WELCOME Rev. Anna Kreisle
*PASSING THE PEACE
*CALL TO WORSHIP Liturgist
(based on Psalm 137, a Psalm of exile)
One: By the waters of Babylon,
there we wept when we remembered.
Many: By the waters of the kitchen sink,
there we wept.
And on the living room couch,
and in the empty school room,
and beside the makeshift dining room table office.
One: How could we sing God’s song in a strange land?
Many: How could we sing God’s song over Zoom?
One: By the waters of Babylon,
Many: There we wept when we remembered.
One: Remember the ancient rhythm
Of separation and homecoming,
Many: Exile and return,
Going out and coming in.
One: You who are by the waters of Babylon:
Many: From kitchens and home offices,
Sidewalks and parking lots, we come!
One: You who remember and you who do not:
Many: Sometimes feeling hopeful,
and sometimes choosing hope in defiance!
By car or by computer, we come!
One: God goes with every exile;
Many: God rejoices with every return.
One: In Babylon and Jerusalem,
in strange lands and familiar rooms
Many: In sanctuaries and on screens,
In pews or chairs,
couches or recliners,
let us come together now
to build a future with hope.
--Adapted from SALT Project
OPENING SONG "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"
CALL TO CONFESSION Liturgist
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
All: God of Abundance, we confess to you that too often we don’t dare hope that things will ever get better. It’s safer to play the cynic, to say that we’re just being “realistic,” than to have our hearts broken yet again.
“This is just the way it is,” we say. “It’s always been like this. Money has always been tight. People will always disappoint you. The politicians will never change. The virus will never go away.”
God of Possibility, ignite within us the flame of hope. Be our vision, so that we can glimpse your abundance. Spur us on, so that we can be the change we wish to see in the world.
ASSURANCE OF GRACE
SCRIPTURE READING Jeremiah 29:4-14
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.
For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
MEDITATION Rev. Anna Kreisle
HYMN "Great is Your Faithfulness"
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
You may share your joys and concerns out loud now. The pastor will end each request with
One: O God,
All: Hear our prayer.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Using these or whichever words are closest to your heart, yet saying together:
Our Creator in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kin-dom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kin-dom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
All are invited to the table of love, baptized or not, member or not, whether your faith is strong or you are doubting, all are welcome at God's table.
WORDS OF INSTITUTION
SHARING THE BREAD AND CUP
One: Thankful for all the gifts of God, let us say:
All: Thanks be to God, Amen.