Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Gathering Music and Lighting of Altar Candles
Welcomes and an introduction to the day: We continue to reflect on “Being SPIRIT PERSONS in All the Contexts of Life and the contexts of the times certainly cry out for a manifestation of spirit persons to bring healing and renewal in the manner of a Jesus of Nazareth… and we contemplate and meditate on those prospects in poetic words that follow . . .
Great God of earth and heaven whose spirit is our breath,
At Christmas-time born human, at Easter shared our death:
All generous, all loving, in whom all beauty thrives—
Forgive your sons and daughters the comfort of our lives!
While refugees go homeless and die before they live,
While children have no future— our apathy forgive!
Where hope fades to depression, despair erodes the soul,
Restore in us a passion to make the broken whole.
Where hunger kills your people, injustice cries aloud.
While weapons grow more lethal and only power stands proud—
God of our flesh and fiber, whose mercy does not cease,
Implant your mind within us, create a world for peace!
Today’s Biblical Reading… Mark 9:30-37
They were making their way through Galilee (and trying to avoid the crowds) because Jesus wanted to share some teachings with his followers about how The Human One would be turned over to those who would kill him, but that three days after being put to death he would rise again. But they understood nothing of what he was saying, and were afraid to ask any questions.
Then they came back to Capernaum, and when they were in the house he asked, “What were you arguing about on the road?” They said nothing, because they had been talking about who ought to be the greatest – (who ought to be considered number one among them). So Jesus sat them all down and said, “If you really want to be the greatest (and number one), then you need to assume the role of those considered the least, and become the servant of everyone.” Then he held a little child in front of them and, embracing the child in his arms, said: “Anyone who embraces one of these little children in my name embraces me… and that means embracing the one who sent me.”
Reflections: Power & Greatness in a Spirituality of Servanthood
A Reflective Hymn: N0. 575, O For a World
The Offerings and Offertory Music,
Prayers of Joys and Concerns . . .
and The Lord’s Prayer translated from its original Aramaic
O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where Your Presence can abide. Fill us with Your creativity so that we may be
empowered to bear the fruit of Your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire and endow
us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true
purpose, but ilIuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth power and fulfillment,
as all is gathered and made whole, Amen
A Closing Meditative Hymn:. . .
O God of earth and altar, bow down and hear our cry;
Our earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide;
Take not your thunder from us, but take away our pride.
From all that terror teaches, from lies of pen and voice,
From all the easy speeches that make our hearts rejoice,
From value’s profanation, from honor sacrificed,
From sleep and from damnation,, deliver us, O Christ!
Awaken us to action and forge us into one,
Defying sect and faction; O God, your will be done!
Oppressive systems snare us; our apathies increase,
Great God, in mercy spare us for justice and for peace!
Candles Are Extinguished and We Take Our Light Into the World
Sharing the peace of spirit persons as we go…
And plan to stay around for refreshments and conversation . . .
Saturday, September 26 we’ll be celebrating OCTOBERFEST… and if you’ve got time to volunteer or offer some food or desserts… then be in touch with CHERYL CONRAD, 540-323-7265 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, September 27: We’ll be doing our annual observance of
Blessing of Animals…
all creatures – large and small – so plan to bring your pets, even rocks and worms [as some of our enterprising young folks have done in the past]… and we may even be going for a horse this year. Be sure to share the word with friends and neighbors!
Sunday, October 4: It’s the actual feast day of St. Francis that the church began observing almost 800 years ago… and it’s an observance that has taken on special significance in recent years since Pope Francis took on that name. But it signifies more than taking on a name, an action not only honoring a true spirit person who has become the patron saint of animals and the environment, but one who has embraced his values, especially in a commitment to identify with the poor and the oppressed. We’ll be lifting up not only the memory of St. Francis in our communion and potluck meal, but lifting up the concerns of a Francis in our midst today who is constantly challenging the status quo in terms of economic, social, and political contexts.
As spirit persons who believe that ‘God’ is alive in us… we continue to gather in worship as an inclusive community, an open & affirming community of faith that transcends any distinctions based on gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or religion… with a formal worship that flows into a living worship of love and support for one another and to pursue ways in which we can reflect God’s mercy, justice, and peace in our community and throughout the world, along with finding ways to celebrate the goodness of life together… and always reaching out to draw others, with total inclusiveness, into this communal experience…