Monday, September 8, 2014

For September 14, 2014 -- God Promises Abram a Land.

We gather here on land that is the traditional land of the Beaver in the traditional territory of the Cree.
Land where they shared the gifts of life given to them by the Creator.
We gather here to celebrate the gifts given to us by the Creator.
Called together by God, to explore what it means to live in God's way.
As we gather together we recognize that all our neighbours are beloved children of the Creator,,
And that we all have a part to play in spreading God's peace, God's love, God's promise, God's hope
And so we greet each other with signs and words of peace....

God of life, we gather together for worship,
a time of prayer and singing, of listening and reflecting.
God of life, we pause in the busy-ness of life,
trusting that as we pause we can hear and feel you moving in our midst.
God of life, in this hour of worship,
challenge our understandings of the world and the word. Open our eyes that we might see the world as you see it.
And when our worship is ended,
lead us back out into the land we share with neighbours who have been here for centuries, and neighbours who have just arrived, that we can all work together to make it better for all as we share your peace, hope, and love.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the one we call Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God of the Promise, you call us to go to a new place.
And we want to go, but sometimes we are afraid.
God of the Land, we hear you say the land is ours.
Do we miss where you tell us to share it with others?
God of wondrous grace, you invite us to follow The Way.
We want to. We try to. And sometimes we need guidance.
Guiding God, through your grace,
help us find the path of wisdom, of love, of justice, of peace.
So that we might live in the land where we have been placed.
In harmony with our neighbours, that all may flourish.
...time of silent prayer...
God is gracious, and so God keeps guiding us along the path of life: offering correction where we wander, giving praise where we get it right, and supporting us when the way is difficult.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

We go back out to the land we share with folk from many places.
We go into the world where we share each other hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties.
Go out as people committed to God, as people who follow the Way of Christ, as people through whom the Spirit flows freely.
We go to share God's love, to work for God's justice, to live as residents of God's Kingdom.
Go with God
All ways and always. Amen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Communion Liturgy Using Covenant Imagery

We Invite All to the Table
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
for they shall be filled.
The God who promises life, and that in abundance, invites us to the table.
Where we share in the abundance of life, where we practise living in the Kingdom of God.
This table is God's Table. This table is open to all who seek to follow God's Way, to live as people of the Promise.
Here we meet friend and stranger, and recognize all as family.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

We Give Thanks to God
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
Our hearts are lifted by God's Spirit in our midst.
Inheritors of the Promise, sing songs of thanks.
We sing our praises for what God has done in our midst.
Partners in the Covenant, open your souls.
To feel God moving among and within us, strengthening us to live out the covenant of life

God of the Promise, from the beginning you have lived in relationship with your Creation.
Walking in the primeval garden with Adam and Eve, speaking with their children and grandchildren.
And as that relationship developed you made covenants, agreements about how we would live together.
Promises made on both sides so that life would flourish as you hoped.

And so we remember Noah and the rainbow
Your sign that the world would not be washed away again, your reminder that we live in relationship.
And we remember Abraham,
The promise of land, of a mighty people, of a blessing to the world.
And we remember Moses on the mountain,
Where you renewed your relationship with your people, laying out a way they should live with each other, with their neighbours, and with you.

As time went on, your people, your beloved children, did not remain faithful to the covenant.
They forgot their promises, they did not live up to their side of the deal.
But you remained faithful, you continued to hold up the possibility of the Promise, of the Covenant.
And so you sent prophets and messengers, faithful men and women who reminded their neighbours about the Covenant and call them back to the path of wisdom.
But still the people moved from the path, and so you chose a new path, a New Covenant.
One that would not be shown by a bow in the clouds, or by a new land, or by laws and rules.
This Covenant would be written on the hearts and souls of your people.

To begin this covenant you chose a young woman in a small town, Mary of Nazareth.
In her womb grew a child, who would be named Jesus.
In his adulthood he would share the wonders of your love, the glory of your forgiveness, the possibility of your Reign.
He would invite his friends and all who would follow them, including us, to participate in the New Covenant of Life and Love. As participants in the community of the faithful we echo the ancient cry:
Holy, holy, holy God. source of power and light.
Blessed is the one who comes in your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

We Remember the Story
As it would happen, the world was not ready for the message of Jesus.
As he shared your vision and hope he challenged the way the world already operated,
Which led those with power to move against him.
He was arrested, tried, and executed.
But that was not the end of the story, or of the New Covenant.
You raised him, breaking the bonds of death, shattering the powers of the world.

We remember that on the night before his death Jesus shared the feast of liberation with his friends. At that table he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Then he took the cup of wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
Take and drink, this is the cup of the new covenant. Whenever you eat and drink, remember me.

We do remember. And as we remember we also remember the promise Jesus gave,
the promise of a Comforter, of the Spirit, to sustain us always.
Pour out that Spirit upon and among us God.
May the Spirit move in this loaf and cup, in the sharing of this meal,
transforming them, transforming us.
And when our gathering is ended,
Send us out with the fire of the Spirit in our souls, ready to live out the Covenant of Life and Love with all we meet, wherever we go.

These things we pray in the name of Jesus, whose life, death, resurrection and passion write the words of the New Covenant on our hearts and souls, and who taught his friends to pray together saying...
Our Father who art in heaven...

We Break and Pour and Share
The Bread we share is the bread of Life.
The Cup we share is the Cup of the New Covenant
These are signs of the Promise, from the God who gives us the Promise
Thanks be to God.

We Pray After the Sharing
God of the rainbow, God of the promise, God of the table;
we have broken the bread and shared the cup. We have tasted your goodness. We have shared the meal that ties us to each other and to you.
God of the past, the present and the future;
you have been faithful, you are faithful, you will be faithful. You will live out the covenant of life. May we who have shared this meal, we who gather in community, be transformed by our gathering and our sharing, so that we too will live out the covenant of life. Amen.

Monday, September 1, 2014

For September 7, 2014 -- the Story of Noah

As the summer draws to a close, as a new year begins,
we gather together to be reminded of the Promise.
As those who have seen some of the storms of life,
we gather to look for the rainbow, sign of the Promise.
As God called Noah so long ago, so God calls us in the present,
to gather as members of community, to celebrate God's Promise, to live as people of the covenant.
Let us worship together as we greet each other with words and signs of God's peace...

God of life, we gather in your presence,
here we bring our questions, our hopes, our fears, our hungers.
God of the table, we respond to your invitation,
to break bread together, to share in the building of community.
God of the storm, we come seeking shelter,
a safe place where we can reflect on the wind and the rain.
God of the Promise, we come as people of hope,
to be reminded of the Promise, to be empowered to live out our side of the Promise. Amen.

Creation was not what you hoped it would be God.
And you decided to start over.
But there was still something worth saving,
so you called out Noah to build an ark, a refuge for creation.
Then, after the waters washed away you made a promise,
setting your bow in the clouds, a sign that never again would the world be washed away, a sign of your love and grace.
Creation is not what you hope it would be God,
we continue to miss the mark, we continue to be less than we could be.
But still you see the possibility, still in grace you challenge us to live out the old covenants,
pulling us forward, reminding us who we are.
And still the bow is in the clouds, light bending through a prism, spreading into a display of colour.
Giving us hope, giving us beauty, promising us grace.
Thank you.

When the storms of life are raging,
we look for the Rainbow.
Go now from this time of worship, to a world full of storms.
We go to a world in need of the Promise.
As you go, may you carry the presence of God to all you meet.
And may we see God all around us, reminding us that we are not alone.
Thanks be to God!
Who has made us a Promise in many colours.

Christ Candle Response for Fall 2014 -- to go with the Narrative Lectionary

There is a promise, there is a God who promises to be with us, to lead us, to give us life – and that in abundance.
May the light of this candle remind us that we are people of the promise, and that God is faithful to the covenant of life.

Monday, June 23, 2014

For June 29, 2014 -- Proper 8A

As Abraham wandered in the wilderness,
he knew that God was with him, calling to him, leading him forward.
The same God who walked with Abraham,
walks with us, leading us forward, calling us to lives of prayer and faithfulness.
As spiritual descendants of Abraham,
we gather to worship the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

OPENING PRAYER (using words from Psalm 89)
We will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with our mouths we will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations
God of Abraham and Isaac, God of Peter and Paul, we come to this place to share words of praise and thanksgiving.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
In this time together open our eyes and souls to see where your justice and love are leading us.
Happy are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance
And when we walk from this place may that light guide our steps.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who calls us to follow The Way, and who taught his friends to pray saying...

We have gathered in one place to worship.
Now we go back to the lives we share with each other, and with other neighbours.
As we go out into the world where we live out our faith and our ministry,
may we, like Abraham, walk secure in the knowledge that we are not alone.
Go now to love and serve the world, go now to be God's people and agents of God's love.
We go with God. Amen.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

For June 22, 2014 -- A service Celebrating the Goodness of Creation

In the beginning there was God,
calling forth light, land, and life.
As this week begins, there is God,
calling us to gather together, calling us to live and love in the world.
Let us worship together, let us open our hearts to God...

God who has created and is creating...
we gather for worship, we gather to reflect on what is and what will be.
In this time of speech and song, prayer and reflection,
open our eyes, our hearts, our souls,
so that we would see the goodness in all creation,
so we would celebrate the goodness in all creation.
And when our worship is ended,
lead us out into the world to share the Good News of blessing and love and life.
These things we pray in Jesus' name, as we also pray together the words he taught his friends...

God, you look at creation and call it good.
All of creation? Really? Including mosquitoes and boll weevils? Including us?
You look at all of creation and call it VERY good.
And sometimes we have trouble believing your grace extends that far.
We look at the world, at our neighbours, at ourselves, and see the flaws.
Help us look and see the blessings. Help us live as though the blessings count more than the flaws.
...time of silence...
The grace of God extends beyond our wildest dreams. The grace of God shows in the beginning of our faith story. God knows the world fully, deeply, the good and the bad. And still God's final statement is “it is very good”.
Thanks be to God, who calls us loved, who calls us good. Amen.

Our time of worship comes to a close,
our time of service continues.
We who have heard the story of creation,
go out to celebrate, to care for, to love that which has been created.
As those who have been reminded that God calls God's world good,
we go out knowing that we also have been called good, we go out to remind others that they are Beloved children of God.
Go with God, who has created and is continuing to create and re-create

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Prayers of the people For Pentecost/Church Union Sunday

God of Pentecost, Spirit blowing in our midst, fanning the flames of our lives,
push through the closed doors and windows of our lives,
kindle the fire of hope,
transform us from a people who fear for the future
into a people who proclaim your love and hope in a world of pain and uncertainty,
people who live as though the Kingdom is alive and thriving in our midst.

God who calls us to be the church,
to celebrate your presence, to proclaim your hope, to join in the life of the Kingdom,
sometimes it is hard to be the church,
sometimes it is hard to see a hopeful future.
We look back at the vision of our forebears in the faith and wonder:
has the vision failed?
how are we to be the church moving forward?
what is the vision You have for us now?
On this Pentecost day:
stir the embers of fires that are burning down, (silence)
waken new fires from the ashes of dead ones, that the church would rise like the phoenix (silence)
kindle new fires where there is the need for hope, for light, for community (silence)
share with us a vision of how to be a faithful community
and lead us forward as the Church renewed, ready to hear your call in a changed world.

God of many languages.
You sing the language of joy with us, you join us in the dance of life.
Hear all of your children who sing and dance and praise this morning,
those who celebrate new life with all the possibilities of the future,
those who celebrate relationships, both the new and exciting and the long-term yet still exciting,
those for whom the wonder of life fills their being to the limit,
may they hear your voice joining in the singing and the shouting...
...time of silence...

And yet, God of life,
you also speak the languages of pain, of sorrow, of fear, of despair.
Hear all your children who speak, who wail, who whisper in these languages this day:
those who find themselves in hospital beds, or waiting anxiously beside those beds,
those who gather to say farewell to one who is travelling, or one who is moving,
those who gather at graveside to say that longer farewell,
those who worry about where the next meal, or the next rent cheque, will come from,
those who live in places where peace is just a word, a faint hope, a distant dream,
May all those whose language is rent by pain hear you lamenting with them,
...time of silence...

God of Pentecost, Spirit blowing in our midst, fanning the flames of our lives,
fill us with Spirit this morning,
fill our hearts and souls with the fires of hope,
hear the prayers we offer:
for ourselves, our neighbours, our communities.
And lead us forward as people of the Spirit,
ready to be the face of your love, light, hope, and life in the world.
we pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the one we call Christ, whose life,
death and resurrection show us the path to the Kingdom.
We pray as people of the Spirit,
who lights our fires, who fills our lungs with air,
who blows us out into the world to live and serve.