VTCUCC 2018: Sharing Sacred Stories
Sunday Worship Resources for Congregations drawn from the worship services of the 223rd Annual Meeting of the Vermont Conference, United Church of Christ
Theme: “Sharing Sacred Stories”
Annual Meeting Worship Team: Mary Kay Schueneman, Tracy Weatherhogg, Jeffrey Tuper-Giles, Ned Davis and Eric Tuper-Giles, musician
Hymn Suggestions from The New Century Hymnal:
- I Love to Tell the Story (NCH 522)
- Precious Lord, Take My Hand (NCH 472)
- God, When I Came into This Life (NCH 354)
- Help Us Accept Each Other (NCH 388)
- My Life Flows On (NCH 476)
CALL TO WORSHIP
- We gather today with open hearts.
- We gather today with open ears.
- Coming together to hear the stories of our Lord.
- Coming together to hear the stories of our faith.
- God’s love and acceptance are shown to us in the stories of the Bible.
- God’s love and acceptance are shown to us through the stories of others.
- ALL: May we listen to one another and hear what God is saying to us today, for our stories are God’s stories and God’s stories are ours. We are one in Christ. Amen
HYMN: “I Love to Tell the Story” (NCH #522)
UNISON PRAYER: Heavenly Creator, we invite you into this place, into our hearts, and into our minds. Use the stories we are about to hear to help us do your work, to help us see as you see, to help us hear as you hear, without judgment or prejudice and without pretense. Help us live boldly and authentically as your disciples. Give us today the ability to hear one another in this place. As we listen to the stories of others may we experience the emotions that resound from those stories so that we may better understand their struggles, where they have been, what they have been through both good and bad. Help us to be a part of each other’s story, so that as our stories are told, your love will be experienced in the lives of all of your children. Amen!
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE:
- You are a beloved child of God and you are forgiven.
- We are beloved children of God, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
PASSING OF THE PEACE
SUNG RESPONSE: “Blessed Assurance” (NCH #473) – This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long; this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!
TIME FOR CHILDREN: (Ideas: Share an experience of something you learned @ Annual Meeting; God has BIG Ears and hears all of our stories; Explain how Jesus taught with parables, etc.)
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 71:14-16 (Translation: The Voice)
SERMON: Reflections from the Vermont Conference Annual Meeting 2018 (Idea: Invite your delegates to Report from Annual Meeting)
- Joys & Concerns
- Pastoral Prayer
- Lord’s Prayer
SUNG RESPONSE: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” (verse 1: NCH #472 )
INVITATION TO OFFERING: Together our local churches make up an Association, and our Associations make up the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ, which is a part of our denomination the United Church of Christ, which is yet again part of the much larger Body of Christ. Each diverse expression of the Body has a story to share, and a ministry to do, and we need each other to do this work. As we share our gifts this morning may we remember our covenant and connection with the wider church.
OFFERTORY: (Tip: Use a Suggested Hymn not sung in worship)
PRAYER OF DEDICATION: Dear God, we ask you to bless these gifts, humbly offered. Empowered by your Spirit, may these gifts, combined with our efforts, write new stories of faith and accomplish far more together than we can possibly do alone. Amen
HYMN: “Blessed Assurance” (NCH #473)
SENDING/BENEDICTION: Colossians 3:12-17
Created by the Vermont Conference, United Church of Christ Annual Meeting Worship Team: Mary Kay Schueneman, Tracy Weatherhogg, Jeffrey Tuper-Giles, Ned Davis and Eric Tuper-Giles, musician