Worship for Pride Month and ONA Sunday

Begin your day (Monday through Saturday) with a quiet and centering experience of Morning Prayer at 9 am and 12 noon EDT. It’s a 20-minute service based on ancient Christian practices of daily prayer, with Taizé chant, a psalm, reading, prayer and silence. Our Sunday Night Worship at 7 pm EDT is taking a summer vacation in July – but will be back. Both services will continue for the duration of the pandemic, and are scheduled to assure there is no conflict with Sunday morning virtual worship in congregations. For security reasons, we cannot publish the Zoom address on our website, but write Andy Lang at ed@openandaffirming.org and we’ll share it with you!

Resources for Open and Affirming Sunday

A recording of the National 2020 Open and Affirming Service is available on our YouTube page.

A second full video service – recorded and ready to use – is available. It can be accessed here: Open and Affirming Sunday 2020. The password to access the recording is 7w#e&Al1

Please also plan to attend our national ONA Sunday Evening service, at 7 pm on June 28th. Find out more information and how to register on our Facebook event page. This service will be unique and different from the recorded option that will be available this Friday.

Call to Worship (Psalm 13)
One: How long, O Lord?
ALL: How long must your lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people hide, afraid to come out to wholeness?
One: How long, O Lord?
ALL: How long must our Black, Latinx, and Indigenous siblings bear the scars our legacy of white supremacy and racism have left on this nation, on this world?
One: How long, O Lord?
ALL: Before the lament we carry in our souls is heard and comforted?
One: Divine Beloved, we have trusted in your steadfast love.
ALL: Our hearts have rejoiced at the promise of your mercy and compassion.
One: This Open and Affirming Sunday, let us sing to the Lord, Our God.
ALL: Let us raise the songs of our ancestors, committing to walk in justice and mercy, until all God’s people are free. (KFR, 2020)

Call to Worship
One: Those who are thirsty, come to the fount that will not dry up.
ALL: We bring our thirst here to be quenched.
One: Those who are weary, Spirit is a ready refuge.
ALL: We bring our weariness that we might find rest.  
One: Those who feel lost, come to the One who knows the way.
ALL: Lead us by the hand, by our hearts, and by hope. (MK, 2020)

Call to Worship
One: From ancient times to this present day, people have gathered in sacred spaces like this one.
ALL: Moments of time fold together when we immerse ourselves in love and connection.
One: We ask for Divine Love to be revealed to us in this gathering.
ALL: We open our spirits to the depth and breadth of Divine Presence.
One: We listen for sacred whisperings and await holy joy to be written on our hearts.
ALL: Being truly ourselves, we come together in this eternal moment.
One: We bring our prayers to you as one community, one assembled body
ALL: Transgender, Nonbinary, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Intersex, Gay, Queer, Ally. Beloved people of God. We come, and we pledge our commitment to walk the path of Jesus. (MK, 2020)

Call to Worship
One: We come today, representing all the majesty of creation
ALL: Diverse and beautiful, blessed and beloved, all made in the image of the Creator of all things.
One: We come today, called to this time and this place by an infinite God
ALL: Who hears our cries and responds with love and mercy.
One: We come today, Transgender, Nonbinary, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Intersex, Gay, Queer, Ally
ALL: We come today, knowing you will listen and answer our needs.
One: We come today, to deliver our joined prayers of hope.
ALL: We come today, a people mourning still our losses, still recovering from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and the pandemic of institutionalized racism that has plagued our world for too many centuries.
One: We come today, knowing you care for us
ALL: We come today, knowing that even when others reject us, your arms are open to offer comfort. We come. (KFR, 2020)

Call to Worship (Psalm 89)
One: I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever.
ALL: With my mouth, I will declare your faithfulness to this generation and all generations.
One: Your steadfast love is established forever.
ALL: Your faithfulness as firm as the strongest oak, as strong as the heavens themselves.
One: You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, my servant David”
ALL: Following you, we have established our own covenant with you and each other, to affirm the lives of our transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay siblings, to invite them into the full life and ministry of your Church, our church.
One: For you are the glory of their strength, of our strength
ALL: By your favor, our burdens are lifted. For your steadfast love endures all things. (KFR, 2020)

Unison Prayer
Holy One of Blessing, eternally we co-create ourselves in your love.
All companionship orientations;
All gender identities and expressions;
All ways of having family.
We celebrate LGBTQ+ peoples everywhere
Knowing that many are still not safe to come out;
To be free;
To live life abundantly.
Heal all who are ill in body, mind, heart or spirit.
Bind up all wounds and provide adequate care.
Extinguish any stigma people are enduring.
We celebrate because everyone should be celebrated.
We are your body on earth.
May our love and hope be sent on the wings of this prayer
To all who need refreshing, affirmation, and love’s embrace.
May it be so. Amen. (MK, 2020)

Unison Prayer – based on We are Descendants by Lavon Baylor
We are descendants of your righteous ones,
Those who obeyed, you Beloved children,
Greeting your covenant with joyous praise
Through fearful nights and problem laden days.
 
You were our refuge through all times of change,
When the world seemed harsh and strange.
We followed your lead even when the path was obscured,
the way to grace hidden behind our own fear.
 
God, we witness the violence of the world,
Too often callously dispensed against the most vulnerable,
Too often targeting our Black, Latinx, and Indigenous siblings.
You deliver us from a world filled with inequities.
 
Forgive us, God, for breaking our covenants.
Forgive us, God, for those moments when we stayed silent and ignored your command to speak.
Forgive us, God, for those times when we witnessed harm and did not intervene.
Forgive us, O God, for those moments when we forgot to act always in love for one another.
 
We have been blessed with gifts so manifold!
Heaven and earth, and wonders yet untold.
Proclaim your love divine, O God of Light.
May we, your people, reaffirm our covenant in your name.
Pledging to walk as allies, as disciples, as friends committed to the Way of your child, Jesus.
Amen.
(Lavon Baylor, 2014; edits by KFR, 2020)

Unison Prayer based on Romans 6
 God, we come before you in these mortal bodies,
Pledging that we will become instruments of peace, love and hope.
Christ called us to serve as disciples to all nations, to all people.
We commit to serving without fear, learning how to serve as Jesus served,
Seeing the beloved-ness of your people, people set free from sin through the sacrifice of the Cross.
Let us be instruments to glorify you, O God.
Let our hearts and minds hear the message of love and hope delivered on Calvary.
God of all truth and goodness, help us to set aside shame,
Shame that has no advantage.
Shame that does not reflect the good news, that we have been given eternal life.
Let us be obedient to the work Jesus entrusted to us,
Let us hear his teaching, and through it learn how we are to treat one another.
Hear this prayer of our hearts, O God. Amen. (KFR, 2020)

Unison Prayer based on Matthew 10:
 God, your child Jesus taught us to welcome each other, but welcome often seems too little in this world.
Welcome, without affirmation, becomes an empty promise,
Devoid of the lesson that to truly welcome each other means to see the face of God in each other.
We commit to affirm all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,
Welcoming them and Affirming them as God’s beloved creations.
You taught us that whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will see a prophet’s reward;
That whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous.
We know that until we are all free, none of us can be free,
And we commit to co-creating that world of welcome and affirmation until all people can access that promise. Amen. (KFR, 2020)

Unison Prayer
Together we defy the darkness by being the Light. We make violence tremble by being peacemakers. When chaos and trauma cause distress, we counter by reaching for love and remembering joy. This day, when people are going hungry, give us bread to share. This day, when people are angry and hurtful, give us forgiveness to offer. When there is so much temptation to be selfish and careless, this day give us the strength to be kind and intentional. Remind us that we are all born holy and deserve love and tenderness. In the many names of Love, may it be so. (MK, 2020)

Offertory Prayer
We are all one human family. In your love you created us. Through your grace you reach out to us. You are great enough to hold us all in your arms at the same time. Help us to open our hearts to the world that you love. Teach us to weave our lives together. We yield to Spirit, offering what we have to the greater good. In this way, each day, we begin again in love. Amen. (MK, 2020)

Offertory Prayer
One It is a gift to be able to give something away.
ALL: We are called to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
One: Spirit of Love, look upon us now.
ALL: Bless these gifts; those we can see and those we cannot.
One: May our hopes come true for the better world we dream of
ALL: As we work together in love. Amen. (MK, 2020)

Offertory Prayer
For all the great and wondrous things you have done for us, O God, we are grateful. You give us strength to go on when we are troubled and discouraged. You grant newness of life as we share in Christ’s resurrection. We want to pass on the good news through this offering and by the way we live each day. Lead us, and guide us with your steadfast love, that we might channel your gifts to all we meet. Amen. (Lavon Baylor, 2014)

Prayer
Gracious God, you love all that you have created, and you celebrate the diversity of your creation. Throughout your history with your people, you have reminded us that those whom the world sees as the least are the greatest in your eyes. We ask that you give us the grace to celebrate with our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers as they choose to live authentically in the world. Teach us to honor and celebrate their gifts and help us to create a world in which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teenagers and adults are loved, accepted and celebrated, in every gathering and every congregation. We ask this in your many names. Amen. (revised from Religious Institute)

Responsive Reading
One: Each of us is created with worth, imbued with dignity.
ALL: We are the representation of God’s love in the world.
One: We are diverse in our experiences, vast in our manifestation of how love looks
ALL: Our families are all different, but each represents and honors the many ways that your people live and love.
One: Our lives are enriched when LGBTQIA+ people are welcomed and affirmed in our churches and communities.
ALL: Our lives are enriched when our Black, Latinx, and Indigenous neighbors are affirmed.
One: Your words, shared in Scripture, call us to be a people of justice.
ALL: We all suffer when any LGBT person is oppressed, excluded, or shamed.
One: When justice is denied to any of us, justice is denied to all of us.
ALL: Until we are all free, none of us are free.
One: May we work to build a world where all people are affirmed with love. 
ALL: Our sexual and gender diversity enriches us, creates joy in our lives. Joy given by and through you.
 
ALL: In your name, we pledge to go out to share these blessings with the world. (KFR, 2020)

Blessing
Continue to serve with faith and love,
Depart from this time today committed to sharing the best of yourself,
Through generosity of time and resources,
Meeting the needs of others, both spoken and unspoken, seen and unseen, heard and unheard
As the God of healing has healed us,
Let us go now and share that compassion with the world,
Let us go and greet our beloved transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay siblings,
Our Black, Latinx, Indigenous, siblings
Sharing the good news that they are seen, they are heard, they are Beloved.
Go now in hope. Amen. (KFR, 2020)

MK = The Rev. Mak Kneebone; KRF = ONA Program Minister Kimi Floyd Reisch

 

Hymn Suggestions:
 
From the New Century Hymnal
            Recorded versions of many of these hymns are available
 
3: Wakantanka Taku Nitawa (Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works)
11: Bring Many Names
28: For the Beauty of the Earth
30. Colorful Creator
58: Spirit of Love
106: My Heart Sings Out with Joyful Praise
175: O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come
177: God of Change and Glory
207: Just as I Am
249: Peace I Leave with You, My Friends
274: Womb of Life, and Source of Being
286: Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness
351: I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry
362: When Love is Found
388: Help Us Accept Each Other
391: In the Midst of New Dimensions
392: En Santa Hermandad (United by God’s Love)
402: De Colores (Sing of Colors)
433: In the Bulb There is a Flower
437: We Shall Not Give Up the Fight
461: Let Us Hope when Hope Seems Hopeless
467: Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth
471: What a Covenant
495: Called as Partners in Christ’s Service
502: Dear God, Embracing Humankind
511: I Love My God, Who Heard My Cry
524/525: This Little Light of Mine
576: For the Healing of the Nations
581: Lead Us From Death to Life
 
Other Sources:
Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming The LGBTQIA2S+ Community  (https://thehymnsociety.org/resources/songs-for-the-holy-other/). Many of these songs have been recorded by the artists.
All Belong Here – The Many (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJBEwqBfw3I)