Season of Creation: WIND, SKY, AND SEA
Fire fascinates us, draws us in, and then reduces us to trembling. Death is at once enemy, and sister. And today, we join the witness of scripture in joy and terror at the power of wind, and sky, and sea, and with Francis we confess that God is surely praised through them.
- Exodus 14:19-31
- Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21 (UMH 135)
- Romans 14:1-12
- Matthew 18:21-35
Season of Creation: FOOD
We increase God’s praise when we address not just our own "hanger," but the legitimate howls of hanger or hunger, “the cries of the needy,” as we pray in our confession of sin, cries we are called to hear as Christ’s body, are respond to with whatever means we have, just as God did, and longs to do through us — without hesitation.
- Exodus 16:2-15
- Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 or Psalm 78 (UMH 799)
- Philippians 1:21-30
- Matthew 20:1-16
World Communion Sunday
World Communion Sunday was started in 1940 as a Presbyterian-led initiative of the Federal Council of Churches toward ecumenical celebration of Communion by some Protestants in the United States on the same Sunday at a time when most U.S. Protestant denominations celebrated Communion infrequently (quarterly at most), and rarely on the same schedule. Not all churches involved in the Federal Council at the time chose to participate, but there was fairly strong uptake by Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists (now known as UCC), and some Baptist groups at the time. These, in turn, generally promoted the idea across their missionary networks outside the United States so there would be more of a feel of worldwide Communion on that day, even if the practice was (and remains) in fact largely limited to a few U.S. Protestant denominations.
United Methodists worldwide continue the practice, as do the Methodist churches outside the United States we and our predecessor denominations autonomized in the twentieth century. We also mark this observance with a special offering that supports scholarships worldwide and in the U.S. and ethnic in-service training programs.
- Exodus 17:1-7
- Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 (UMH 799)
- Philippians 2:1-13
- Matthew 21:23-32
The purpose of the Children’s Sabbath observance is social advocacy for the needs of children throughout this nation. This year’s theme is “Moving Forward with Hope: Love and Justice for Every Child.” Children’s Sabbath–a weekend-long observance, primarily in the community–should not be confused with Children’s Sunday, a Sunday worship observance that focuses primarily on drawing attention to the children in our own congregations. For this reason, it is not recommended that today’s worship service be given over to “children’s programming” as such, although it is always recommended that children be given as many opportunities to lead and participate in worship as possible.
- Exodus 20:1-4
- Psalm 19 (UMH 750)
- Philippians 3:4b-14
- Matthew 21:33-46
Habits of Hospitality: OFFERING PEACE
This week’s non-lectionary-based service for Laity Sunday launches a three-week miniseries, “Habits of Hospitality,” in which the succeeding two services are based on the Epistle readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.
- Exodus 32:1-14
- Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 (UMH 829)
- Philippians 4:1-9
- Matthew 22:1-14
Habits of Hospitality: WELCOMING ALL THE PEOPLE
What does it mean to become “imitators of us and of the Lord” and to receive “the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit” so that we may become examples to other believers? What does it mean to be truly welcoming, receiving all people and their gifts, even as we serve a living and true God and wait for the coming again of Christ in final glory?
- Exodus 33:12-23
- Psalm 99 (UMH 819)
- 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
- Matthew 22:15-22