Call to Worship to Commemorate the Fifty-Year Anniversary of Full Clergy Rights for Women

by the Rev. Pamela Cunningham Hawkins

Call to Worship

In the beginning, God created humankind;
In the divine image, God created them, male and female.

Out of the wilderness, God delivered them,
Through sea and desert, God delivered them, woman and man.

Beside the manger, God-with-us was born to them,
With lowing cattle and bleating sheep, Christ was born to them, mother and father.

On crowded landscapes, Jesus was claimed by them,
From mended nets and broken bread, Jesus called to them, brother and sister.

Male and female,
Woman and man,

Father and mother,
Sister and brother.

By the hand of God,
At the side of Christ,
With the power of the Holy Spirit —
We are, together, God's beloved,
Created, named, and called. Alleluia!

Opening Prayer

God of far-reaching vision,
we give you thanks this day for all the ways
you have entrusted us with your hope.
As a midwife waits, open-handed, to receive your gift of life,
so are we equipped by grace to do the same.
As a woman cradles a newborn child,
so are we formed by love to embrace all of your children.
As a sister shares home with a brother;
as a daughter breaks bread with a son,
so are we blessed with much that we may be a blessing to many.

O Christ of long-standing promises,
today, in this time and place,
we gather in praise and gratitude
that you have embedded our stories into your story;
our lives into your life;
our call into your calling.

O Spirit of deep-breathing possibility,
we are especially grateful for the lives of women,
present, remembered, and yet to be known,
who have claimed your vision,
told your story,
and embodied the possibility of a beloved community.
And so we pray, remember, hope, and celebrate together,
in the name of God, our Creator, Christ, our Lord, and
the Holy Spirit, our advocate and friend.


Written by the Rev. Pamela Cunningham Hawkins, staff, "Pulpit & Pew: The Duke Center for Excellence in Ministry."

Copyright © 2006 Pamela Cunningham Hawkins. Published by The United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, PO Box 340003, Nashville TN 37203-00003.

Permission is granted to use this material in worship. It may not be used for profit, republished, or placed on another website. Other websites are welcome to link to this page.

Categories: Worship, Womens History Month, Lectionary Calendar, Services and Liturgies

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