The Abingdon Worship Annual 2014

The Abingdon Worship Annual 2014

by Mary J. Scifres


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426758256
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Edition description: Annual
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mary Scifres is a United Methodist pastor, teacher, and consultant who inspires and equips twenty-first-century leaders in creative worship, church growth, visioning, and strategic planning. She is co-author of The United Methodist Music and Worship Planner and its ecumenical counterpart, Prepare!, and author of the worship evangelism book Searching for Seekers. A graduate of Boston University, she holds both the Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Music degrees. Mary lives in Laguna Beach, California.

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The Abingdon Worship Annual 2014

Contemporary and Traditional Resources for Worship Leaders

By Mary J. Scifres, B. J. Beu

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2013 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-5825-6


JANUARY 1, 2014

New Year

Mary J. Scifres




Ecclesiastes 3:1-13; Psalm 8; Revelation 21:1-6a; Matthew 25:31-46


Contrasts are everywhere in today's readings: birth and death, mourning and dancing, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, hungering and feeding, and even sheep who give and goats who neglect. As the new year begins, we face the contrast of our hopes and dreams against the backdrop of the realities we face. Contrasts are everywhere in our lives. Even as 2013 comes to an end, 2014 arrives with new possibilities. Even as we resolve to pray faithfully, eat healthily, and give generously, we are tempted to ignore soul, body, and community in the wake of old habits and long-settled choices. Choosing one path may depart from other paths, but scripture reminds us that these separate paths are somehow connected, even the paths of life and death. Even in the Christmas season, we are shown the Easter truth that life can arise in the midst of death.


Call to Worship (Ecclesiastes 3, New Year)

After weeks of rushing and responding,
this is a season to stop and reflect.
Even when sounds and lessons overwhelm us,
this is a season to listen and learn.
Even when sorrow and loneliness abound,
this is a season to laugh and love.
Even when life disappoints us,
this is a season to hope and believe.
In this season of possibilities, Christ walks with us
through the marshes of entrenched obstacles.
We are not alone.
Walk into the new year with God.
This is a season of new beginnings.

Opening Prayer (Ecclesiastes 3, Matthew 25)

God of new beginnings and faithful endings,
walk with us into this new year.
Show us the majesty of your presence,
that we may walk forth in light and hope.
As we listen to your word,
help us learn the lesson of contrasts.
Help us recognize your presence
in every aspect of life—
birth and death,
tears and laughter,
losing and finding,
waging war and establishing peace.
God of both sheep and goats,
guide us to walk with you into this new year
with hearts full of expectant longing. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Matthew 25)

Forgive us, O God,
when we stand with the goats,
pretending not to see you
when faced with hunger
or the agony of grief.
Forgive us, O God,
when we neglect the needs around us
and the possibilities of hope
we would bring to others
if we chose to share our gifts.
Forgive us, O God, forgive us.
(A time of silence may follow.)

Words of Assurance (Revelation 21, Matthew 25)

Truly I tell you, that the end of the goats
need not be our ending.
For Christ is our righteousness,
and God is making all things new,
wiping away tears and offering new beginnings
with each new day.
Come, beloved, inherit God's realm,
even as we create it here on earth!

Passing the Peace of Christ (Ecclesiastes 3)

For everything, there is a time and a season: a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. This is a time for love and peace, and for reconciliation and forgiveness in the body of Christ. Let us not go into the new year with feelings of hate or with words of anger and resentment. Come, let us forgive the wrongs of the past, and share the peace of Christ, just as Christ has shared God's peace and forgiveness with us.

Introduction to the Word (Ecclesiastes 3, Matthew 25)

Listen to the contrasts of God's truth ... hope arises from despair, laughter co-exists with sorrow, sheep walk alongside goats, rich walk alongside the poor. All have equal opportunity to serve God and God's people among us. Listen for the word of God.

Response to the Word (Revelation 21, Matthew 25)

God of new beginnings and faithful endings,
walk with us into this new year.
Open our eyes to see you
in everyone we meet.
Open our hearts to welcome others
with the same love we would greet Jesus.
Live in us,
that we might shine light
into shadows of sorrow,
that we might offer hope
to those hungering for mercy and joy.
With faith in new beginnings, we pray this day. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (Matthew 25)

Among us are people who suffer hunger and thirst. Our neighborhoods are filled with people who are lonely and in need of our welcome. Our towns hide people who are dressed in rags and are in need of warm clothing. Jesus is among us: here, on the street, in our town, in our world. Do you see Christ? Do you hear the need? Let us walk as Christ's sheep and give to God's world.

Offering Prayer (Matthew 25)

Bless these gifts, guide our actions,
and strengthen our souls, Holy One:
that all who are naked
may find clothing and shelter,
that all who are hungry and who thirst
may find nourishment and refreshment,
and that all who are lonely and imprisoned
may find love and companionship.
This is our offering.
This is our prayer.
This is your word, living in us
and going forth from us
to care for your world, O God.

Blessing of the Love Feast (Matthew 25, New Year, Love Feast)

(In the Methodist tradition, many congregations celebrate a Moravian love feast as part of a Watch Night service or alongside John Wesley's Covenant service. In addition to this unison prayer, which is intended for use in a love feast, see additional resources for this service and website references in the New Year Resources appendix online.)

God of abundant love,
bless these gifts of food and drink,
that even as we are nourished,
we may nourish others.
Help us share the abundance
of love and generosity
that flow in our lives.
As we taste the sweetness of this offering,
may we be a sweet offering for your world.
As we share in the refreshing gift of drink,
may we pour ourselves freely with love and grace
into the lives of neighbors, friends,
and strangers.
God of abundant love, bless us,
that we may be a blessing to others.

(See January 1 in The Abingdon Worship Annual 2013 for a Great Thanksgiving and Communion Prayer for traditional communion services.)


Benediction (Matthew 25)

The home of God is among us, even now.
May we bring God's home
to all who are homeless and alone.

The love of God is in us, even now.
May we bring God's love to those we meet,
even the despised and the hated.

The life of Christ is ours, even now.
May we be light and life
for a hurting and dying world.

The power of the Spirit blesses us, even now.
May we live to bring a happy new year
to everyone we meet.


Gathering Words (Ecclesiastes 3, New Year)

The past year is ending. A new year is beginning.
Some people are laughing and rejoicing.
Others are crying and filled with grief.
This is a time of old and new, gladness and sorrow,
despair and hope.
As we face the contrasts of the turning of the year,
may we behold the grace of God
that is always with us.

Praise Sentences (Ecclesiastes 3, Revelation 21, New Year)

This is a time to laugh and sing!
God's love is always with us!
This is a time to rejoice and praise!
God's joy is always with us!
This is a time to celebrate the new year!
God's Spirit is always with us!

JANUARY 5, 2014

Second Sunday after Christmas

Mary J. Scifres




Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:(1-9), 10-18


This seldom-celebrated Sunday of the lectionary year always falls between New Year and Epiphany and usually gets lost in the shuffle of those two celebrations. However, the readings offer a different perspective on Christmas, particularly for those congregations that do not celebrate Christmas Sunday with the reading from John 1. Focusing on John's birth poem, this day celebrates light and life, as we move into the season following Epiphany.


Call to Worship (John 1)

The light of the world is here.
Christ is among us now.
The light of life is ours.
Christ's life brings grace and truth.
The light of God shines anew.
Christ's light brings love to a weary world.


Call to Worship (John 1)

In the beginning was the Word.
And the Word was with God.
And the Word was God.
Christ is our Word, from the beginning.
The light of God shines in the darkness.
Christ is our Light, shining with glory.
Christ has come, full of grace and truth.
In the beginning was the Word.
And the Word was with God.
And the Word was God.

Opening Prayer

Light of the world,
shine upon us this day.
Enlighten us with your wisdom,
and free us with your grace.
Embolden us with your confidence,
to proclaim for all to hear
that your light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not, will not,
and cannot overcome it.
In the light of your truth, we pray. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (John 1)

Light of the world,
shine upon us this day.
Shine with truth into the darkest places of our lives,
that we may face the reality of our fears
and our sins.
Shine with grace into the shadows of our hearts,
that we may know your forgiveness and love.
Shine with clarity into our world,
that we may recognize sinful situations
and oppressive systems.
Shine with truth and justice into our communities,
that your light may overcome the darkness
of hatred and violence.
Shine with compassion into our lives,
that we may radiate with your brightness—
forgiven and reconciled,
refreshed and restored,
shining for all the world to see.

Words of Assurance (John 1)

The light of Christ shines and shines and shines.
The light of Christ shines so brightly
that the darkness has not, will not,
and cannot overcome it.
Rejoice, for the light of our forgiveness
comes from the Light of the world!

Passing the Peace of Christ (John 1)

Share light and life, my friends, as we pass the peace of Christ with one another.

Introduction to the Word (John 1)

The true light that gives light to all is coming into the world. Look ... listen ... for the Word is with us now.

Introduction or Response to the Word (John 1)

Do you see the light of Christ?
Do you hear the word of God?
Christ is among us now.
God is speaking to us still.
In the world, making the world, loving the world,
God is with us, here and now.

Response to the Word or Benediction (John 1)

In the beginning was the Word.
At the end is the Word.
In the middle is the Word.
In all of life is the Word.
The Word was with God.
And the Word is God.
The Word was with us, and is with us.
Thanks be to God for this marvelous gift!


Invitation to the Offering (Ephesians 1, John 1)

Blessed with every spiritual blessing, we are the people of God, the church of Christ. May we share our blessings as we give our tithes and offerings, our lives and our love. Come, let us bless others as we have been blessed. Let us shine light for the world, as light has shined upon us.

Offering Prayer (John 1)

God of love and light,
shine through the gifts we bring to your table.
Shine through our lives and our ministry,
that your radiance may bring hope and life
to a world shadowed by sorrow and need.
In the light of your generous love, we pray. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving (Christmas)

(See The United Methodist Book of Worship, pp. 56–57, for a Great Thanksgiving focused on Christmas readings and John 1.)


Benediction (John 1)

Christ's life is our light.
May we shine as light for God's world!
Christ's love is our truth.
May we go forth as love in God's world!


Gathering Words (John 1)

Light and life, love and grace ... Christ is all of these.
Light and life, love and grace ... we are all of these.


Gathering Words (John 1)

The light of God is shining.
Christ is our light!
The light shines, even in the darkest places.
Christ is our light!
The true light lives among us.
Christ is our light!
The light of God is full of grace and truth.
Christ is our light!
Thanks be to God.

Praise Sentences (John 1)

The light shines in the darkest night.
Christ's light is beautiful and bright.
The light shines in the darkest night.
Christ's light is beautiful and bright.


Excerpted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2014 by Mary J. Scifres, B. J. Beu. Copyright © 2013 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


January 1, 2014 New Year,
January 5, 2014 Second Sunday after Christmas,
January 6, 2014 Epiphany of the Lord,
January 12, 2014 Baptism of the Lord,
January 19, 2014 Second Sunday after the Epiphany,
January 26, 2014 Third Sunday after the Epiphany,
February 2, 2014 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany,
February 9, 2014 Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany,
February 16, 2014 Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany,
February 23, 2014 Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany,
March 2, 2014 Transfiguration Sunday,
March 5, 2014 Ash Wednesday,
March 9, 2014 First Sunday in Lent,
March 16, 2014 Second Sunday in Lent,
March 23, 2014 Third Sunday in Lent,
March 30, 2014 Fourth Sunday in Lent; One Great Hour of Sharing,
April 6, 2014 Fifth Sunday in Lent,
April 13, 2014 Palm/ Passion Sunday,
April 17, 2014 Holy Thursday,
April 18, 2014 Good Friday: A Service of Tenebrae,
April 20, 2014 Easter Sunday,
April 27, 2014 Second Sunday of Easter,
May 4, 2014 Third Sunday of Easter,
May 11, 2014 Fourth Sunday of Easter; Festival of the Christian Home / Mother's Day,
May 18, 2014 Fifth Sunday of Easter,
May 25, 2014 Sixth Sunday of Easter,
May 29, 2014 Ascension Day,
June 1, 2014 Seventh Sunday of Easter; Proper 4,
June 8, 2014 Pentecost Sunday; Proper 5,
June 15, 2014 Trinity Sunday; Father's Day,
June 22, 2014 Second Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 7,
June 29, 2014 Third Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 8,
July 6, 2014 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 9,
July 13, 2014 Fifth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 10,
July 20, 2014 Sixth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 11,
July 27, 2014 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 12,
August 3, 2014 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 13,
August 10, 2014 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 14,
August 17, 2014 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 15,
August 24, 2014 Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 16,
August 31, 2014 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 17,
September 7, 2014 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 18,
September 14, 2014 Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 19,
September 21, 2014 Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 20,
September 28, 2014 Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 21,
October 5, 2014 Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost; World Communion Sunday; Proper 22,
October 12, 2014 Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 23,
October 19, 2014 Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 24,
October 26, 2014 Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost; Reformation Sunday; Proper 25,
November 1, 2014 All Saints Day,
November 2, 2014 Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 26,
November 9, 2014 Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 27,
November 16, 2014 Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 28,
November 23, 2014 Reign of Christ / Christ the King Sunday; Proper 29,
November 27, 2014 Thanksgiving Day,
November 30, 2014 First Sunday of Advent,
December 7, 2014 Second Sunday of Advent,
December 14, 2014 Third Sunday of Advent,
December 21, 2014 Fourth Sunday of Advent,
December 24, 2014 Christmas Eve,
December 25, 2014 Christmas Day,
December 28, 2014 First Sunday after Christmas,
Scripture Index,
Communion Prayer and Liturgies Index,

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