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Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 | 0 comments

9/11: from Grief to Action


The lectionary readings for 9/11/2016 (Year C, Revised Common Lectionary) offer good fodder for connections with 9/11/2001 and reflections on where we go from here–living with the reality of sin in ourselves and our world, and moving from grief to faithful action.


  • Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
  • Psalm 14
  • 1 Timothy 1:12-17
  • Luke 15:1-10

CALL TO WORSHIP (based on I Timothy 1:12-14 )

Leader: This is our faith:

People: Gratefulness, because Jesus gives us strength.

Leader: Mercy, overflowing to restore us to our best selves.

People: Patience, because God waits for us to be ready.

Leader: Glory, shining from the earth and sky, glowing like a flame deep within.

All: This is our faith.


PRAYER OF INVOCATION (based on Psalm 14)

O God, you look down from heaven, and what do you see? Fools, who say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.’ People who do unspeakable things to others, in every nation, every week.

You look down, searching for those who are wise, those who seek your face.

Our world is full of evildoers. They eat up God’s children like bread; They confound the hopes of the poor. They spread terror and corrupt peace.

Yet you have promised, O Lord, to keep company with the righteous, to reward those who seek wisdom, and to stand with the vulnerable.

Restore us, O God, by your loving kindness and strong justice. Give us sweet refuge and sure deliverance.  Amen.



God, today we hear your children crying, in Syria, in Turkey, in South Sudan, and in our own nation. It is hard to sustain our interest in problems that are far away and so hard to fix. Sometimes we are so discouraged, that we cannot even pray…“Lord, hear us, and help us to hear you….”

God, today we remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and mourn with their families. We feel angry, sad, and helpless in the face of that evil day, and all that followed. “Lord, hear us, and help us to hear you….”

God today we ask your forgiveness, for all the wars that have been fought, without making real peace. And we ask you to show us how we can do better, to mend the world. “Lord, hear us, and help us to hear you….”

God, somehow you work through us, even though we are sinners. Fill us with strength for the journey, and patience for the long haul, Overlook our imperfections, and let Christ take hold of us, to make us both glad and good. “Lord, hear us, and help us to hear you….”

[Can be followed by sung response, such as” “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying”]


ASSURANCE OF PARDON (based on I Timothy 1:12-14 and Luke 15:1-10)

Friends, be grateful for the love of Jesus Christ, greater than all our mistakes. Take mercy, like an unexpected coin, lost and found. Trust in the patience of God—for you and for our world. Lift your face to the glory that is divine light and grace.

© Rev. Martha B. Peck, 2016

Rev. Martha Beckwith Peck has served three churches in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, beginning in 1981, and is currently pastor of the Westmore Community Church, UCC on beautiful Willoughby Lake. She is a singer, quilter, pie baker, and ping-pong enthusiast. She loves to write worship materials and finds scripture an inexhaustible well.

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