Gathering & Gospelling: Worship II

Worship II

Chapter 2 & 4: Close Doors & Create a Temporary Alternative World: Make Holy Spaces

Exodus 3:1-6

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 5Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ 6He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Isaiah 6:1-3

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory.’

Create a threshold (p. 167) Do something to create a Holy Threshold Ideas Include: Anoint with Oil as People Walk in, Or give them a note that says beloved child of God, or Have a Sign or greeter by the door inviting people “Prepare for worship with us by stopping for a moment and taking 10 breaths to connect with the Holy Spirit before entering” or invite people to take a rock, mentally put a prayer into the rock and then lay it on the Communion Table

Call to Worship: (based on Celtic Awaking Prayer Looraine, Ena, Jacinta, Maree & Sally)

God We are longing for silence, seeking and searching for solitude

Where do we find you God? 

Running restful waters, shimmering leaves

whispering winds. 

Ancient ruins, stories in stones, Celtic crosses standing strong, ancestors remembered.

Where do we find you God?

Sacred spaces, Enriching our Souls, mysteries unfolding, God is in the known and unknown. 

Where do we find you God?

Come let us find God in this holy space.

Confession: Reflective Questions:

What is your favorite space at church?
Where do you like to pray?

What is your favorite Hymn? 

Creative Activity; Draw, Doodle, Color a Prayer

“Just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks, and silence in which another voice may speak” —Mary Oliver

Homework: Bring a name of someone who you want to connect to the church

Study Verse: Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.— Exodus 3:5b-6

Prayer of Dedication/The Day: Holy, holy, holy God, Creator of all things. Please initiate a holy space. Between you and me, between my neighbor and me, between strangers and I. Share with us how it is you make holy spaces: when two or three are gathered, when the bread and cup is shared in our name, when water drips the grace of baptism. God, there are times you can feel the infinite grace that is contained in a single moment of holiness: when a baby laughs, when I look at the stars, when a good story is told about someone we’ve lost. Helps us to embrace these holy spaces, and teach us how to invite others to experience them to, we pray in the name of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Hymn Suggestions: Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty, Be Thou My Vision, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, Immortal Invisible God Only Wise 

Gathering & Gospelling Worship Series

Further thoughts on inclusion and exclusion and the church:

As you may be able to tell from the scripture I’m focusing on holiness and being set apart. In my mind this is more about recognizing ones call to do kingdom work here and now and inviting others—specifically as possible into the work. This means recognizing others’ gifts and that God had specific calls for each of us. For some it’s to be pastors others teachers others the oh so sacred work of cleaning this year. This also means not everyone will do every part of ministry in the church. This is why we try to honor our uniqueness and call people to recognize the holiness of their unique work both in the church and in the world.

We at church often say c’mon and help instead of I value this gift in you. What is God calling you to do with it.

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.  

Isaiah Bulletin by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

All Original Prayers by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl, permission to use with credit

Prelude Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence                 Fernando Ortega

Opening Prayer (1)

O Holy God, 

like Isaiah the prophet, we stand in awe of Your glory,

feeling tremendously small and polluted by our sin, 

and the sin of our society.

Even so, You touch us with Your burning presence,

and we are made clean and whole.

O God, our Creator, 

continue to build this household of faith into what You want us to be.

O Christ, our Savior, 

lead us to do as You will.

O Spirit, our Power,

strengthen us for the work of the Kingdom.


Call to Worship (Response is Isaiah 6:3) (2)

Glory in God’s holy name. Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

99:9Exalt the Lord our God. Worship at his holy hill, 

for the Lord our God is holy.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

145:17The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

145:21My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord.

Let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Call to Confession   

John Calvin, whose work and theology are the basis for the Reformed tradition, including our Presbyterian faith, notes that when we compare ourselves to others, we may think highly of ourselves. But when we compare ourselves to God’s absolute holiness and goodness, we see how far we fall short of who God created us to be. Let us be reminded of God’s holiness and our need for forgiveness.

Prayer of Confession (from Isaiah 6:1-7)

O Holy Lord,                                                                                                       when we see that just the hem of your robe fills the whole temple,                                  we know we are a people of unclean lips.

When the six-winged seraphim attend you,                                                   we know we are a people of unclean lips.

As the angels proclaim that the whole earth is full of your glory,                          we know we are a people of unclean lips.

When the thresholds shake and the place is filled with smoke,                                        we know we are a people of unclean lips.

Woe to us! When we see you, O King and Lord of hosts,                                                we know we are lost because                                                                                    we know we are a people of unclean lips.     

(Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon 

God touches us with burning coal, 

and our guilt departs, our sin is blotted out. 

Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father 

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries

Hymn of Dedication  Just As I Am, Without One Plea

Just as I am, without one plea But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee O Lamb of God, I come! I come

Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot
to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind Sight, riches, healing of the mind
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because Thy promise I believe O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

(1) From prayer based on Isaiah 6 from My Redeemer Lives website.

(2) 1 Chronicles 16:10; Psalm 99:9; Psalm 145:17, 21. King James Version.

 Prayer of Dedication            Blessed are you, God of all creation; 

through your goodness we have these gifts to share. 

Accept and use all that we give and all that we are 

for your glory and for the service of your kingdom. Amen.

Prayer for Illumination  Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord

Take thou our minds, dear Lord, we humbly pray;
give us the mind of Christ each passing day;
teach us to know the truth that sets us free;
grant us in all our thoughts to honor thee.

Old Testament Reading  (NRSV)                     Isaiah 6:1-8

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne,                  high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.     3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called,            and the house filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost,                  for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The 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.” 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!”

What comes before “Here I Am”? Rev. Barb Hedges-Goettl

Affirmation of Faithfrom the Westminster Confession of Faith

God alone is the Holy One.

There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection.

God alone is the Holy One.

God is a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, and incomprehensible.

God alone is the Holy One.

God is almighty; most wise, most holy, most free, and most absolute,

God alone is the Holy One.

God works all things according to the counsel of his own immutable 

and most righteous will for his own glory,

God alone is the Holy One.

God is most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness 

and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.

God alone is the Holy One.

God is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, 

are all things.

God alone is the Holy One.

God is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands.

God alone is the Holy One.

To him is due from angels and from human beings, and every other creature, worship, service, and obedience for

God alone is the Holy One.

Closing Hymn  Here I Am, Lord

[Verse 1] I, the Lord of sea and sky; I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin. My hand will save

[Chorus] Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?  

I have heard you calling in the night.

I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.  [Chorus]      

[Verse 2] I, who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright

Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send? [Chorus]

[Verse 3]  I, the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them They turn away [Chorus]

Charge and Benediction

Postlude Holy is the Lord Twila Paris 

God Calls Isaiah Prayers

Isaiah 6:1-8
Luke 5:8-10 Opt Psalm 138

Call to Worship (Psalm 138:1-3)

I give thanks to you O Lord 

with my whole heart, I praise you

I bow down towards your holy temple

Give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and faithfulness

On the day I called, you answered me, 

You have increased the strength of my soul; Come let us worship God

Call to Worship:

God only you are holy

When you instill our hearts with fear and wonder, you remind us of your power

Sweep our breaths away, as we worship you today.

Come let us worship God

Invitation to Confession: As you are called to confession, it is because the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.

Prayer of Confession: Dear God, we confess that we often do not understand your call. Too often we obsess about holiness, and how to be holy with you instead of letting ourselves wonder. We confess that we forget that there is work be done, and have trouble hearing your Call. Forgive us, please, and teach us to be a resurrection people we pray. Amen. 

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we become so frustrated when humans don’t do what we want them to do. We think of Isaiah, who surely had a troubled heart when he went to bed. Yet he awoke to visions of holiness and glory. Help us to be able to see some of your

Assurance of Pardon: God is forever faithful, God who promises Emmanuel God with us, Jesus is coming! God will not turn away from us, but give us forgiveness. Know in your hearts the Good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication: Holy, Holy, Holy God, Let us go forth saying that All the Works shall praise thy name from earth and sky and sea! You are merciful and mighty! Let us go forth proclaiming the God of three persons, the blessed Trinity, we pray. Amen.

Hymns: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Eagle’s Wings, Here I am Lord, Amazing Grace,

#reLENTless #Holy

We humans suck at rules. Because we think Rules are about power.



You shall be holy.

This is God’s promise.

This is God’s Problem<–confession I typed this first above, and figure its a Freudian slip of the keyboard.

These are the rules

We humans suck at rules.

Because we think Rules are about power.

But here God puts it straight, we are holy.

The rules are about holiness. They DON’T MAKE US HOLY. They are about what the holiness of who God is. When we follow the rules, we do so ONLY by the work of God

Revering Parents, Sabbaths-making, Gleanings for the Poor

These are not rules, these are ways of life, living into the holiness of God.

And I’m not certain we are called to Holy. Because I dinna think we can really do that. I think we are called to God, God who is Holy.

We are the people of God, not the people of power or hate. We are the people of the God, not the people of greed or consumption. We are the people of God, not the people of falsehood or slander. We are the people of God, not the people of hate or injustice. We are the people of God, not the people who hate.

This is God’s problem, this is Jesus’s work, this is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We are the people of God.

But here’s the real deal, if you mean holy by being perfect or pretty or untouchable

I am in no way Holy

But if you mean holy by getting down and doing the work that needs to be done to keep humans thriving through food, shelter & relationships. I’m willing to do the stumbling viscereal & reality that is being a Holy human of God




#holy time


Easter tends to be more crazy than Christmas

1st of all pastors tend to run double whatever number of services they run Christmastime during Holy Week: I’m at the bare minimum of 3 (4 if you count Palm Sunday)

Plus, usually, my kids are off that same week, so I get to gesticulate around that and the fact its a superbusy time of year.

Plus, people volunteer to do things less–Christmas is just more of a pitch in holiday. How many people really want to help out with the Good Friday Service (altho we do a service of the nails that is poignant and beautiful)

Its a crazy week for me I have two parishoners in the hospital/recovery, plus the other 4 homebound who I would like to see during this Holy Time, plus a session meeting to make certain things are in place, plus an all day Persbytery meeting (which they always schedule the week before Holy Week, which always leaves me scratching my head), plus whatever other office-y stuff I need to do.

Then there is real life. The things that happen that make you a pastor, the things that aren’t on the calendar.

My colleague Sarah Ross said “In minstry, I don’t really plan a schedule so much as I just plan to be interrupted.”

Nadia Bolz-Weber once had an intern who shadowed her. At the end he said ” it was “oh my’re A PERSON for a living!””

So, interruptions and being a person are my goals for the next two weeks…God sanctifies them and makes them holy