Leader Resource 2: Creating the Closing Worship
In this program, the closing worship circle offers a time for the group to come back together to enrich each other's understanding of the story and of their own life experiences. This is not a show-and-tell, but a participatory, co-created worship. You will need to do just enough planning to provide a container for participants to share with one another and grow in spirit. You cannot script a co-created worship service, but you can guide it so that all participants feel heard and valued, and all hear and value the voices and experiences of others, regardless of age or life stage.
Here are suggested elements for the closing worship for Workshop 2, David and Nathan — You are That Man! Add, subtract, and adapt to fit your situation.
Use the Desmond Tutu quote that begins this workshop.
Use chalice lighting words familiar to your congregation or use Reading 452 from Singing the Living Tradition.
Telling Nathan's Story
If you had a group using Alternate Activity 1, Making Sheep to Retell Nathan's Story, invite participants to use their sheep and retell the story. Invite them to tell the large group why what the rich person did was wrong and how the poor person felt.
What would Nathan speak out about today? Collage
Invite the group that created a "This is Wrong!" collage (Activity 7) to share their collage and name some of the things in today's world that call for us to be prophets and speak out for justice and fairness.
When are we called to be prophets in our time?
Invite members of the discussion group (Activity 5) to share part of their conversation about Nathan's accusation and when/how Nathan would want to speak against the same kind of injustice today. Invite them to share any examples from their own lives of when they have filled any of these roles (the rich person taking more then their share, the poor person having things taken from them, or the prophet speaking against wrong behavior and calling for justice).
Wearing the Prophet's Mantle
Invite the group that created mantles of the prophet to share some of the ways in which they practiced speaking out against injustice. Invite members of the other small groups to suggest other "prophetic" statements that members of this group can make.
Begin a meditation or prayer as you normally would in your congregation. Then say, "There are times when we have had things unfairly taken from us like the poor man in the story." Invite participants to remember those times, and say "We remember how that felt." Then say, "There are times when we have taken more than our share" and invite participants to hold those moments in their hearts. Invite all to feel sorry in their own hearts. Then say, "There are times when we need to be like the prophet Nathan and speak with the prophet's voice about what is good and right. We pray for/need courage to do that," and invite participants to speak aloud if they choose about some of those times. End by saying, "Help us to/may we remember that we are not alone when we, like Nathan, speak and act with our prophet's voice and mantle. We have family, friends, this congregation, and God/Spirit of Life/Spirit of Justice with us when we do that. End the meditation or prayer as you normally would in your congregation.
Choose some music about being a prophet. You might choose a recorded piece to play, such as "If I had a Hammer" by Peter, Paul, and Mary or explain and teach a song such as Hymn 170 in Singing the Living Tradition, "We are a Gentle Angry People" or Hymn 1014 in Singing the Journey, "Standing on the Side of Love."
Use words familiar to your congregation.