21

April 2024

Apr

We Abide in Christ

How Shall We Live

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B

Our final week in the series, “How Shall We Live?” calls us to live out the love and joy we have found in our life in Christ.

Opening Prayer

Living Word,
whose love abides in us,
You call us to love
in truth and action.
Give courage to our hearts
so we may love your beloveds.
Open our ears to the wisdom
of those you send,
who might otherwise be dismissed.
Transform our charity into justice
over all the earth. Amen.

Written by Rev. Laurie Bayen and Rev. Laura Baumgartner. Rev. Bayen, Cotati, CA (ancestral homelands of the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok peoples), is an elder in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, serving Windsor Community UMC. She is involved with the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement. Rev. Baumgartner, Seattle, WA (ancestral homelands of the Duwamish and Coast Salish peoples), is an elder in the Pacific Northwest Conference, serving Haller Lake UMC. She is involved in the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement.

Call to Worship

How shall we live when we have more than enough?

We have no greater praise to offer than caring for your creatures and Creation.

The earth is our teacher – nurturing and tender.

In this hour, O God, nourish us in the soil of your love.

Let us worship God, the Ground of all Being.

Written by Rev. Paul Mitchell, Walla Walla, WA (ancestral homelands of the Cayuse, Umatilla, Palus, and Walla Walla), senior pastor of Pioneer United Methodist Church. He is an elder in full Connection in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference and is involved in the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement.

Benediction

“Love will come to perfection in us when we can face the day of judgment without fear – because our relation to this world is just like Christ’s. There is no fear in love, for perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:17-18)

Form in us, O God, a community of creativity and collaboration.

Our salvation is bound together with Creation.

Written by Rev. Paul Mitchell, Walla Walla, WA (ancestral homelands of the Cayuse, Umatilla, Palus, and Walla Walla), senior pastor of Pioneer United Methodist Church. He is an elder in full Connection in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference and is involved in the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement.

Pastoral Prayer

How to use these prayers: These pastoral prayers are drawn from the lectionary texts for the first three Sundays following Easter 2024. Each prayer is written according to a pattern of praise, confession, and assurance.

Two optional segments are written in as part of the prayer. For those presiding in worship settings where specific prayer requests are shared from the congregation, there is a section where these can be inserted following the second paragraph of each pastoral prayer. Another optional segment is at the end of the prayer. For congregations who have not prayed the Lord’s Prayer elsewhere in the service, they may do so at the close of the pastoral prayers.

Is it faithful to read the Psalms through the lens of the climate crisis?

The psalms were written by a people who too often found themselves in conflicts with their neighbors. They cried for justice, protection, righteousness, and faith. In the Psalms, restoration and peace were described with words telling of the strength of mountains, of abundant harvest, flowing water, multiplying fish and animals, and songs of the earth in praise of God. As we look at the harm done to the planet, we see some common cause with these ancient people. In that way and more, the psalms are both timeless and timely. If we listen to the verses, we hear their voices—and whole ecosystems and the planet itself—cry out.

Pastoral Prayer

Inspired and drawn from Psalm 23

Shepherd God, you are the Lord of the stone-crest mountain and shepherd of the living Hermon Stream. Your flocks are rock thrush and rock hyrax, herds of swirled, mountain gazelle, schools of nibble fish, and us, your people. Creator, in your design, you gather us together with the mountain cherry and holy bramble, and we are brought close to you.

Forgive us for the destruction of your holy places, your flowing waters, your herds, and your flocks. We have darkened the valley. We have polluted your earth. We brought war, discord, and greed into your communities. We turn to you!

(Optional, the leader shares prayers of the people): Listen to our prayers, the prayers of the people of your reaction, as we raise our hopes in you.)

Holy Parent, Father God! We rise from our sorrow. This is Easter! We will fear no dark place, not where the Banyan waters churn over the cliff, not in the deep underground of crystal water, not in the crevices of limestone or any other darkness. For you are with us. We will restore the wild wheat and herald the crocus. Our cups plunged into the cool springs will overflow! We rest as one community in the meadow of your love. Amen.

(Optional. The Lord’s Prayer.) To you, we raise the prayer taught to us by the Lord, Jesus Christ...

Rights: non-commercial use granted for churches in educational and worship settings, including for broadcast, video recording, live reading, live stream, and print for newsletters, bulletins, and other non-commercial church publications.

Written by Rev. Richenda Fairhurst, Ashland, Oregon (Homeland of the Shasta and Takelma peoples). Richenda works with the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement and is a Climate Chaplain.

In This Series...


Second Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • White

In This Series...


Second Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes