Monday, April 22, 2013

For May 5, 2013, 6th of Easter, A communion Service Using Luke 24:13-36

Deep into the Season of Easter we come together
Continuing to seek news of the Risen Christ, continuing to celebrate the promise of Life.
The God of life, the God who raised Christ from death, has called us together.
And we have come, to listen, to pray, to sing, to break bread together.
God of Easter, in this time of worship,
walk with us along the road, opening our eyes to Your presence in simple acts.
As we hear the old story told, as we break bread together,
remind us that often you are found in places and ways we do not expect.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ.

As our worship ends, we continue our journey along the road of life
there is where we serve, there is where we share the love of God.
As we journey along that road, may we see the face of Christ is those we meet.
And may those we meet see the face of Christ in us.
Go with God, ever present, ever loving, ever challenging

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prayers of the People

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam, she'hehiyanu v'kiy'manu v'higi'anu la z'man ha ze.
Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.

God of Easter, we come before you in this season of new life, new hopes, new possibilities.
We bring with us our hopes and our dreams, our fears and our nightmares, our joys and our sorrows.

God of Creation, in this time together we give thanks for all the gifts with which we have been blessed.
For the wonders of a sunrise, the sweetness of bird song, the joyful laughter of children, the scent of spring rain, for everything that makes life full and abundant we sings songs of praise, we shout words of thanks.

And in our thankfulness, we pray for and with those who have reason to celebrate this day.
We join with those who see signs of new life around them,
those who dance for joy,
those who celebrate the presence of love in their lives,
those whose hearts are bursting with joy and hope.
May we all have those days when hope and joy and laughter rule our lives.

And yet, God of life, there are days...
days when we want to shut out the world and crawl back under the covers...
days when our most fervent prayer is “could we have this as a do-over?”
days when the world simply doesn't make sense
days when the unfairness that seems inherent in life overwhelms us

And so, God who is with us each step of the way,
we hold in our prayers those who are having some of those days.
In particular we pray with and for all those who have been struck by the events we have read about in the news this past week...
We remember the Boston marathon, and explosions, and the aftermath.
And we pray for healing in body, mind, and soul.
We pray that justice tempered with mercy wins out over the desire for vengeance and payback.
We remember the people of West, Texas, and an explosion, and the aftermath.
And we pray for healing in the midst of grief,
for a path that leads through the valley of the shadow and back into the light of hope.
We remember people around the world whose lives are constantly broken by
poverty, or war, or explosions, people who live where we would not be caught dead.
And we pray that they would experience healing, that sense would come to their world.
We remember people in our own community whose lives have been bent, maybe even broken:
those struggling with mental or physical health issues;
those seeking a place to sleep, a meal to eat;
those having to prepare to say good-bye to a loved one;
those who have gathered at graveside for that farewell.
May all who struggle in life in any corner of the globe, know that they are not alone.
May they feel the love that enfolds and surrounds them, a love so broad and wide it can never let us go.

God of life, you watched us grow in our mother's wombs,
you know us better than we allow ourselves to be known,
and so you know our deepest hopes, our darkest fears, you know the things we dare not put into words,
the things we pray in the silence of our hearts ... time of silence...
God of hope, God of life, God who has Created and is Creating,
All of these things, all of our lives, we lay before you
in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, our teacher, our guide, our rock and redeemer,
who lived and died and lives again so that we might find the path that leads to the Kingdom.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blessing for the Opening of a Hospice

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 24:3,4

Statement of Purpose
Friends we have come here today to celebrate.
We have come to welcome a new piece of our community.
Here people will gather with family,
here people will say good-byes,
here people will seek comfort.
This place is a home, this place is a gift.
And so let us thank God, who is with us in life and death,
For this place and the people we find here.

Scripture Reading: Romans 12:9-13

Prayer of Blessing & Dedication
Creator God,
eons ago you spoke into the primordial chaos,
bringing forth life.
You watched us grow in our mother's womb,
you fill our lungs with the breath of life,
you journey with us throughout the ups and the downs of life,
you comfort us as we prepare to say farewell.
Bless and be present in this holy space, this place of residence, this place of preparing for change.
May it be a place of deep grace and peace.
May it be a place of comfort in body, mind and spirit,
Be with the patients who live here, easing their pain.
Be with their families and friends, walking with them through the shadow of grief.
Be with the staff and volunteers, supporting them as they live out the ministry of support and caring.
May Your love infuse this building, the walls, the furnishings, the people.
God of life and love, You reveal Yourself to Your people in many different guises,
we pray that all who come through these doors would meet you in each other.
May all: patients, families, friends, staff and volunteers be sources of strength for each other
Grant that this place is a beacon of love and caring.
In Your name we pray.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Litany for Creation

God of life, in the beginning of our story you moved over the waters.
You spoke and there was light, you spoke and the story of life began.
Through the eons the world you created has changed over and over again,
some forms of life have died out, to be replaced by new ones,
mountains have risen up, rivers have worn away rock,
ice sheets have expanded and contracted, lakes have flooded and receded.
Our story tells us that You have given us a special role
in the ongoing life of this tiny blue ball floating in the heavens.
God who has created and is creating
Help us to be good stewards of the world you have created

God of imagination, we have done well with the world into which we have been placed.
Using the gifts that You have given us we have accomplished amazing things.
With each new generation we find that we can do more, make more, have more.
We have moved from knocking rocks together to computer-guided laser sculpting,
from a daily struggle to find food to shrink-wrapped meat at the local supermarket,
from a time when the environment controlled our activity
to a time where we believe we can control the environment.
And so we need to remember the wisdom:
with great power comes great responsibility.
God who has created and is creating
Help us to be good stewards of the world you have created

And yet, God of covenant,
we have to admit that we have failed to keep our end of the bargain.
As a collective we have not always thought thoroughly about the consequences of our choices.
In our excitement about what was possible, we have forgotten to ask what is wise,
in our focus on the present and our push to improve on the past
we have not fully comprehended how we will impact the future.
So now we look around and see that the environment we thought we could control
is changing in ways we did not predict and are not sure we can manage.
Is it time for us to rethink our assumptions about the world and our place in it?
God who has created and is creating
Help us to be good stewards of the world you have created

God of our future hope,
over the last few decades we have started to ask harder questions.
We have started to wonder what we will leave to future generations,
we have started to rethink what the old story meant
when it told us we were given dominion over the earth,
we have started to question the wisdom of our collective choices of the past.
God who has created and is creating
Help us to be good stewards of the world you have created

God, eons ago you looked at the creation and called it very good.
You called us into partnership with you in caring for it.
Almost 14 billion years from the Big Bang have brought us to this point,
where will we go from here?
As we move forward, we seek your help.
Help us to continue to ask the hard questions
about our relationship with the world in which we live.
Help us to re-shape that relationship into one of co-dependence rather than master and servant.
Give us the wisdom to use the gifts we have been given so that they are blessings
for us, for our neighbours, and for our children and grandchildren
even unto the seventh generation.
And may our amazing imagination and inventiveness,
along with Your Guiding Spirit,
show us the path that leads to a time when we can say with confidence that
we are living up to the covenant into which You have invited us.
God who has created and is creating
Help us to be good stewards of the world you have created
So be it.  AMEN.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

For Earth Day Worship

The One who spoke into the primordial chaos, calling forth light,
speaks into the modern chaos, calling forth faith.
The One who was present at the Big Bang, watching and weaving,
is present now, watching and weaving.
14 billion years have brought us to this point,
accompanied by the God who has created and is creating, the God who calls us to live and work together for the greening of the earth.
Creating and re-creating God, in this time of worship
reawaken in us the awe and wonder we get from:
seeing a sunrise, hearing birdsong, smelling fresh flowers,
tasting spring water, feeling the warmth of a summer breeze
And as we remember again the wonders of the Creation around us,
remind us of our call to be careful and responsible stewards, empower to go out and live that stewardship in the world.
In this season of new life, we pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who called us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, and who taught his friends to pray saying...

The God who Created us gave us a challenge,
to live with respect for the Creation around us.
The God who re-creates us gives us a challenge,
to live lovingly within the world, caring for each other and the world.
As we go out, wherever we go,
we are walking on Holy Ground, and so we tread carefully and respectfully
And we go knowing the the Creator is with us each step of the way.

Monday, April 8, 2013

For Easter 3C

God of Grace, you ask us, “Christian, do you love me?”
And we reply vigorously, “of course we do!”
But then you ask again, “Christian, do you love me?”
And we start to squirm a little bit and mumble that yes we do but sometimes we have trouble showing it.
So you ask a third time, “Christian, do you love me?”
And we stare at the ground, saying quietly, “yes.” But we need help to live that love every day
God of Grace, we love you, we seek to live in your Way,
so we ask for your help, we ask for your patience when we miss the path, we ask for your guidance as we choose how to live as loved and loving people.
...time of silent prayer...
God is Gracious, God is Patient, God meets us where we are. God teaches us to live love by showing us that we are loved, accepted, forgiven.
We are an Easter people. Thanks be to God! Amen.

In response to our professions of love God says:
Feed my lambs, tend my sheep.
So we go out to live our love of God by caring about what God cares about,
loving the world around us, loving the people we meet every day.
Be bold, be strong, be courageous in the task.
We can do it for we know that God goes with us
Everywhere and always.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Resources for Holy Humour Sunday

The Laughing One called us together
so we could share in the laughter of life.
The Laughing One sends us out,
to carry the joy of life and love to the world.
Go out to laugh, to live to love. And when you hear a good joke...
remember that sharing is a great thing!

Foolish, foolish God, your belly laugh echoes through the world,
We have responded to your invitation to join in the Banquet.
Here we have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your goodness.
May the joy we find in this meal together lift up our hearts,
may we carry your laughter to the world around us,
may we live out that foolishness called love wherever we go.