A river is painted on the floor or created with fabric to run through the sanctuary leading to a pool on the rostrum or perhaps the baptismal font. In the front, on a small table, place a glass bowl filled with water and a glass. During the responsive reading, the leader sips the water in the glass as indicated in the reading. During the last song, the bowl is placed at the exit. As people leave, they may wash their hands in the water.
*Opening Hymn: “Mighty God Who Called Creation” CCS 641 OR “Coming Together for Wine and Bread” CCS 516
Leader: With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
People: Give thanks to the Lord, call on God’s name, make known God’s deeds among the nations.
Leader: The living water will become a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
People: Give us that water, so that we may never be thirsty.
Leader: (sips water) I take a sip of simple water.
The atoms of the water are five thousand million years old.
I drink the birth time of the earth.
People: We mourn with all living things that the waters of creation are polluted. The salted tears in our eyes remind us of our origin and unity with all struggling life.
Leader: (sips water) I take a sip of simple water and with that the story of life.
Its molecules have been in the rain forest,
have lived in quantum compounds,
have waved sea anemones,
have been the water of baptisms,
and are now on their way to ever new formations.
People: With all living things we praise you, Lord Creator.
You are the well of salvation.
Hymn: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” CCS 11 OR “For Beauty of Meadows” CCS 142
Praise Our God, all you nations,
extol God, all you mighty ones.
For God’s love toward us is great,
Gods’ faithfulness, eternal.
—Psalm 117 The Inclusive Psalms
Season of Prayer
Have mercy on us, God,
...for our futility and folly that spoils, pollutes, and poisons. Help us set creation free. Let clean water and fresh streams come forth until “the trees of the field clap their hands.”
...for those who thirst for life and feel close to dying from thirst. Help us give them courage and hope in you until “justice flows down like water and righteousness like an everflowing stream.”
...for our forgotten covenant in the waters of baptism. What has happened to us? Where did we go astray? Refresh and renew us until we have “clothed ourselves with Christ.”
Hymn: “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” CCS 31 OR “Small is the Table” CCS 525
You are the fountain of life: refresh us.
You are the cleansing spring: heal us.
You are the well from which we drink and never thirst again: fill us.
Blessing and Serving the Bread
Blessing and Serving the Wine
Hymn: “Let Your Heart Be Broken” CCS 535 OR “O Lord, How Can It Be” CCS 529
Disciples’ Generous Response
When God’s priorities become our own, and when we completely place our trust in God, the Living Water, other important concerns in our lives will fall into line.
—adapted from “Whose House Are We Building” by Brenda Benner, Giving (2002): 21. Copyright Ecumencial Stewardship Center, Indianapolis, Brenda Brenner article reprinted with permission.
Blessing and Receiving of Mission Tithes
Season of Affirmations
God, who created the waters of the world,
Son of living waters, and
Spirit of cleansing waters,
Empower us to be water for the world.
Prayer of Blessing
Bless our lives as the water that can give refreshment, cleansing, and joy to our world.
“Rain Down CCS 260 OR Now Let Us from This Table Rise” CCS 644
You are invited to wash your hands in the water when leaving the sanctuary.
A Service of Unity
Congregation Hymn: "In These Moments We Remember” CCS 515 OR “Is There One Who Feels Unworthy” CCS 526
Call to Worship
one reader in front of congregation and one in the back
Reader 1: We come today to remember our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to become one with him and each other.
Reader 2: This bread was first one complete loaf. This wine was first contained in one large pitcher.
Reader 1: Now before us, the bread is broken and torn into small pieces. The wine is poured into individual cups.
Reader 2: A sacred moment will ultimately occur when the bread again becomes one loaf and the wine, one pitcher. How?
Reader 1: When we come humbly and reverently, and eat to gain spiritual nourishment, the bread and wine again become unified through us as the body of Christ.
Reader 2: This is indeed a sacred moment.
*Hymn: "We Are One in the Spirit" CCS 359
Disciples’ Generous Response
Scriptures: Mosiah 2:42–44 and II Corinthians 9:7–8
God does not ask for more than we can give—it is not requisite that we should run faster than we have strength. Give freely from a joyous heart. Our cup truly does run over.
Blessing and Offering of Oblation/Mission Tithes
Communion Message: Ephesians 4:3–6
Blessing and Serving of the Bread
Blessing and Serving of the Wine
To make the Communion more distinctive and less likely to be taken for granted, have no music played while it’s served. Take it in complete reverent silence.
*Closing Hymn: "Send Me Forth” CCS 651
Sing this a Capella
*Sending Forth: "Take My Life and Let It Be" CCS 608
Read the first stanza aloud changing to plural pronouns.