September 17, 2023 * 16th Sunday After Pentecost * Blessing of the Animals
9 AM; back lawn
“How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess
We Gather Together
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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!
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
Words of Welcome
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.
Greeting One Another
This 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 meet someone new!
Song of Centering - Jesus Loves Me
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 song of centering, we try to lay aside our busy lives, worries, and distractions in order to focus on God. Please feel free to meditate, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, or sing along.
We believe that prayer changes things. When we pray, God shows up and does amazing things. Feel free to join us in the opening prayer by reading the words presented on the screen.
Another way we like to be more inclusive of children in our service is by making short, fun, educational videos or skits. Feel free to enjoy this material with your kids and talk about it later too!
Homily - As I Have Loved You
Time of Remembrance
Blessing of the Animals
Litany for Creation and All Creatures
Message - Forgive Us…As We Forgive
We believe God still speaks to us today through the Bible, people, and many other sources as well. We will listen to Rev. Akiko during this time 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. The Bible passage will be projected for you to read.
Song of Reflection - His Mercy Is More
It is our responsibility to respond to God’s message. So, the song after the sermon gives us a little more time to digest God’s message and think about how we can respond appropriately. So, feel free to meditate on the message, pray, or simply enjoy the music.
Joys & Concerns
We believe God hears and answers our prayers. Not only that, but we believe in praying together so that we can encourage and support those going through difficult times, or celebrate our many blessings. For we are all God’s family. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us rejoices, we all rejoice. You are not alone. At this time, Rev. Akiko will lead us in the Lord’s prayer. You can follow along with the words on the slideshow.
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 check all the current announcements at www.ujcclife.com/events
Song of Sending Forth - O God, Your Creatures Fill 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.
This 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!
Ending Song - Go Now In Peace
This is the final ending song for the worship service. Once the song is finished, feel free to talk to someone new, attend our small group, or make your way safely back home.