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Order of Worship September 11, 2022

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

UJCC Worship

September 11, 2022 * 14th Sunday After Pentecost * Blessing of the Animals

9 AM

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France

We Gather Together

If you have a pet at home that you would like to bless, please say the following over them:

"(name), you are beloved of Christ. May you be blessed by God who created you, and may you and (owner’s name) enjoy life together with our God."

You are invited to the spiritual practice of returning thanks to God. You can try our online giving option HERE. Thank you and peace be with you!


Gathering Music

We recognize that some of you may have had a crazy week and need some space or quiet time. So, 5-10 minutes prior to the service, we will play some music that you can listen to while you meditate. Otherwise, feel free to let us know that you're here by saying hi in the chat!


Words of Welcome

Around 9:00AM, our service will start. During this time, our worship leader will offer a greeting, introduce special guests, or provide important information for the service. Ultimately, we want to show how much we appreciate you joining us today despite your busy schedule.​


Opening Song - "O God, Your Creatures Fill The Earth”

In the same way that we get ready for a date, it is important for us to get ready to hear God’s Word. So, during the songs of centering, we intentionally try to lay aside our busy lives, worries, and distractions in order to focus on God. For if we have too much noise in our minds, this can leave little room for God. Please feel free to sit quietly in meditation, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, sing along, or use your body as you are able. Here are the lyrics for this song:

O God, your creatures fill the earth with wonder and delight, And every living thing has worth and beauty in your sight. So playful dolphins dance and swim; Your sheep bow down and graze. Your songbirds share a morning hymn To offer you their praise.

You made the pets we welcome in — They're wondrous blessings, too. With paws and whiskers, wings and fins, They offer praise to you. O Lord, you call us to embrace These creatures in our care. May we show kindness, love and grace To all pets everywhere.

You made the creatures on each farm; You know the things they need. May they grow healthy, safe from harm, And safe from human greed. Just as a shepherd loves the sheep, You know their joy, their pain. Lord, bless the animals we keep; May all farms be humane.

Your creatures live in every land; They fill the sky and sea. O Lord, you give us your command To love them tenderly. We're called to have dominion here — To care for them always. By loving creatures you hold dear, We offer you our praise.

Children's Time

At UJCC, we value young families and children. So, whenever we have family worship, we try to make short, fun, educational videos or skits in order to be more inclusive of our younger audience. Feel free to enjoy this material with your kids and talk about it later too!

Homily - “A Little Off The Wall”

We believe God still speaks to us today through the Bible, people, and many other sources as well. As a result, we will listen to Rev. Akiko and try to discern what God is trying to tell us through her message. Feel free to listen, take notes, or meditate on something that stuck out to you. Here is the passage we will be reading from today:

Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Time of Remembrance

Since our pets are such intricate parts of our families, we like to honor and remember all those who have passed and the ways they brought us joy and comfort in this life. Though we may be separated now, we greatly look forward to when we are reunited once again!

Blessing of the Animals

During this time, feel free to bring your pets up to the front and our pastors will say a quick blessing over them. If there is a line, you can remain seated until it clears up a bit. As you wait, feel free to reflect on these questions:

1) How does your pet bring you joy?

2) If God created all living things, how might your pet's personality reflect the Creator's personality?

Litany for Creation and All Creatures

This is a call and a response. Feel free to read the parts in bold marked "All" as prompted:

Leader: Holy God, Creator of heaven and earth, You are Holy and Mighty, the Redeemer of the world, Sanctifier of creation, blessed and glorious: Grant that all your creatures may thank and serve you;

All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Grant favorable weather, temperate rain, and fruitful seasons, providing food and drink for

all your creatures;

All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Open our eyes to the joy and beauty of creation, that we may see your presence in all your


All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Look with favor upon all who care for the earth, the water, and the air, that the riches of

creation may abound for all your creatures;

All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Make us faithful stewards of creation, wisely caring for the earth, the air, the seas, and all the

life they bear;

All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Awaken us to our responsibility for the care of creation;

All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Forgive us our waste and pollution of creation and strengthen us to heal wounds we have


All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Remember all in captivity and those who are hunted, trapped, deserted, or abused, that they

may find safety and protection;

All: Shower your blessing on earth, O God.

Leader: Holy God: No sparrow falls without your attention; nothing dies that is lost to you; nothing

comes into being without your love. Give us just and compassionate hearts, that we may

serve the earth and all its creatures, holding fast to the vision of your peaceable reign in

which all will live with you eternally; through the Risen One, Christ our Savior. Amen.

Passing The Peace

Passing of the peace may merely seem like a time to greet one another. However, it also serves as a reminder of the peace that we have with God and the peace that we have with each other due to Jesus’ sacrifice. Please take this time to greet one another!


The announcements provide opportunities for us to put our faith into action throughout the week. Please try to see if anything interests you or challenge yourself to try something new. Volunteering is a great way to bless others, but we are often blessed ourselves in the process. You can sign up by clicking on the purple footsteps button in the bottom right corner.


Song of Sending - “Creative God, You Spread The Earth”

The song of sending forth prepares our hearts to go back out into the world. You can use this song as a final opportunity to decide how to respond to the message, pray for God’s guidance, sing along, or simply enjoy the music. Here are the lyrics for this song:

Creative God, you spread the earth with life in many forms:

the deer and elk and columbine, the bee in humming swarms.

Forgive us for each flow’r and bird now vanished by our hand.

Teach us to treat with loving care the creatures of the land.


O playful God, you fill the field with lavender and blue.

You paint the bird with indigo, with red or tawny hue.

Forgive us that we grieve your heart, destroying what you do,

and teach us simpler, gentler ways to live on earth with you.



Benediction is another word for blessing. It is a short prayer said in order to bless everyone as we get ready to go back out into the world. Feel free to close your eyes and receive the blessing so that you may be strengthened and encouraged!

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