Week 4 Psalm 23

The Message Psalm 23

Laughing Bird (Australian) Psalm 23 

The Lord is my Grandma

Call to Worship:

God is Good

All the Time

All the Time

God is Good

Let us praise, our God

Let us praise our God who is always Good.

Prayer of Confession: God, I know sometimes that goodness and mercy are chasing me because I’m distracted, or too hurried. I know too that it is hard to feel goodness and mercy when I am overwhelmed or in survival mode. Help me. Help me to see and understanding and feel the goodness and mercy that are already in my life. Teach me ways to cultivate these: with rest, nourishment and a practice of living out of abundance instead of scarcity. Teach me to be a Psalm 23 sheep I pray. (Silent Confession) Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God loves you, you are forgiven. Let us tell one another this truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

1st Scripture Reading  Isaiah 40:9b-11

2nd Scripture Reading                                    Psalm 23:6

Prayer of Dedication: Thank you for chasing me God. As I go into the world, remind me to stop for a couple of minutes, so that I can feel your goodness and mercy wash over me. Remind me I pray. Amen.

Hymns: Amazing Grace, Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us, Jesus Loves Me, If I but Trust in God to Guide Thee, Lord of Our Growing Years, Here I am Lord, God of the Sparrow, As a Deer Longs for the Stream, My Soul in Silence Waits for God, Any Psalm 23, Morning has Broken, Breathe on Me Breath of God

Psalm 23 Series

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

Psalm 23 Week 3

Posted on by katyandtheword

The Message Psalm 23

Laughing Bird (Australian) Psalm 23 

The Lord is my Grandma

Call to Worship:

God you are an abundant

You set your feast before us, full of grace and mercy

You show my enemies even, what it is like to live in the bounty of God

Come Let us bless God’s Holy Name

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that sometimes we hoard your blessings. We think there is not enough, and yet you feed us in the presence of our enemies. Giving an unspoken invitation to join us. Remind us that if there is enough for them, there is surely enough for us and encourage us to be as abundant in grace and goods, as generous in our invitations and meals, as loving in our relationships as you are. It is a tall order, which is why you offer us nourishment along the way. Nourish us to do all of these things we pray. (Silent Confession) Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God will always have the light on for us, and welcomes us back with open arms whenever we need forgiveness and nourishment. Let us share the good news with one anther: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

1st Scripture Reading  Isaiah 40:18-20, 25-26

2nd Scripture Reading                                    Psalm 23:5

Prayer of Dedication: God, you have provided the feast, nourishing our very souls. Our cup overfloweth, let us share that grace with others as we go, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymns: Here I am Lord, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Precious Lord Take My Hand, There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Love Divine All Love Excelling

Psalm 23 Series

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

Psalm 23 Week 2 Psalm 23:4

The Message Psalm 23

Laughing Bird (Australian) Psalm 23 

The Lord is my Grandma

Call to Worship (Isaiah 40)

Have you not known, Have you not heard?

God is with us

When we need comfort, God will comfort us

Come, let us abide with God.

Prayer of Confession: (unison) God I confess, I am scared. Especially when evil surrounds me, even though I know your rod and staff are supporting me, I am afraid. I do not know whether to speak up or stay quiet in the midst of evil. I am uncertain at times if I should be standing firm or running away. And sometimes I find death to be very scary. Support me as I wrestle with these very real fears, I pray your Holy Shepherding Name. (Silent Confession) Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting, ever available to support us even when our steps falter. Let us proclaim the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

1st Scripture Reading  Isaiah 40:1-2, 21-24

2nd Scripture Reading                                     Psalm 23:4

Prayer of Dedication: God help me to remember that you walk with us in the shadow of the valley of death, for you have been there before and know what it entails. When I am afraid, remind me that you do not fear evil. Help us to be brave and comforted as we walk in the world today and everyday, we pray. Amen.

Hymns: It is Well with My Soul, Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley, O Love How Deep How Broad How High, What Wondrous Love Is This, I love the Lord Who Heard My Cry

Psalm 23 Series

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

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

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 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 invited 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.

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)  

http://celticspiritpilgrimage.com/services-page/

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.

Gathering & Gospelling: Worship I

Worship I
Chapter 1 Decide Why You are Really Gathering: Practicing Communion
Communion, Suggestion: A Bring Your Own Picnic especially if you are doing Outdoor worship

Scripture
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
John 6:30-35
So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Confession: Reflective Questions
What brings you to Church Today: Answer with the first thing that comes to your head Specific and Silly Reasons are great! Prepare to Share these during Joys and Concerns (p. 33 TAG)
Where do you see God at work in your life this week?

Call to Worship:
Jesus says I am the bread of life
Come let us feast together
Jesus says whoever believes in me will never hunger nor thirst
Come let us gather and welcome one another to the meal
God is the reason we are here, let us gather in the name of God
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Joys & Concerns: Invite people to share why they came to church by mutual invitation—after someone shares they invite someone else to also share. If you have a large church, create some quick mini groups and do mini joys and concerns where people pray for one another and hear and pray celebrate whatever reasons individuals came to church that day: remember God works through snacks, the need for community, and “I don’t know.”

Creative Activity: Goal: To See God
Partner up
Think of your most important experience with God in your life.
Take turns talking for 4 minutes each (I’ll time you) without stopping. Pray for the person speaking
Switch (inspired by Unbinding the Gospel p. 22)

Homework: Bring in Food Pantry Items or monetary donations
Study Verse (print out to take home): Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread 1 Corinthians 10:17

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: God remind us why we are here. Help us to set the intention to be one body, one bread. Help us to find and include more people. For many hunger for the nourishment of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for making us accountable to you, and remind us always, especially when we get off track, that you love us no matter what. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (TAG 24 & 26 desired outcome)

Hymn Suggestions: We Gather Together, Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine, Jesus Loves Me, Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us, Blest Be the Tie that Binds

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! The Worship Series based on The Art of Gathering and Unbinding the Gospel

Gathering and Gospelling

6 Week Worship Series

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

The time is ripe to invite people into your community. We miss gathering, and we need to remind one another why we do this church thing, and share its importance with one another. Thus this worship series is developed around two works.

Parker, Priya. The Art of Gathering: How we Meet and Why it Matters, Riverhead Books, 2018, New York, New York.

https://www.betterworldbooks.com/search/results?q=The%20Art%20of%20Gathering

TedTalk: https://www.ted.com/talks/priya_parker_3_steps_to_turn_everyday_get_togethers_into_transformative_gatherings

Reese, Martha Grace. Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism, 2nd Edition, Chalice Press, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri.

https://www.betterworldbooks.com/search/results?q=Unbinding%20the%20Gospel

Each Worship is based upon a chapter, or two from The Art of Gathering. Some exercises and Prayers are from Unbinding the Gospel. After each chapter title is a Worship Title theme for that day.

You do not need to have read these books to do the series, but If you can read at least one it will help you in your writing and development of ideas. It is also a great companion study to read these books in conjunction with or before or after this worship series.

Proposed Order of Worship

Start with Scripture

Confession: Reflective Questions (silent meditation or music playing)

Call to Worship

Hymn

Optional: Confession of Faith: Apostle Creed or some other Confession

Children

Scripture Again

Creative Activity

Sermon

Prayer: Joys & Concerns

Hymn 

Homework

Prayer of Dedication

Blessing

An article that might be helpful for your leadership to read
https://freshexpressionsus.org/2021/05/20/what-if-they-dont-come-back-4-opportunities-for-churches-post-pandemic/

Notes about the Order of Worship: Worship is ordered without announcements, because of the “Don’t Start a Funeral with Logistics” (TAG p.175) If you must do announcements I suggest printing them out, emailing them after or putting them somewhere around Homework. Note the scripture is read 2x, Confession is done meditatively with some reflective questions for your notebook or to think about. Creative Activity is before the Sermon, and write the sermon to be about 5-7 minutes, or consider skipping the sermon/reflection if your context will allow since time will have been spent DOING the sermon as an activity.

Also decide on your context for the blessing. Perhaps you want people to bless each other or perhaps there is a formal benediction. Feel free to use the Study Verse as the blessing

If you need another hymn or a space for an anthem, feel free. Our practice is to shorten worship in the summer, and we have been having only two hymns (without singing) for Pandemic Worship.

Sample Introductory Letter

Worship 1: Chapter 1 Decide Why You are Really Gathering: Practicing Communion 

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

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

Worship 4: Chapter 5 Never Start a Funeral with Logistics: Commitment: Here I am, I am Here 

Worship 5: Chapter 6 Keep Your Best Self Out of My Gathering: Confession & Authenticity & Baptism

Worship 6: Chapter 7: Create Good Controversy: Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly 

Prepare: Figure Out how you will give people their reflective questions  

Have Paper and Pen Ready for each person each session; perhaps give each person a small notebook (and offer to store them), and devise how you will send the Homework and Study Verses home 

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.  

((This series has been developed solely by me Pastor Katy Stenta at Katyandtheword so sadly all errors are my own.))

Another church’s version of the resources with some really nice graphics are available here thanks to Pastor Christina Auch.