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21st Century Worship Resources for Pentecost 18B

Litany for Children
(Based on Mark 9:30-37)

Instructions: Jesus talks about how precious children are to God. Today, you are invited to celebrate children everywhere, especially those who need the church's love, care and attention. Where appropriate, an offering might be taken for local children in particular circumstances (i.e., for children whose parents are incarcerated or for those who have other special needs). You might also plan to give a small gift to the children and youth at your church ("you are special" pencils or stickers, etc.). Bring the young people down front before sharing this litany and lay hands on them before or after it is spoken.

Leader: Lord, today we thank you for children, all the children of the world, the big ones, the little ones, the friendly ones and the surly ones.

People: Lord, we will gather the children and love them.

Leader: Lord, we pray especially for children who are hungry, thirsty, unwanted, unloved, abused or abandoned. We praise you for foster and adoptive families, for grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts and churches that open their hearts and doors. We pray for children who have no one to take care of them and for the ones outside our sanctuary doors who are riding their bikes or playing on Sunday mornings because we have never invited them in. Lord, forgive us and prick our consciousness so we see and hear them more clearly.

People: Lord, we will gather the children and love them.

Leader: Lord, we pray for peace and we ask that you give us the will to study war no more. We pray that every child will be anxiously anticipated and warmly welcomed as you intended. When we hear the laughter of happy children, we know you are pleased.

People: Lord, we will gather the children and love them.

ALL: We praise you for __________ (name aloud any child that you know, including those of your own generation). Today we will all be great through serving the children.

Creation Affirmation
(Based on Proverbs 31:10-31)

Women and Girls: Phenomenal. That's what we are!

Men and Boys: Yes, our sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, friends, aunts, cousins and nieces --phenomenal -- that's what you are!

Women and Girls: We nurture, plan, care for, prepare, volunteer, love, support, comfort, manage, conquer -- we are strong, graceful, sensible and thoughtful. We are marvelously and wonderfully made.

Men and Boys: Yes, our God has done great things. We should shout hallelujah!

Women and Girls: Our brothers, fathers, sons, uncles, nephews, friends and cousins. God has created and woven you into the same phenomenally wonderful and miraculous tapestry. Let us all shout hallelujah!

ALL: Praise be to God for making each one of us unique, special and in God's own image. Yes! We are God's delight. Hallelujah.

Prayer of Confession
Based on Psalm 1 and James 3:13-4:2

Our Creator and Sustainer, we confess that we are not always strong like the trees planted by the water's edge. Sometimes we are weak and indecisive. When the first big wind comes, we lean and break. We plot revenge instead of letting you fight our battles. By our silence and busyness, we let wickedness and ugliness fester and flourish. Today Lord, forgive us when we covet and lie and when we get caught up in things that displease you. Heal us, direct our paths and be for us the peace we so desperately crave. Amen.

Benediction

Today and every day Lord,
let your will be ours
in every way
and in every place.
Amen.


Cynthia A. Bond Hopson, Ph.D., is Assistant General Secretary of the Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns for the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and author of Bad Hair Days, Rainy Days and Mondays, Too Many Irons in the Fire and They are all Smoking! She is the coauthor of I Do … Every Day.

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