Come and See!

Visit St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church in Tucson, Arizona.  And if you can’t get there in person, here’s a glimpse of a service:

Come and See!
A Liturgy of Invitation

St. Philip’s in the Hills
Episcopal Church
Tucson, AZ
www.stphilipstucson.org

The Gathering of the Community
The Leader or Presider leads followed by the people’s response in bold print

WORDS OF WELCOME
INVITATION
Come into this place of peace and let its silence move your spirit;
Come into this place of memory and let its history warm your soul;
Come into this place of prophecy and power and let its vision change your heart. Amen

William F. Schultz (adapted)

%%%        (silence)

OPENING ACCLAMATION
              Blessed be the God of love!
              May the love of God embrace all creation now and for ever.  Amen

SALUTATION
God is with you!
And also with you!

The Liturgy of the Word

PRAYER OF THE DAY (Insert)

LESSONS FROM SACRED AND SPIRITUAL TEXTS (Insert)
The people sit. One or two Lessons or suitable spiritual texts are read.

After the Reading, the Reader may say:
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the people of God.
Thanks be to God.

The people stand for the Gospel.

              The Gospel of Jesus according to:

After the Gospel, the reader says:

The Gospel of Jesus.

Thanks to you, the Christ among us.

THE REFLECTION (a guided meditation by a member of the Community, followed by discussion)
A period of silence is suggested after the Reflection to meditate on the spoken word.

AN AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (said together, standing)
         We believe in God, Light of the universe;
                  source of love, depth, and compassion.
         We believe in Jesus, who taught us to love;
                  who embodies justice and faithfulness, who journeys with us.
         We believe that the Holy Spirit guides us on our way,
                  surrounding us with grace and calling us to live
                  with compassion to ourselves and others.  Amen

PRAYERS WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD
With our whole hearts and minds, let us pray together:
Let us pray with those who seek peace on earth,
         that we may act for the good of the world, being what we want the world to be.
With all leaders of countries, communities, and corporations, of churches and schools, of the armed
forces, and with all people in power that they may lead with responsibility and integrity,
         that we may follow with intelligence, conscience, and loyal opposition when necessary.
With this community and every community,
         may we share one another’s joys and burdens.
With those who care for the earth, for which we are all stewards,
         may we treat the Creation with loving responsibility.
With artists, poets, scientists, and visionaries,
         may they assist us to view the Creation with fresh eyes.
With those who are ill or troubled or outcast in any way,
         may we be open and responsive to their needs.
With people around the world who have endured earthquakes, famine, floods, disease, and other disasters, and with those who are in exile, are refugees, or are homeless.
         may we respond with abundant generosity.
With those who have died in the hope of eternal life,
         may we be encouraged and inspired by their legacy.
With all people everywhere and in every time,
         we dedicate our lives to love and compassion, as Jesus taught us.  Amen.
WITH CONTRITE HEARTS
We acknowledge that we have not always used our gifts and talents in the service of the Creation, our neighbors and ourselves.  We seek change of heart toward a reflection of steadfast love.  May we forgive others and ourselves, resuming our journey through life with renewed intention.  Amen
(Silence)

OF REASSURANCE
The Bishop when present, or the Presider, stands and says:
God forgives you
Forgive all others
Forgive yourself.  Amen
 
The Liturgy of the Open Table
Those present stand and gather around the Table.

We are gathered here!
         God’s spirit is with us.
Together we lift our hearts,
         And offer thanks.

THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER        
We stand before all Creation
in praise with thanksgiving
for the gift of unconditional love
as an open invitation into relationship.
And we are awed by the assurance that
when we lose our way,
we are always welcomed home.

A table has been prepared for us,                                 [Iona, Wee Worship Book, adapted]
as a sign of hospitality and community,
so that we may be filled, healed,
forgiven and blessed,
being made new again.

Therefore we offer thanks, joining our voices with all people of God,
past, present, and yet to come.
        
THE INVITATION AND STORY
This is the table, not of the Church, but of God.  [Iona, Wee Worship Book, adapted]
It is to be made ready for those who seek relationship with God.

So come and make this journey,
you who have much faith
and you who have little,
you who have been here often
and you who have not been for a long time,
you who have tried to follow
and you who have lost your way.

So come and make this journey,
not because I invite you:
God invites.

It is God’s desire that we gather here.
At supper with his friends, Jesus took bread and gave thanks saying, “Blessed be God who brings
forth bread from the earth.” He broke it and gave it to them saying, “Take, eat. This is the Bread of
Life which is shared with all of you.”

After supper he took the cup of wine and gave thanks saying, “Blessed be God for the
fruit of the vine.” He offered it to his friends saying, “Drink this, all of you, for this
is a symbol of a renewed promise that is revealed in each of you. Whenever you drink it,
recall our life and work together.”

Jesus, you lived, died, and returned to us as the Christ among us.
You are present with us now, and we offer our hearts and hands.
May the Holy Spirit pour out upon this bread and wine the gifts of new life and love
for all people of God.

May we also be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we who are blessed by this bread and wine may live into our own commitment to serve others in love, compassion, and peace.  And at the last day, bring us with all faithful people into the joy of the eternal.

              We now pray,

         Eternal Creator,
                  the Spirit without and within,
                  transcendent of time and space, may peace reign!
         May we reach out to others with compassion,
                  to those whom we know and those we don’t.
         May we share our gifts in mindful humility and tolerance,
                  extending generosity to all people.
         May we resist temptation and counter wickedness.
         We regard with awe the majesty of all creation
                   that extends behind us and before us into all eternity.  Amen.  M. Baker

THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD
Be known to us in the breaking of the Bread.
We who are many are one body, for we all share in the one bread! 
The Gifts of God for all People of God!

THE COMMUNION
This is the Bread of Life, food for the journey. Amen
This is the cup of Compassion, poured out for us. Amen

THE POST-COMMUNION PRAYER
              Let us pray together:
         Before all creation, we acknowledge the mystery of this simple meal. 

Let it remind us of our common humanity and our commitment to love one another and all of creation.  Through it may we be strengthened to serve; in it may we find peace.  Amen.

THE BLESSING [Henri Frederick Amiel, 1821-1881, adapted]
Life is short, and we do not have too much time
to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us.
So be swift to love, make haste to be kind,
and may the blessing of God, Jesus, the Christ, and the Spirit be with you always.  Amen
 
THE DISMISSAL
The Eucharist has ended, the service begins!  Go in peace to love and serve!
Thanks be to God!

THE PEACE
The peace of God be always with you!
And also with you!
————— 

WELCOME

Welcome to our interpretation of “radical hospitality,” which is characterized by the “Beware” statement below.  We would like to think that this is a “no-cost” experience, because it does not cost anything to belong to this community.

This liturgy is founded on a theology whereby God is “Love”, fully acknowledging that “Love” is a metaphor.  This is a kenotic (self-emptying) theology of unconditional grace and acceptance of each of us as we are without question.  If we internalize this understanding that we are “loved” and accepted for who and what we are, then life becomes a matter of responsibility to use ourselves in the service with others.  Our gifts and talents are to be shared.  Hence, our sub-theme is: Our life is our offering.  Therefore, it matters what we do with our lives when we leave this worship community—it is our spirituality in the world.

When people gather together in community, they tell stories and have a meal.  This community is no different because that is exactly what we do together.  Enjoy the various stories related through the Reflections of individuals in the Come and See community and the meal that will follow, for everyone is welcome at God’s Table.  Namaste!

BEWARE!
Here we practice the inclusive Gospel of Jesus, Christ.
This means that you may be gathering with
Tax collectors, thieves, adulterers, hypocrites,
Women and men, female and male priests,
Gays and lesbians, the disabled, the dying;
Native Americans, Mexicans, Asians,
Blacks and other ethnic minorities;
Bishops, bigots, heretics, agnostics, atheists,
Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and
strangers from foreign lands—
Anyone like those with whom Jesus met.

So beware, this is not an exclusive club.

We welcome you all!

(adapted from Kenneth Leech, St. Botolph’s, Aldgate, London)

© St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, Tucson, AZ

Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Eight points. Rituals: Communion. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

Review & Commentary

One thought on “Come and See!

  1. After reading several of Bishop Spong books I wondered how a worship service to a non theist God would be. Thank-you for sharing this beautiful and meaningful liturgy. I find it very helpful!

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