I am the GOD who brings you out of slavery
who helps you understand who you are
who provides for you
who looks after you

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Creating Space for God’s Spirit

The room is in the round. Each week in this series, we’ll be exploring a different major historical Jewish feast. This week is the general theme of Harvests. We will all be making Friend Bags as our major act of worship. Fabric draped over the table makes the stage resemble a tent. The large table is on the stage area again, holding lots of canned food. Three stations are around the room, as well, each with items for Friend Bags. The piece of fabric we painted last week hangs over the doorway leading from the hall into the Living Room. The space reflects a sense of warmth and celebration.

  • “Happy” by Pharrell Williams plays
  • A Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell three times

Worshiping with Our Children

  • Susan McK. tells our children the Parable of the Legos

I was thinking about making something out of Legos, but I only have a few and I don't think I want to share, because I only have enough for me. How do you feel when I tell you that? Yes, it’s not a good feeling. BUT, as it turns out, I have more than enough! I could never use all these Legos! So, I can share. God loves you so much, you could never use all of God’s love up. It goes on and on. And God’s blessings and love for you and me and the whole world go on forever – so, there’s more than enough to share, isn't there? So let’s ask God to help us not be afraid to give away love and blessings to everyone who needs them.

Gathering Our Spirit with God's Spirit

  • Announcements – how Journey is God’s Hands in the world
  • Rick welcomes us, talks about series
  • Say hello to someone near you
  • Take a breath...

Exploring God’s Spirit and Our Spirit

  • Rick and Leslie baptize Abby N.
  • Lesa S. and Brian E. read about the Feast of Pe’ah

The Bible‘s model of social justice and support included a variety of agricultural gifts. Grain and produce that were left or forgotten during the harvest were available for the poor to glean. The corners of the fields – pe’ah – were also designated for the poor. A biblical source for these laws comes from Leviticus 19:9-11:

“When you [plural – the people of Israel] reap the harvest of your land, you [singular – every person harvesting food] shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; rather, you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I the Lord am your God. You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another.”

Giving — To Help God Do God's Work in This World

  • Lesa leads us in an offering prayer
  • Pharrell Williams’ video “Happy” plays as the ushers pass the baskets

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks about stories and harvests
  • Leslie talks about sharing and abundance
  • The community does an exercise for Pe’ah while Renee plays quietly

We are invited to assemble bags of food to give away as we share our community’s harvest. Besides food, drinks and treats, we place notes in each bag that read “share your harvest.” The notes are to remind us to add something else to the Friend Bags as a way of sharing our personal harvests.

Go Out and Share

  • Sabrina leads the community in a responsive blessing over the harvest

Grain — When my sister and I were broke and single, we took turns shopping in each other’s kitchens if pay day was a little too far off. We crafted rations from forgotten cans of beans and dusty boxes of brown rice; spare veggies and half a bottle of Two Buck Chuck thrown in when the harvest was plentiful.

All: Blessed are You, LORD our God, Leader of the universe, who creates varieties of nourishment.

Fruit — I once bit into an apple that an infant had enthusiastically slurped all the juice out of. It tasted like slimy wet sand, and I couldn’t finish the mouthful. Every crisp, flavorful bite since then has been a revelation.

All: Blessed are You, LORD our God, Leader of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.

Wine — I learned too early the joy of drinks shared with dear friends, and too late the value of sober intimacies. 3 a.m. rivals any man-made truth serum, and in the stillness, I find immensity.

All: Blessed are You, LORD our God, Leader of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.

Produce — In my first four years spent foregoing meat, I thought I was practicing ethical consumption. When a visiting professor exposed the lack of basic protections for farm workers in my country, I realized I had a lot to learn about what moral actions look like in the context of Empire. And I learned. And I grew.

All: Blessed are You, LORD our God, Leader of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the ground.

All the Rest — Awareness fosters change: we turn inward to guilt and shame, or we turn outward to healing and restoration. May what we share today heal the community in which we live and serve. May our service restore the health of our world, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

All: Blessed are You, LORD our God, Leader of the universe, through Whose word everything comes into being. Amen.

  • Sabrina dismisses us
  • “Happy” plays again as folks clean up the room