Thursday, August 16, 2012

Retreat! A Sabbath Worship Starter

Raise your hand if you're in ministry (staff or volunteer) and you're good at remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy?

While most of us do remember the Sabbath, those of us in ministry work pretty hard to create God experiences for other (which are God experiences more often than not for us as well).  My wife, Leanne Johnston, Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Central Texas Conference Center for Evangelism and Church Growth (Methodists are wordy ...) this weekend is offering a sabbath retreat for conference youth workers.  She asked me to plan worship for the occasion, which I, of course, jumped at.

The idea of the 24-hour or so period is to gather youth workers from across the conference to spend time together, in prayer, worship, and fellowship with one another.  It's an opportunity to share concerns and joys, and to bond over what's great and what's hard in youth ministry.

Here's the liturgy for the opening worship.  I'll cite sources and provide commentary as I go!  I invite you to use whatever part(s) you need.  Instrumentation for the retreat is acoustic guitar and percussion - and whatever anybody else brings to the table.

Liturgies for morning prayer and closing worship are coming!
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Youth Worker’s Sabbath Retreat 2012
Friday Evening Worship:
We Lay Our Burdens Down

We Gather
Opening Song – Meet With Me  A great gathering song, by Ten Shekel Shirt
I'm here to meet with you
Come and meet with me
I'm here to find you
Reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I love, draw me to your arms
As I stand and sing your praise, You Come
You come and fill this place
Won’t you come, and fill this place

Invocation: written for the occasion
Almighty and merciful God,
we come together tonight because we desire rest.
We need rest, and it’s hard to make the time.
But you set the example for us,
 after You created all of this beauty around us:
You rested, for a day.
Divine creator and healer, we need your help tonight, this weekend.
Come down and dwell in the midst of us during this time of rest,
Send us your Spirit, the Holy Comforter,
that we might find a measure of rest and peace, together. 
 Amen.
Passing the Peace
As you take your seat on the floor, we invite you to show one another signs of God’s healing, restful love and pass the Peace of Christ

Song – Blessed Be Your Name a worship standard by Matt Redman
Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow, blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness, blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun's shining down on me
When the world's  all as it should be blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering blessed be Your name

You give and take away, You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name

Psalm 62:5-8
Evening Song – Can I Lie Here this song, by David Crowder is the theme for the weekend. It has a soothing quality that's wonderful for prayer.  It almost sings like a chant.
Can I lie here in Your arms; can I lie here in Your arms
My only calm is You save me

Can I lie here in Your arms; can I lie here in Your arms
My only thought is You save me

Can I lie here in Your arms; can I lie here in Your arms
My happiness is You save me

Oh how lovely this place, to be with You, to be with You
Oh the brightness of Your face, here with You, here with You

Oh my only calm is You, Oh my only thought is You
Oh my happiness is You, Oh my happiness is You
To be with You, to be with You
Gospel of Luke 5:12-16
Meditation – Sabbath Time Interrupted I'll provide the text later
We Lay Our Burdens Down A basin with water is at the center of the room, and all participants are given a piece of dissolving paper to participate in the focal point of this evenings service
What is keeping you from relaxing in the Lord this evening?  Are there barriers in your ministry that need to be laid down?  Write them on the paper provided and then dissolve them in the water as your pray for the Lord to intercede.  Take your time.
Closing Hymn:
Can I lie here in Your arms; can I lie here in Your arms
My only calm is You save me

Oh how lovely this place, to be with You, to be with You
Oh the brightness of Your face, here with You, here with You

Oh my only calm is You, Oh my only thought is You
Oh my happiness is You, Oh my happiness is You
To be with You, to be with You