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.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Christ Candle Response for Pentecost and Ordinary Time

As the Spirit blows into our midst, fanning into life the spark of hope in our souls,
may the light of this candle remind us of the fire that warms our hearts, the love that we are called to share, the light that guides our way.

Monday, May 26, 2014

For June 1, 2015 -- Ascension Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP (Uses the Shona words of#2 in More Voices)
Uyai mose tinamate Mwari
We hear the call of God, we come together to share our praises
Uyai mose tinamate Mwari
We come to be challenged, we come to be refreshed, we come to be sent out.
Uyai mose tinamate Mwari
We come to pray, to sing to listen, we come to worship
Uyai mose zvino

God of Easter, of New Life, of Resurrection,
as this Easter Season draws near its close we gather in Your presence
As we gather in this space, as we gather at this table,
we open ourselves to the wonder of Your presence, we open our hearts to be touched, maybe even changed.
As we tell an old story the defies our understanding of the cosmos,
remind us that sometime in mystery we find the deepest truths.
As we are drawn to look to the heavens for Your presence,
help us remember to also look to the immediate world for Your presence, and for the work you would have us do in life.
These things we pray in the name of the Risen Christ, whose name we bear, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God of grace, God of glory, God of hope
we live by and in Your grace;
we constantly seek to glimpse Your glory
we continue the struggle because we have been infected with Your hope.
God made known in Jesus of Nazareth,
we work toward living as he lived, loving as he loved.
God who is transcendent, beyond our wildest dream,
God who is immanent, close at hand,
we admit that sometimes we get lost in the search for glory,
we stand waiting and watching, not sure what to do,
and so we hear again Your voice asking “what are you doing here?”
challenging us to live, to love, to change the world by sharing Your hope and vision.
God of the Risen Christ, Ascended to the heavens and also present in our hearts,
We thank you for Your grace, for Your hope, for Your love. Amen.

Monday, May 12, 2014

For May 18, 2014 -- Easter 5A

God who calls us to be God's people,
we offer words of thanks for Your Mercy, for Your Grace, for Your Life.
God who calls us to live in community,
help us, we pray, to learn how best to be a supportive community.
God who calls us to share a vision for the world,
help us, we pray, to share that vision in our words and actions.
God who knows that we sometimes struggle with life,
help us, we pray, to work through our struggles and our mis-steps. Draw us back to the place where we stand on the sure foundation, where we can feel the cornerstone, the touchstone, the keystone of our lives.
God who gives us a living cornerstone, a living foundation, a sure base on which to build our lives, You support us in our struggles, You strengthen us in our weakness, You push us to make a better community.
And so we offer words of thanks for Your Mercy, for Your Grace, for Your Life.

As a people who are called to live in community,
we go out to support our neighbours, friends and strangers, that all may live in abundance.
As people who live in turbulent times,
we go out trusting in our living corner stone, a solid foundation on which we stand.
As those who have been called and claimed as God's people,
we go out to look for God in the world, and to reveal God in the world.
Go with God: the Creator, the Teacher, the Sustainer; the Parent, the Child, the Spirit.
The One-in-Three who is with us always. Amen.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Communion Prayer for Good Shepherd Sunday

We Gather At Table
The God who leads us to green pastures and still waters
Has brought us here together
God has prepared this table in our midst
Here our cup overflows with God's abundance.
God has set this table, it is God's
and so we welcome all to come and eat and drink from it.

We Give Thanks
The Lord is our shepherd,
Our guide, our comforter, our protector.
And so we give thanks
For green pastures, for overflowing cups, for ongoing presence
it is good to give thanks

God of Creation, God of Life, God of Love,
as we gather at this table we remember many gifts:
the world around us, bursting with the springtime promise of new life;
family and friends with whom we share our lives;
food and drink to sustain our bodies;
fellowship to sustain our souls;
Your abundance overflowing in our lives.

God made known in words, and in the Word.
We remember the many ways You have been revealed in the world
In the glory of creation but also in through the witness of our forebears in the faith.
People like Abraham and Sarah – wanderers seeking a new land
People like Moses and Miriam – leading their people out of freedom and sharing a vision for how they could live.
People like Paul and Lydia – sharing a new vision, a new Way

We remember that You have always had a hope, a vision for how we would live together in peace and justice.
And yet we remember that we have often lost sight of the vision, have left peace and justice in the dust.
And yet, like a shepherd searching for a lost lamb, you have not given up on Your children
Sending prophets to call us back to the hope, reminding us how we are meant to live, challenging us to change our ways.

We Remember the Story
After many different messengers had come and gone, we remember, God of Life, that you chose a new path.
And so you came to walk among us as one who was fully human, just like us.
In the man Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, we met You anew
In him we see Your passion, in him we hear and know Your voice.

Remembering the life of Jesus, we consider what he taught.
He welcomed all into his presence, offering words of love and forgiveness where others offered judgement.
He ate with those others called outcasts.
He spoke of a new way of living, of a world that would be changed, of a Kingdom of love and peace and justice.
He called us to the table of life, where we are fed in abundance.

For being true to his understanding of You, Jesus was arrested, tried, and executed.
Put to death on a cross.
He knew the darkness of the valley of shadow, he felt abandoned. And yet You were there.
And then, even as his friends walked in the valley of darkness and shadow, something amazing happened.
Where they looked for signs of death they found the promise of life. An empty tomb, a resurrected Christ, a changed world.
And so in this Easter season we proclaim the joy of New Life.

Here at this table we remember the night before Jesus' arrest.
He gathered with his friends for the central meal of faith.
During that meal he took bread, blessed, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
This is my body, broken by and for the world.
Take it, eat it, and remember me.
Then later he took the cup of wine. Blessed it and passed it among them saying:
This is the cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink this remember me.
So, God of the table, we continue to eat and drink and remember. We share in this foretaste of the Banquet that is to come.

We Invoke the Spirit
Guiding, comforting, protecting God;
send your Spirit upon and among us here and now.
Through the presence of the Spirit may we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, calling us out to new pastures, leading us to fresh waters, comforting and protecting us with rod and staff and love.
Spirit of life and love, fall upon us all, we pray these things in the name of the Good Shepherd, the Risen Christ, who taught his friends to pray together saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven...

We Share the Meal
The Bread we break is the Bread of Life.
The Cup we Share is the Cup of Love
Here at this table we share the abundance of God's gifts.
Thanks be to God

We Close in Prayer
God our shepherd,
we have gathered at the table You have prepared.
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your overflowing abundance.
May this meal embolden, enrich, and nurture us as we go out to live as people of The Way.
And may goodness and mercy flow through us all the days of our lives. May we live in your presence forever. Amen.