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Oct 22

24th Sunday after Pentecost (Year C)

fall treeWorship Ideas

  • Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 forces us to deal with being patient and relying on (and trusting) God’s sense of timing.  Are there plans and “visions” that your congregation embraces that you are waiting to have come to fruition?  Write out your plans/visions on plaques or banners and display them in your worship space.  Be sure to pray for these plans/vision each week.
  • Both Psalm 199:137-144 and Luke 19:1-10 can provide the basis for a “pep talk” for smaller churches who are feeling the stress of thriving in a culture that is obsessed with numbers and “results”.  Embrace your calling as “small and mighty”!  Celebrate your gifts and delight in what God is doing through you.
  • November is the month in which many in the United States think about giving thanks.  Use the 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 reading to start a conversation about being thankful and praying for one another.
  • Using the 2 Thessalonians reading as your focus?  Create a thankfulness garland or banner!  Invite the congregation to write things/people for which they give thanks on cut-out paper leaves.  Then, use paperclips or clothespins to attach the leaves to string/twine that has been draped across the table or elsewhere in the worship space.  Or, use double-stick tape to attach the leaves to a large banner.
  • Luke 19:1-10 brings us the familiar story of Zacchaeus.  This gives us a lot of possibilities for decorating the worship space and/or working on a mission project:
    • Decorate your worship space with as large of an artificial tree as you possibly can.
    • Jesus may have been the one who was welcomed into Zacchaeus’ home, but it was Zacchaeus who was first welcomed by Jesus.  Use a large Welcome mat in your worship display.
    • Zacchaeus digs in and vows to give half of his possession to the poor.  How much are we willing to give?  Hold a collection for everything from clothing to furniture — anything that can be donated to your local shelter or related charity.  Challenge the congregation to give and not hold anything back.

Liturgy Suggestions

Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 119:137-144)

God is righteous and the source of true justice.

Filled with the Spirit, we will praise the Lord!

Even when we feel small, God’s love makes us mighty.

We delight in God’s Word, and we are made strong!

Prayer of Confession (inspired by Luke 19:1-10)

Welcoming God, we confess that we have not lived as you call us to live.  We are selfish, when you call us to be generous.  We are self-serving, when you call us to serve others.  Search for us and find us, O Lord.  Save us from our greed and self-righteousness, we pray.

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