Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For October 5, 2008 -- Worldwide Communion Sunday, Proper 22

God calls us to live according to rules that build community.
But sometimes we find it hard to remember what they are.
God calls us to ensure everyone has what they need for life.
But greed and self-interest often make us forget to ask.
God, when we forget the way, when we care more for our own wants than the needs of all,
forgive us, lead us back to the Way of peace and justice.
…time of silent reflection…
God’s justice and mercy expand beyond our understanding. God’s abundant love brings forgiveness and a new start. We are loved, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah!

Offering Prayer
God who has given us life in abundance, we share here from what we have been given.
May these gifts of our time, our money, our very selves be ways to bring your peace and justice to the earth. Amen.

We have eaten and drunk at the table of plenty.
We have been fed, we have received our daily bread.
Now we go out to feed the hungry.
Now we go out to quench the thirst for justice and peace.
As you go out to serve, go secure in the knowledge that God who offers all we need for life in abundance, goes with you in all your labours.
We are not alone! We walk and work with the God of the feast! Amen.

Monday, September 15, 2008

For September 21, 2008 -- Proper 20, 19th After Pentecost

We have been called and we have come,
but where are we, where are we going?
We find ourselves in a wilderness time, and the future is uncertain,
will we have everything we need? Were we better off before?
We need hope, we need faith, we need trust.
God has brought us here, God will take us forward, let us worship the God of the journey.

God of the desert, the urban jungle, the wilderness places, we come together again in worship. During this time of prayer and singing and listening reawaken in us the hope of the unknown. May this time together empower us to go forward boldly even when we want to go back to the familiar. Amen.

Offering Prayer
God, these pieces of paper and metal only have the meaning we give them,
And so we choose to give them properties like hope, love and freedom. May these gifts, and we the givers, be active in your changes in the world. We give them in gratitude for what we have received. Amen.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION/ASSURANCE OF PARDON (adapted from Seasons of the Spirit)
God, we stand at the brink of what has been and what is yet to be.
We long to receive the gift of your liberation
and to taste the sweetness of your promises.
But the way forward is unknown and so we hesitate:
discouraged, frightened, insecure, complaining.
Yet we know we must move ahead on our journey.
When the uncertainty of change leads us to call for a return to what we used to know,
Forgive our grumbling and our fear.
When we choose our comfortable chains over the possibility of freedom,
Forgive our reluctance to try something new.
Help us move past our fears and inertia into the world of hope and promise.
...time of silent prayer...
God leads us into the wilderness of the unknown but God knows that we are afraid. God works with us, not giving up when we grumble but constantly calling us forward as forgiven people.
We are forgiven, we are freed, thanks be to God! Amen.

Monday, September 8, 2008

For September 14, 2008 -- Proper 19, 18th After Pentecost

Through the years and miles of time,
God calls God’s people together.
Amidst the trials and struggles of life,
God’s people gather to share the promise of freedom.
The God of freedom and justice is with us,
come, let us worship together. Let us pray…

Gracious God, to people fleeing from Pharaoh’s oppression you brought hope and victory.
The cloud and the fire led them and let them know they were not alone.
In this time together remind us of the signs in our world that you are with us.
Remind us that we too can hope for freedom.
May the time we spend here push us to search for a new way, a way where all find freedom without causing others to weep.
This we pray remembering the one who leads us to such a time, Jesus of Nazareth, who taught his friends to pray by saying…

Offering Prayer
God of freedom, you have given so much,
and with grateful hearts we share our abundance with the world.
Through these gifts:
May others be set free from whatever enslaves them;
may justice spread in a troubled world;
may Your love and peace fill our lives and the lives of those we meet. Amen.

Standing by the shore, Moses told the people to walk forward into the water.
And in wonderment and fear and trust they did so.
We always stand on a shore of the unknown.
And God calls us to step forward boldly
So step out to share the news that we are given freedom, freedom for all without revenge against “the other”.
We go out to share God’s promise with all who are in chains.
And go out knowing that God; our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, is with us always and all ways.
Praise to God in whom we find our hope! Amen.

Monday, September 1, 2008

For September 7, 2008 -- Proper 18, 17th After Pentecost

From the late summer sun and the early harvest,
we come to give thanks to the Creator.
From the busy-ness of our daily lives,
we come for a time of centering and renewal.
From a culture that remains overly focused on the present,
we come to join in the memories and practices passed on to us from those who went before.
From a world that is often given to despair,
we come to be reminded that there is always hope.
We have gathered together in God’s presence, in God’s name.
Let us worship together, let us pray…

God, another Sunday has come, and once again we meet with you and each other.
As people who bear your image and your name we seek to be renewed and fed in heart and soul.
Here, in this place we remember the old stories of the faith.
Here, in this place, we hear again how you have been present and active in the world.
During this time together, open our eyes, hearts, and minds to your presence and your possibilities,
and send us out as people of hope, ready to face the future.
Remind us that amongst the busy-ness of the present we need to be mindful of the past and the future as well.
Help us to be people of memory and of hope.
This we pray in Jesus’ name as we share together the words he taught his friends long ago…

We have heard once again the old stories.
We go out reminded that God is with all who struggle.
We have been reminded that we are people of hope.
And so we go out to share that hopefulness with others.
As you go to share the hope for freedom and redemption with the world remember that you do not walk alone. May God bless you and keep you every step of the way.
Thanks be to God! Amen.