May these songs, prayers, and worship arts enliven your worship.
This art is provided by Neal Lawson who painstakingly creates paper art sculptures, such as "Neal's Carolers".
A Poem entitled, "Pandemic": "What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath -- the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down. And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch. Promise this world your love -- for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live." Lynn Ungar is a minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Affirmation of Faith I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;* the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic** church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession, Assurance and Pardon page 891 UMH: "Almighty and most merciful God, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful God, for his sake, that we hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thanks be to God.
Our heavenly Father, who by thy love hast made us, and through thy love has kept us, and in thy love wouldst make us perfect: We humbly confess that we have not loved thee with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and that we have not loved one another as Christ hath loved us. Thy life is within our souls, but our selfishness hath hindered thee. We have not lived by faith. We have resisted thy Spirit. We have neglected thine inspirations. Forgive what we have been; help us to amend what we are; and in thy Spirit direct what we shall be; that thou mayest come into the full glory of thy creation, in us and in all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Offertory Prayer Good and Gracious God, Your Presence in our lives during uncertain times brings peace in the midst of storm, courage to face fear, and gratitude for the good and beautiful lives we have been given.
Out of thankfulness, we want to serve, we want to give, and we want to love You by loving our neighbor. Give us the opportunity to share grace with others. Keep our hearts open to be gracious in spite of our concerns. Bless our giving and multiply Your grace through us, in Christ's name and for Love's sake, Amen.
This prayer is shared by Johnny and Jack Carter. (Author unknown)
Bethany United Methodist Church 1853 Maybank Highway Charleston, SC 29412 Office: 843.795.3527