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October 2021

Oct

Not Far From the Kingdom

Not Far From the Kingdom

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

All Saints Day is one of those moments where we celebrate and remember those who have made the journey or who have taken the next step. We remember them because they are still a part of us, shaping us, mentoring us – maybe not in a direct way, but in a real way.

Perhaps founder of the Methodist movement John Wesley’s favorite celebration in the life of the church, All Saints is a time to give God thanks for all those who have brought us where we are today. All Saints is both a local remembrance and a true global recognition. We can and should celebrate famous names whose lives and writings have shaped our faith, even as we celebrate members of our own church family who are now a part of the great cloud of witnesses that we remember together with both sadness and joy. The sadness, of course, is because they are parted from us for now, but the joy is our firm belief in the promise of eternity. We observe this date, not with the fear of death, but with the knowledge that death has been swallowed up in victory.

Call to Worship

Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Fix your eyes on God’s commandments.
People: We will praise God with sincerity as we learn of these decrees.

B. David Hostetter, Prayers for the Seasons on God’s People: Worship Aids for the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B (Abingdon, 1999), 203.

Call to Worship

Loving God, Loving Our Neighbors
Based on Mark 12:28-34

We are people of God, created to love
We will love the Lord our God with heart, soul, mind, and strength.

We are people of God, determined to love.
We will love our neighbors and treat them as we would be treated.

We love neither from a sense of obligation nor to gain popularity of favor.
We choose to love both the lovely and the unlovable because love imitates God’s nature.

All: For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14 NRSV).

Safiyah Fosua, Africana Worship Book for Year B, Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua, eds., (Discipleship Resources, 2007), 73.

Opening Prayer: All Saints

In all our weakness and strength,
with our youth-filled spirits and aging bodies,
we come to be your people, O God.

Strong in faith and eager with questions,
singing our praise and whispering our prayers,
we come to be your people, O God.

Filled with saintly determination
yet mindful of our human limitations,
we come to be your people, O God.

Made strong in your endless love for us,
we know ourselves to be yours and
we come to be your people, O God.

May we truly become your people today. Amen.

From Seasons of the Spirit: All Saints Day—Year A, published by WoodLake Publishing. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2011/10/opening-prayer-all-saints.html.

Prayer of confession

Good and great God, we come to you through Jesus Christ who intercedes for us sinners. We confess our sins, seeking forgiveness not only that we may be at peace with you, but also that we may pray for others. We are ashamed that our prayers are often as self-centered as our lives. Excuse our disordered priorities as we seek to change and reorder our lives according to the teaching and spirit of Jesus Christ you Son, our Lord. Amen.

Declaration of Pardon

Pastor: Friends, hear the good news! God has chosen you to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit.
People: We are saved by the Spirit through belief in the truth in Christ.
Pastor: Friends, believe the good news!
People: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

B. David Hostetter, Prayers for the Seasons on God’s People: Worship Aids for the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B (Abingdon, 1999), 203-204.

Collect

Timeless God, we thank you for all those before us who have kept the faith to the end. We thank you for brave souls of deathless fame, and also for those whose names are remembered only by you. Give us wisdom to understand your will, and courage to live as your people in this day; through the grace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ruth Duck, Flames of the Spirit, Ruth C. Duck ed., (Pilgrim Press, 1985), 55.

Prayer of Intercession

(inspired by Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Mark 12:28-34)

Our prayer today is for all who are victims of cruel laws and petty laws,
those who’re subjected to prejudice
denied opportunities, excluded, pushed to margins.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for all those who’re betrayed,
who don’t know loyalty, who fear to trust, or to love,
and who don’t realise that they’re already loved by you.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the landless and homeless,
the refugee and evicted,
those who find themselves in foreign places and strange places.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the overworked and the underpaid,
for those in dangerous work and those in compassionate work,
for those who long to work but are denied the opportunity
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the Church, for all the branches of the vine
including this one we gather as part of, today:
body of Christ, people of Christ,
for whom the Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for the creation gifts,
this earth in all its mighty wonder, yet tender fragility,
the gifts of life and resources to treasure.
The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Our prayer today is for those who lie close to our hearts
those whom we worry about, those whom we miss,
those who carry disproportionate burdens at this time …
(local intercessions)

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

Written by Rev. Iain Macdonald. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website. http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/ Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/10/prayers-of-people-we-will-love.html.

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Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

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Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes