Thursday, November 15, 2018

Advent Candles 2018

November 25, 2018 – Advent 1 (Bah Humbug) -- Hope
Sermon Title: Marley or Lazarus
Scripture: Galatians 6:7, Luke 16:19-31
1. It is time to prepare, time to get ready.
2. Ready for what?
1. Well somebody special is a month away from being born.
2. You mean it is only a month to Christmas?
1. Yep. You know what the Christmas story always brings me?
2. The urge to sing carols?
1. Well yes. But more than that it brings me hope. The fact that God keeps caring for the world, that God loves the world so much to become part of it makes me hopeful for the future. And so I always light a candle to remind me of that hope. (light one candle)
2. Let us pray...
God we need some hope in our lives. Help us trust in your promise this Christmas.
Remind us that things can get better, that the world can change, that we can change.
Even when things seem terrible help us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Help us live as people of hope. Amen.

December 2, 2018 – Advent 12 (The Remembrance of Christmas Past) -- Peace
Sermon Title: Carry Forward the Past
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-2, Revelation 21:3-5, Luke 4:17-19
1. The day is coming, it is getting closer
2. It’s almost Christmas!
1. Christmas always make me hope for good things (light one candle)
2. Do you know what I am really hoping for this year?
1. A new phone?
2. Well maybe. But I hope that we can learn from our past mistakes. I hope that God will help us find a way to live together in peace and justice. It has to happen some year right? (light a 2nd candle)
1. I hope so, some year, maybe next year?. Let us pray...
God you promise us that some day there will be peace throughout the world.
Peace between countries, peace within families, peace in our troubled hearts.
We haven’t learned how to do that yet. Help all of us be people who bring peace into our lives.
Help us change the world around us as we wait for Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

December 9, 2018 – Advent 3 (The Life of Christmas Present) --Joy
Sermon Title: See the World Today
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:1-11, Luke 1:46-55
1. Don’t you love how joyful everyone is at Christmas?
2. Joyful? How can people be joyful? Have you watched the news lately?
1. I know, there is lots of trouble out there. But still I always find a sense of joy in the air.
Maybe it is the carols, or the bright lights of the decorations. Something just makes the world seem better.
2. If you say so. Some days I find it hard to have hope (light one candle) that there will be peace (light 2nd candle) and Joy seems far away.
1. I try to remind myself that there is more happening than the news tells us about. There are people giving to The Salvation Army, there are people collecting gifts for their neighbours, there are people planning to serve meals to the community. And that lights up my life and brings Joy to my heart (light 3rd candle)
2. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I guess maybe there is some good news out there. God is at work after all. Let’s pray about that...
God of joy, sometimes it is hard to be joyful.
Sometimes all the bad news piles up and we have trouble seeing that you are at work around us.
But then we find out that some people with difficult lives still find a way to celebrate,
and we start to see the world differently.
Help us see where you are at work changing the world. Help us find the joy that lies waiting to be discovered, even if only for a moment. Amen.

December 16, 2018 – Advent 3a (Practise Christmas) -- ???
Sermon Title: Pageant Sunday
Scripture:
(blow a coach whistle) Ok. Are we all ready for Christmas?
Maybe?
Is maybe good enough? Only 9 days to go people! Got your Joy to the Worlds tuned up? Everyone know the story? Got your Silent Nights quieted down? We have to practise these things folks, especially that last one!
We’re good to go coach!
Good to hear. But lets run through it just in case. Start with the candles...
(candles are lit as they are called out) Hope...we have hope light
Peace...we have peace light
Joy...we have joy light
Love...we have love light
Christ ...we have... hey should we light this one yet?
Good call. Normally we wouldn’t. But this is our practise run.
Christ ...we have Christ’s light.
Now let’s pray:
God we are almost ready. We are excited and hopeful. Jesus is almost born!
As we remember the story, as we practise for the big birthday that is coming, remind us what it is all about. Help us be as excited as the shepherds, to sing Glory in excelsis with the angels, to trust you like Mary did. Amen.

December 23, 2018 – Advent 4 (The Hope of Christmas Future) -- Love
Sermon Title: Shadows That Can Be Changed
Scripture: Isaiah 2:2-5, Isaiah 7:10-16
1. Christmas is here! Well almost.
2. Isn’t it great?
1. So far we have talked about hope (light one candle) and peace (light 2nd candle) and joy (light 3rd candle) but there is one candle left.
2. That’s the candle of love. I think it is the most important one.
1. Why?
2. Christmas is all about love. God loves the world so much God gives us Jesus. God challenges us to love all of our neighbours. With love God gives us another chance to change our lives. Love is a source of heat and light in life (light 4th candle)
1. Let us pray for more love in the world.
God we remember the song “what the world needs now is love sweet love” and we know it is true.
Sometimes we find it hard to love the people around us. Sometimes we are hard to love.
But you love all of us. All of the time. And then you give us a chance to change the future by changing the present. Thank you for that.
Help us to be like Scrooge and promise to do better, to love better, in the future. Amen.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

For November 18, a College Sunday Service

CALL TO WORSHIP
As people with questions
we gather for worship
As seekers on a quest
we gather for worship
As those called to learn what God wants us to be
we gather for worship
As siblings in Christ we gather for worship, greeting each other with words and signs of Christ’s peace.

OPENING PRAYER
God made known in Jesus of Nazareth, of whom we sing
Jesus, teacher, brave and bold...teach us to serve you everywhere
In this time of worship we open our hearts, our souls, our minds, our selves,
trusting in your presence among us.
God who sends teachers to show us the way,
help us to learn from each other and from you.
We pray in the name of the one we call Teacher, Guide, and Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God you call us to be ready to learn,
and sometimes we think we have already learnt what we need to know.
You call us to teach,
and sometimes we think we have no wisdom to pass on.
You call us to lead and be led.
and sometimes we would rather go off by ourselves on our own path.
God, when we fail to heed your call to teach, to learn, to lead
speak to our hearts, encourage us, chasten us, forgive our headstrong ways.
...time of silent prayer...
God teaches us about grace, about forgiveness, about second chances by offering these things to us over and over again. God offers us wisdom when we are ready to receive it. In Christ God gives us Teacher, Mentor, and Guide.
Thanks be to God. Amen

COMMISSIONING:
We are, each one of us, students in God’s school of life and love
we go from this place to continue learning.
We are, each one of us, teachers in God’s school of life and love:
we go from this place to share the wisdom we have received.
As we continue to learn and to teach we trust that God: Parent, Son and Holy Spirit, 3-in-one is with us
In whatever classroom we find ourselves. Amen.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Prayer for Grace for November 11, 2018

God, all too often our broken-ness breaks into the world, shattering your hopes.
As a result the world still fails to be that place where the wolf lies down with the lamb.
We still hurt and destroy on your holy mountain..
On this day of memory, we once again vow “Never Again”,
knowing that tomorrow there will still be plowshares turned into swords,
knowing that there will still be conflicts,
knowing that we still need to learn a new way.
For the ways we, as individuals, as communities, as nations have failed to be peacemakers,
forgive us God. In grace, make us gracious, able to work for hope and peace.
...time of silent prayer...
Jesus comes to us as the Prince of Peace. Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of God is nigh. In Christ God reminds us of the power of love and forgiveness. We are forgiven and called to keep working for the Peaceable Kingdom.
The time is coming when we will learn war no more. Thanks be to God who gives us this promise. Amen.

Monday, October 29, 2018

For November 4, 2018 -- A service looking at the nature and source of Evil

CALL TO WORSHIP
God calls us to the table
where we eat together.
God calls us to the sanctuary
where we sing and pray and listen for God to speak
God calls us to live and serve
in a world where we strive to be who God has called us to be
God calls us to this time of worship, God calls us to greet each other as siblings in faith, sharing words and signs of Christ’s peace...

OPENING PRAYER
God of Love, you created the world and call it good.
And yet, from the beginning the world has known the existence of the not-good.
As we continually learn what it means to live as your people,
as we continually try to stand against that which is not-good
as we continually try to separate good from evil,
help us, clear our sight, strengthen our hearts and wills.
In this time of prayer, or song, of breaking bread, of worship,
show us the path to the good, because we are tired of the evidence of evil in the world.
And then send us back out,
to be agents of love in a world too familiar with fear and hate. Amen.


COMMISSIONING:
In the beginning of the story, God calls the world GOOD
In the beginning God calls humanity to care for the good world
We know that all is not well with the world, that not everything is good
Still we live and serve, doing our best to spread God’s love wherever we go
Fed in body and spirit, we go out to face what the world has in store for us,
trusting that in good or in evil we are not alone.
Go with God: made known as Parent, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We go, and we trust that in God’s time, all shall be well some day.

Monday, October 8, 2018

For a COnfirmation Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP
As members of God’s family
we gather to pray, and sing, and celebrate God’s presence
As people of faith,
we come to be re-energized to live out our faith
As our worship begins we greet each other with Christ’s peace

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God you call us to be the church
and sometimes we wonder what that means.
You call us to seek justice, resist evil, love and serve others,
and we try. Really we do. But sometimes...
Sometimes we fall short, sometimes we get it wrong.
For those times we don’t quite get it right, forgive us
...time of silent confession...
The God who calls us to love and serve,, the God who calls us to seek justice, knows us intimately. God sees our wins and our losses. Through Grace God forgives us when we get things wrong and gives us another chance to try again. We are forgiven and challenged to keep trying.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
We are called to be the church.
We go out to live our calling.
We are called to share our gifts in the service of the Kingdom
We go out to seek justice, to resist evil, to love and serve others
As we go, we trust that God goes with us
Leading, guiding, encouraging us all the way. Amen.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Backpack Blessing

Hi God!
Another School year has started.
And every day people load up these backpacks
with school work and notes to (or from) the teacher and lunches and snacks.
Keep them safe.
Keep the straps from tearing, the zippers from jamming or bursting.
Help the backpack avoid the mud puddle or the toilet bowl.
Help it stay where it belongs so it can always find its human.
Keep the precious papers put inside safe, not scattered over the street (or the kitchen floor).

But really God we worry about the people who carry these things.
Keep them safe.
Keep them away from bullies, keep them from becoming bullies.
Make them brave enough to help when they see another person being bullied.
Sometimes school is scary, some days it seems too hard, some days we just don’t want to go.
God when this happens make us strong enough to keep trying,
remind us that learning means making mistakes so we can try again,
help us find the good things even on a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day.

And while we are at it,
we worry about all those other people.
The teachers who prepare and present lessons,
the parents who send their children off to school (sometimes worrying about what the day will be like),
the bus drivers who get kids from one place to another,
the people at after school programs who take over when the bell rings.
Help them too God.

God you promise that we are not alone.
At home, at school, on the bus, and everywhere else you are there.
Thank you.
Amen.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

PRayers of the People for May 20, 2018 -- Pentecost

Spirit of Life, blowing through our world,
on this Pentecost Day we open ourselves to your power.
God who calls us to be the church, to share our lives with you and with each other,
on this Pentecost Day we hear again the call, the challenge to be the church in the world.
And so, as Paul encourages us, we Rejoice in your presence always.

God whose Spirit moved over the world at the beginning,
you blew the breath of life into our lungs and let loose our borning cry,
you have been with us ever since.
All that we have been, and are, and ever will be is in and through you.
And we Rejoice.

Creator, source of wonders that appear throughout the world,
creator of those things that leave us awestruck,
we stop and say WOW!
Wow for the beauty of fresh spring flowers
Wow for the joy of children’s laughter
Wow for the times when we overcome our differences and hear each other as if we all spoke the same way.
For the wonders of life we share our awe...
and we Rejoice.

Gift-giver, God who offers us so much throughout our life’s journey.
We join with your faithful children of many colours and races and faiths
to share our songs of praise and thanks giving.
For all that makes life wonderful and full and abundant we say thank you...
And we Rejoice.

God of presence, God who will never leave us alone,
amongst the abundant gifts and the wonders of life come struggles.
And yet you are there.
And so we join our voices with the voices of all those around the world who struggle:
struggle with shootings in schools
struggle with the reality of racism and prejudice
struggle with conflict between nations
struggle with the reality of bodies or minds that no longer work the way they once did,
struggle with anxiety, or fear, or grief...
In our times of struggle may we know the peace that surpasses all understanding.
And so we can Rejoice.

God who calls us to move into the world.
As we go forth to be the church in a world aching for the Gospel of Love,
help us remain focused on those things that are true, just, honourable, pure, pleasing and commendable.
May we continue to share the Good News with all, may we never forget that you are with us,
may we rejoice in your presence always, and again we say REJOICE!
Amen.