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Pentecost Year A

Proper 23 - Ordinary Time 28- Pentecost +21

Gospel Reflection

Copyright Katherine Hawker, 2002.

The invitations are sent

the regrets received

the food is ready

and the table is empty.


A celebration

is not

without the celebrants.


The kingdom of god...


or place of meeting?

triumph or encounter?

Herein lies the challenge

the invitation for repentance.


The invitations are sent once more

accepted by the oft´ forgotten

the table is filled and overflowing

the kingdom of god arrives.


Call to Worship

Copyright Katherine Hawker, 2002.


There is a space in the pew beside us.

There is an empty seat at our table at home.

There is room in our car, on our couch, in our lives.

Whom then shall we invite?


The doctor the lawyer the banker?

The mother the neighbor the friend?

The homeless the outcast the poor?

Whom then shall we invite?


Maybe we are planning an event.

Maybe we prefer to dine alone.


just maybe,

we are ready to encounter the kingdom of God.

Whom then shall we invite?


A Responsive Call To Worship

(with sung responses)

Written for the Union Church UCC of Tekonsha, 1996. Copyright Katherine Hawker.

"Amazing Grace" written by John Newton in 1779.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

We come here in search of a God we know,

whose expectations we anticipate,

whose demands we can tolerate.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed!

Here we encounter a God unknowable,

with an intensity that is both blinding and liberating,

with a pervasiveness that is inescapable.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

Now we proclaim a God experienced

in the hints of ecstacy found in human love,

in the haunting challenge seen in vulnerable eyes.

The Lord has promised good to me, God’s word my hope secures;

God will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

Prayer of Confession

Based upon the series of readings from Exodus. Copyright Katherine Hawker, 1999.

The Pharaoh decrees death to the foreigner.

The power of fear and hate rage surround us.

In the face of evil

Forgive us our complacency.

The burning bush flickers beside us.

The presence of God invites us.

In the presence of the holy

Forgive us our lack of notice.

The Red Sea waters stand at attention.

The threshold of grace is breath-taking.

In the company of grace

Forgive us our reticence to embrace.


Invitation to Pardon

Based upon the series of readings from Exodus. Copyright Katherine Hawker, 1999.

Hungry bellies and grumbling souls

are not the final word.

Manna and quail and water

fill the bellies and calm the souls.

The gifts of God reign

o’er the people of God.

Come for all things are ready.