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

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I know when I am frustrated or stuck,

When I’m lamenting or angry, that you tell me to consider

Consider the lilies of the field, who neither toil nor spin

Count the stars, the grains of sand, if you can

Consider who made the mountains, all animals and food.

Who made the flood, the earthquake and the hurricane.

Consider who God is, and then remember,

No matter what you say or do.

God says, “Consider,

Consider, I have made a promise, a holy covenant that cannot be broken,

that I will always be your God, and you will always be my people.”

God proclaims that God is not constrained by place or time or ethnicity.

You promise to be present. You promise to be.

“I am, what I am”

The burning bush, the pillar of fire, the whirlwind, the rainbow.

You can be praised by all types of people in all types of circumstances: the enslaved woman Hagar on the run in the desert, the imprisoned and abused Joseph in Egypt, the triumphant and loving sister Miriam.

You are present in Black Lives Matter, in the beauty of being Trans, in all those marginal places we refuse to see: mental illness, drug addition, homelessness, sex trafficking, war zones.

In the midst of trial and tribulation, you are with us. Your rod and your staff comfort us. You remind us “I am, what I Am”

You are God, always and forever, empowering the powerless.

Let us be the kind of people who consider who your are. So we no longer define you by our own constraints, but instead are liberated to worship the multitude that is the trinitarian, relational God.

God, the great I am, let us worship you through the all considerations of who you are–and when we forget remind us to look at the stars we pray.


More Narrative Lectionary Resources

Seeds: Narrative Lectionary Resource 9/16


Resource: By Pastor Katy Stenta, solo pastor of a bigger on the inside Church New Covenant Presbyterian in Albany, NY


Genesis 12

Matthew 28:19-20

Additional Scripture: Matthew 5-7, Psalm 115

Meditative Thought And the Lord said Go Go into the world and tell the good news, for what is news if you keep it to yourself? 

Call to Worship:

This is the day that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice

This is the church that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice

Bless and be a blessing, this is the covenant that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice and be glad in it


Call to Worship

Lord we like it here.

Go into the world 

We are happy with the Church

Make more disciples and include all nations, sexualities and genders

What can we do to make certain they are Christian?

Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit

Call to Worship

Bles the Lord, all the people

Praise God’s Holy Name

Blessings are given to us by God

And they never run out, so let us be blessed and be a blessing to all

Prayer of Confession: Holy One, we confess that we do not count our blessings, instead we hoard them, thinking they run out or are like pie. Remind us that blessings are not pie, they are like seeds or a cup overflowing or a banquet for all people. Give us the vision of how your blessings work we pray, and forgive us when we stumble or forget. In your Holy Name we pray. Amen

Prayer of Confession: God most high, forgive our sins we pray. Reclaim us as your baptized children, remind us of your love and mercy. You were the God of Abraham and Sarah, you blessed them and promised to always be their God. Be our God, teach us to be your people we pray in the name or your son. Amen

Prayer of Confession: Heavenly God, we confess that we do not know how to bless one another. On our worst days we give gossip and judgement to one another. On our best days we share food and money with one another. But blessings are harder. Teach us how to bless one another. Reveal to us your blessings in the rainbow, the taste of the bread and the cup and the splashing of the baptismal waters, so we might begin to bless one another again, we pray together in the name of Christ. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Go forth, proclaiming the blessings of Jesus Christ, practice forgiveness as you are forgiven in Jesus Christ.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, infinite grace for each and and every one of us. Let us proclaim the truth to one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven

Assurance of Pardon: Amazing Grace, how sweet the song, that saves wretch like me. Know the truth, once you were lost to love, but now you are found in the grace of Jesus Christ, know that you are completely forgiven in the name of Jesus.

Eucharist Prayer: Source of all blessings, you breathed life into earth and then formed an everlasting covenant with Noah to nurture us with rainbows, and with Abraham and Sarah to spread your blessing throughout the universe of stars. You then blessed us with Jesus Christ, your only son who insisted on blessing the young and old, the poor and the rich, the sick and the well. Jesus’ continuous blessings overflowed even into the last meal that he has with his disciples, where he took bread, blessed it, broke and said “This is my body broken for you do this in remembrance of me” and then he shared that blessing in the bread to feed all present. Then in the same way, Jesus took the cup and in the same way blessed it and said “this is the blood of my new covenant, poured out for each of you. Whenever you eat this bread and your drink this cup, you proclaim my death until I return.” Bless this bread and cup with your most Holy Spirit, we pray, so we might be nourished to continued your work of blessings as we go forth, we pray. Amen.

Prayer Dedication/Ending Prayer Bless be the one who binds us together, reminding us to love one another through sharing our blessing. Send us forth as true disciples of hope and sharing we pray. Amen

Food for Thought

Agnus 1



Holy Ghost



John Calvin “All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.”

Mr. Rogers “The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.”

The following reflection on the Beatitudes comes from Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Christian, in “We Belong to the Land” (pp 143 – 144).

Knowing Aramaic, the language of Jesus, has greatly enriched my understanding of Jesus’ teachings. Because the Bible as we know it is a translation of a translation, we sometimes get a wrong impression. For
example, we are used to hearing the Beatitudes expressed passively:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
“Blessed” is the translation of the word MAKARIOI, used in the Greek New Testament. However, when I look further back to Jesus’ Aramaic, I find that the original word was ASHRAY, from the verb YASHAR. ASHRAY does not have this passive quality to it at all. Instead, it means “to set yourself on the right way for the right goal; to turn around, repent; to become straight or righteous.”
How could I go to a persecuted young man in a Palestinian refugee camp, for instance, and say, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” or “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” That man would revile me, say neither I nor my God understood his plight, and he would be right.
When I understand Jesus’ words in the Aramaic, I translate like this:
Get up, go ahead, do something, move, you who are hungry and thirsty for justice,
for you shall be satisfied.
Get up, go ahead, do something, move, you peacemakers,
for you shall be called children of God.
To me this reflects Jesus’ words and teachings much more accurately. I can hear him saying, “Get your hands dirty to build a human society for human beings; otherwise, others will torture and murder the poor, the voiceless, and the powerless.” Christianity is not passive but active, energetic, alive, going beyond despair.
One day two bats fell into a pot of milk. The pessimistic bat said, “What can I do? Will I struggle and sink, and die so very tired? I will not die tired.” He sank and drowned immediately. The optimistic bat said, “I will strive to the end, and at least they will say I tried everything.” She struggled and struggled, trying to fly, until she fainted. Later she awakened and found herself resting safely on a big roll of butter. This is not giving in to despair, but going beyond despair.
“Get up, go ahead, do something, move,” Jesus said to his disciples.


Taize: Bless the Lord My Soul

Bless Be The Tie that Binds

Lord I Wanna Be a Christian In My Heart

Amazing Grace

As For Me and My House, we will serve the Lord

Bless Be the Tie that Binds

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine

Lord Dismiss Us with Your Blessing

Great Is They Faithfulness

The God of Abraham Promise

God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand

Craft Ideas: God’s promises as knots with rainbow beads in a bracelet, Decorate tissue boxes and remind people to “Bless and be a Blessing,” Crayon draw a lot of white stars on black paper, Draw white stars on white paper and then watercolor paint over it for it to “appear,” Start a gratefulness chain writing down so you can “Count your blessings” together