Monday, November 20, 2017

For November 26, 2017 -- REign of Christ, Using Isaiah 9:2-7

OPENING PRAYER
God, in the beginning you said “Let there be light!”
And there was light.
As time goes by it seems that darkness keeps trying to win.
But your light shines in the darkness and the darkness can not overcome it.
As we gather here to worship, to celebrate the Love which binds us together as your family,
shine in our lives, enlighten our hearts, brighten our world.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who called himself the light of the world, who challenged us to share the light with others, and who taught us to pray saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God, you call us to live as people of the Light.
But the shadows grow long and we feel darkness overtaking us.
You call us to be people of hope.
But we listen to the latest news and despair seems so much more realistic.
You call us to pass the light on to from one neighbour to another.
But sometimes in the shadows it is difficult to see if one is a neighbour or an enemy.
God of Grace, God of Hope, God of light,
help us overcome our fear, remind us that the darkness can not overcome your light.
...time of silent prayer...
The people that walked in darkness have seen a brilliant light; on those who dwelt in a land of gloom light has dawned.” Dawn is breaking. In its light God calls us to be renewed, to live as people of the Light.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
Dawn is breaking, the darkness fades.
The Light is coming into the world.
Though we may walk in darkness, real or symbolic.
The Light is coming into the world.
We go out to celebrate that God’s Kingdom, the Reign of Peace and Hope, is coming.
We go out to share the Light.
We go with God, who was in the beginning, who is in the present, who will be in the future.
The Light that no darkness can overcome. Amen.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

For October 22, 2017 -- the Call of Samuel

CALL TO WORSHIP
In the hustle and bustle of life we hear a whisper.
Urging us forward, challenging how we see the world.
In response to the whisper we gather with the community of faith.
Here we say “Speak God, your children are listening”
God has called us together
Here we seek to understand how God would have us live.
As we gather for worship we turn to the members of our faith family and greet each other with words and signs of Christ’s Peace.

OPENING PRAYER
Loving God, we open our hearts and souls to you.
In this time of worship whisper in our ears,
fill us with a Word to share with each other
and give us the courage to share that Word.
Then, we pray, lead us back into the world,
to share the promise of love, to share the vision of the Kingdom
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Word made flesh, who taught his friends to pray saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God we grow comfortable, and we seek rest.
But you continue to whisper in our ears.
We hear the whisper but we fail to understand what it is,
or we fail to help others know what they hear.
Then we wake up, we realize the truth and we listen.
But sometimes the words are hard, and we would rather pretend we did not hear them.
God of grace, God of wisdom,
open our ears to hear hard truths.
God of grace, God of wisdom, God who calls us to action,
give us the courage to share hard truths with the world around us.
God of grace, God who knows us deeply,
touch our hearts, calm our fears,
hear our confession for those times we choose not to listen and for those times we choose not to respond.
...time of silent prayer...
God is gracious and forgiving. God continues to call us until we respond. When we slip or miss the mark God calls us to learn and to try again. We are forgiven, and in God’s grace we are called forward.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
Our time of worship draws to a close
and we prepare to go back to our living and working and serving.
As you go, keep your ears open for the whisper,
where God’s voice intersects our daily life.
And when you hear it,
we commit ourselves to listen and to respond.
Go with God, who has created and is creating; with Jesus, the Word made flesh, who redeems and makes new; and with the Spirit who sustains and strengthens us
Always, wherever we go.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Christ Candle for Fall 2017

The Psalmist writes: “Thy word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”
As this flame shines in our gathering, so may God’s Word of hope and love shine in our hearts.
Guided by God's Light, we center ourselves for worship.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

FOr September 17, 2017 -- To Go with JAcob's Dream

OPENING PRAYER
God we gather for worship,
here we sing and pray and listen, we might even dream.
God we gather seeking your comforting presence,
to remind us that we are not alone, to share a blessing.
God we gather to be changed,
to be moved from lives of fear to lives of love.
God we gather to be sent back out,
to share the blessings of life, to remind folks that you are with them, to declare “surely the Lord is in this place”.
We offer these prayers, we offer ourselves, in the name of Jesus, who teaches us to pray saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of grace, like Jacob we sometimes use trickery and deception for personal gain,
assuming that we need to look out for ourselves first.
God of grace, like Rebekah we sometimes plot against others to support a favoured one,
seeing our own agenda, our own hope, as the best way.
God of grace, like Esau we are sometimes overcome by our anger and plot revenge,
because life is unfair and we feel that we have lost something precious.
God of grace, like Jacob we sometimes find ourselves bound by rules that do not allow us to correct the wrongs done to others,
and so withhold blessings that should be shared widely, increasing anger and hurt.
God of grace, we acknowledge our shortcomings and open our hearts and souls to your grace
even as we pledge to live differently, to put aside deception and anger, to work for the advancement of all.
God of grace, in and through your grace and mercy,
forgive us, empower us, move us forward as your beloved children, each of us with our own blessing. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
Like Jacob, we are people on a journey,
sometimes fleeing from danger, sometimes heading home.
As we journey, we meet other travellers.
Sharing with them the words of comfort we have gained along the path.
And when we find shelter,
we offer a safe place to those who continue to journey.
Journey with God, who guides us, who supports us, who comforts us, who blesses us
Wherever we go. Thanks and praise. Amen.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Litany of Hope for July 2, 2017 -- #Canada150

we look at where we have come for, we see where we are – the positive and the negative,
and we ask what comes next.
God of our future,
we dream of what yet will be, we dream of who we could become
...looking into a future of possibilities
we commit ourselves to live as people of The Way, people of love.

WE dream of abundance,
a country where all our neighbours have what they need for safe, healthy lives,
a place where food, shelter, education, safety and employment are provided to all
...looking into a future of possibilities
we commit ourselves to live as people of The Way, people of love.

WE dream about the land,
seeking a time where we learn how to balance ecology and economy
envisioning a nation where we do indeed live in respect with creation.
...looking into a future of possibilities
we commit ourselves to live as people of The Way, people of love.

We dream of leadership,
trusting that Canada has a place in your global community
hoping that Canada can be a force for peace and justice
...looking into a future of possibilities
we commit ourselves to live as people of The Way, people of love.

We dream of reconciliation and right-relations
for relationships that are rebuilt
for respect between members of the various communities that make up this national
for open and truthful naming of injuries both old and new, and then actively working towards the healing of those injuries
...looking into a future of possibilities
we commit ourselves to live as people of The Way, people of love.

We dream of the Kingdom,
even as we know that the Kingdom is larger than our country, we trust that the Kingdom includes our country
we dream of the day when the values of the Kingdom: peacemaking, unconditional love, community, hospitality, generosity, compassion, and passionate justice are embraced as Canadian values
as those who carry the name of Christ, as those who hear Christ’s call for transformation
and looking into a future of possibilities
we commit ourselves to live as people of The Way, people of love.
God of the past, the present and the future, help us live as people of hope for a better future.
And the people all said AMEN

Monday, June 19, 2017

Litany of Lament for July 2, 2017 -- #Canada150

God of possibilities,
we know that we have not always lived up to the promise that lies within us
as individuals, as communities, as a community of communities, we have injured each other, we have failed to live as people of love
...remembering that we have not always been the nation we could be
we lament, we confess, we repent, God hear our prayer.

God who calls us to live with respect in creation
we know that in our hurry to make use of the land we have not always been good stewards
forests have disappeared, fisheries have been depleted
humans take the space that once was shared with many other species, and drive them into far corners
the detritus of our industrial culture has changed the landscape
and we still wonder if we can find the balance between economy and ecology, if we can stop injuring and start repairing the land we love
...remembering that we have not always been the nation we could be
we lament, we confess, we repent, God hear our prayer.

God who calls us to love and serve others
we are not always good neighbours
the people who welcomed our predecessors to this land have been mistreated in word and deed
instead of celebrating who they were and are we have tried to turn them into good “proper” people
we have made promises and then broken them, leading some to wonder if the promises were made in good faith
we have invited others to come and enrich the nation and then expected them to be “like us” when they got here, or forced them to leave behind their own cultures and ways so they could “fit in”
we have forgotten that the rule of love is to accept others, we have forgotten that beauty lies in diversity,
at times we have forgotten to love, we have expected to be served more than to serve
...remembering that we have not always been the nation we could be
we lament, we confess, we repent, God hear our prayer.

God who challenges us to seek justice and resist evil
we look at the news: local, provincial and national and we lose heart
stories of people cast aside, stories of missing women, stories of justice denied
we challenge the system even while we are all too ready to benefit from the same system, and our resistance loses teeth
we grow complacent, not seeing the very real struggles faced by our neighbours
we begin to wonder if we can make a difference, if the effort is worth the pay off
...remembering that we have not always been the nation we could be
we lament, we confess, we repent, God hear our prayer.
God of grace, as we hear the laments of our selves and our neighbours, move us to cry out for justice, push us to help re-build the country into the nation where love and justice are the rule and norm.
And the people all said AMEN

Litany of Gratitude for July 2 2017 -- #Canada150

God made known in creation;
for rocks and trees and skies and seas..your hands the wonders wrought
for sweeping prairie skies and waving grasslands,
for striking mountain peaks and deep valleys,
for lakes and rivers, for forests and tundra
...for all these gifts
God of all to you we raise words of gratitude and praise

God who is present in the new things of life;
for those brave adventurers who struck out to explore a new place
for the people they met along the way who offered wisdom, and guidance and support,
for those who set the wheels in motion so that something new and different could begin, something that would grow from a notion into a nation
...for all these gifts
God of all to you we raise words of gratitude and praise

God of community;
for the people who have challenged us to become a better, more caring community
for those who have helped us learn that we can be a community even while not being the same
for those who have stood up to speak for the members of our communities who were being abused, or oppressed, or simply ignored
for those who have made us better, those who have helped us draw the circle of what it means to be “Canadian” wider
for all our neighbours, near at hand or living many provinces away
...for all these gifts
God of all to you we raise words of gratitude and praise

God who calls us to make use of your gifts;
for lumber shaped from forests to build ships and houses and cities,
for gold and iron and copper and other minerals mined from the rock
for coal and oil and natural gas, giving energy for us and the world,
for the fruit of the earth, the food which sustains and strengthens us
...for all these gifts
God of all to you we raise words of gratitude and praise
Gift Giving God, we thank and praise you for the wonders of your love we see around us.
And the people all said AMEN