Thursday, September 14, 2023

PRAYER FOR & ASSURANCE OF GRACE for Worldwide Comunion Sunday

God you invite us to the table,
where we can eat and drink and experience a fellowship of hope and love.
At this table you give us a foretaste of the Kingdom:
where all will eat and drink together,
where all will be fed as they need,
where all are loved and accepted.
You call us to make the table of Life and Love an open, welcoming place, and we try.
But sometimes we fence some people out,
some eat their fill and others go away hungry,
sometimes we act in ways that are unworthy of your table of hope.
God of Grace, who meets us at the table,
we rejoice in the invitation, we lament those times we have not lived up to the vision.
Help us keep the table open, help us ensure that all are fed there.
The God who invites us to the table does so with arms that are open wide. God keeps the table set so we can come back again and again to be fed and refreshed. We are always welcomed at the table as forgiven, loved, hungry children of God. Let us continue to eat and drink and be refreshed.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

For September 3, 2023 --Proper 17A

Source of life, you catch our attention, you pique our curiosity.
And we turn from our regular day, we step off the well-worn path, we investigate what is happening.
Only to find ourselves on holy ground, standing in your presence.
Creator God, who invites us to stand on holy ground, in this time together,
Renew us, we pray, in body and soul.
Open our ears and hearts and souls to hear your voice.
Feed and strengthen us so that we can go from here refreshed and energized.
Then lead us back out to live and serve.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

God of bushes that burn and not get consumed, God of our ancestors,
we stand in your presence with questions and uncertainties.
You invite us, challenge us, call us to bring Good News of liberation to our neighbours.
And our uncertainties surge forward:
Who are we to take on this task? Who exactly are you to ask it of us?
Our uncertainties, our doubts, our questions
may be ways we try to avoid the invitation, the challenge, the call.
So help us, we pray, to work past them
through your grace may we be empowered to share that Good News, even if we still have doubts, and questions, and uncertainties.
The God who spoke to Moses out of a burning bush, who met Jonah in the belly of the big fish, and who called Peter and Andrew from their fishing nets, calls to us. God meets our questions and doubts and encourages us to continue to live and serve. We are able to play our part in the drama of faith and life because God is with us.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

We were called to take a break from the everyday and sit in God’s presence.
We have listened for God’s voice. We have eaten at God’s table.
Now our worship ends, and our service continues
We respond to God’s invitation to share Good News of love and liberation with the world around us.
Go now to live and love and serve.
Go knowing that God who was once revealed in a burning bush, who was made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, who has blown through Creation since the beginning is with you.
Always and everywhere. Hallelujah!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Prayers for our Affirming Celebration (afternoon of June 11)

Source of Life and Love, you call us together to support each other.
You bring light into our world, light that darkness can not defeat (Christ Candle is lit)
The world you created, the world you love, has such diversity
A variety of ages, birthplaces, genders, sexual expressions, racial origins, a multi-hued picture
All beloved parts of your beloved family, all part of the rainbow that makes up the light
(Rainbow Candle is lit)
As we gather here this afternoon, fill our hearts with love for all our neighbours,
remind us that all are welcome, that all belong in the world you love.
And help us ensure that this love, this welcome, this belonging, is part of how we all live together.

God who has created and is creating,
Source of life and love in abundance,
Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love.
Over and over in our faith story you remind us
to draw the circle wider,
you urge us to welcome the outcast and the stranger.
Over and over again in history you have shown us that
the arc of the moral universe may be long
but it bends inexorably toward justice.
And you invite us along for the journey
toward overwhelming acceptance,
full inclusion, justice for all.

Today we gather here in this place to celebrate.
Today we recognize that this community of faith has jumped aboard the town car of justice
and made a public commitment to make;
your abundant love,
your promise of abundant life,
your hope for a world where all are fully included and allowed to be
exactly who you created them to be,
explicit in our life together.
We make a public pledge to be intentional about sharing that vision of the world not only within these walls,
but also in the world outside them –
in Grande Prairie and in the wider world
in the best ways we can.

Today we celebrate the wondrous diversity that makes up your world,
the amazing rainbow of identities that makes up the spectrum of our community.
May all of your beloved children:
whenever they were born,
wherever they were born, wherever they live now,
whatever the colour of their skin,
whatever their gender identity or sexuality,
however they express their identity,
may they all know your abundant life and love. 

God who has called us to this place and time,
Love Incarnate who has moved us to make this commitment today,
help us live out the pledge we make public this day.
Help each of us, as individuals and as communities,
be open to have old assumptions and understandings challenged.
Give each of us the courage to stand alongside our neighbours,
to speak out against voices that would demean or condemn them
simply for being who you created them to be.
In a world so often filled with hatred and fear and division,
may our voices be ones of inclusion and love and faith.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who commands us to love each other as we love ourselves,
to love each other as you first loved us.
For in doing this, sharing this wonderfully abundant inclusive love,
folk will know that we are indeed your people
and following your Way.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

For June 11, 2023 -- Affirming Celebration

All who are thirsty, all who are tired, all who wish to be refreshed,
All of us, whoever we are, where ever we find ourselves in life,
Old and young; cis-gendered, trans and non-binary; dark and pale skinned; neuro-typical and neuro-divergent,
Long time members of the community and first-timers,
All are welcome to come here to pray, to sing, to be in God’s presence
We have come to worship the God who created and loves us all.
Let us worship together...

Welcoming and inviting God, you have called us together this morning.
We have come to listen for your wisdom, to be refreshed by your presence.
In this time of prayer and song and listening,
move in our hearts, awaken in us a commitment to welcome your diverse family in our community.
Then when our time of worship is over,
lead us back out to proclaim the wideness and inclusiveness of your love and hope.
We pray in Jesus’ name as we share a prayer like he taught his friends long ago...

Holy Mystery who is Wholly love, you call us to build a new community,
one where all are welcome, one where all are included.
Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong.
There are days when we only see the differences between us and forget that others are part of your beloved family.
There are times when the community of Christ has openly attacked others because of their skin colour, or age, or sexuality, or gender
Where we get community and inclusion right, celebrate with us
Where we miss the chance to include all our neighbours, to welcome the diversity of your family, through grace, help us get back on track.
...time of silent prayer...
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea. God has a vision for what kind of a community we could be and God helps us take small steps or large leaps to live out that vision. When we miss the mark we are offered grace, forgiveness, and renewal. We are encouraged to learn and try again.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Go now into the world committed to live out these words:
Through Faith, we walk on the path Jesus set for us.
The people of St. Paul’s Belong… Believe… Love... Listen… Lead. (St. Paul’s Mission Statement)
As you go, carry with you the wide, boundless love of God that breaks down boundaries
We pledge to love the world God loves, to see and welcome our neighbours as beloved siblings
And trust that God: who has created and is creating; who is made known in Jesus, the Word-made-Flesh; and who works in all of us through the Holy Spirit is with you whoever you are and where ever you go.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

For June 4, 2023 -- 1st Sunday after Pentecost

CALL TO WORSHIP (uses lines from A New Creed)
We gather as those who have been called
called to be the church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in creation,
to love and serve others
to seek justice and resist evil.
God has called us together as followers of Christ
called us to share the Good News of Jesus, crucified and risen.
We gather as those who have been called,
opening our hearts and souls to God’s presence,
may we be refreshed and energized by this time together

Source of Life, in the beginning you spoke into the chaos,
causing light and life to erupt and fill the earth.
God who feeds our bodies and our souls, as we join our hearts in worship,
as we share prayers and songs and loaf and cup,
move within around and among us,
empower us to live out the tasks you place in our keeping.
God who calls us to be the church,
may we leave this place today ready to share your hope, to proclaim your love, to be the church in the world.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who invites us to and serves us at the table of faith. Amen


PRAYER FOR & ASSURANCE OF GRACE (uses language drawn from A Song of Faith)
God who is Holy Mystery and Wholly Love,
made in your image, we yearn for fulfillment that is life in you.
And yet we live in a broken world.
We are touched, shaped by that brokenness
and we lament that it leads us from your hope for who we could be.
God who invites us to join in the song of the church,
a community of broken but hopeful believers,
we know that the church has not always lived up to what it could be.
So we join our voices with many other voices,
asking for grace and forgiveness,
asking that the Holy Spirit would reorient us, as individuals and as a community,
to live into who we could be, to be a blessing to your creation.
God of Grace, we open ourselves to your grace.
That we would be renewed and refreshed as we follow The Way of Jesus. Amen.

We are called to be the church
We sing the song of a renewed church, a renewed world, a healed creation.
We have been fed, we have been loved, we have been called.
We go into the world God loves to be the church, to share the Good News, to bring hope and love to all we meet
As you go may the Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love, made known as:
the One who has created and is creating, as Jesus the Word made flesh and as the Spirit who works and through us always;
walk and sing and dance with you.
Today, tomorrow and forevermore.


Sunday, March 12, 2023

For March 19, 2023 -- Lent 4A

Creator, Giver of Life, God who calls us together.
What do you see as you look at this group gathered for worship today?
Do you see our whole beings, our flaws and our features, our triumphs and our disasters?
Do you see us as we are, as we would like to be seen, or something different altogether?
God who names and claims as as your own, God who meets us in our baptism,
Help us see ourselves as you see us, beloved and full of promise.
God who challenges us to love our neighbours, families, friends, and enemies,
Help us to see the world as you see it, beloved and full of promise.
As we worship today, open our eyes to see clearly, we pray in the name of Jesus; our teacher, guide, and role model, who encourages us to pray saying...

Go as those chosen by God, who sees great things in you.
Go to serve the world in which we live and love
We go to try and see the world as God sees it
We go to look beyond the surface
We go to see our neighbours as God’s chosen and beloved servants

May you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet
And may everyone we meet see the face of God in us
Go with God: who calls us, claims us, challenges us, and walks with us always.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Call to Worship for Lent 2023

The Lenten road stretches out before us, the path is clearly marked.
Walking with Jesus we step out on the path that leads to Jerusalem.
As we travel toward parade, trial, cross, and tomb,
we stop along the way to sing, to pray, to listen for God’s voice.
The road may grow dark, but we do not walk alone.
Let us worship together.