May 21, 2023 – Seventh Sunday of Easter

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Acts 1:6–14
After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples go to Jerusalem and pray.

Psalm 68:1–10, 32–35
God rides upon the clouds, and gives power to the people.

1 Peter 4:12–14; 5:6–11
You are suffering now, but the God of grace will restore you.

John 17:1–11
Jesus seeks the glory of God and prays for his disciples.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We may not know the time or the place,
but we know that God is restoring the world.
We may not see the risen Christ before us,
but we know his spirit rests on us.
We may not know what God is doing next,
but we come together in faith, excited to discover it!

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the new life you raise up in us
through the mystery of our baptism—
the sorrow of the heavy cross,
the surprise of the empty tomb,
the love that death could not destroy.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
fill us with the joy of resurrection,
so that we may be a living sign
of your new heaven and new earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon​

At the baptismal font:
Scripture tells us that our sufferings
are known to Christ,
that we can cast all our anxiety on Jesus,
who restores, supports, strengthens and establishes us.
Knowing this, let us come to God in a spirit of openness.

Christ our Savior,
as you ascended, you left the work to us.
You called us to keep the movement going,
to witness to the ends of the earth,
to pray, to heal,
to glorify you through our thoughts, words, and deeds,
to show the world a glimpse of the goodness you have given us.
We have fallen short of this call.
We have hidden ourselves in fear,
sought our own comfort,
and resigned ourselves to the status quo.
Forgive us,
and strengthen us to do your will,
that we may be signs of your coming reign.

Lifting water from the font:
Listen to this prayer:
“Protect them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one, as we are one.”
This is the prayer that Christ prayed on our behalf.
This tenderness and care for us shows us who Jesus is—
the one who hears our prayers,
responding to our longing for forgiveness with mercy.
Thanks be to God,
praise be to Christ,
glory be to the Holy Spirit.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
God Most High, reigning in glory,
send down your Spirit of wisdom
to shine in your heavenly Word,
so that we may worship you with joy
continually blessing your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Before the readings:
O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:4

After the readings:
This is the good news which we have received,
in which we stand, and by which we are saved.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
All authority and power and dominion
to the name that is above all names—
Jesus Christ our Lord—
now and in the age to come. Amen.
Ephesians 1:21

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

New life in Christ takes shape in a community
in which people know
that God loves and accepts them
in spite of what they are.
They therefore accept themselves
and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground
on which to stand,
except God’s grace.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

Prayers of Intercession

We offer our prayers through Christ,
who lives and reigns forever,
and prays for us in heaven.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for the church . . .
May we devote ourselves to prayer and praise,
in the name of the risen and ascended Lord,
calling on the transforming gifts of the Spirit.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for the earth . . .
Rain down in abundance to restore the earth.
Scatter all the enemies of life and wholeness;
transform desolate places into healthy homes.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for all nations . . .
All authority in heaven and on earth is yours.
establish your new realm of justice and peace,
so that all will know your goodness and glory.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for this community . . .
Keep us in solidarity with those who suffer.
Deliver those who are facing fiery ordeals;
help them to remain strong, resisting evil.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Through Christ, we pray for loved ones . . .
Show your loving care and deep compassion
to those who are hurting, anxious, and tested.
Strengthen and support them; restore their lives.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of all power and glory, receive these prayers,
and continue your mighty work among us,
through Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen.
Ephesians 1:15–23

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need?
Remembering God’s great love for the world,
let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 John 3:16–17

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Great God, to you we give our thanks;
your steadfast love endures forever.
With gratitude we bring our gifts to you.
Bless us and our gifts,
that our lives and our resources
may be a source of healing and hope,
of joy and justice in our world. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You ride upon the clouds, awesome in majesty and power,
pouring out your mercy on the parched places of the earth,
and showering down blessings upon those who are in need.

Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
To Christ you gave all honor and power and glory,
and through him you give us the gift of eternal life.
We belong to Christ, and in Christ, we belong to you.
The words of institution are included here.

Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Teach us to cast all our anxiety on you, for you care for us.
Give us the discipline and strength to resist what is evil,
so that we may shout with joy when Christ’s glory is revealed.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer


Breaking the Bread


Communion of the People


Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
God Most High, we have lifted our hearts to you
in this joyful meal with our risen Lord.
Continue to surround and sustain us
so that we may feast with you in glory
at the wedding of heaven and earth;
through Christ, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the love of the holy triune God—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
abide with you forever. Alleluia!
1 John 4:13–16

Now go forth in Jesus’ name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another, just as he has loved us. Amen.
1 John 3:23


Jiangxi Province, China, 2005

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending (A) HELMSLEY GTG 348, PH 6
  • How Firm a Foundation (E) FOUNDATION GTG 463, PH 361
  • Why Should I Feel Discouraged? (E) SPARROW GTG 661
  • O Come, All You People / Aso, aso, aso ngane (AEG) Papua New Guinea, STB 4


  • Soon and Very Soon (G) SOON AND VERY SOON GTG 384
  • I Love to Tell the Story (A) HANKEY GTG 462
  • God Is So Good (E) GOD IS SO GOOD GTG 658
  • Whoever You Are, Your Prayer Is Welcome (E) OPEN YOUR HEART Sing No Empty Alleluias, Chris Shelton, GIA


  • Here, O Our Lord, We See You (E) MORECAMBE GTG 517, PH 520
  • When at This Table (E) FEASTDAY GTG 537
  • Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (A) PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS GTG 753
  • What Feast of Love (AG) GREENSLEEVES WAS 3170


  • Go to the World! (A) SINE NOMINE GTG 295
  • Peace of God Be with You (G) AS-SALAAMU LAKUM GTG 448
  • Give to the Winds Thy Fears (E) FESTAL SONG, ST. BRIDE GTG 815, PH 286
  • Humble Yourselves (AEG) HUMBLE THYSELF SON 745

Psalms and Canticles


  • Let God Arise [SONG 46]; PAS 68C
  • Arise, Lord, and Hasten [ASH GROVE]; PCW 68, PP 121 (with refrain)
  • Come Like Driving Wind, O God [NON KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND]; GTG 55
  • Approach Our God with Songs of Praise [GENEVAN 68]; PAS 68A
  • Rise Up, O God, Dispel Your Foes [CMD]; SGP 97


  • Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the Earth; PAS 68B
  • Lift Up Your Voices; PAS 68A, LUYH 211
  • My Lips Are Filled with Your Praise; PSA 61

Organ Music

  • Andante tranquillo, Sonata no. 3 in A Major, Felix Mendelssohn, public domain (M)
  • “I Danced in the Morning,” SIMPLE GIFTS, Augsburg Organ Library: Easter, J. Wayne Kerr, AF (E)
  • “Fantasia,” Johann Jakob Froberger, Dover Publications (ME)
  • “How Firm a Foundation,” FOUNDATION, Book IX, Interpretations Based on Hymn-Tunes for Organ, David Cherwien, Summa Production (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “I Come with Joy,” Zebulon Highben, AF, SAB, pno (ME)
  • “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me,” arr. K. Lee Scott, AF, 2 pt mx, org (E)
  • “With a Voice of Singing,” Kenneth Jennings, AF, SATB, acap (M)
  • “Balm in Gilead,” M. Roger Holland II, MSM, SATB, solo, pno (M)
  • “O Love How Deep,” Bradley Ellingboe, KJO, SATB, keybd, perc (ME)
  • “I Surrender All,” arr. Victor Johnson, LOR, SATB, pno (ME)

Handbell Music

  • “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” Bill Ingram, 3–5 oct, LOR, 20/1153L, Level 2
  • “Soon and Very Soon,” Hart Morris, 3–6 oct, opt sb and drums, HOPE, hb, 2274, sb and drums, 2274P, Level 3+
  • “Give to the Winds Thy Fears,” Tammy Waldrop, 3 or 5 oct, opt 3 oct hc, opt ct, ALF, 36514, Level 2


  • Fog, Jiangxi province, China (VDL)
  • New Growth, Malawi (VDL)
  • Prayer, Anneke Kaai (AK)
  • Power of God, Anneke Kaai (AK)