A Liturgy for Native American Sunday
Spirit of Harmony and Wholeness
Call to Worship
Leader: God, the Eternal Spirit,
brooded over the face of the deep in creative contemplation.
People: Now the created world’s forests and mountains,
rivers and seas, savannahs and plains,
stars and planets sing praises to God.
Leader: Of one blood our God made all people.
People: We join in creation’s song of praise.
Leader: See what love the Father has given us,
People: That we should be called the children of God.
—based on1 John 3:1
Call to Confession
Leader: How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods
and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?
People: Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
—based on 1 John 3:17-18
Prayer of Confession (unison)
O God, we confess that the pages of U.S. national history are spattered with the blood of Native Americans, and that still today, many of your Indian children languish in severe poverty and despair. Too often their plight remains unnoticed among those who have not walked the Trail of Tears. Show us the path of justice and grant us the courage to pursue it, in the name of the one who lives in the “least of these.” Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Leader: But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done,
but according to his mercy,
through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
People: This Spirit God poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that, having been justified by his grace,
we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
—based on Titus 3:4-7
Prayer for Illumination
O God, your son Jesus taught that you are Spirit, and that we who worship you must worship in spirit and truth. Awaken our minds and hearts to receive your truth, and ignite our spirit with the flame of your Spirit, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Possibilities for the Sermon
- Exodus 33:12-23
- Possible Sermon Themes or Ideas
- “Consider, too, that this nation is your people” (v. 13)
- “There is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock (v. 21)
- “I will put you in the cleft of the rock” (v. 22)
- “You shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.” (v. 23)
Prayers of the People
Leader: Since the early 1800s
Cumberland Presbyterians have had a witness among Native American peoples, especially with the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee Nations.
Mission groups have served among the Lakota Sioux, as well as other Nations.
People: God of all, shine the light of your gospel
among all peoples and nations in our time.
Leader: Today Choctaw Presbytery in southeastern Oklahoma has seven congregations, five ordained ministers, two candidates for ministry, and a presbyterial administrator.
The presbytery, comprised of small, rural congregations,
struggles with limited resources and relies on sacrificial leadership.
People: O God, strengthen, we pray, the churches of Choctaw Presbytery—
Cold Creek, Lone Star, McGee Chapel, Panki Bok,
Pigeon Roost, Rock Creek, and Round Lake.
Grant wisdom and perseverance in difficult circumstances
to the clergy and lay leaders of Choctaw Presbytery.
Leader: Camp Israel Folsum, named for the first Choctaw ordained to the ministry,
has been a powerful vessel of spiritual growth since 1969
for generations of Choctaw believers,
and as a channel for service and support
among countless non-Indian CPC congregations and individuals,
as well as Christians from other denominations.
People: Spirit of the Living God,
fall afresh on the ongoing work of Camp Israel Folsum
and its dedicated volunteers.
Leader: Cumberland Presbyterians, including Native Americans,
have a continuing calling to serve the cause of Christ among Indian peoples.
People: Spirit of truth,
open our eyes to opportunities to share heart and hope in tangible ways
among Native Americans, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invitation to the Offering
God gives us good things, including the gifts of cultures different from our own. Art, language, music, craftsmanship, and saga from the tribes and nations of indigenous peoples are blessings often overlooked. In gratitude for all God’s good gifts, we make our offerings today.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Spirit of harmony and wholeness, breathe upon these offerings to cleanse and enliven them for your holy work, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Charge and Benediction
Reflecting the Light of the world, be children of light. Following the Prince of Peace, be peacemakers. Built on the Rock, be the church.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of God,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen.