Monday, May 26, 2014

For June 1, 2015 -- Ascension Sunday

CALL TO WORSHIP (Uses the Shona words of#2 in More Voices)
Uyai mose tinamate Mwari
We hear the call of God, we come together to share our praises
Uyai mose tinamate Mwari
We come to be challenged, we come to be refreshed, we come to be sent out.
Uyai mose tinamate Mwari
We come to pray, to sing to listen, we come to worship
Uyai mose zvino

God of Easter, of New Life, of Resurrection,
as this Easter Season draws near its close we gather in Your presence
As we gather in this space, as we gather at this table,
we open ourselves to the wonder of Your presence, we open our hearts to be touched, maybe even changed.
As we tell an old story the defies our understanding of the cosmos,
remind us that sometime in mystery we find the deepest truths.
As we are drawn to look to the heavens for Your presence,
help us remember to also look to the immediate world for Your presence, and for the work you would have us do in life.
These things we pray in the name of the Risen Christ, whose name we bear, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God of grace, God of glory, God of hope
we live by and in Your grace;
we constantly seek to glimpse Your glory
we continue the struggle because we have been infected with Your hope.
God made known in Jesus of Nazareth,
we work toward living as he lived, loving as he loved.
God who is transcendent, beyond our wildest dream,
God who is immanent, close at hand,
we admit that sometimes we get lost in the search for glory,
we stand waiting and watching, not sure what to do,
and so we hear again Your voice asking “what are you doing here?”
challenging us to live, to love, to change the world by sharing Your hope and vision.
God of the Risen Christ, Ascended to the heavens and also present in our hearts,
We thank you for Your grace, for Your hope, for Your love. Amen.

Monday, May 12, 2014

For May 18, 2014 -- Easter 5A

God who calls us to be God's people,
we offer words of thanks for Your Mercy, for Your Grace, for Your Life.
God who calls us to live in community,
help us, we pray, to learn how best to be a supportive community.
God who calls us to share a vision for the world,
help us, we pray, to share that vision in our words and actions.
God who knows that we sometimes struggle with life,
help us, we pray, to work through our struggles and our mis-steps. Draw us back to the place where we stand on the sure foundation, where we can feel the cornerstone, the touchstone, the keystone of our lives.
God who gives us a living cornerstone, a living foundation, a sure base on which to build our lives, You support us in our struggles, You strengthen us in our weakness, You push us to make a better community.
And so we offer words of thanks for Your Mercy, for Your Grace, for Your Life.

As a people who are called to live in community,
we go out to support our neighbours, friends and strangers, that all may live in abundance.
As people who live in turbulent times,
we go out trusting in our living corner stone, a solid foundation on which we stand.
As those who have been called and claimed as God's people,
we go out to look for God in the world, and to reveal God in the world.
Go with God: the Creator, the Teacher, the Sustainer; the Parent, the Child, the Spirit.
The One-in-Three who is with us always. Amen.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Communion Prayer for Good Shepherd Sunday

We Gather At Table
The God who leads us to green pastures and still waters
Has brought us here together
God has prepared this table in our midst
Here our cup overflows with God's abundance.
God has set this table, it is God's
and so we welcome all to come and eat and drink from it.

We Give Thanks
The Lord is our shepherd,
Our guide, our comforter, our protector.
And so we give thanks
For green pastures, for overflowing cups, for ongoing presence
it is good to give thanks

God of Creation, God of Life, God of Love,
as we gather at this table we remember many gifts:
the world around us, bursting with the springtime promise of new life;
family and friends with whom we share our lives;
food and drink to sustain our bodies;
fellowship to sustain our souls;
Your abundance overflowing in our lives.

God made known in words, and in the Word.
We remember the many ways You have been revealed in the world
In the glory of creation but also in through the witness of our forebears in the faith.
People like Abraham and Sarah – wanderers seeking a new land
People like Moses and Miriam – leading their people out of freedom and sharing a vision for how they could live.
People like Paul and Lydia – sharing a new vision, a new Way

We remember that You have always had a hope, a vision for how we would live together in peace and justice.
And yet we remember that we have often lost sight of the vision, have left peace and justice in the dust.
And yet, like a shepherd searching for a lost lamb, you have not given up on Your children
Sending prophets to call us back to the hope, reminding us how we are meant to live, challenging us to change our ways.

We Remember the Story
After many different messengers had come and gone, we remember, God of Life, that you chose a new path.
And so you came to walk among us as one who was fully human, just like us.
In the man Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, we met You anew
In him we see Your passion, in him we hear and know Your voice.

Remembering the life of Jesus, we consider what he taught.
He welcomed all into his presence, offering words of love and forgiveness where others offered judgement.
He ate with those others called outcasts.
He spoke of a new way of living, of a world that would be changed, of a Kingdom of love and peace and justice.
He called us to the table of life, where we are fed in abundance.

For being true to his understanding of You, Jesus was arrested, tried, and executed.
Put to death on a cross.
He knew the darkness of the valley of shadow, he felt abandoned. And yet You were there.
And then, even as his friends walked in the valley of darkness and shadow, something amazing happened.
Where they looked for signs of death they found the promise of life. An empty tomb, a resurrected Christ, a changed world.
And so in this Easter season we proclaim the joy of New Life.

Here at this table we remember the night before Jesus' arrest.
He gathered with his friends for the central meal of faith.
During that meal he took bread, blessed, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
This is my body, broken by and for the world.
Take it, eat it, and remember me.
Then later he took the cup of wine. Blessed it and passed it among them saying:
This is the cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink this remember me.
So, God of the table, we continue to eat and drink and remember. We share in this foretaste of the Banquet that is to come.

We Invoke the Spirit
Guiding, comforting, protecting God;
send your Spirit upon and among us here and now.
Through the presence of the Spirit may we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, calling us out to new pastures, leading us to fresh waters, comforting and protecting us with rod and staff and love.
Spirit of life and love, fall upon us all, we pray these things in the name of the Good Shepherd, the Risen Christ, who taught his friends to pray together saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven...

We Share the Meal
The Bread we break is the Bread of Life.
The Cup we Share is the Cup of Love
Here at this table we share the abundance of God's gifts.
Thanks be to God

We Close in Prayer
God our shepherd,
we have gathered at the table You have prepared.
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your overflowing abundance.
May this meal embolden, enrich, and nurture us as we go out to live as people of The Way.
And may goodness and mercy flow through us all the days of our lives. May we live in your presence forever. Amen.

Monday, May 5, 2014

For May 14, 2014 -- Easter 4A, Good Shpeherd Sunday

God, our shepherd, our guide, our companion,
we gather again to celebrate Easter Joy, to share Easter Hope, to proclaim Easter Life.
God who leads us to green pastures and still waters,
in this time of worship may we be fed and refreshed.
God who promises us life, and that in abundance,
fill us to overflowing so that Your love, light, and life spill over on all we meet.
And when we go out from this place,
may we always trust in the Easter Promise, may we be ready to follow the Shepherd.

As children of God,
we go out into the world where we live and serve.
As an Easter people,
we go out to share the promise and hope of New Life in abundance
As those who trust the Good Shepherd,
we go out assured that the rod and the staff will comfort us.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives...
and we dwell in God's presence forever.