Psalm 23 Week 1

The Message Psalm 23

Laughing Bird (Australian) Psalm 23

The Lord is my Grandma

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 95:6-7)

Come, let us worship and bow down

Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture  

We are the sheep of God’s hand, come Let us Praise God!

Prayer of Confession: (unison) God I confess that sometimes I do not want to be a sheep. Sometimes it is hard for me to take direction, and I do not know if it is unwillingness, or ignorance or simply weariness that stands in my way. And yet you walk beside me, to comfort and protect me. Help me to accept you as my shepherd I pray. Amen (Silent Confession) Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, God promises to restore us, know the truth in your hearts: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

1st Scripture Reading Isaiah 40:29-31

2nd Scripture Reading                                     Psalm 23:1-3

Prayer of Dedication: God you know we entered here thirsty. Send the Holy Spirit out with us, to shepherd us, comfort us, and to quench us. Send us into the world refreshed by your Word and Holy Spirit we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Create in me a Clean Heart, There is a a Balm in Gilead, Spirit of the Living God, Any version of Psalm 23

Psalm 23 Series

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Prescient God: Rainbows & Trinities

Today I think that the most prescient thing God ever did was to hang their rainbow in the sky.

God knew what God was doing when they hung up the bow after the storms

Knowing that we needed the reminder that every storm runs out of rain–as Maya Angelou put it.

Knowing that it would be claimed and expanded by all of God’s queer children, proclaiming that love is love is love is love and that God created a multiplicities of genders and sexualities–just like God created a rainbow with thousands upon thousands of hues and in-betweens.

We need rainbows, because God knew

Before sociological studies and microscopic and macroscopic science; before we did our Genesis job of naming all of the people, places and things of the world, you knew that very naming would make us create divisions.

Before we made elaborate charts to discover and explicate the mystery of the Trinity, God, you knew

You knew how much we need rainbows

You knew racism would be a stumbling block of sin,

that normalcy is a illusion of bigotry

that being neurotypical or not is a spectrum….which is another word for rainbow

and that gray can beautiful color, and sometimes we sit in the gray–

God I always imagine that the Trinity is gray, in between and a part of the rainbow world you created.

And God, you knew that you, the Almighty and Many Breasted God needed to symbolically and in all practicalities disarm Godself.

Promising never to send natural disasters as punishment.

Never.

And putting the most powerful weapon of the time, the equivalent of a gun, up. Forever.

Because if God can disarm Godself, then it is clear what we should do.

In the midst of horrific gun violence in the US, the state imbued violence in the United States and Colombia, and in the midst of border wars in Armenia-Azerbaijan, climate asylum and violence in Syria, and the oppression and apartheid conditions in Gaza.

God you know we need to figure out how to live in concert and beauty in rainbows–and how to first and foremost disarm ourselves as you did thousands of years ago.

Thousands of years ago.

God, thank you for your prescience.

And for all the rainbows

And for giving us the time.

And the promises within the rainbow, that it won’t always be like this.

Help us embody your rainbow.

Help us to honor your rainbow.

Fill us with rainbows I pray.

Amen.

rainbow | National Geographic Society
Image

Feel free to Share/Adapt/Use this prayer with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Era Prayer

God, I am praying the prayer of an impatient people.

I truly feel that I am, and we are, the direct descendants of the Hebrews who grumbled and complained from the moment they were freed from Egypt. Impatient for the new beginning to start. I feel their pain.

I pray the prayer of chaotic leadership, lifting my prayer beside Moses and Aaron and Miriam and Tzipporah, who had to balance what the people want with what is best with the community, and the two often do not agree, and are almost always hard to discern.

God I’m praying the prayer of the weary, of Hagar alone and frustrated in the desert, of Abram and Sarai who had to move from place to place to place before finding a home and establishing a household. Is the end in sight? Can I recognize it when it is?

I’m feeling very anxious God. As the news of De-mask-us starts to filter out, and yet, and yet, I hold so many immune compromised people in prayer for cancer and surgery and long term illness. I’m praying the prayer of confusion as I try to sort out what is safe for my children and how to keep them masked, even as adults look forward to seeing one another face to face.

Lord, I’m praying the prayer of the privileged in a nation where vaccines a plentiful, and sometimes even wasted in the face of India’s medical catastrophe that on so great cannot help but spill over to her sister nations–a sharp reminder that it is already affecting us, and I hold onto my prayers for well resourced nations like Japan who, yet still, do not have access to the vaccines.

Lord, I pray the prayer of the brokenhearted, I shed tears with Jesus for Jerusalem and all of the violence that has been purposefully perpetuated against schools, hospitals and publishing houses in Palestine. I pray for the fight over land and water and occupancy that is being done in your name. I sorrow that oppression continues.

God I’m praying the prayer of ignorance, as one who has only been able to superficially take in what is happening in Colombia. Weary and heavy burdened I understand that police violence reigns terror in many places, including my own, and I do not even know what to do next to help to dismantles the powers and principalities as they exist now.

God I pray the prayer of a parent who has had a mere hours of true relaxation over the past year. Is that how it’s been for you God, have you been superbusy watching over us and drying our tears and helping us to clean up the messes?

God I’m praying a multitude of prayers today, as I face the window, a portal into a new era, uncertain as to what will come next, and still weary from what has happened. I am so ready to close the door of the pandemic, and yet am aware that this is not how things work.

So instead, I life this prayer of snips and bits to you.


Be with me in ::gestures broadly at everything:: I pray. Amen.

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Pandemic Prayers and Resources

Mundane Prayer to Survive the Day to Day

Pentecost Prayers

Call to Worship
Spirit of the living God, visit us on this day of Pentecost.
Come, Holy Spirit.
With rushing wind that sweeps away all barriers,
Come, Holy Spirit.
With love that overlaps the boundaries of race and nation,
Come, Holy Spirit.
With power from above to make our weakness strong,
Come, Holy Spirit.

Call to Worship
What are your dreams people of God?
To be filled with laughter, To cry with joy, not sorrow.
What are your hopes, people of God?
To be free of the chains that bind us
Rejoice, God makes our hopes and dreams come true.
Let us rejoice in God!

Based on: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2011/11/contemporary-call-to-worship-psalm-126.html

Prayer of Confession: Almighty God, you poured your Spirit upon gathered disciples creating tongues, open ears, and a new community of faith.  We confess that we hold back the force of your Spirit among us.  We do not listen to your word of grace, speak the good news of your love, or live as a people made one in Christ. Have mercy on us, O God.  Transform our timid lives by the power of your Spirit, and fill us with a flaming desire to be your faithful people, doing your will for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. (Silent Confession) Amen

From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Prayer of Confession: God we confess we have been too tired to prophesy or have visions or dream dreams. Instead we are in survival mode. Please breathe on us some of you energy and inspiration as we go into the world. Help us to see the future through your Holy Spirit we pray

Assurance of Pardon: Friends the Good News of the Gospel: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication: God, we pray that we might rededicate our lives to you. Send your Holy Spirit among us to inspire and sustain us. Holy Spirit Come, we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication: God send your Holy Spirit upon us to love us and sustain us. Refresh us in the Holy Spirit we pray in Your Son’s most Holy Name Jesus Christ. Amen.

Gathering & Gospelling: Worship VI

Worship VI

Chapter 7: Create Good Controversy: Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly 

John 6:5-14

When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages* would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’ 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ 10Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they* sat down, about five thousand in all. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ 13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’

Genesis 12:1-2

Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

Call to Worship:

God we know what heaven it like; for you promise it will be the place without hunger

No one will want for food or drink, for freedom or respect or for love or for companionship

God, in that place all greed will cease, we will learn to rely on your manna, knowing there is enough

Indeed, there will be extra, like the filling of the 5,000

For Truly God, your blessings spill over. touching all nearby

Come Let us worship God. 

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Lord Jesus, I want to be your disciple. I want to help you. Will point out to the people throughout the week that I’m supposed to be serving? Please bless them, heal them of their pains and illness. Let them somehow know that this food is from your hands. Amen. (Based on Prayer Unbinding the Gospel p. 179)

Confession: Reflective Questions:

Who is hungering for God?
Who is just simply hungry, without the basic provisions they need?

What is our calling as Christians to feed the hungry? What is one thing I can do this week to put my discipleship into practice? 

Joys & Concerns: Add to your Prayer List  for today any individuals from our 24hr day of praying for those you have contact with

Prayer for the Body of Christ, New Covenant , The Church’s Children

Prayer for the Neighborhood, The Greater Church, The World 

Creative Activity: Group Prayer, ever person adds a line

Homework: Reflect over this summer. If you have notes from worship, look them over. If not, maybe look at your calendar and reflect about how it’s been going. How is your prayer going? What do you need to pay attention to go forward. 

What is the most important thing your’ve learned/discovered/remembered this week and in the past 6 weeks?

Study Verse: I will bless you…so you will be a blessing—Genesis 12:2

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Holy God, we are yours, the church is yours, our work is yours. I pray you bring energy, intelligence, imagination and love to us and your church. Please use us for your purposes as we continue to the good news of gathering at church with every one we meet. In Christ’s holy name we pray. Amen. 

Hymn Suggestions: I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me, Lift High the Cross, O Love that Will Not Let Me Go, There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy, Amazing Grace

Gathering & Gospelling Worship Series

If you want doc versions, sample bulletins, and the handouts as a separate materials page, email me at Katyandtheword at Gmail

If you use this material, please consider donating to my GoFundMe for my Doctorate in Ministry for Creative Writing as a working Theologian. Any Contribution from $5-100 is appreciated and I am happy to provide receipts as needed.

Gathering & Gospelling: Worship IV

Worship IV

Chapter 5: Never Start a Funeral with Logistics: Commitment: Here I am, I am Here 

See Creative Moment: Moment to capture people’s attention and imagination p. 170

Numbers 6:22-26

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, 

24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 

25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; 

26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Isaiah 3:6-8 

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ 8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

Call to Worship: 

God you called Abram and Sarai

And Abraham and Sarah said here I am Lord

God you walked with Ruth and Mara

And Ruth promised to Naomi: Your God will be my God

God your wrestled with Jacob

And Israel made peace with his brother Esau

God you are always present with us.

Here I am Lord, I am here with the lord, my God today. 

Confession: Reflective Questions

What do we enjoy about gathering?

How is your prayer life Going? 

Creative Activity: Write a Promise about how to be more fully present with God and Church, Present it to God (In offering or on the communion table or you can be more creative and hang them on a tree or weave them through threads)

Homework: Set aside a day for viewing people different. At the beginning of the day pray for all those who you are going to be in contact with that day in person, online, through the phone or however they may come. Ask God to help you think of each person you come in contact with for the next 24 hours as a messenger from God, either someone you can help/pray for os someone God can use to teach you something. Take notes for the day. At the end of the day ask the Holy Spirit if anyone on that list is someone you should be praying for intentionally or get to know better.

Study Verse: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’—Isaiah 3:8 

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Lord Jesus, thank you. All I have is yours. All I am is yours. Help me hand it to you. Amen. (Unbinding the Gospel p. 185)

Hymn Suggestions: Here I am Lord, Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door, O Jesus I Have Promised, Take My Life

Gathering & Gospelling Worship Series

If you want doc versions, sample bulletins, and the handouts as a separate materials page, email me at Katyandtheword at Gmail

If you use this material, please consider donating to my GoFundMe for my Doctorate in Ministry for Creative Writing as a working Theologian. Any Contribution from $5-100 is appreciated and I am happy to provide receipts as needed.

Gathering & Gospelling: Worship V

Worship V

Chapter 6: Keep Your Best Self Out of My Gathering: Confession & Authenticity &

Baptism

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested* as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-13

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

1The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

Call to Worship (1 Cor. 12:12-13, 17)

Just as the body is one and has many members

All the members of the body, though many, are one with Christ

For there is One Spirit

We are all baptized in to one body

There is neither Male nor Female, Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free

We have one faith, one Lord, one baptism

Come let us worship our God

Come let us worship our God

Confession: Reflective Questions

What is your baptismal Name (what name do you think God calls you, your full name, your nickname? Beloved Child? Something else?) ?
What are your gifts?

Where do you feel most at home with yourself? Where are you most fully you? (what place, people, circumstance makes that happen with little to no effort)

What is God calling you to do today? next week? next year?

Creative Activity: Remember your baptism worship based on your liturgy. Or Take a moment have everyone reflect upon their baptism. Then grab a branch. Invite them to rededicate themselves to the Lord as you use the branch to sprint the congregation with water. 

Homework: Make a list of those you know who aren’t connected with the church, (you don’t need to know them well) Don’t say anything to them, just make a list. Pray for them. Pray for a chance to be with them. Pray and keep your eyes open. (Unbinding the Gospel, p. 186)

.

Study Verse: There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism Ephesians 4:4

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Prayer: O God, please give me a list of people. Help me to pray for them. Let me feel your love for the people on ours lists to know you. I’m open to the nudges of your Spirit, well help me to be open to nudges of your Spirit!! Amen. (Unbinding the Gospel p. 186)

Hymn Suggestions: I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me, Just As I Am Without One Plea, Lord I Want to Be a Christian, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Gathering & Gospelling Worship Series

If you want doc versions, sample bulletins, and the handouts as a separate materials page, email me at Katyandtheword at Gmail

If you use this material, please consider donating to my GoFundMe for my Doctorate in Ministry for Creative Writing as a working Theologian. Any Contribution from $5-100 is appreciated and I am happy to provide receipts as needed.

Gathering & Gospelling: Worship III

Worship III

Chapter 3: Don’t be a Chill Host: Active Welcoming & The Invisible Church

1 Corinthians 10:1-4

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,* and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of* the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Call to Worship: (based on the words of Mother Teresa)

Christ grant us the joy of our baptism

Joy is prayer

Help our joy in small things to continue

Joy is strength

Let us take joy in one another

Joy is love

Teach us how to share Joy with one another

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Let us rejoice together today!

Confession: Reflective Questions

Do you make a better host or a better guest? 

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street: How did you get to this church family?

—Take a moment to Pray for all the church, the past members, current members, the children, the new members.—

Creative Activity: Plant Seeds, Pray for those names that are brought in

Homework: Find someone who doesn’t go to church, say you and some of your friends at church are trying to figure out how to make our church even more open to new people so you are conducting interviews. Tell them you’ve been a Christian so long, you don’t have a good perspective on it anymore. Over (safe) lunch or coffee as questions. Listen without interrupting. Don’t give advice or answers, just ask clarifying questions. Take notes.

(Unbinding the gospel p. 83 and 84)

  1. What pops in your mind when you hear the word church
  2. Has anyone ivied you to their church? What did you think when they asked you? Did you go? If you went how did that feel? If you didn’t go why not?
  3. Have you ever had a sense of God or Jesus communicating with you?
  4. If you could ask God any question what would it be?
  5. Would you like prayer for anything (pray there if it’s not awkward. If not pray throughout the week/bring that prayer to church.)

Get back to the person if they asked for prayer a week later and ask how that situation his going. 

Study Verse: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,* and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us—Hebrews 12:1

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, refresh me. Water from Christ’s side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Be with me as I go, assured of myself as a beloved and baptized child of God. Amen. (184 UTG)

Suggested Hymns: Called as Partners in Christ’s Service, Guide My Feet, Jesu Jesu Fill Us with Your Love, In Christ There is No East or West, It is Well with My Soul

Gathering & Gospelling Worship Series

If you want doc versions, sample bulletins, and the handouts as a separate materials page, email me at Katyandtheword at Gmail

If you use this material, please consider donating to my GoFundMe for my Doctorate in Ministry for Creative Writing as a working Theologian. Any Contribution from $5-100 is appreciated and I am happy to provide receipts as needed.

One in Christ

Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29

Luke 1:68-79

Consider: Isaiah 2:1-4

Call to Worship 

Come Let us go to the house of the Lord

Come, Let us learn the ways of God, and walk the paths of Jesus

In the days to come, God’s house will sit on a mountain and all nations shall stream to it. And God will arbitrate peace for us.

Come let us worship the Prince of Peace

Call to Worship

We are one in the Spirit

Not because we are all the same, but because God creates enough multitudes to include all identities

God calls every single person to God’s sanctuary 

Come, let us practice peace with the Lord

Prayer of Confession: God, I confess that I do not always know what it means to be a Christian. Sometimes I wonder if I have enough faith, or have done enough to be Christian. You remind us that we are all unique and beloved in your eyes. That you see who we truly are, warts and all, and welcome us home. You know our essence, and call us each beloved child of God. Remind us as many times as we need to know we pray. Amen. (unison)(Silent Confession) Amen

Prayer of Confession: God, somedays I am tired of trying to figure myself out. Am I male or female? Am I Christian or not? Am I cis or straight of queer or trans? How can I know who I really am? And I confess that if I’m white, I’m able to forget it and if I’m not I have to remember it every single day. Sometimes, it does not feel safe to fully occupy my identity. And then I remember how Paul, in his clumsy way, tells us that in Christ there isn’t male or female, Greek or Jew, because God is not binary, God contains multitudes of belovedness. Help me to rest in God’s rainbow of love I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. Hear the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God promises to be our God, and that we will be God’s people, and this is God’s Covenant of Love. We know the truth and can proclaim it to one another: in Jesus Christ we are Forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication: God, may we feel the deep peace. The peace that comes in the stillness of silence, and the peace that comes from the chatter among friends. Let us hear the peace of the rain and the peace found in sunshine. Grant us the gift to experience this peace we pray. Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta