Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Communion Prayer for a Presbytery meeting...

The God who calls us to follow welcomes us to this table.
The God who calls us to share in the Kingdom invites us to share in the Banquet.
This is God's table, foretaste of the Banquet that is to come. And so all who seek to follow The Way are free to eat and drink here.
Come and taste the Grace eternal. Come and see that God is good.

God is here, among us, within us.
God is here, and so we give thanks.

Creator God,
in the beginning you spoke into the chaos saying “Let there be light”.
Nearly 14 billion years from the beginning we gather here to give thanks for the world of which we are a part.
“For rocks and tree for skies and seas,”
For mountain ranges and deep valleys,
For open plains and ancient forests.
For birdsong, whistling wind, and children's laughter.
“Your hand the wonders wrought”

Guiding God,
over the eons You have move within and among Your people.
Giving them hope, giving them vision, giving them a Way to live.
But time and time again Your children have strayed.
Making poor choices, following other paths.
And so you sent prophets, wise women and men, people with a vision.
Challenging the world as it was, sharing what the world could be.
And so we today listen for their voices, ancient and modern, as You call us into the future,
as You challenge us to take new paths, to climb new hills.

Immanent and Present God,
centuries ago You broke into the world in a new way/
Born of the woman Mary, Jesus of Nazareth revealed Your love, Your hope, Your path
in a way that was not seen before nor has been seen since.
Eating with outcasts, he broke down the social boundaries of his world.
Proclaiming Your forgiveness, he reminds us that we are Your Beloved Children.
Speaking truth to power, he challenged “the way it is” with a vision of “the way is should be”.
And for that he was condemned to death.
But death could not contain Your power. And so we celebrate his resurrection.

As we gather at this table, as we share the meal Jesus told us to share,
we remember a special meal he shared with his closest followers.
As they gathered to remember the ancient story of liberation,
Jesus shared with them the hope and promise of the Kingdom's Banquet.
During that meal he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
“This is my body, broken by and for the world. Eat it and remember me”
Then later he took a cup of wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
“This is the cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink from it remember me”

So it is that we continue to share the loaf and the cup,
remembering Jesus, Crucified and Risen,
and waiting for the Banquet that is to come.

Spirit God,
blow among us here and now.
As we share this meal together may we be emboldened.
May Your Spirit ignite the fires of hope and change in our hearts and souls.
May we see the hope of the future.
May we be made ready to follow The Way through new territory.

Threefold God: Parent, Child and Spirit,
we gather here together in body. We gather with the whole of Your global family in Spirit.
And as we come together to share the meal which makes us one we say together the prayer which also makes us one...
Our Father...
And the people called out AMEN!

The Bread we Break is the Bread of Life, Food for the Journey.
The Cup we share is the Cup of Love, Sustaining moisture on The Way.
These are the Gifts of God, for the People of God Thanks be to God.

God of the Table,
we have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your goodness.
Grant that the meal we have shared here today will fill our hearts with hope.
May the fellowship we share today fill our hearts with love.
May the worship we share to day, fill our souls with You.
And as we go out, may we carry Christ to friend and stranger.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For February 23, 2014, Using Reading from Proper 12A

Although this Sunday is the 7th After Epiphany the service is actually using Matthew13:31-34, 44-46, which is closest to the RCL passage for Proper 12A.

Come, now is the time to worship.
We come together to sing and pray, to offer words of praise, to ask for support
Come, now is the time to worship.
We come together to celebrate God's presence among us.
Come, now is the time to worship, and as we gather in peace, we exchange the Peace of Christ with our neighbours...

God, this hour together is such a small part of our week.
1 out of 168, less than 1% of our time.
And yet this pittance of time makes a difference in our lives.
God, as we worship together, as we sing and pray and listen,
open our hearts and lives to be filled with your leaven,
open our lives that we might share that leaven with others,
and lead us back out into the world,
so that we would contaminate it with your love, your hope, your life.
We pray in the name of Jesus. The one who taught us about The Way, who called us to follow and share, who taught us to pray together saying...

Ask when we are supposed to wash our hands...
Ask why it is important to wash our hands....
Ask if there are times when it is more important to wash our hands...
Why is it REALLY important to wash our hands a lot when we are sick?
Germs spread really easily and really quickly. What are some other things that spread easily and quickly? (stories, rumours, teasing...)
I have a story about a potato. Well really about a box of potatoes. One of them started to go bad. And then each of the potatoes that touched it started to go bad. Pretty soon the whole box was starting to rot and smell.
Jesus told us that God's Kingdom was sort of the same. It started small but spread quickly and changed the people it touched. Sort of like a cold when we forget to wash our hands. But some things we want to spread around.
Let's have an echo prayer:
Hi God,
help us to remember
how easily things spread.
Help us to remember
to spread the right things:
your Love,
your Promises,
your Hope.

God, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom is like something small hidden in something big.
And yet we long for the Church to be big and visible, because that is what it feels thriving should be like.
Jesus reminds us that the small transforms the surroundings.
But we wonder how that transformation happens, why we don't see it.
Jesus reminds us that the Kingdom is like a contaminant growing in the world.
And if we are honest, we know that our lives could use more contamination as the leaven grows in us.
In our longing, in our wondering, in our growing,
open us to feel our lives and our world being transformed by your grace.
...time of silent prayer...
Like a small pearl giving great value to a large field, like a small seed becoming a mighty shrub, like leaven turning flour and water into bread, so God is at work in us and in the world. God's grace is present, transforming us bit by bit, as we grow into who we are called to be.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Our time of worship draws to a close.
And we go out to live the other 167 hours of our week.
Go now as leaven for the world, changing it by your very presence.
We go, carrying the love of God, the teachings of Christ, the sustaining power of the Spirit in our hearts, in our lives, in our actions.
The mission field lies wherever we turn.
A world in need of Hope, of Love, of Light, of Life
Go with God.

Monday, February 3, 2014

For February 9, 2014 -- 5th Sunday After Epiphany

The God who gives flavour and zest to our lives.
Has called us together for worship.
The God whose light shines in the darkest corners of the world
Has called us together to be refreshed, to be sent out.
The God who challenges us to be Salt and Light
Is here amongst us as we pray and sing and listen.
Come, now is the time to worship...