October 17, 2021 – 21st Sunday after Pentecost
Today is the third of our 4-week fall stewardship campaign. The title for the 2021 campaign is “Our Money Story.” We all have a money story, whether we recognize it or not. Some live from a story of fear or shame or guilt. For others, it’s a story that no matter what we do, our actions will have little or no impact. Maybe it’s a story that there’s never enough. God has a money story, too. It’s a story of redemption, grace, always enough. Scattered throughout the Bible are stories of God helping people move past their self-imposed limitations which are almost always based on human perspective rather than God’s perspective. The goal of this stewardship campaign is help worshipers identify their own money stories and to re-write them wherever they don’t align with God’s money story. The campaign will culminate on October 24, when worshippers will have the opportunity to bring their 2022 Estimate of Giving card. This morning’s theme is envisioning a new way of doing ministry. The message will focus on reimagining how the ministries of our church could provide for people in ways that our current societal ways don’t.
Welcome & Announcements
Prelude – “With Every Rising of the Sun” – Gilbert M. Martin
*Call to Worship
- L: Can you imagine unfettered love? Free and bold, wild and true, the kind of love that changes you? Can you imagine a home—safe and bright, with impromptu dancing, meals around table, and laughter late into the night? Can you imagine faith like a compass that guides the way you shop and vote, the way you love and hope; that asks questions and yet still believes, even despite uncertainty? Can you imagine a world where trees, bees, and all living things grow wild and free? Where peace is the narrative and hope the currency? A world where news stories are testimonies and funerals are far between? Can you imagine?
- P: Yes, we can imagine.
- L: Today in worship, dare to dream. Dare to imagine what could be. And pay attention, for God is here, in wandering thoughts, hopes, and prayers.
- P: Let us worship holy God, that great unfettered love.
*Hymn – “For the Healing of the Nations” – UMH #428
- For the healing of the nations, Lord, we pray with one accord;
for a just and equal sharing of the things that earth affords;
To a life of love in action help us rise and pledge our word,
help us rise and pledge our word.
- Lead us forward into freedom; from despair your world release,
that, redeemed from war and hatred, all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness fear will die and hope increase,
fear will die and hope increase.
- All that kills abundant living, let it from the earth be banned;
pride of status, race, or schooling, dogmas that obscure your plan.
In our common quest for justice may we hallow life’s brief span,
may we hallow life’s brief span.
- You, Creator God, have written your great name on humankind;
for our growing in your likeness bring the life of Christ to mind,
that by our response and service earth its destiny may find,
earth its destiny may find.
Time with the Children
Special Music – “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord” – David H. Williams
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
*Song – “Come, Let Us Dream” – W&S #3157
- Come, let us dream God’s dream again. Come, one and all, let us ascend
the mountain top where those of old saw God’s new day on earth unfold.
- The lame shall walk, the blind shall see, the doors swing wide, all prisoners free,
the lowly raised, the proud brought low. This is God’s dream: let justice flow.
- When hatred ends and war shall cease, so all may dwell in deepest peace,
then be assured the time is near when perfect love casts out all fear.
- But know the cost of claiming sight of God’s new day, of wrongs made right,
for some have paid the highest price, their lives for us, a sacrifice.
- Prophets are scorned in their own lands and martyrs slain by righteous hands;
Though dreamers die the dream will live, for we have yet our lives to give.
Scripture Reading – Mark 12:38-44
38As he was teaching, he said, “Watch out for the legal experts. They like to walk around in long robes. They want to be greeted with honor in the markets. 39They long for places of honor in the synagogues and at banquets. 40They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes, and to show off they say long prayers. They will be judged most harshly.”
41Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. 42One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. 43Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. 44All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.”
Message – “Reimagine”
Solo – “Here Am I” – Barb Winters
Presentation of the Narrative Budget (Part 1)
Invitation to Give & Prayer of Dedication
Offertory – “Count Your Blessings” – Oatman/Excell
*Closing Hymn – “Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service” – UMH #581
- Lord whose love through humble service bore the weight of human need,
Who upon the cross, forsaken, offered mercy’s perfect deed:
We, your servants, bring the worship not of voice alone, but heart,
Consecrating to Your purpose ev’ry gift that You impart.
- Still Your children wander homeless, still the hungry cry for bread;
Still the captives long for freedom; still in grief we mourn our dead.
As, O Lord, in deep compassion healed the sick and freed the soul,
use the love your Spirit kindles still to save and make us whole.
- As we worship, grant us vision, till Your love’s revealing light
In its height and depth and greatness dawns upon our quickened sight,
Making known the needs and burdens Your compassion bids us bear,
Stirring us to tireless striving Your abundant life to share.
- Called by worship to your service, forth in your dear name we go
to the child, the youth, the aged, love in living deeds to show;
hope and health, good will and comfort, counsel , aid, and peace we give,
that your servants, Lord, in freedom may your mercy know, and live.
*Benediction/Affirmation of Faith
L: We bring our worship to a close by affirming our faith:
P: We believe in God the Creator, who, like a painter with a canvas, imagined creation and breathed it into being.
We believe in Jesus, who many years later, walked this hurting world and showed us a new way to love.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who prods us and pulls us, leads us and guides us, carries us and loves us into new life, day after day.
And we believe in the power of imagination, a gift from God that allows us to dream dreams, create anew, start over, try again, and live lives of hope.
L: So, in response, together, as God’s church,
P: We dare to dream. We strive to love. We try to imagine a new day. And we walk together, all with God’s help.
L: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
*Postlude – “There’s a Song” – By Handt Hanson
Helping Lead Today’s Worship
- Liturgist: Rev. Tom Badley
- Organ/Piano: Kathy Cay
- Rev. Elisabeth Danielsons, Deacon
- Rev. Drew Hart
Lyrics to Special Music
Forth in Thy Name, O Lord
Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go my daily labor to pursue; Thee, only Thee, resolved to know, in all I think, or speak, or do. What task Thy wisdom hath assigned, O let me cheerfully fulfill; in all my works Thy presence find, and prove Thy good and perfect will. Thee may I set at my right hand, guide and counselor there to be: laboring on at Thy command, I offer all my works to Thee. Fain would I still for Thee employ whate’er Thy bounteous grace hath giv’n, would run my course with even joy, and closely walk with Thee to heav’n. Amen. Amen.
Here I Am
Here am I, where underneath bridges in our winter cities homeless people sleep.
Here am I, where in decaying houses little children shiver,
Crying at the cold. Where are you?
Here am I, with people in the line-up, anxious for a handout, aching for a job.
Here am I, when pensioners and strikers sing and march together, wanting something new. Where are you?
Here am I, where two or three are gathered, ready to be altered, sharing wine and bread.
Here am I, where those who hear the preaching change their way of living, find the way to life. Where are you?
Count Your Blessings
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. [Refrain]
Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, and you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain]
So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain]