4.30.2010

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession (Unison)

Christ, you have shown us how to love.
Through the life of Jesus, you have shown us how to love, seek, suffer, and survive all things. You call us; even command us, to love like you.
Yet we have turned away from loving others.
Loving others was hard.
Loving ourselves was often harder.
We confess that the ways of love were not our ways.
We hurt, hated, ignored, despised, denied, and rejected.
Have mercy on us.
Help us to welcome your love in a manner that allows us to share your love with others.
Help us to welcome your love in a manner that allows us to love ourselves.

Silent Prayers of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Open your hearts and hear the words:

Christ believes in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.
Christ loves you even when you don’t love yourself.
Christ forgives you even when you don’t forgive yourself.
Believe, speak, and live the Good News of the Gospel.
In Christ we are forgiven! Alleluia! Amen.

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Christ, you have sent your Spirit into our hearts that we might come to know you and love you.
But we have not loved you and have not loved others, even though we were able to do so by the Spirit that you have given to us.
Forgive us for the sake of your compassion.
Renew us in the power of your Spirit, as we lay down our anger, resentment and jealousy before you. We welcome you to come and make us new.

Silent Prayers of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Leader: God forgives. God forgives humanity. We are justified by this faith. When we believe, we experience the love of Christ pouring into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
All: In Christ we are forgiven!

Leader; In Jesus Christ, we have peace with God. In Christ, we are forgiven according to the riches of God’s grace. We even boast in our hope, because Christ gives this hope.
All: In Christ, we are forgiven.

4.21.2010

Mark 4:30-32

(A skit for young children)

Narrator: At this time, Jesus was trying to explain about the kingdom of God to his students.

Jesus: What shall I say about the kingdom of God?
What does the kingdom of God look like?
What is like?
How should I describe it?
What kind of story shall I use?

Oh! I know.
Hey, listen!
It is like a mustard seed.
It is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.
And yet when it is planted, it grows and grows and grows.
Then it becomes the biggest and tallest plant in the garden.
It has such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.

You know what I mean? (To his students)
Can you imagine that?

Let me explain like this.
The kingdom of God is like a pine nut.
When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go.
And yet once it is planted, it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches.
And even eagles nest in it.

That is what the kingdom of God looks like.
Can you understand that?

Students: Oh! You mean the kingdom of God is like a Redwood tree, right? When it starts to grow, it becomes the tallest tree of all, right?
Jesus: Exactly!

4.18.2010

Bless everyone

When you love someone, you bring life to that person.
In the same way, your blessing and love changes a person.
It is proven in my life.
It is proven in your life.

It is also true to nature and water.
Dr Masaru Emoto made an experiment with water: He discovered that when you bless water, you turn its crystal to form a beautiful shape.
Water seems to response to your intention, your love and your blessing.
You can make a wonderful result by having a good intention.

God loves the world.
The God of love holds us and maintains us.
You are called to join with God to love and bless the world.
You are called to bless all humanity, even your enemy.

Jesus comes to save all.
It is because Jesus loves just like God.
Jesus Christ comes to love and bless everyone.
Through love and good will, the world is created and sustained.

Allow Christ in you to love you and love people around you.
Allow Christ in you to love the world.
Allow Christ in you to form a beautiful community.

4.07.2010

Guidelines for Sunday School

(I am trying to make a covenant for our Sunday school. This is so far what I came up with.)

The covenant of teachers:

We care for the wellbeing of children.
We respect each child as a child of God.
We talk with each child kindly and gently.
We encourage positive behaviors.
We guide each child to honor all people.
Two adults are present at all time.

The covenant of students:

We respect each other.
We show kindness to each other.
We listen to each other.
We clean up after ourselves.

4.06.2010

John 20:19-31 (2)

Prop: a ball

Hello.
Do you know what this is?
This is a ball.
You can play all kinds of games with this one.

What I like about this ball is that when you throw it in the air, it comes back to you.
Like this.
It goes up and it goes down.
It goes up and down.

I think it is like our faith.
Sometimes we believe in God and have fun with our faith.
Our faith is up and high.
We believe and trust that God is in control.
We believe that God can do all things.
Yeayee! (Throwing it in the air)

But sometimes, we don’t feel like believing in God.
Sometimes, our faith just disappears like this (Hide it behind you).
We cannot find our faith anywhere.
Where is it?
Sometimes we lose it.
(Drop it and walk away)
Then we don't feel like believing in God at all.
Then we get scared or worried.
Then, we complain a lot.

Our Bible story today is about a man who experiences something like that.
His name was Thomas.
Thomas was one of the men who followed Jesus.
Thomas had a good faith when Jesus was alive.
(Throw the ball in the air)
But after watching Jesus being dead, his faith was gone.
He couldn’t find his faith anywhere.
(Hide it behind you)

Even when Jesus came back to life, Thomas didn't believe it at first.
But then, when Thomas actually saw Jesus with his own eyes, his faith came back to him.
(Throw it in the air)
He believed in Jesus again!

So sometimes we are like that too,
Sometimes, we feel like we believe in God. Sometimes we don’t.
But God is always with us whether we feel like it or not.
God is always faithful whether we believe or not.
God is patient with us when we don't believe in God.
But when we believe in God, God loves it.

Well, that is our story today.
Let’s pray:

Jesus, thank you for being with us.
Thank you for helping us to trust and believe again and again.
In your name we pray.
Amen.

4.03.2010

Offering prayer

Jesus, God of compassion, we praise you.
You look upon our frail lives with love and understanding.
You desire all new life for us in you.
So, you went to the cross for us, endured the grave, and led us to new life.
We are overwhelmed by your love.
By your Spirit, strengthen our souls to be brave and bold in your service.
May you use our offerings and us, for your purposes.
We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord. Amen.

Opening Prayer 1

Jesus, through our baptism, we have given our life to you.
May you renew us.
May we trust in you more and more understanding who you are.
Make us strong to obey your will.
Make us to serve you with your joy that you have in us.
Thank you.
We pray this in the name of Jesus.
Amen.

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession (unison)

God of mercy, you sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost.
We confess that we have strayed from you and turned aside from your way.
We are misled by pride, for we see ourselves pure when we are stained and we see ourselves great when we are small.
We have failed in love, neglected justice, and ignored your truth.
Have mercy, O God, and forgive our sin.
Return us to paths of righteousness through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Amen.

Declaration of Pardon

Leader: Jesus Christ, you have given us your life.
All: Now we give you ours.
Leader: Forgive us for what we have been in the past.
All: Through you, what we shall be begins now.
Leader: Take us, renew and remake us.
All: May we be your living presence in this world.
Leader: Friends, let us believe the Good News of the Gospel.
All: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.