Practicing the Presence in the Midst of Absence

Words of Welcome

Today, let us continue to lay this foundation stone of Truth in our lives and in our families, as we come to God in worship.

Opening Song            “When Morning Gilds the Skies”

Laying the Foundation                 Acts 17:22-31 

Moment for Formation                 “Being in the Moment”       Pastor Craig

Psalm Meditation        Psalm 66:8–20 (The Message)      Read bold print

Bless our God, O peoples!
    Give God a thunderous welcome!
Didn’t God set us on the road to life?
    Didn’t God keep us out of the ditch?
God trained us first,
    passed us like silver through refining fires,
Brought us into hardscrabble country,
    pushed us to our very limit,
Road-tested us inside and out,
    took us to hell and back;
Finally God brought us
    to this well-watered place.

I’m bringing my prizes and presents to your house, O Lord.
    I’m doing what I said I’d do,
What I solemnly swore I’d do
    that day when I was in so much trouble:
The choicest cuts of meat
    for the sacrificial meal;
Even the fragrance
    of roasted lamb is like a meal!
Or make it an ox
    garnished with goat meat!

All believers, come here and listen,
    let me tell you what God did for me.
I called out to God with my mouth,
    my tongue shaped the sounds of music.
If I had been cozy with evil,
    the Lord would never have listened.
But God most surely did listen,
    God came on the double when I lifted my prayer.
Blessed be God who didn’t turn a deaf ear,
    God stayed with me, loyal in divine love.

Song                “Blessed Be Your Name”

Scripture Reading                John 14:15-21 (NRSV)

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” 

Sermon               “Being-With”       Pastor Craig

Song                    “O God of Every Nation”       

Prayers for Our World and One Another

Let us enter now into a time of prayer for one another and for our world. We will do what is called a Bidding Prayer. I will open, and then I will bid your prayers based around various categories. During the silence after each category is bid, I invite you to add your own prayers, either aloud or in silence. I will then close with a prayer, then the Lord’s Prayer. Let us be in prayer.


Let us pray now for all who are ill, in hospital or at home, especially those affected by cancer or COVID-19.


Let us pray now for all medical and emergency services personnel who are responding to the best of their abilities with the resources that they have at hand.


Let us pray now for all those who are hungry or food insecure, and for all community and religious efforts to provide food and shelter.


Let us pray for the leaders of nations around the world, not only regarding their response to this pandemic, but also that they may do everything possible to assure the health and welfare of their citizens.


Let us pray for our friends, family, and neighbors for their health and well-being.


Let us also express our thanks to God for the expressions of love and caring that we have witnessed in our families, communities, and world.


Let us express our gratitude for life and the myriad things that gladden our hearts.


These prayers, spoken aloud or in silence, we lift into the universal embrace of the One who is Love, and we make them in the name of the One who showed us what Love looks like in the flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord, and we now join our voices in the prayer he taught us, saying:

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 and the power and the glory forever. Amen

Prayer Response        “Leaning In” (by Christopher Grundy)

Blessing             “The Road Ahead” by Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Found on Unfolding Light

Closing Song    “Siyahamba/We Are Marching in the Light of God”


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