Friday, February 5, 2010

An Alternative Worship for February 7, 2010

In light of the impending storm for Arlington County and all of Virginia, I offer this alternative for those who will not be able to attend worship this Sunday. May your service be blessed. Nancy Fitzgerald

We are called into God’s presence to worship the One who gives us life. Enter this time of worship by centering your thoughts on the Divine, Ever-present Spirit who guides us in our worship today.

Scripture Focus for Brethren Service Sunday -                        Luke 5:1-10

Luke 5:1-10

5Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”    

Special Music Link            “Lord, you have come to the lakeshore”

Message -                        What Brethren Believe About Service
            Today we would have sat together in the sanctuary and explored experiences of being called into a life of service. Two former Brethren Volunteer Service workers would tell us how they were called into BVS and what their experience of simple, communal living was like, on what projects they worked, and how this experience of two years of dedicated service changed their lives forever. Perhaps they will come some warm, dry day this summer and share their stories. We could review the great history of our denomination telling the story of the beginning of Heifer Project and the sea-going cowboys, or the first work with disaster relief but for now we sit in a white landscape and wonder to what is God calling us today?           
            Instead of reviewing the wonderful history of Brethren Service which can be found in the book, A Cup of Cold Water,
we are challenged by our current circumstances to add our labor to that of history.
            I bring you Christ’s call to service today from the lakeshore of your home. We need not think we are incapable of helping because of the circumstances of a snowstorm or our own limited mobility. Use what God has given you to reach out this day.
·      If you are headed outdoors with your snow shovel, check around your neighborhood for someone who needs help getting out of his or her home.
·      If you get out of your area today, check on our members who are unable to shovel and see if you can help them break free of the snow.
·      Use your phone to check on friends, neighbors, our homebound, and elderly. See what help they need. Even if you are not able to provide it, perhaps you have ideas for resources to help someone else.
·      Call someone to listen to his or her story. What was their experience of the storm and how are they coping? You can end the loneliness of someone’s isolation with a simple call.
·      Write a letter to someone you don’t normally call, knowing you will brighten their day when they get your card or letter.
Do any of these activities today as your ‘worship’ in honor of Brethren Service Sunday. God will bless us as we go out to serve.

Prayer – God of All Being, you bless us with the community of friends and family and call us to serve from this base of support. Hear our prayer today for those who will suffer because of this winter storm. Guide our calls and efforts to help those who need us most. Give us energy to do more than we think we can. Hold us within your loving arms and keep our bodies strong for the work ahead. Bless our offerings this day of time, talent, and finances for all we do comes from our love for you. Guard and guide us in the day ahead that we will be aware of your presence and experience everything we do this day as worship. We pray these things in the name of the one who calls from the lakeshore, Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
Blessing and Sending - May all your do this day be done for God. “Glory to you God, Source of All Being, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and will be forever, amen.

Additional Resources:
Explore Brethren Service ministries at our denominational website:
Read about the current efforts in Haiti by Brethren Disaster Ministries:
I encourage you to write if you have a journal about today’s worship experience and share what you will with friends when you have dug out of the storm. 
Please add your comments to this blog post. 


Mompriest said...

Nancy, this is wonderful. I hope others are inspired by this worship.

Rev Nancy Fitz said...

thank you, It is our only chance to worship in this deep snowl

Mary Beth said...

this is lovely!

Rev Nancy Fitz said...

thanks Mary Beth. Spirit inspired and snow-necessitated. I hope it will inspire us all to help each other. It's just so hard to go out there again and shovel.

RJ said...

this show something of christ's loving presence in you, nancy, and in your ministry. thank you for sharing it. for once the snow missed us... but i hold you in my prayers.