Worship @ The Open Church
Sunday, February 3, 2013
“African Heritage Sunday”
A Centering Thought
People can never be great until they learn how to “bless their origins”—claiming and acknowledging their roots for better or worse. — Paraphrase from Carlyle Marney, Pastor and Theologian
Call to Worship
Leader: Africa, beautiful yet unappreciated; Africa, from the Sahara to the Atlantic; Africa, from Zulu land to Yoruba Land; Africa, from the Nile River in the north to Victoria Falls in the south.
Many: Bless, O Lord, the African continent, cradle of civilization.
Leader: Africa, rain and sunshine round the year; Africa, replete with lush savannas and exquisite wildlife.
Many: Bless, O Lord, the African continent, home of the Garden of Eden.
Leader: Africa, your children scattered all over the world are praying and longing for you.
Many: All children of the globe are “African.” So, God of grace and mercy, bless Father Africa—He who begat us. Bless Mother Africa—She who birthed us!
Hymn of Praise: “We’ve Come a Long Way”
Verse 1: We’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way. We’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way. We’ve borne our burdens in the heat of the day, but we know the Lord has made a way; we’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way.
Verse 2: I’ve been in the valley, and I prayed night and day. I’ve been in the valley, and I prayed night and day; I’ve been in the valley, and I prayed night and day, and I know the Lord has made a way; we’ve come a long way Lord, a mighty long way.
Wisdom from the Scriptures: Psalm 8
Prayers of the People
Communal Response: “Kum Ba Yah”
Our Congregational Vision
All: The Open Church is a sacred place where those who are hurting, confused, and in need can find healing and hope, regardless of color, culture, or creed.
One: It is a wide place where “Abraham’s family” – Christians, Jews, and Muslims – can dialogue with Buddhists and Bahá’is and where Hindus can dialogue with Humanists.
All: The Open Church is a joyful place where children, seniors, migrant workers, people experiencing homelessness, and scholars eagerly learn from and teach one another.
One: It is a safe place where varied ethnicities and capabilities, genders and sexual identities, social and economic groups gather in peace to break bread at Christ’s Communion Table, as we break down stereotypes.
All: As sacred siblings born to our Heavenly Father who is Divine Mother of us all, we practice radically inclusive love that proclaims and builds up the “kin-dom of God.”
Koinonia: A Care-Full Community
Offering: We give with open-handed generosity because when we give, we are most like God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving: We thank you, Lord, for these gifts. Amen.
Holy Communion (All are welcome!)
Song of Preparation
Sermon: “The Value of Knowing Who You Are” (1 John 3:1-2)
Invitation to Discipleship and Membership: “New Name in Glory”
Verse 1: I’ve got a new name over in glory, and it’s mine, mine, mine. I’ve got a new name over in glory, and it’s mine, mine, mine.
Verse 2: I’ve got a new shout over in glory, and it’s mine, mine, mine. I’ve got a new shout over in glory, and it’s mine, mine, mine.
*The Invitation to Discipleship and Membership takes diverse forms at The Open Church. Feel free to present yourself to our community during the invitational hymn. You also may acknowledge your desire for commitment to God and membership in our congregation to any of our ministerial leaders during the fellowship hour after the worship service.
Closing Song: “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Verse 3: God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.
Purpose Pledge: We live on purpose. We love on purpose. We lift on purpose.
The Open Church