Show Us the Way

*Call to Worship & Invocation

We are each worthy of grace and love & mercy when viewed through divine eyes.
We are God’s beloved. 

Sometime we fail to live in harmony with God’s dreams for us.
God has expectations.

Half a millennia before Jesus, our forebears had lost their way. They claimed God “delights in those doing evil.” [Micah 2:17 CEB]
They knew what was expected but chose another way.

Stubbornly, the people failed to give their whole selves to being who they were created to be.
God’s frustrations with the people grew.

So God sent Malachi to prophesy to the people.
God did not mince words.

God was annoyed for God knew humanity’s potential. God sent Malachi to lay out the divine case.
God promised to show the people a path toward being God’s loving kin_dom on Earth.

Let us pray.
Alpha & Omega. Before & To-Come. Send us a prophet, show us the way as you did for our forbears that we might live into your dreams for us. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Malachi, Old Testament

Merciful Love Prevailed

Call to Worship & Invocation

God called Jonah to prophesy to the Ninevites.
And Jonah ran.

From the belly of a great fish, Jonah prayed to God for salvation.
He remained in the fish for three days.

The fish vomited Jonah on the beach.
God called Jonah again.

Jonah warned the Ninevites: Forty days more and you will be destroyed.
The people believed Jonah.

Both the people and animals of Nineveh repented.
And God changed God’s mind.

Merciful love prevailed.
But Jonah was angry.

Let us pray.
Essence of all, we sometimes forget that your loving and merciful justice never changes. In relationship with humanity your love and justice is not about punishment or vindictiveness. Help us to reveal your image within ourselves, that we can forgive the unforgivable, love the unloveable, and strive for your just kingdom on earth in our every moment, in our every decision. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Jonah, Jonah 4, Old Testament

Reborn from the Sea Womb

*Call to Worship & Invocation

You are in the presence of God.
The One whose love nudges at us and pursues us in all times and all places is among us.

Like Jonah, we too often run from the task of loving that God sets before us.
But also like Jonah, we get second chances to love, to do justice, and to walk humbly.

The big fish vomited Jonah upon the shore so that he could use his second chance to be God’s voice to the Ninevites.
Reborn from the sea womb, Jonah did as God required.

Let us pray,
God of Jonah, Re-inspire, re-invigorate, and re-energize us to be who we are created to be. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Jonah, Jonah 3, Old Testament

Lustrous & Worthy

Call to Worship  Acts 2:1-4   

When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. (2011 © Common English Bible)

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!


Holy Spirit, making life alive, moving in all things, root of all being, cleansing the cosmos of every impurity, effacing guilt, anointing wounds. You are lustrous and praiseworthy life, you waken and re-awaken everything that is. (Hildegard of Bingen)

Posted in Acts, Acts 2, Acts 2:1-4, Call to Worship, Hildegard of Bingen, Invocation, New Testament, Words of Wisdom

Swim & Splash in Cleansing Waters

Out of a world of cut-throat competition, of winners-and-losers, and too many left behind we come together.
The world’s ways are not our ways.
The world’s ways are not Christ’s ways.

Out of a world of hatred, violence, individualism, and life-taking power we gather as Koinonia, as God’s people.
God’s ways are inclusive, expansive, and life-giving for all peoples.

Come and worship the One whose love knows no limits!  Swim and splash in the cleansing waters of divine community! Resurrect your spirits and souls in worship of the One!
Praise be to the Everlasting One!

Posted in Call to Worship

Litany of Installation of a Lead Pastor

Covenant of Installation

The Presentation

The Search Committee of the Albany First Christian Church is pleased to present the Rev. ____________  for installation as our Lead Pastor. Though we are gathered today to install _________, other members of the ministerial staff, the congregation, the regional church, friends, ecumenical witnesses, and the ___________  community are each a part of this ministry that we confirm and celebrate today. I invite our Regional Ministers to lead us in the covenant that will weave us together as partners in ministry.


Ministry is a collaborative and shared calling. In a tapestry of gifts of the Spirit the Lead Pastor, the Pastor, the congregation, and the regional church work together focusing upon and striving first for the realm of God.

Lead Pastor’s Commitment

Regional Minister: Do you reaffirm your confession of faith, baptism, and give yourself as a follower of Jesus.

Lead Pastor: I do.

Regional Minister: Do you reaffirm your ordination vows and promise to live your ministry in accordance with the teachings of Jesus? Do you accept the responsibilities of Lead Pastor to which you have been called?

Lead Pastor: With the guidance and help of God, I do.

Pastor’s Commitment

Regional Minister: Because of the relationship that must exist between the ministers of the church, do you reaffirm your ordination vows and calling as a minister of this congregation. (1)

Pastor: I do.

Shared Commitment

Regional Minister: Do you promise to work collaboratively, affirming one another’s ministry, honoring one another’s gifts and talents, serving as counselor and friend, listener and guide to one another? Do you promise to help one another live fully into your calls as pastors and teachers of the Word? Do you promise to strive together for the furthering of God’s realm in this time and place?

Lead Pastor & Pastor: With God’s help, we do.

*Congregation’s Commitment

Regional Minister: Do you reaffirm your confessions of faith and baptisms? Do you promise to use your gifts and talents within and beyond this congregation?

Congregation: We do.

Regional Minister: Do you covenant with Tim as your Lead Pastor?

Congregation: We receive _______  as pastor and teacher promising to journey together as witnesses for the divine One whose expansive, extravagant love leads us to true community, deep spirituality, and a passion for justice. We promise to support his ministry through prayer, through the use of our gifts, talents, and skills. We welcome his/her pastoral care and leadership. We affirm his role as preacher and teacher. As sojourners in the faith, we weave ourselves together today.

*Hymn Weave #495 CH (2x)

*Prayer of Installation

Eternal One, hear the vows we have made to one another this day. Strengthen us to carry out the work laid before us. Gather the varied fibers of our being and weave us into a living tapestry of loving service and justice seeking.  Amen. (2)

Declaration of Installation

Regional Minister: In the name of Jesus Christ, we declare you properly installed as Lead Pastor of this congregation, and we commend you to the grace of God in the discharge of your duties as a minister of the gospel. May God count you worthy of your calling, and bring to fulfillment in you every good purpose and every act inspired by faith. (3)


(1) Pastor’s Commitment was modified from Chalice Worship, 201.

(2) Prayer of Installation was modified from Chalice Worship, 202

(3) Declaration of Installation was modified from Installation of Andrew Shepherd, Lynchwood Christian Church.

This litany is from the installation of Rev. Tim Graves at the Albany, Oregon First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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Posted in Installation of a Pastor, Liturgy, Special Times

Move, Swirl, & Dance

Move, swirl, and dance among us. Remind us that you you are always present: encouraging, luring, and inspiring us to be the loving people you created us to be. Stir us during this hour to walk humbly, embrace love, and do justice in our unjust and fragmented world. Amen.

Posted in Invocation, Micah, Micah 6, Micah 6:8, Old Testament
Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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