Order of Worship

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost


September 20,  2020                                             10:00 a.m.


Organ Prelude


Call to Worship   

One:  God breathed life into human beings made in God’s image.

All: We remember. So lets give God the glory!

One: God called to a runaway shepherd, Moses,

to lead God’s people out of slavery.

All: We remember. So let’s give God the glory!

One: God, like a pillar of clouds,

led the people through the sea to freedom.

All: We remember. So lets give God the glory!

One: Water flowed like a river from a rock in the wilderness.

All: We remember. So lets give God the glory!

One: God gives us a way when there seems no way.

All: We remember. So we worship today.


Opening Prayer

O God, turn our faces, our voices,

and our lives toward you, so we might know goodness, receive what we most need,

and share the gifts of life with others. Amen.


Storytelling –  “Tensions in the Desert”


Message in Music        


Reading of Scripture                                     Exodus 16:2-15


Message      “Tensions in the Wilderness”       Rev. Laura McLeod



Dedication of Offering

Use these our gifts, O God,

to lead your people from death to life

and from fear to hope.


May our giving strengthen our trust in your power

and loosen our tongues and feet

to celebrate your glory in our lives.




Preparation for Prayer

Silent Prayer

Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer

Like gentle rain from above,

so are your gifts of life to us, great God.

In your mercy, you move our hearts

from anxiety to worship.


Like the sun that rises in the morning,

so is the steadiness of your love

that provides for us.

In your mercy, you move us

from trust in things we’ve made

to trust in your mystery and promises.


Like a surprise gift, a bonus we could never earn,

you offer us new possibilities

and a chance to breathe again.

In your mercy, you move us

from fear to courage in your ways.


Restore in us the daring confidence

that if we take a break and worship you,

if we stop our hands and our heads,

that you will provide for us

out of the storehouse of your goodness.


May we have the imagination to feed those who are hungry

and help the thirsty find fresh water.

May we have the imagination to be companions

to the sick, the lonely, and those in prison.

May we have the awareness that you are present

even in our most lonely, fearful place. And teach us, again, to be your people, as we pray as Jesus taught us saying, Our Father…Amen.




We have been fed by the stories of faith.

We turn our faces into the uncertain places so we may know God.

We have been sustained in the rituals of community.

We turn our lives back to the God of plenty.

May the God of bread and justice accompany us.

May the Spirit surround us with hope as we live in the way of the Christ.




Scripture Reading                                  Exodus 16:2-16 NRSV

The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’” And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.



Storytelling – Tensions in the Desert

Based on Exodus 16:2–15

After God had persuaded Pharaoh to let Moses and the people of Israel leave Egypt, and after God had shown Moses and the people a surprising way to cross the water into freedom, there was still a long, long way to go. The only way to go was to walk. Day after day after day, Moses led the people of Israel further and further away from Egypt and further and further into the desert. The sun was hot during the day. The wind was cold at night. The people ran out of food, and they started to grumble. They said, “We’re so tired and so hungry. We want figs and meat and fish and cucumbers and melons and olives and leeks and garlic and loaves and loaves of bread…all the delicious food we had back in Egypt. We’re dying of hunger out here in the desert.” Moses didn’t know what to do, so Moses asked God. And God took care of the people. That evening, small birds called quail came so the people could catch them, enough for everyone to eat, so no one was hungry. The people grumbled, “We are not used to this kind of meat!” The next morning, fine, flaky wafers of bread called manna appeared on the ground, enough for everyone to eat, so no one was hungry. The people didn’t know what it was. They grumbled, saying “What is this? This isn’t fish, or cucumbers, or figs. And it certainly isn’t melon! Who asked for this?” Moses said, “It’s the bread God has given you to eat.” It wasn’t what the people were used to, and it wasn’t what they wanted, but it was just what they needed. There was enough for everyone to eat so no one was hungry. God was taking care of the people.

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