Service of Adult Baptism and Confirmation

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C. Kit
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[This service has evolved over several years. It reflects our practice of inclusiveness at First Congregational Church, Long Beach and the contemporary language of our young people. It understands that the proper meaning of “faith” is more close to “trust” than to “belief” and that affirmation of beliefs is far less significant than the courageous living-out of faith. Particular care has been given to remove the ambiguity, personalism and possible anti-physical and anti-sexual overtones of more traditional services. Yet it also seeks to remain within Trinitarian orthodoxy.

Process & Faith Table Grace

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(sung to Tallis Canon)

O gracious Giver of all good
And loving keeper of our deeds,
Accept our thanks for this good food
And serve through us our neighbor's needs.

A Brief Communion Service

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Jesus said: I am the bread of life.
All who come to me shall not hunger,
and all who believe in me shall not thirst.

With Christians around the world
and throughout the centuries,
we gather around these symbols
of bread and wine—simple elements
that speak of nourishment and transformation.

Prayer of Invocation

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Creating, beckoning, loving God,
We invoke our heightened attentiveness that you are with us, within us, and beyond us. 
We praise you that you never give up on us. 
We acknowledge we are a stiff-necked people who get stuck without ever intending it. 

So now we breathe in of your life-transforming spirit
and celebrate that you prod and lure us to adventures in living and ministry
that are beyond what we can imagine. 

Pastoral Prayer for the Gulf Oil Spill

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"When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51).

Loving God,
We seek clarity in all the dimensions of our lives--our relationships, our work, our leisure.
Like Jesus, who set his face toward Jerusalem in the certainty that, in so doing, he was being faithful to you,
So we seek to set our faces toward the things that you would have us do, that in so doing, we, too, may be faithful.

With this desire for faithfulness in our hearts, we look at events unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico,

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