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RURAL LIFE SUNDAY

On a date set by each Annual Conference, this Sunday calls the Church to celebrate the rural heritage of The United Methodist Church, to affirm worldwide the people and communities who work with and on the land by raising food and fiber, and to recognize the ongoing crisis occuring in the rural areas of the nation and world today. Emphases may include honoring persons who have been leaders in the rural church and community, observing Rogation Sunday (a service asking for God's blessing upon the earth and its crops, traditionally held on the three days prior to the Day of Ascension in the spring), and celebrating and showing a concern for God's created order. Also see A Service for the Blessing of Animals (United Methodist Book of Worship 608) and other resources including 425, 507.

Scripture Readings

Deuteronomy 26:1 –11 (at harvest)

Give God the first fruits of the harvest.

Joel 2:21 –27 (at planting)

Promise of abundant harvest

Psalm 90

Prosper the work of our hands

2 Corinthians 9:6, 10

Sow bountifully.

Mark 4:26 –29

The earth produces and the harvest comes.

Suggested Hymns from UMH: 144–52 Creation

Prayer

O Lord, you have given us the gift of land.
May we ever protect and preserve it.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of water.
May we keep it pure and safe.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of air.
May we keep it pure and fresh.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of plants and trees.
May we ever use and protect them justly.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of birds and animals.
May we preserve and enjoy them.

O Lord, you have given us care of the earth.
O Lord, we accept the care of these gifts as our sacred stewardship.
Amen.
(MELVIN E. WEST, U.S.A., 20TH CENT.)

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Copyright: Prayer, Copyright © 1992 UMPH.

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