Trinity Sunday Liturgy

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 8)

God, how majestic is your name in all of the earth.

When I look at your heavens, thew work of you fingers: the moon and the stars. I think, what are human beings that you are mindful of them?

Yet you have put us a little lower than you, and crowned us we glory and honor!

O God, how majestic is your name in all of the earth. 

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Romans 5:1-5

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we do not always feel that your wisdom is present. We confess that this lack makes it hard to practice grace, that suffering seems abundant, and endurance lacking. We confess that we do not always find hope. Send us your Holy Spirit to supply whatever it is we need we pray. Amen. . (Silent Confession). Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Christ advocates for us, always, so we know the truth: In Jesus Christ you are Forgiven

Prayer of Dedication (based of Proverbs 8:30-31): Remind us that your wisdom delights in us, daily, rejoicing in the inhabited world, and in humanity. Send us into the world holding tight to that we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Immortal Invisible God Only Wise, God of the Sparrow, God of the Ages Whose Almighty Hand, Great God We Sing That Mighty Hand, When in Our Music God is Glorified, God who stretched the spangled heavens

Children: Compare and Contrast what God considers “Power” (serving, love, creating things) to human Power (money, politics, popularity)

Messy Hope, a Prayer

God

I wonder if everything

In heaven will be well loved

Like a comfortable sweater

And a couch that hugs your butt just the wife way.

Holy Spirit you know how I am longing for comfort.

For the things of childhood that were so soothing:

Playing in the grass, coloring so hard you could smell the crayons, saying hi ready to make friends with the world.

Sometimes when people long for the good old days. I think they are wishing for their inner child

—even if they don’t remember who that was.

Ans yet Jesus, you know

And say that a child shall lead us.

God you know that nothing is gently used in my house—my kids are busting with energy and ready to fully embrace everything life has to offer.

Couches are to jump on.

Juice boxes spilling out with sweet goodness.

Mud and dirt brimming with life.

God, in this time of turmoil, help me to taste heaven.

Because surely this chaos is what Pentecost was like!

Come Holy Spirit! Fill us with some messy hope today we pray.

Amen.

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

Living Water

Signs of God: Baptism/Holy Spirit

Psalm 147:1-11

John 7:37-52

Call to Worship

Praise to Our God, it is Good to praise our God who Gracious

God heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds

God determines the number of the stars, and gives them their names, our God is abundant in power, and has an understanding beyond measure.

Come let us praise our glorious God!

Call to Confession: God we confess that we are tired and in need of the nourishment you promise. Please give us that nourishment today. Let that living water flow from our hearts as promised we pray.

Assurance of Pardon: Hear and Know God is here with us, sustaining us. Know the good news In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedicaiton: Jesus you promise that the living water, the Holy Spirt, will come from your followers hearts, help that to happen today and everyday we pray. Amen.

Children: Holy Spirit talk about all the meanings of the Holy Spirit: Wind, Water, Fire, Inspiration, Breath. Talk about which image might be their favorite and why. Discuss how Jesus talks about how their is a piece of the Holy Spirit in every single human being to help comfort, sustain and inspire us, and that’s what today’s story is about!

Hymn: I’ve Got Peace Like a River, Breathe On Me Breath of God, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Out of Deep Unordered Water, Stand Up and Bless the Lord

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A Disappointed Prayer

It happened again God,

A person I admired,

let hate and errors spew from their mouth

accusing other of not being humans

refusing to understand.

I know what you mean when you

say their ears were closed

and their hearts were hardened.

And it hurts, God, when the chinks in the armor

turn out to be pieces of hatred,

Screw TERFism

–and White Fragility

And Sexism

And Heternormativity

And Colonialism

And Exceptionalism

And Ableism–

when people who you hoped could imagine worlds

Of openness, people who helped you to see a better kingdom of God,

turned out to be as human as everyone else.

I guess we all need Jesus in the end–but it’s timeslike these

I really need the Holy Spirit,

to come down and protect my marginalized beloved ones–transgendered, black and brown, poor and disabled.

It’s times like these I need the Holy Spirit to come down and inspire and comfort me,

because I really don’t know what to do with the pieces of my heart when they lie shattered by the people who I trusted to care for it.

And of course, still, always, none of us are Jesus

I guess this is why the Kin-dom God can never, ever

ever

be the vision of one person

No one person is ever going to get all the pieces–

help us to keep imagining it,

together,

encourage us,

especially in times like this we pray.

Amen.

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

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

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Sept 12 Creation by the Word

Living Into this God Given World: God Gives Creation

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

John 1:1-5

Psalm 33: 1-12

Call to Worship

God you created all the things

Combining the Light with the Darkness, the Sky and the Earth, the Water with the Land

God, you are not a God of singularities, but combinations, yielding all kinds of crops and animals and sunsets

And you saw that this was good.

Let us rejoice in the manifest glory of your creation today and everyday!

Let us praise God, mysterious, manifold and and always creating. Glory to our God, the creator!

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that sometimes we ignore the manifold of your creation. It is hard to imagine that you created so much that you needed to rest aftewards. It is hard for us to imagine that you hallowed every aspect of creation. It is hard to imagine that you designed the earth out of abundance so that every single being should have enough. We confess that we are very limited in our understanding of your creation. Forgive us, teach us to have a better understanding of your creation we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God promises God’s mercies are new every morning. Let us tell one another the good news today. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication/Day: God as you first shaped the world and breathed life into it, we ask for your continued inspiration and shaping. Grant us the gentle breeze of your your Holy Spirit, especially when we are weary and out of breath, to cool and inspire us. Continue to minister to us in your gentle way as we go into the world, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Children: Play with Legos, Cooties or some other interchangeable toys, discuss how many variations there are, discuss how God made so many varieties of the earth. Talk about the our human job to do science discover, create and name things with God as “Co-creators.” Read God Gave Us You.

Hymns: “Spirit” “This is My Father’s World” “God of the Sparrow” “Morning Has Broken”

More Narrative Lectionary Year 4 Fall Resources

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Confession of a stiff-necked person

God, my neck has been cracking all day.

And I don’t think it’s the 12 minutes of yoga I did last night. I think it’s years of stress.

Years of permission giving to racists, bigots and white supremacists, years of Christians defending heinous actions, years of children being separated from their parents, lgbtqia abuse and state violence against black and brown people.

And a year of a pandemic.

Makes me rethink those stiff necked people in the Bible God. Those who you confront.

Full Confession Jesus: I did not know that I was a stiff necked person. Though I am in good company with Hebrews in the desert, who time and time again were too obstinate and stubborn to listen.

What have I been unable to hear these last 4, 5, 6 years? As I tensed my shoulder blades and endured many headaches, where was I stubborn (in ways I did not realize) to survive.

It is a relief to let go a little bit, to roll my neck a little bit, to confess a little bit and to loosen my soul a little bit.

So here is a little bit of a hallelujah–as I watch the snow swirl and listen to music.

A little piece of hallelujah that you have opened things up, and that the yoke of life rests easier today.

Thank you, alleluia, Amen.

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

Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation  I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail. My go fundme is gf.me/u/y8n94m

Hoping for Hope

Do you have hope? I asked one of the mental health patients on my ward, way back in Seminary as a I served my clinical unit.

No, she said, but I’m hoping for it.

God, you know how many times I have been in this position, hoping for hope.

I don’t have the hope yet. There are too many uncertainties, but I’m hoping for it.

Because God knows, God knows that we don’t have enough in place for us to be hopeful yet. God knows the illness, inequities and sheer number of existential crises that are going on right now.

But, you also know, God, that the Holy Spirit comes for us with radical changes in the crux of her very being.

So today, I will look for the Holy Spirit: for inspiration, encouragement, and yes even hope embodied.

Because even if I don’t have it, maybe I can at least recognize it along the way.

I’m just here, hoping for hope God.

So that is my prayer, that I can continue to hope for hope.

Amen

Image an original mixed art collage “Hope for Jan 20th” by Bea Stenta

Feel free to use or share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Ducks & Wild Geese

Lord God, I know that my ducks aren’t in a row,

because I don’t even know what my ducks are anymore.

How do I prioritize when everything is important? How do I do self care when my hours are chunked in weird ways and the schedule remains nebulous and to the wind.

Even when I breathe sighs of relief, or take moments of joy…I know that the ducks are waiting.

Sometimes they quack at me in the middle of the night, awakening me with all the things I’ve forgotten, or all the problems I’m not sure how to solve.

Lord knows, (that’s you God) that I don’t have my ducks in a row.

My work is never perfect no matter how much I try, my kids need more attention than ever (not to mention socialization) and I can’t seem to find a minute for myself.

Plus everything is different, still! Again! Always!

And ignoring the fact we can’t keep the house clean anymore isn’t really working either.

Are these even the duckies I should be worried about? What ducks am I missing? I’m sure I’m missing some, somewhere.

And I wonder if this is how Jesus felt, as he was chasing down that Wild Goose of the Holy Spirit.

Did he look around at the ducks and said, one of these is the goose, but I just can’t find the one I’m supposed to chase down and catch first.

But maybe, hopefully, the chase is enough. Hopefully between the chasing and the quacking, I have a moment to reflect on what I have completed, or what has gone right.

Or perhaps I will give myself one of those adulting prizes: for sleeping or eating or drinking water or moving around or taking medication. Those all count as important things done.

God, maybe my ducks have never been in a row–after all they are all your ducks and geese anyway. But help me to organize myself in such a way that I can let go of the ducks I can let go of and chase the right things to pursue the Holy Spirit of inspiration, comfort, energy and hope.

Maybe it isn’t about ducks at all, maybe it’s really about the Wild Goose of the Holy Spirit. Remind me to chase down the Wild Goose, and that this Wild Goose Chase is surely worth it.

God will help us to flourish, even at such a time that we don’t know where our ducks are.

Remind us of this we pray. Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy

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More Pandemic Prayers and Mundane Prayer to Survive the Day to Day

Seeds: Elijah at Mount Carmel: Power& Prophecy of Presences 1 Kings 18:17-19; 18:20-39, Mark 9:2-4, Psalm 68

Elijah at Mount Carmel: Power& Prophecy of Presences 1 Kings 18:17-19; 18:20-39Mark 9:2-4, Psalm 68

More Seeds Series Resources here

Call to Worship

Let God rise up

Let, the enemies of God be scattered, but let the righteous be joyful.

As smoke is driven away, wickedness perishes before God. God who created us and called us good.

Let us exult before God, let us be jubilant with Joy.

Call to Worship

Let God rise up. Can you hear the voice of God?

It is in the still, small voice of a prophet, the quiet crackle of the fire, the joyous shrieks of children.

When the world mutters and murmurs, calling on other things for help, let us call on you.

Because you alone are God, Let us worship you today.

Call to Worship

Do not limp with different opinions

If the Lord is your God, then call on God!

Remember the God who answers by fire is indeed God.

Light us up with the fire of the Holy Spirit we pray. 

Call to Confession: When we are out of fuel and drowned in sorrow, this is the time to share the burden with Christ, so that he can remind us of who we serve and give us the energy to do it.

Prayer of Confession:

God who whispers in our heart of hearts, I confess that I cannot hear your voice over the mutters and cries of help. The world is full of the noise of injustice, and I have forgotten to seek your still, small voice. Speak to the embers of justice in my heart, and light me on fire to be a troublemaker for you I pray

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we confess that we are divided, we don’t want to upset anyone so we don’t express our opinions. We find  we limp with two different opinions instead of seeking justice. We are too quiet in the face of injustice. Give us the spark within so that we can be inflamed with justice and goodness. Help us to act for justice for one another we pray. 

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.

Assurance of Pardon: The fire of the Holy Spirit never goes out. It is always inspiring us, energizing us and refueling us through the power of grace. The Holy Spirit tells the truth to our hearts: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

 

Hymns:

Breathe on Me Breath of God

This Little Light of Mine

For All the Saints

Spirit

Eternal God Who’s Power Upholds

Lo a Rose Ever Blooming (yes more advent-ish)

Elijah

Art found https://biblewalks.com/info/Elijah.html

 

With Kids: This Little Light of Mine, Light candles and talk about fuel and the Holy Spirit (bonus if your are near all Hallow’s Eve/Halloween), Build a pretend Campfire. Play Whisper down the Lane: Talk about how hard communication is and how hard it is to listen for God, Practice Noise vs. Celebration: Talk about how we humans confuse the two, Invisible vs. Visible Church: Discuss the power of a cloud of witnesses vs a noisy here and now crowd, Practice Prayer: Discuss how Prayer is not a magic spell but feeding the fire/connection with God

More Seeds Series Resources here

Do the #refugees make you feel uncomfortable?

CS-Lewis-Christianity-Happy

 

 

Do the refugees make you uncomfortable? Do they shake you from your feeling a safety and make you rethink life? Perhaps they make you hug your children tighter at night.

Today my husband and I discussed the possibility of WWIII calmly trying to assess whether that is a reasonable concern.

Friends, my faith does not solve these problems, but it assures me that the risks are worth taking.

Another name for the Holy Spirit is “the one who stirs up.” The Holy Spirit both stirs us up and comforts us at the same time (I don’t know how, but its true).

Christianity isn’t supposed to be sitting on our laurels of blessings, feeling at one with the world.

It is a call to action to serve and love one another, to be open to other human being

 

And lets be honest, that’s dangerous. Its dangerous to open yourself to being in relationship with others. But that is our call as Christian.

We are called to preach and embody Christ and the Good News Even at the risk of our own lives. Does that include refugees who might be terrorists?

As a Christian you are called to be in some kind of relationship with every other human being on the earth.

Because they too are creations of God.
Do the refugees make you uncomfortable?

That might just be God tapping you on the shoulder.

 

 

Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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