Call to Worship – When you give a banquet.

One: Our appetites are insatiable.

Many: We are hungry.

One: Our world wants us to fill ourselves to the brim, taking all we can find for ourselves – and only ourselves.

Many: God offers enough for today.

One: God’s providing means there is always enough.

Many: For today. For tomorrow. For you. For me. For all creation. One day and one act of sharing at a time.

All: Help us, Jesus, remember what it means to give a banquet that honors God’s providence. Amen.

Prayer – A Banquet

In Luke 14:1, 7-14, Jesus teaches how to hold a banquet and where to sit when invited to one. We know that these directions are not a cotillion style education about which utensil is used when. Jesus’ teaching cuts to the core of how we treat one another. He says in verses 13 and 14, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” With those words in mind, please pray with me for all those who are hungry. -Pastor Kelli

Holy God,

You are table-setter and banquet-preparer.
In Jesus we see that you set a table that grows longer with every need known.
In Jesus we hear that you require of us to stand so that others may sit.
In Jesus we know that you demand we do something for all who hunger with needs unmet.

Give us vision to create tables that always have a chair ready for welcome.
A chair for the immigrant who came to our country for the treatment of a fatal disease and received word of their pending deportation.
A chair for the person who refuses to listen to our deep sadness or fears and even dismisses our trauma because they haven’t life the way we have.
A chair for the one in recovery who wonders what difference some big judicial verdict will make for the friends whose lives are controlled by opioids.

Each one is hungry, God.
Hungry for health.
Hungry for understanding.
Hungry for stability.

Allow our rumbling stomachs to send us back to you in prayer.
That we learn to set tables and prepare banquets like your heavenly one: open to all, embracing all, loving all – just as we are.

Amen.

A Prayer – Going Back to School

Hi Bethany family,

This week students in Tulsa and across the country headed to school. Whether PreK or Senior year, and all in between, each child in our country deserves an excellent education in a safe, loving environment. Too often, though, gun violence continues to enter schools, workplaces, and public places. Join me in prayer for every student, parent, caretaker, teach and administrator, that they will be able to focus on what matters – learning.
-Pastor Kelli
Great Teacher and Loving Creator,
We see the flashing lights again, alerting us to school zones and asking us to slow down our cars.
May they also remind us to slow down our hearts and offer them to you in prayer.
We pray for each child, those who are eager to learn and those who have lost the joy of it.
We pray for each parent and caretaker, those who are sad for the summer’s end and those who are happy for the new school year.
We pray for each teacher, those who feel equipped and ready and those whose classrooms do not have the necessary supplies.
We pray for each administrator, those who see the potential of every child and those who are struggling to get it all done.
We pray for each support staff person, those who are familiar faces to returning students and those who are still learning which teacher goes with which grade.
We pray for each crossing guard, each bus driver, and each school resource police officer and security professional.
All in our schools should have safety and nourishment of body and mind.
Make us vigilant in pressuring politicians to ensure both safety and nourishment, enacting legislation that protects and fully funds our most vital public good – public education.
We pray this with assurance in you, in your ways of loving accountability and your grace-filled call to co-create a world that reflects your reign.
Amen.

Need – A Call to Worship

One: I come here in need.

Many: We come here in need.

One: We need rest. We need nourishment.

Many: We need to pray. We need to see God before us.

One: We need to practice the ways of Jesus.

Many: We need each other to be bearers of Love’s spirit and sharers of  abounding Grace.

One: Our needs are met here when see ourselves and each other as God does:

Many: Ones who are both lovable and loving, filled with holy capacity to do God’s work in the world. Amen.