The invitation is given to every person by Jesus Christ: “Come to me! Follow me! Be my disciples!”
Welcome to this place, to this time, at the invitation of Jesus Christ.
Confession & Words of Assurance
you know when we are afraid to love;
you know when we are too cowardly
to show mercy.
Remind us again
that perfect love casts out such fears.
Surround us and strengthen us with your perfect love,
even in the face of our imperfections.
Fill us with a love so strong,
with such growth toward perfection,
that we may cast aside our pride
and embrace the power of love.
Christ is the vine. We are simply branches.
If we abide in Christ, Christ’s words will abide in us.
I am the true vine
John 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. 2 He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. 3 You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. 6 If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.
For all the blessings of this life, we give thanks to You, Creator God. For families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers, who nurture us, that the love of God may grow within. That Your love, Your Word, like a seed, may grow to produce in us good fruit.
For the leaders of various nations and cities, that they may lead with strong hearts and gentle hands and generous spirits, with compassion and mercy, with wisdom and grace. May they reflect Your will guiding all their actions and decisions.
For those who serve in harms way, those who live in dangerous places, those who live in areas of war and strife, those who live in fear, those who worry about employment, bills, food, and struggle just to find dignity in life. May Your grace bring peace and safety to all people, one to another.
For those who suffer from any illness or dis-ease – of mind, body, or spirit. Restore these, and all those we carry in our hearts, to fullness of health – health as only You, O God, can bring. May Your mercy shower each of us with healing mercy and love.
For those who are dying, and for those who have died. Send forth Your comforting love. Give solace to those who mourn. Console those who grieve.
May Your grace surround us like a mantle upon our heads, a shawl upon our shoulders, a hand to hold our hand.
All of these prayers and so may more we pull together and pray the prayer tradition has taught us…
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Go now, and love one another,
because love is from God.
Proclaim God’s salvation to every generation.
Remain in Jesus Christ,
and like branches of a vine, draw your life from God.
Thanks be to God.