Monday, May 27, 2013

Prayer for & Assurance of Grace

Singer-God, you call us to join in the song of life,
but we are unsure of the melody, or convinced we can't carry a tune in a bucket.
Sometimes you call us to carry the melody, sometimes to harmonize,
and sometimes our inability to harmonize or blend results in cacophony and dis-chord
And sometimes you call us to stop and listen and appreciate the music,
but in our busy-ness we are sure we have no time to “waste” with such things.
God of classical symphonies, of chest-thumping power rock, of twanging steel guitars...
help us to appreciate the music of Life, Your music, however it comes to our ears.
God of old-time Gospel, God of new-fangled praise songs, God of monastic chant, for the times when we don't hear or enjoy or sing Your music because it doesn't match our expectations or understanding of what that music should be:
forgive us, open our ears, help us to sing...
...time of silence...
The Singer calls us to sing joyfully. The Song-writer gives us the tune and challenges us to give it our all. Even when we hit a sour note from time to time, the tune continues and we keep singing.
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prayer for and Assurance of Grace

God of Easter, in the Resurrection you invite us to embrace death and new life.
But we are afraid of the uncertainties in that cycle.
God of Pentecost, you fill us with Spirit and ignite a flame of hope in our hearts.
And we hesitate, unsure how to handle that wind and heat.
God of Grace, you challenge us to live in such a way that the world is transformed by our lives.
But in the end we are hesitant to take risks, we are unclear where You are calling us to go.
God of Love, you have commanded us to live love to neighbours, enemies, friends and family.
For those times when we have left the Love out of our actions forgive us and strengthen us to choose differently next time...
...time of silent prayer...
The God of the Empty Tomb, the God of Pentecost's wind and fire, the God who calls us to be more than we are, is a God of Grace and Mercy. Where we miss the mark God offers forgiveness and helps us find the wisdom to learn and grow in faith.
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah! Amen

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pentecost Prayers of the People

God of wind and flame,
blow into our lives. Ignite the fire of hope, fan the flames of possibility.
Transform us into a people who share your love with a world in pain,
a people who proclaim your hope into a world given to despair,
a people who live as though the world can be changed into the kingdom that is to come.

Baptizing God, who calls us to be a baptizing community,
you speak to us in many languages over the course of our lives:
the burbles and laughs and wails of infancy,
the indistinct speech and partial words of toddlerhood,
the strange syntax and slang of late childhood and adolescence,
the full language of adulthood,
the quavering speech and muted tones of old age.
Speak to us in the language that we need to hear today,
hear us in the language that we speak.

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 traveling, 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, God who speaks with many tongues, God who makes God-self known in many ways,
fill us with Your Spirit this and every morning,
hear the prayers we share using many different languages,
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.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Commissioning For Pentecost Sunday

As a baptized and baptizing community,
we have been claimed and commissioned by God.
We are children of wind and fire, of water and Spirit
We are Children of God, called to pass on God's love and hope.
So go now into the world afire for God's justice, blow with the wind of peace and love.
We go to share the Word of hope that speaks in all languages and breaks down divisions.
Go with God: Parent, Child, and Spirit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Opening Prayer for Pentecost

Spirit God,
blow into our lives,
move us to action,
break down the walls that separate us.
Where our language divides, offer us translation.
Where our fear overcomes, fill us with the fire of courage.
Where our lives are becalmed, fill our sails with wind,
moving us forward into the unknown future.
Fill us with the hope and promise of Pentecost!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Prayers of the People for Mother's Day

Nurturing God,
on this Mother's Day we pause to remember the gifts of mothering.
And as we remember we pause to give thanks for the ways you are a mother to us:
for nurturing us, giving us the guidance and the freedom we need to grow in experience and wisdom
(even if we are sometimes headstrong and make unwise choices);
for comforting us when we are wounded in body or spirit, helping us to heal and be stronger for it;
for believing in and challenging us, calling us to be more than we are, encouraging us to live out our potential;
for giving us the swift kick in the backside that we need at times, not letting us coast, reminding us to keep trying and growing; we offer words of thanks.

Gracious God,
on this day we also give thanks for those on our lives who have been like mothers to us.
Some of them are related to us through blood,
some of them have come into our lives through happenstance,
some of them have been part of our lives for decades,
some of them are new to us,
but many people have nurtured, taught, comforted, challenged, encouraged us.
Without them we would not be who we are,
and so we give thanks for them and all that we have learned from our interactions with them.

And yet, in the midst of our thankfulness, we remember...
We remember that there are those for whom Mother's Day is difficult.
There are those for whom the relationship between mother and child is strained, or difficult, or non-existent.
There are those who are distanced from their mothers, and mothers distanced from their children,
by geography, or illness, or unhealed hurts, or communication failures.
There are those who have said farewell to mothers or children, not to meet again until we join in the life which lies beyond this life.
For all these mothers and children who meet pain or struggle this day we pray for comfort, that they would know they are not alone.
On this day also we remember those who want to be mothers but are unable, or those who still carry the wondering of having given up a child for adoption, or those who wish to know the woman who carried them but never will.
May they too know Your peace.

God of life,
today and everyday we give thanks for the gifts of life.
Today and everyday we also remember the people in the world who know more about curses than blessings.
Today we remember that the roots of Mother's Day lies in women's grief at burying husbands and brothers and sons as a result of brutal warfare,
and so we pray for peace and justice throughout the world.
And so in the spirit of those roots we pray today for that time when we live out Jesus' prayer “That all may be ONE”, for the vision of a truly just society where none are on the outside, for the day when Dame Julian's words”all manner of thing be well” have come to full fruition.
This we pray in the name of the one who taught about your love, your justice, your hope for the world, Jesus of Nazareth, our rock and redeemer, our teacher and guide, in whose life death and resurrection we find the path that leads to the Kingdom. AMEN.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Christ Candle Responses for Ordinary Time

As the candle flame flickers to life then burns with a steady glow

So may the Spirit move in and around us so that God's light would shine through us.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

For Easter 7C

God of life, once more you have called us together for worship.
We have come to be refreshed, we have come to be reminded of whose we are, we have come to explore who and how you are calling us to be in the world.
God of light, in this time together,
open our eyes, our hearts, our very beings to see, hear and feel how You are active in our midst.
God of love, who calls us to live love,
may the time we spend listening for your still small voice awaken an awareness of how we can put love into action, how we can care for all our relationships.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the man from Nazareth, who taught his friends to pray saying...

That all may be one...
We echo the prayer of Jesus.
That All may be one...
All? You mean All? But some people are so different.
That All may be One...
Where we build walls when we are called to build bridges, God help us to hear Your voice.
All my relations...
Parent God, remind us that we are related, remind us that we share a status as Your children.
All my relations...
Help us live into the call to love and serve others, those who are like us and those who are different.
And for those times we forget the deep meaning of those phrases...
forgive us we pray. Through Grace awaken us to what is possible.
...time of silent prayer...
Jesus prayer that we would all be one as he and God were one. Sometimes it seems impossible. But with God all things are possible. God's grace pushes us past our biases and blindnesses. God's grace moves us from the mis-steps of the past into the possibilities of the future. We are loved, we are forgiven, we are made new.
Thanks be to God! Amen

We go from our worship,
we go back to the world where we live to serve.
We go with a challenge,
to live out Jesus' prayer “that all may be one”, to treat those we meet with the reality that they are part of “all our relations”.
We go out with a promise,
the God made known in Jesus of Nazareth, the God made known in the Spirit's breath, the God made known in Creation, is with us always.
To challenge and to guide, to comfort and to support.