Shaping Communities - Ways to Practice - Worship

A dispute also arose among the disciples as to which one of them was to
be regarded as the greatest. But Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it
over them... But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become
like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one
who is at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table?
But I am among you as one who serves."

— Luke 22:24-27

Gathering Prayer
God of nimble fingers,
at the flowering of creation
you took a mess of mud and shaped it
into your image:
male and female.

So take this ball of heaving, resisting clay -
this messy clay of all of us together,
and fashion of it a living table
where all may gather, be fed, and tell stories.

Craft it for long wear more than beauty.
Mold it for health more than power.

Set this table with space enough for elbow room
space for talent
space for guests.

Shape our feet of clay
into dance;
Shape our knees
into bending;
Shape our hands
into clasping;
Shape our water-logged lungs
into chorus;
Shape our chins
into upthrust resolve;
Shape our lips
into smile.

Take this ball of clay,
and fashion of it a living table
to which the dinner bell calls, we eat, and tell how things are.

Craft it for sturdiness more than smoothness.

Mold it for hosting more than for herding.

Set this table with just enough space for brushing skins
space for accepting gifts
space for the Guest.


Lani Wright
Cottage Grove, Oregon

Gather Us In
" Gather us in ...the lost and forsaken, gather us in ...the blind and the lame.
Call to us now, and we shall awaken, we shall arise at the sound of our name."
Text and Music: Marty Haugen
Text and Music (c) 1982 G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

In Christ There Is No East or West
" In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north;
But one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth."
Text: John Oxenham

For We Are Strangers No More
" For we are strangers no more, but members of one family;
strangers no more, but part of one humanity..."
Text: Kenneth I. Morse
Text (c) 1979 Church of the Brethren General Board

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