better world, and we remember all the terrors and the tyrannies that oppress people today. In the mystery of faith in the everlasting Spirit, the triumph over fear, help us to remember to practice resurrection everyday, as we remember all those who have given Love the ultimate trust and the last word and who have worked to create the beloved community of renewed and abundant life. Help us to remember with this meal especially all those who are hungry, and may we treat all our meals as sacred and to be shared. Take us, bless us, so that even in and with our brokenness we may serve others and receive Your Spirit. Amen.

Breaking and Passing the Bread of Life, Pouring and Passing the Cup of Hope

Song of Communion: Let Us Break Bread Together, #406

Passing Our Plates and Serving One Another

Dinner and Conversation on Giving Back Together To Our Community

Fourth Movement: Taking Home

Unison Prayer for Our Composting and Recycling: Creator God, we thank you for the abundance of resources with which we are blessed. We repent the abuse and overuse of these gifts. And we now ask for your guidance in restoring the face of the earth. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving: We Sing Now Together, #67

Blessings: #702,  #704

Song of Benediction: Go Now in Peace, #413

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