Monday, February 1, 2016

For February 7, 2016 -- Peter's Confession, Transfiguration


OPENING PRAYER
God you bring us together in this place,
we come to be fed, to be renewed, to seek understanding.
God you challenge us in this place,
we embrace the challenge, trusting that through challenge we grow in faith.
God you are revealed in this place,
sometimes in shining glory, sometimes in tears and struggle.
God as we worship in this place,
refresh, renew, and challenge us so that we would see your awesomeness.
We pray in Jesus' name,
as we strive to walk the path of discipleship. Amen


PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of grace,
sometimes discipleship is so difficult.
We see you standing in front of us and we look for glory.
Then you tell us to expect heartbreak and challenge.
We get a glimpse of your glory,
and we are confused, frightened, unsure what to do or say.
God of grace, made known in Jesus the Christ, in the challenge and in the glory
you call us to look toward you, to listen to you
Grant us the grace and wisdom to watch, to listen, to follow, to learn,
And, in the end, to possibly understand,
As we join you on The Way
as we explore the glorious Kingdom. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
Jesus stands and asks “who do you say I am?”
We join millions who have gone before and say “the Messiah”
Jesus stands in front of us and tells us the realities of discipleship
We join millions who have gone before in the challenges of living as disciples.
Jesus stands before us and offers food and drink for the journey.
Fed and nourished we go out into the world to live and serve.
Jesus stands before us, shining in glory,
and will be with us to the end of the age. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Prayer for Healing (For January 24, 2016 -- to go with Mark 5:1-20)

God of life, God of our broken-ness, God of wholeness,
we come in search of healing.
In a world of idols and demons,
we admit that there are things which take hold of us, which possess our minds, which control our lives.
And so we seek to be set free. Maybe...
We also know that some of the demons that control us keep us normal in the ways of the world.
So while we long to be freed so that we could be who you call us to be,
we also worry if the world is ready for the demons to be sent away.
God of healing and wholeness, God who the demons recognize and obey,
set us free, release from those things that possess us, cast out our demons, that we would be more able and willing to follow the Way.
These thing we pray in the name of the Great Physician, Jesus of Nazareth,
Our healer, our guide, our Saviour, the one we know as Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Prayer For and Assurance of Grace for January 17, 2016

Seed-sower, you spread your word of hope widely.
Trusting that when conditions are right, growth will occur.
Teacher, you share your word of hope in ways that confuse and confound us.
Trusting that we will have ears to hear and hearts to understand.
Light of the World, you shine for all to see.
Challenging us to pass on the light.
But the reality sometimes falls short of the hope.
Our ears are tin and we do not hear, we fail to pass on the light.
You challenge us to spread the seed and trust that you will give the growth.
And we want to be prudent and effective and only do what gets guaranteed results.
God of Grace, open our ears and hearts to understand your confounding wisdom, move us to trust and share.
God of Grace, whose grace moves in us with each heartbeat, help us live as people of grace. Amen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Call to Worship for the Season after Epiphany

CALL TO WORSHIP
May the Peace of Christ be with you
And also with you
God is here, in this place, moving within and among us.
We come to explore what God is doing.
In the stories and the teachings and the healings of Jesus the Christ, we meet God in a new way.
We gather as disciples and followers of Christ, to worship and to be renewed.
As we gather for worship we greet our neighbours with the Peace of Christ

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Prayer for 2015

God of Hope,
it is hard to be hopeful.
Our news feeds seem intent on filling us with fear and despair.
And yet when the darkness of despair threatens to win the day you respond with words of hope. “Comfort, comfort ye my people... God will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep”
Keep the vision of the Kingdom in our hearts and minds, make us into people of hope,
and help us carry hope into those shadowed places of the world where despair seems to be winning.
And so we hold in out hearts those who need hope in their lives
...time of silence...

God of Peace,
Mass shootings, ISIS offensives and refugees, armed robberies and murders in our city, more and more people struggling to hold the chequebook in the black.
So many things this year make peace seem like a dream, a faint possibility, a wish made on a falling star.
We yearn for peace, we desperately need signs of peace, even as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Move in our hearts, gracious God, fill us to overflowing with Christ's peace, that we would be able to share that peace with everyone we meet.
With expectant hearts, we look forward to that day when peace is more than just a word, when the wolf will lie down with the lamb and they will not hurt or destroy on all the holy mountain.
...time of silence...

God of Love,
All we need is love, so the song tells us.
Love is the great commandment, the power that keeps us growing.
In love you break into our world, coming to live among us as one of us.
In love you challenge us to live love with each other: family and stranger, friend and enemy.
This Christmas season, in a world which tries to make us afraid, remind us that love casts out and defeats fear, remind us not to be afraid.
And so fill our very beings with love that it spills onto everyone in our lives.
May love be the keystone, the guiding principle, of our lives, at Christmas and all the year through.
As we hold in our hearts those we love, and all those around the world who are hungry for love
...time of silence...

God of Joy,
in sanctuaries and living rooms and village squares around the globe people are singing songs of joy.
We have heard and shared the Good News of Great Joy for all the people.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
And yet...
in every corner of the globe tonight there are people who find joy a distant, uncommon visitor.
People struggle for life's needs, people sit with loved ones lying in sickbeds, people live in places many of us would not be caught dead, people gather in the midst of Christmas celebrations to say farewell to a loved one, people sit alone far from family and friends.
We know the life is not always what it could be. And yet we trust that all will be well some day.
On this night, on every night, we pray with and for all those who struggle
may they know that they are not alone, may they hear the word of promise and joy and love
...time of silence...

God of Birth,
once again we hear the angel announcing:
“for unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour who is Christ the Lord”
Once again we hear the angel chorus:
“Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace”
And so we celebrate a baby born long ago. We celebrate births that happen today:
Hope born in the middle of bad news and despair.
Peace born in a world of violence and struggle and disparity.
Love born in a world of fear.
Joy born in the hearts of the broken-hearted.
For everything that is born in our midst tonight we sing songs and mutter prayers of praise and thanksgiving.
...time of silence...
These things we pray in the name of Jesus, the Babe in the manger, Emmanuel, God-With-Us
Amen

Thursday, December 10, 2015

For Christmas Eve

CALL TO WORSHIP
Stop! Listen! Do you hear it?
Hear what?
The song drifting over the snow. It started in low then it started to grow....
Yes I hear it! It sounds so happy. What does it mean?
Something wonderful has happened, A baby is born.
Let us go and see!
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the new-born King

LIGHTING THE CANDLES/OPENING PRAYER
In the dark of winter we look for light.
We light candles to bring light into our world.
The light of Hope, of Peace, of Joy, of Love (light the four outside candles)
And now there is one light left.
On this night of glory we remember that God is born in our midst,
the Light of the world shines in our communities.
And so we light our centre candle, remembering the Babe who is the centre of our celebration, the Christ who is the centre of our faith (light centre candle)
God of angels and starlight, God of shepherds and stables, God of Christmas glory,
tonight we gather to hear the story we have heard so many times.
God who comes to live among us, God who chooses to share our joys and sorrows, to share our lives,
as we listen for angels sharing Good News awaken hope in our lives.
God who is at work in the world, as we celebrate the birth of Christ,
remind us that the Good News the angel shares is for us, for all the people.
For to US a Child is born, to Us a Son is given. May his birth-light shine in and for and through us.
Glory to God in the Highest! Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
The story has been told, the angel's words echo in our heads, our hearts, our souls.
We go back out into the night with a song in our hearts.
Go! Tell it on the mountain, over the fields and everywhere!
Jesus Christ is Born!
And as you go, carry the light of the Christmas glory with you,
to share with everyone we meet.
Glory to God in the highest!
And on earth, peace, goodwill among humanity. Amen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

For January 3, 2016 -- Epiphany Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP
There is a Light, a beacon, drawing us forward.
We are drawn toward it, like moths to a flame
In its warm glow we sing, we pray, we worship.
Here we are refreshed, here we are nourished.
And as we gather in the glow of the Christ Light we greet each other with words and signs of Christ's peace

OPENING PRAYER
God of Christmas,
already the angel song is fading, already we are starting to get back to our routines.
God of Christmas,
but still we want to see the child, to be reminded of the hope he brings.
God of Christmas, in this time of worship,
may we join the visitors from the East, come to honour the one who has been born to be King.
God of Christmas, after our time of worship,
send us back out to share the Good News of the season, even if there are those who would try to extinguish the hope and possibilities it brings.
This we pray in the name of the newborn King, soon to be a refugee. Amen.

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of light, like the Magi we are drawn into your light, into your presence.
Like them we want to bring our best to lay by your side.
God of light, in every age there are those who live in fear, whose lives are threatened simply because they live where and when they live.
Causing them to flee to strange new places, to make home in new communities..
God of light, when the shadows of the world loom on the horizon, when they drive people to our doors
grant us the grace, the strength, the wisdom to react appropriately, to welcome the stranger as a neighbour.
God of light, when those shadows make us afraid, when the fear makes us less than we could be.
grant us the grace, the strength, the wisdom, to choose another path.
..time of silent prayer...
The God revealed in the Christmas Child is gracious and giving. The God revealed in the manger draws us to the light with mercy and forgiveness and hospitality. The God revealed in the Christmas star helps us to shine through the shadows of life.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
We have gathered to honour the one born to be King.
We have been warmed by his light, we have been fed at his table.
We have seen him forced to flee for his life.
We have been reminded of our calling to see Christ in all those who flee for their lives
And now we leave this time of worship,
recommitting ourselves to serve Christ, renewing our pledge to live as people of love.
We go out into the world to live, to love, to serve.
We go out sure that God goes with us, in light and in dark we are not alone. Thanks be to God.