Kid’s Communion

Kids Eucharist

By Nathan Decker and Lisa Fong

Invitation in Song
All singing:
Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
He wants me to come and eat
learning love for all I meet.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus love me
at this Table his love shows.

Confession and Pardon in Song
All continue singing:
Jesus love me, this I pray
I messed up along the way.
Teach me how to grow and live
and to share all I can give.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus love me
at this Table I can know.

Passing of the Peace
Because Jesus opened his arms big enough to love and hug all of us,
let us hug and show we have arms big enough to love one another.

All are brought back together in the singing:
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world!

The Great Thanksgiving

Dear God,
We love you with all our hearts.
You are good. You are great.
You created everything we see and don’t see.
You saved the animals on the Ark with Noah.
You helped Moses free the slaves.
You gave victory to David against giant problems.
You are good. You are great.

People Respond in the Singing:
Father, I adore you.
Lay my life before you.
How I love you.

Dear God,
you loved us with all your heart.
You are good. You are great.
You sent Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem.
He grew up and taught people how to love
and what kind of people you wanted us to be.
Before he died, he invited his friends to a meal.
He took bread, told you “thank you,” broke the bread
and gave to his friends saying,
“Take, Eat, this is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.”
When the meal was over, he took a cup, told you “thank you,”
and gave the cup to his friends saying,
“Take, drink, this is the promise that God gives in my blood that he will forgive you, all of you.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Jesus, I adore you.

Lay my life before you.

How I love you. 
Dear God,
show your love to us in being here today.
You are good. You are great.

Send your Holy Spirit on this bread and cup.
Help us know that you are here.
Help us show that you are near.

Send your Holy Spirit on us as your children.
Help us learn to grow and live.
Help us learn to share and give.

Spirit, I adore you.
Lay my life before you.
How I love you.

This we pray and as God’s children say, Amen.

Where is God? (Call to Worship 2013)

Where do we meet God?

In the song?  In the familiar Sunday morning handshake?

   Where is the Divine at work?

In the pastor’s sermon?  In the committee meeting? 

On a mission trip?  At a Church Day Care Center?

   Where are you God?  We seem to have trouble finding you!

Oh!  There you are!  We should have known!  God is:

   With the child crying in hunger

   With the drunk trapped in the bottle

   With the immigrant taken advantage of at a checkout line

   With the judged who receive no mercy.

   “As you go through this life, make disciples

And I will be with you, always.”

There is where God is!

                                                                                                    – Nathan Decker, 2013

Compelling Invitation (Call to Worship August 2009)

The Lord sits at his table and awaits his invited guests,

Yet they do not come, filled with excuses.

            Christ invite us, let us come even when our excuse is

“I don’t feel like it today.”

Christ invite us, let us come even when our excuse is

“We’re doing this too often, didn’t we do this once already this month.”

Christ invite us, let us come even when our excuse is

“I just don’t feel worthy to be with God today.

Christ invite us, let us come as the Lord at his table says

“Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town,

bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.

Compel people to come in so that my house may be filled.”

“Hands” (Call to Worship) June 2014

Lord Almighty, it was your hands that worked that clay and made us.

Creator Hands.

                   Lord Jesus, it was your hands that were nailed to that ugly tree.

Savior Hands.

                   Lord Spirit, it is your hands that mold our hearts and renew our spirits.

Redeeming Hands.

God of hands, we don’t have much.

I give you my hands.

                   Take them, use them,

Use our hands to dig into the dirt and renew the garden.

                   Use our hands to heal the brokenness in the world.

Use our hands to wipe away tears.

                   God of hands, we don’t have much.

I give you my hands.

Prayer of Thanks

Today we give thanks

                                   for Sunsets and Sunrises

                                   for tears and smiles

                                   for expected moments and surprises

                   Jesus, thank you and help us

                                   to be a people of daylight

                                   to share our highs and lows

                                                and to live today in thanks, Amen.

Who is my Neighbor? (Call to Worship 2009)

Who is my neighbor?

Is she rich or poor?  Do they look like me, talk like me, act like me?

Who is my neighbor?

Is he a Christian?  Do they have the same values as I do?

What team do they cheer for?  What God do they pray to?

Who is my neighbor?  The lawyer asked the question.

We want to ask the question.  We want to justify ourselves.

Who is my neighbor?             -Nathan Decker 2009

Radical Invitation for Communion (October 4 2009)

Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

Who is this us?  All of us?

            The poor, the blind, the lame, the outcasts?

Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

            The old, the young, the divorced, the married, the single?

Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

The migrants, the homeless, the troubled, the unknowns?

Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists?

Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

The abused, the abusers, homosexuals, AIDS patients?

Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

            Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table

                        to learn to live in peace together,

                        to learn to live repentant lives together,

                        to learn to love God and neighbor together.

            Christ, our Lord, invites us to his table.

                        – Nathan Decker (CC) 2009

Communion Service for the End of an Appointment

Service of Table for the end of an Appointment, assumes an invitation and confession have already occurred.  

 

The Lord is with us always.

How do we approach God carrying grief?

 

We lift up our broken hearts.

We lift them up in thankfulness for what has been.

 

But what has been is not what shall be.

We must look to the Kingdom that will be.

 

In the midst of our mourning of endings,

We will also celebrate new beginnings.

God will turn our mourning into dancing!

 

And so we are thankful this morning, Creator God.

You continue to renew us day after day by your love.

When one chapter of your people’s story ends,

You are always here:

Speaking a new creation into being,

Calling a new prophet into preaching,

Bringing a new vibrance and continuation to the journey begun.

 

As in the days of Moses and Joshua,

Deborah and Gideon,

Naomi and Ruth,

Elijah and Elisha –

through each generation and appointment time

you have been present and at work during transitions.

 

We are thankful, great God, for the doors you take us through.

You comfort us in the closing of yesterdays

and you guide us in the opening of tomorrows.

 

And so we your people praise your name

joining the voices that have sung from time antiquity

and the voices of today and tomorrow that rise:

 

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord

God of Power and Might

Heaven and Earth are full of your Glory!

Hosanna in the Highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the Highest!

 

We are thankful this bright day for Jesus Christ, our Savior.

He came to walk side by side with us in our journeys.

He called us away from the everyday to spend time with the Holy.

He taught us to find the Holy within the everyday.

Each time we think that life has perished,

He is always here:

Offering living water hope to those with tears,

Giving forgiveness to those burdened by mistakes,

And loving the lost onto a faith path of purpose.

 

Jesus called disciples –

Peter, James and John,

Mary, Martha, the Samaritan woman and the well.

He calls us still to be a part of the Body of Christ,

renewed within his baptism, death, and resurrection.

 

On the night in which he gave himself up for us,

Christ took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said:

“Take, Eat, this is my body given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

 

When the supper was over, he took the cup,

gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Drink from this all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

 

This is the great mystery:

that through Jesus Christ, God brings new relationships out of old

that in giving ourselves away

we truly find ourselves in union with Christ.

In Christ every goodbye leads one day to an eternal hello.

Christ is with us in life, in death, and in life after death.

This is the great mystery:

 

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

 

Pour out your Guiding Spirit this evening nightfall

and turn it again into the sunrise of day.

Renew us in the midst of change!

Pour out your gifts on the Body of Christ.

Pour out on us!

Pour out on the Pauls and the Pricillas of our day.

Pour out on us!

Pour out on the Susannas and John Wesleys.

Pour out on us!

Pour out on the sons and daughters who you are calling and sending this day!

Pour out on us!

Pour out on these gifts of bread and wine,

that we may know your body and blood are always here:

refreshing, renewing, reviving our hearts and minds and bodies!

 

This we ask in the name of the Relational God, Three-in-One and One-in-Three,

Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, Amen.

The Truth about Love

the Truth about Love

by Pastor Nathan Decker

 

“The Truth about love is it’s nasty and salty

it’s regret in the morning, it’s the smelling of armpits,

It’s wings and songs

and trees and birds

It’s all the poetry that you ever heard.”
– P!nk

 

Love is a four-letter word that is over-used and under-shown.  As followers of Christ we are called to be known by our love.  Christ commands us to love God and love our neighbors.  Famously, Scripture says “God is love.”  Sometimes we get caught up and imagine this means we’re all flower children of the Divine Harmony and if only we’d follow the way of love all our problems would go away and life would be simple.  Friends, that kind of thinking is watered down gospel and huck-a-buck!

Love is messy.  Love is complicated.  Love hurts, heals, and can feel so welcoming and challenging at the same time.  Most of us know our language is limited because we really only have one word for love.  In the Greek there were a variety of words: Eros for the sensual love between people, Philos for the sturdy love of faithful friends, Storge for the puppy dog affection of a parent for an infant, Mania for the overly committed mad love of a stalker.   Agape is the love we are called to live out.  Agape is a selfless love, a sacrificial love.

Agape is the most time and giving involved of all love.  Erotic love is about a sensation in the moment.  Philo love is about a bond that gives us support and allows us to feel needed.  Science tells us that the affection (storge) we have for babies – be they kittens who cuddle or lion-cubs who could one day kill us – has more to do with evolution and survival than bond.  And honestly speaking, any love that you have to manipulate and control is not really love at all (mania).

Perhaps this is why Jesus doesn’t give us an honest challenge.  “Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  “When someone demands one mile of you, walk with them two.”  We are incapable of doing these things.  Jesus calls us to a love that is given to us freely, but costs us our lifestyle and our motivation.  When we see a homeless man freezing in the winter, we are called to get involved, but for more than a moment.  When we see a child being beaten down by the words of her parent, we are called to get involved, but for more than a moment.  When we see a teen walking the streets long after dark, we are called to get involved, but for more than a moment.  Remember I said love was messy.  Simply giving food and a coat is not enough.  Opening our doors at church and providing cots and warmth is not enough.  Changing the way we vote so that candidates understand the plight of the poor is not enough.  Writing letters to the governor and legislature about education and mental health is not enough.  Changing the way we pay ourselves and those who work for us is not enough.  All of these are wonderful acts of charity and advocating justice, but they are ‘dirty rags’ when compared with God’s love.

Unfortunately even our best motivation is questionable.  We do it out of a sense of duty.  We give because of guilt for having more than others.  We give because it makes us feel good to provide for those who do not have.  We like for others to see us be so nice.  We provide because of the long-term relationship we have with ‘the least of these.”  Christ said “greater love has no one than to lay down their life for another.”  Dying to self is the motivation that Christ desires us to have, dying to all motivation other than simply being like Jesus.

Love is nasty and salty.  It’s changing diapers for kids who aren’t yours.  Love is regret in the morning.  It’s realizing that you did do good but for the wrong reasons.  Love is the smelling of armpits.  Remember the church-people accused Jesus of hanging out with the wrong crowd – prostitutes and sinners.  Love is messy.  Love is complicated.  Love is beautiful.  It’s wings and songs, birds and trees, all the poetry that you ever heard.  God’s love is not only sacrificial and selfless agape, but never ends.  The Hebrew word for God’s love is hesed or steadfast love.  We must be committed in our showing and sharing God-like love.  This love is freely given to us in salvation, but it costs us our whole lives learning how to love.  Still it is the only life worth living – a life of love.  That’s the truth about love.

 

“We should love one another, because love is from God; everyone who love is born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God.  God is love.”

 – 1 John 4:7-8

Reflection and Resources for Worshiping God. Please feel free to use the resources in worship. I only ask that you give credit.