2 Samuel 7:1-14a 
David decides that he wants to build a temple (house) for God, but God, through the prophet Nathan, refuses him, and tells him that he is not the one to build a temple, and that God has never needed a temple. But, God promises David that his dynasty (house) will be established forever and that God will raise up a descendant of David to sit on his throne.
Psalm 89:20-37 
God has called and anointed David to be God’s chosen king, and God has promised him a dynasty that will last forever. If David’s descendants abandon God’s ways, God will discipline them, but never withdraw God’s love, ensuring that David’s dynasty is established forever.
Ephesians 2:11-22
Jews and Gentiles together have been reconciled to God in Christ and brought into one community in which the lines of division have been removed by God through Christ’s cross. Now both are part of God’s household, and are built into a temple for God’s Spirit.
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
When the disciples return from their mission, they tell Jesus about all they have done, and he calls them to rest. But, as they try to withdraw to a quiet place, the crowds follow them and Jesus has compassion on them because they are like sheep without a shepherd. Then, wherever he goes, the people bring the sick to him for healing.
(All Bible reading summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Components of worship
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion Hymns)

Call to Worship
When politics call us to take sides,
Christ calls us to serve one another.
When issues threaten to divide us,
Christ calls us to love one another.
When injustice and oppression seem to overwhelm us,
Christ takes on our burdens at the cross.
Come, join in worship together,
For we are one faith, one body in Christ, and we need one another. Amen.
(Source: Rev Mindi, Rev-o-lution)

Now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. The whole building is joined together in him, and it grows up into a temple that is dedicated to the Lord. Christ is building you into a place where God lives through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
God of this place, there are big stones in these walls,
solid, dependable stones,
hauled up onto scaffolding by pulleys and ropes,
heaved into place by skilled masons, and holding these walls in place,
for 17 decades* and more, for now, (*adapt this number to your local context)
so that we can use this place for our worship and rest.
God of this place, thank you for these big stones,
for their strength and purpose,
and for their enduring ability to make this place what it needs to be.

God of this place there are little stones in these walls,
fitted in, banged into place,
to fill the gaps, to bind with other stones to make these walls complete;
misshapen stones, all with an appropriate space for their shape alone;
once discarded stones, discarded no longer;
odd stones, each one with its special place.
God of this place, thank you for the little stones,
for their unobtrusive, necessary part,
strengthening these walls for us, making this place what it needs to be.

God of our lives, thank you for the big people,
in our churches, in our communities, in our world,
carrying responsibilities, carved out for important roles, people we rely on,
people who are our role models, people we trust,
people who make our lives, our church, our world worthwhile.

God of our lives, help the big people to hang-in-there, because we need them so much, to keep the whole thing going, making our world what it needs to be.
And if I’m one of those big stones,
help me not to crumble with the weight of it all.

God of our lives, help us not to forget the little people,
those seemingly insignificant, misshapen people,
the ones who don’t get much thought or much recognition,
who’re often rejected as being useless;
the shy people; the different people;
the gentle people; the low-self-esteem people;
the diffident people; the not-so-sure-I’m-really-any-good people.
Fit them into your walls to make the church, our communities,
our world what they were meant to be.
And help us to see that without them churches crumble, communities perish,
the walls of our world fall down.
God of our lives, hooray for the little people! Three cheers for the little stones!
Thank God they’re there.

And if I’m a misshapen, ordinary stone,
minding my own business, just doing my bit of filling my place in the wall, just being me, thank you for putting me here.
Thank you for believing in me, and building me into your walls. Amen.

This prayer was first used in worship in Iona Abbey, but was later adapted for use in Chalmers Memorial Church, Port Seton, particularly because of the 100-year-old stone walls which are exposed in the interior of the church. It is, therefore, a prayer which is applicable in many different settings. Adapted from Welcoming Each Wonder by Tom Gordon. © Tom Gordon and Wild Goose Publications – 

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession
God Who Heals, we come to You in our brokenness, in our despair, in the hopelessness of the world. We know that You take up our burdens. When we feel the weight of the world on us, and feel that we are lost in the valley of the shadow, we have a hard time feeling Your presence with us. Become known to us, O God. May we feel Your presence in the most difficult times. May we feel Your healing when we feel most vulnerable. Help us to reach out to one another in our prayers and compassion, to help bear one another’s burdens, and help each other know Your presence. In the name of Christ, who makes us one, we pray all things. Amen.
(Source: Rev Mindi, Rev-o-lution)

Blessing/Assurance of Pardon
God restores our soul. God leads us into the paths of righteousness, prepares a place for us, and blesses us, even in the most difficult of times. God loves you, and will never abandon you, even when you feel most alone. You are beloved and precious to God. Share this good news, and bear each other’s burdens. Amen.
(Source: Rev Mindi, Rev-o-lution)

Shepherding God, bring us together when we have gone astray. Remind us that we are all one flock, one body, one faith. Help us to include those who have been pushed to the margins. Call upon us to cross over the fence to those who feel they cannot belong. May we know Your presence during difficult times, when the valley threatens to divide us, and lead us to the other side in safety and assurance. In the name of Christ, who makes us one, we pray. Amen.
(Source: Rev Mindi, Rev-o-lution)

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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