Service of Holy Communion: Friday, May 13

General Conference
Service of Holy Communion
Friday, May 13, 12:40 PM
As You Go, Be Learning
Bishop Peggy Johnson, Presider

Entrance and Word

Jesus Christ Is the Way


Jesus Christ Is the Way (Chorus)


Jesus calls not the righteous, but sinners.
Jesus calls not the spotless, but the blemished.
Jesus calls not those who can do everything,
but those who know they cannot.
Because Jesus calls us
to learn compassion, not precision,
the beauty of holiness, not the holiness of beauty,
mercy, not sacrifice.

Which are you learning?

Which are you practicing more?

How are you unlearning the sacrifice God does not desire,
and learning instead the mercy God does desire?



Let us pray.

Jesus, your word is plain.
God desires mercy, not sacrifice.

We have learned well what God does not desire.

When we pretend we have no disabilities:
Lord, forgive us. Jesus, teach us mercy.

When we treat as less those who cannot hide their disabilities.
Lord, forgive us. Jesus, teach us mercy.

When we act as if we are self-sufficient,
setting up false gods of pretend perfection,
Lord, forgive us. Jesus, teach us mercy.

When we value leaders over servants,
and being first over serving the least,
Lord, forgive us. Jesus, teach us mercy.

When we determine our own way,
and break the ways of life and communal love you have shown us,
Lord, forgive us. Jesus, teach us mercy.


The sacrifice God desires is a broken spirit;
a broken and a contrite heart, God will never despise.

Our God is full of mercy, abounding in steadfast love.
God forgives our sins, and our failure to learn mercy.
And God calls us to let the peace of Christ
dwell in and among us richly,
that mercy may flourish.

The peace of Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We praise You and we give you thanks
for Your diverse creation,
filled with purposeful interdependence.
Thank you for creating in us an innate desire
to live in community
with a need for the gifts of others.

Thank you for the freedom to be who we truly are:
imperfect in body and mind,
always needing help,
and always needed to help those around us.

You, whole and holy,
live in the eternal community of Triune Love,
and call us, limited and dependent as we are,
into that community with you.
You give and ask of us
ever-flowing mercy, not unblemished sacrifice.

This is why the whole universe worships You.
This is why we join with all heaven and earth
to praise You in an endless chorus of praise:

Holy, Holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and blessed is your son Jesus Christ,
who teaches us the way of mercy, not sacrifice.

We bless you, O God, because
in mercy, not sacrifice, Jesus taught his disciples
not to depend on the money or gifts they could offer,
but on the hospitality and gifts of others.

We give you thanks, O God, because
in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to depend on their own power
to obtain approval,
but to depend upon the power and mercy of others.

We praise your name, O God, because,
in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to seek respectability,
but to connect with all people, including sinners and outcasts,
often told they could not look to heaven for help.

We glorify you, O God, because,
in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to seek intellectual, political
or physical superiority,
but to be the servant of all, of every ability,
even washing their feet.

For it was in mercy, not sacrifice,
that Jesus took bread unable to rise
and blessed you for it,
broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
“Take. Eat. This is my brokenness shared with you.
Eat it, and remember me.”

In mercy, not sacrifice,
he took a cup of wine from the hastily prepared table,
gave you thanks,
and then gave it to his disciples, saying,
“Drink from this all of you,
This is my blood proclaiming the Divine promise of forgiveness
for your failings and those of the world.
Drink it, and remember me.”

So we, subjects of God’s mercy in Christ,
and no longer objects of sacrifice
despite the world’s labelling,
give you ourselves,
our differently abled souls and bodies,
a fragrant offering of praise and thanksgiving,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

Fount of Courage, Breeze of Hope, Breath of Mercy,
stir into these imperfect gifts of bread and wine
the merciful presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ
to bless our lives.

Fount of Courage, Breeze of Hope, Breath of Mercy,
stir the imperfect gift of our lives
into the merciful presence of the church,
the body and bride of Christ to bless the world.

Fount of Courage, Breeze of Hope, Breath of Mercy,
slake the thirsty, the over-looked and the ignored,
refresh the wearied, the abused and the shunned,
breathe life into the dying, the silenced and those left for dead,
so that here and now, as in the age to come,
all flesh in all conditions
may confess your redeeming love.

We pray in the name of the Trinity,
Love of Father, of Spirit, of Son,
Love of Father for Son and Spirit,
Love of Son for Spirit and Father,
Love of Spirit for Father and Son,
Love of Three in One for all,
and Mercy over all,
ever abounding.

And together as one people,
offering our many gifts of language,
let us pray in mercy
as Jesus has taught us:



Thanksgiving After Communion

Almighty God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
Send us now in the strength of the Spirit
to give ourselves for others,
signs of living mercy, not deadly sacrifice;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Therefore go,
all you who have offered your brokenness,
and shared the meal of mercy.

Go, and keep learning
to live what God desires.

And all God’s people sing:

Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.




Jesus Christ is the Way; words and music: Walter Hawkins, © 1977 Bud John Music (BMI)(admin. at Found at #4136 Africana Hymnal.

Thanksgiving after Communion, adapted by Taylor Burton-Edwards, © 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988 The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

Inviting, Confessing, Great Thanksgiving, and Sending by Bishop Peggy Johnson, adapted by Taylor Burton-Edwards, © 2015 The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Used by permission.


Bishops J. Lloyd Knox (right) and Joel Martinez serve Holy Communion during opening worship at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Receiving is delegate Mary jo Dahlberg of Minnesota. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.


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