In September, many congregations regather to begin a new program year (e.g. “Rally Sunday,” “Gathering Sunday,” etc.). To mark this change of congregational rhythm in the context of worship, below is a call to worship and opening prayer that can be adapted for use in your setting.
Supplies Needed: 1) Map (any kind will do), 2) bed pillow, 3) Bible, 4) something to symbolize the spirit (dove, blowing fan, etc.), 5) cross
Personnel: 5 people, 1 to carry each of the above items (inter-generational mix would work nicely).
- Have volunteers meet in the back of the sanctuary before the service begins. A quick rehearsal is probably a good idea.
- Give 1 item to each person.
- When the call to worship begins, time it so that each person begins walking from the back to the front of the church at the appropriate time. For example, the person with the map begins walking forward as the “One” begins saying: “From summer vacations we can point to on a map”
- When reaching the front, each person will place her/his item on a table that has been prepared for this purpose. Do not have the “One” begin the second section until after the 1st item has been placed, and so on. This may mean there is some silence after each section of “Many” and that is OK.
- Note that 3rd time the “One” speaks, 3 people/items will walk forward together.
- When all items have been placed, have one of the item bearers lead the unison prayer that follows.
One: [MAP] From summer vacations we can point to on a map:
MANY: we regather in this place.
One: [PILLOW] From summer rhythms that promise rest:
MANY: we regather in this time.
One: [BIBLE, DOVE/FAN, CROSS] From summer diaspora we regather as a congregation:
MANY: to fall into the Word, into the Spirit, into the way of the Christ we follow.
* REGATHERING PRAYER (unison):
Spirit, we pray simply and boldly: gather with your regathering people. For we pray it in trust and with Christ’s prayer on our lips, saying: Our father…AMEN
© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2017