Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
from the poem, “Wage Peace,” by Judyth Hill
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Holy Light of the World,
you call us to be salt and light,
to show the world your love through our deeds.
People: We come to wage peace,
to become light for a world that is filled with shadows.
Leader You call us to love our enemies,
to breathe in the pain of the world
and breathe out compassion.
People:We come to wage love,
to become a shelter from the storms of rage and hatred.
Leader: You call us to loose the bonds of injustice,
to let the oppressed go free.
All: We come now to become the Body of Christ,
breathing out the healing of the world.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, Jesus challenged us to love our enemies.
People: But we confess
that we would rather ignore our enemies
than love them.
Leader: Even when we try, our efforts are half-hearted.
People: We fail to understand the power of your love.
Leader: Our hearts are too small and too guarded
to truly love our enemies.
All: Forgive us for not remembering
hat the world’s healing hinges
not on our capacity for love, but on yours.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: God forgives us for our unloving ways.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader 1: Gracious loving God,
we give you thanks for your breath
that allows us to find healing for ourselves
and to offer it to our world.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus,
who forgave others,
even with his last breath.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
the very breath of your being,
that heals our wounds
and stirs our compassion.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church
that supports us as we breathe out
the fragile breath of peace.
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups.
The wafers are gluten-free.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.
Leader: Let us answer God’s call to wage peace,
to breathe out love and light,
healing and compassion.
And now, with God surrounding us,
Jesus beside us, and the Holy Spirit within us,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.