Afterthoughts

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Gathering Our Spirit with God's Spirit

The room is filled with tables, individual tables with 6 or 8 chairs around each. Move everything back so that there's plenty of room. Some of the tables will have to be in the pool hall; one can be up on the stage. In one or two places, instead of a table there are rugs and beanbag chairs and pillows. People will bring fruit, bread, juice, water, etc. for each sitting area; Leslie is supervising this. The mood is festive and warm. The grid is still there, woven with yarn to raise the canopy.

  • “Get Together” by The Youngbloods (or whatever gets suggested via email) plays
  • A Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell 10 times
  • Leslie makes announcements

Worshiping with Our Children

  • A Journeyer leads our children in talking about how it’s fun to play by yourself sometimes, but a party can be even more fun! What makes a party fun? Jesus said that when we welcome God into our families and friendships, it’s like a party – what the Bible calls “The Community of God.” Jesus said it’s here, right now! God’s love is like a party!

Welcome and Breathe

  • Rick welcomes us, talks about series
  • Say hello to the people at your table
  • Ariel gives a Shepherd team report
  • Take a breath...
  • A Journeyer stands up and says, loudly, “YOU ARE ALL INVITED. ALL ARE WELCOME. THE COMMUNITY OF GOD IS HERE, NOW. COME TO THE COMMUNITY OF GOD.”

God’s Spirit and Our Spirit

  • Renee and Dave lead us all in singing together “Your Peace”
  • Two Journeyers read from Matthew and Luke

This is a story from two of the books about Jesus’ life, called Matthew and Luke:

Jesus told the people a story: 

The Community God is building is like a rich host who gave a wedding reception for his son. He sent his helpers to call everyone who had gotten an invitation to tell them the food and the drink were ready. But the guests he’d invited wouldn’t come. 

So, the host sent another group of helpers; he told them, “Tell the people who were invited that we’ve prepared a beautiful dinner, we’ve spent lots of money, there's excellent food; it’s going to be great fun, and we’re celebrating something wonderful – everything is ready – so come to the banquet hall!”

But the invited guests gave excuses. Lame excuses. One of them sent the message, “I just made a big real estate purchase, and I've got a meeting, I have to go out to the property. Please accept my regrets for not being able to attend.” Another sent the message, “I bought a new piece of farming equipment, and I’m going to go try it out and see how it works. Please accept my regrets for not being able to attend.” Another sent the message, “I just got married, and I’m way too busy.” 

The helpers came back to the host with the messages from the people he’d invited. The man became very angry. The responses were all meant to be insults. He said to his helpers, “I’m going to throw a party and celebrate! This is a joyful day! I’m not going to let it be ruined. So, go out, right now – the food is ready, the musicians are here – and find everyone. Anyone. 

“No, you know what? Find the poor people. The ones in the streets. Find people nobody wants. Bring disabled people and blind people and the people who smell bad and who always get left out.”

So the helpers went out and soon brought back a large group of grateful, hungry people. But there was still more food and drink than they could all enjoy. So the host said to his helpers, “Go out further. Find more people. Anyone. Everyone. I want this place full to overflowing. 

“The people who I invited didn’t want to come. But I’m still going to have this celebration.  Messy as it is. This will be a beautiful day for the people who are willing to be here.”

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks
  • The community does exercise at different tables – we’ll have pieces of paper that explains what they're to do, including collecting the offering
  • Dave and Renee play music, and then we all sing together “Change the World”

Go Out to Serve with Courage and Grace

  • Leslie leads us in a closing prayer
  • Leslie dismisses us 
  • “Get Together” by The Youngbloods (or whatever gets suggested via email) plays again as folks depart

Images

 
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