Monday, September 28, 2009

For October 4, 2009 -- WOrldwide Communion Sunday

Around the world people gather to break bread and pour wine.
We gather with them in heart and mind.
Around the world the broken body is made whole.
As part of that body we join in its unity.
Around the world the Banquet of God is prepared for the table.
We, who share in the banquet, come eagerly to be fed.
Let us worship together, let us share God’s bounty.
Let us pray…

Grain which once was scattered over the fields
was brought together to feed us today.
Grapes pulled from the vine
squeezed to give us drink today.
Now our time of worship and feasting draws to a close.
Now we are dispersed like that grain, off to give the food of life to a hungry world.
Now we who have shared the Banquet of Hope,
go out as people connected to the vine, go out to bring the juice of life where the world has been drained dry.
As people who have been fed, go now to feed the world. As those who have been given hope, bring hope in place of despair.
May God help us to do so.
And always remember that we are never cut off from the Source. The Bread of Life, the True Vine is with us always.
And so we always share in Hope’s Banquet. Thanks be to The One who hosts the banquet! Amen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

To Go with MArk 8:27-38 Proper 19 Year B

God, you have called us to this place and to be your people,
Here we come to be refreshed, to be renewed, but also to be challenged.
You challenge us to explore what we believe and determine how to respond in faith.
In our time together remind us that we do not explore the hard questions alone.
Remind us also that the explorations and struggle matter as much as the answer.
Creator God, send your Spirit in this place.
Fill us with hope and send us out to live and serve and struggle. Amen

Offering Prayer
God who has given us so much, here we share that abundance with your world in need.
May these gifts –
the ones on the plate and the many other gifts of love we share everyday –
be a visible sign of what we believe and why our faith matters. We give them in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Who do you say I am? Jesus’ question echoes through the ages
We struggle to find the answer for ourselves and to share that answer with others.
Who do you say you are? The unspoken follow-up haunts the church.
As people trying to be faithful we reflect on the question and live out our faith in response.
As we wrestle with the hard questions of life, as we struggle to determine what we believe, as we strive to share our faith with the world around us,
We know that God is with us in the questions and the answers. We know that God is sharing in all of our lives. We trust that God helps us to find the Way.
Go with God. Walk with God. Struggle with God.
Always and everywhere. Amen.

Monday, September 7, 2009

For a Service Focussing on Inclusivity

NOTE: These resources use phrases and images taken from Come Join the Circle by Gordon Webber, Draw the Circle Wide by Gordon Light, and The House of Our God by Jim Manley.

Come join the circle for Jesus is calling…
God calls us into the circle of visions and dreams where all are welcome and included
Look around and see who’s here, look at all the faces
God has called us here to celebrate the wideness of God’s community and grace.
Let us worship the God of justice for all times and places together. Let us pray…

God we hear your voice calling out to us, reminding us to do one thing:
Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still.
As we gather in this place and time open our hearts to the breadth and width of Your vision for the church.
Awaken in us a dream larger than we have dreamed before; a dream of a place and time where all are welcome and included.
We pray in the name of Jesus who taught us about the wideness of your grace and taught us to pray words like these…

The house of our God is not just for the holy, or the wise, or those who fit in
But often we have tried to limit access to God’s house in many ways.
Sometimes we have done it on purpose, sometimes purely by accident.
But still we have shut the doors, leaving others outside.
For the times we have not lived out your call to inclusivity forgive us,
Open our eyes and hearts to the needs of those who wait by the door.
…time of silent prayer…
The God who calls us together welcomes one and all, sinner and saint, old and young. When we stray from God’s Way we are forgiven and given a new start.
We rejoice in the wideness of God’s grace and love. Amen

We go from this place to draw the circle wider,
May our hearts and love know no borders, may our dreams be larger than before
We go from here to open the circle to those who call us,
Seeking to answer their cry for justice as part of a global community.
And we go to do this knowing that we travel the journey of life with the God whose love encompasses the whole world.
Thanks be to God! Amen.