Monday, September 29, 2014

For October 5, 2014 -- The 10 Commandments, Worldwide Communion Sunday

The table is set, the banquet awaits.
We come to worship, to gather with the community of faith.
The book has been opened, the discussion awaits.
We come to worship to gather with the community of faith.
As we gather together to be fed in body and soul we start by renewing our community and exchanging words and actions of peace...

God of life, we gather as a community,
new friends and old friends, sharing a common hope, sharing a commitment to care for each other and the world.
God of life, we gather as a community,
and when community is difficult help us remember the guidelines that hold us together, the rules that keep us along the path of wisdom.
God of life, we gather as a community,
seeking to be fed, to be drawn together as a caring community, to be renewed.
God of life, when this time of gathering is complete,
carry us back into the world that we could continue to build up all the communities of which we are a part. Amen.

God calls us to live according to rules that build community.
But sometimes we find it hard to remember what they are.
God calls us to live in a way that builds caring and compassion in community
But greed and self-interest can get in the way, so we need to be reminded of the guidelines.
God, when we forget the way, when we choose to ignore the rules and guidelines of being a covenant community
forgive us, lead us back to the Way of peace and justice.
time of silent reflection…
God’s justice and mercy expand beyond our understanding. God’s abundant love brings forgiveness and a new start. We are loved, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah!

We have gathered as a community,
we have shared words about how we live in community.
We have gathered as a community,
we have broken bread together, sharing the meal of faith as a community.
We go forth as a community,
into the wider communities where we live and work, sharing the compassion and love of God.
Go with God: Parent, Child, and Spirit.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

For September 28, 2014 -- The Crossing of the Red Sea

God has led us to this place, God will lead us past this place. 
We have been led here to explore what God is doing among us, to find out who God wants us to be 
Come, jump into the River of Life, come and immerse your self in God, come and worship the God who protects and guides us. 
As God flows through us, we greet each other with signs and words of God's peace.

River running in all of us, Spirit of Life, Holy Mystery, 
catch us in your current, make our souls resonate with your roar. 
God who leads us through the desert and into the sea, in this time of worship, 
guide us, pull us forward, open our eyes and ears that we would know your Way. 
In our struggles, in those times when we feel under attack, 
remind us to look around, that you are not asleep or absent, that your protecting love is with us. 
These things we pray in the name and memory of Jesus, the one we call Christ, who taught his friends to pray with words like these...

God, we stand on the edge of the sea and shake with fear. 
Give us the courage, the faith, the trust to step into the water. 
We watch our adversaries washed away, and we sing praises for obviously God is on our side. 
Give us the wisdom to remember that all people are your children, and so you are on their side as well. 
When we fall into tribalism and the politics of division, 
push us to look beyond our self-imposed boundaries. 
When we ask ourselves “whose side is God on”? 
Reminds us that the real question is if we have placed ourselves on your side, if we have aligned our priorities with your priorities. 
God of grace, through your grace, 
Open us to the wondrous breadth of your love. Push us to explore the amazing depth of your presence. Challenge us to share the amazing wideness of your Promise. 
In Christ's name we pray, Amen.

As we continue our pilgrimage through the world, heading for the Kingdom 
We share the prayer “Guide us, lead us Gracious God” 
Where we encounter barrenness and struggle, 
help us be sources of water for growth and comfort that defeats fear. 
River running in all of us, Spirit of Life, Deep Mystery 
walk with us on our journey, show us where the Kingdom is being born. 
Go now in peace, for God is with you always 
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Monday, September 8, 2014

For September 14, 2014 -- God Promises Abram a Land.

We gather here on land that is the traditional land of the Beaver in the traditional territory of the Cree.
Land where they shared the gifts of life given to them by the Creator.
We gather here to celebrate the gifts given to us by the Creator.
Called together by God, to explore what it means to live in God's way.
As we gather together we recognize that all our neighbours are beloved children of the Creator,,
And that we all have a part to play in spreading God's peace, God's love, God's promise, God's hope
And so we greet each other with signs and words of peace....

God of life, we gather together for worship,
a time of prayer and singing, of listening and reflecting.
God of life, we pause in the busy-ness of life,
trusting that as we pause we can hear and feel you moving in our midst.
God of life, in this hour of worship,
challenge our understandings of the world and the word. Open our eyes that we might see the world as you see it.
And when our worship is ended,
lead us back out into the land we share with neighbours who have been here for centuries, and neighbours who have just arrived, that we can all work together to make it better for all as we share your peace, hope, and love.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the one we call Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God of the Promise, you call us to go to a new place.
And we want to go, but sometimes we are afraid.
God of the Land, we hear you say the land is ours.
Do we miss where you tell us to share it with others?
God of wondrous grace, you invite us to follow The Way.
We want to. We try to. And sometimes we need guidance.
Guiding God, through your grace,
help us find the path of wisdom, of love, of justice, of peace.
So that we might live in the land where we have been placed.
In harmony with our neighbours, that all may flourish.
...time of silent prayer...
God is gracious, and so God keeps guiding us along the path of life: offering correction where we wander, giving praise where we get it right, and supporting us when the way is difficult.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

We go back out to the land we share with folk from many places.
We go into the world where we share each other hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties.
Go out as people committed to God, as people who follow the Way of Christ, as people through whom the Spirit flows freely.
We go to share God's love, to work for God's justice, to live as residents of God's Kingdom.
Go with God
All ways and always. Amen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Communion Liturgy Using Covenant Imagery

We Invite All to the Table
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
for they shall be filled.
The God who promises life, and that in abundance, invites us to the table.
Where we share in the abundance of life, where we practise living in the Kingdom of God.
This table is God's Table. This table is open to all who seek to follow God's Way, to live as people of the Promise.
Here we meet friend and stranger, and recognize all as family.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

We Give Thanks to God
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
Our hearts are lifted by God's Spirit in our midst.
Inheritors of the Promise, sing songs of thanks.
We sing our praises for what God has done in our midst.
Partners in the Covenant, open your souls.
To feel God moving among and within us, strengthening us to live out the covenant of life

God of the Promise, from the beginning you have lived in relationship with your Creation.
Walking in the primeval garden with Adam and Eve, speaking with their children and grandchildren.
And as that relationship developed you made covenants, agreements about how we would live together.
Promises made on both sides so that life would flourish as you hoped.

And so we remember Noah and the rainbow
Your sign that the world would not be washed away again, your reminder that we live in relationship.
And we remember Abraham,
The promise of land, of a mighty people, of a blessing to the world.
And we remember Moses on the mountain,
Where you renewed your relationship with your people, laying out a way they should live with each other, with their neighbours, and with you.

As time went on, your people, your beloved children, did not remain faithful to the covenant.
They forgot their promises, they did not live up to their side of the deal.
But you remained faithful, you continued to hold up the possibility of the Promise, of the Covenant.
And so you sent prophets and messengers, faithful men and women who reminded their neighbours about the Covenant and call them back to the path of wisdom.
But still the people moved from the path, and so you chose a new path, a New Covenant.
One that would not be shown by a bow in the clouds, or by a new land, or by laws and rules.
This Covenant would be written on the hearts and souls of your people.

To begin this covenant you chose a young woman in a small town, Mary of Nazareth.
In her womb grew a child, who would be named Jesus.
In his adulthood he would share the wonders of your love, the glory of your forgiveness, the possibility of your Reign.
He would invite his friends and all who would follow them, including us, to participate in the New Covenant of Life and Love. As participants in the community of the faithful we echo the ancient cry:
Holy, holy, holy God. source of power and light.
Blessed is the one who comes in your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

We Remember the Story
As it would happen, the world was not ready for the message of Jesus.
As he shared your vision and hope he challenged the way the world already operated,
Which led those with power to move against him.
He was arrested, tried, and executed.
But that was not the end of the story, or of the New Covenant.
You raised him, breaking the bonds of death, shattering the powers of the world.

We remember that on the night before his death Jesus shared the feast of liberation with his friends. At that table he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Then he took the cup of wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
Take and drink, this is the cup of the new covenant. Whenever you eat and drink, remember me.

We do remember. And as we remember we also remember the promise Jesus gave,
the promise of a Comforter, of the Spirit, to sustain us always.
Pour out that Spirit upon and among us God.
May the Spirit move in this loaf and cup, in the sharing of this meal,
transforming them, transforming us.
And when our gathering is ended,
Send us out with the fire of the Spirit in our souls, ready to live out the Covenant of Life and Love with all we meet, wherever we go.

These things we pray in the name of Jesus, whose life, death, resurrection and passion write the words of the New Covenant on our hearts and souls, and who taught his friends to pray together saying...
Our Father who art in heaven...

We Break and Pour and Share
The Bread we share is the bread of Life.
The Cup we share is the Cup of the New Covenant
These are signs of the Promise, from the God who gives us the Promise
Thanks be to God.

We Pray After the Sharing
God of the rainbow, God of the promise, God of the table;
we have broken the bread and shared the cup. We have tasted your goodness. We have shared the meal that ties us to each other and to you.
God of the past, the present and the future;
you have been faithful, you are faithful, you will be faithful. You will live out the covenant of life. May we who have shared this meal, we who gather in community, be transformed by our gathering and our sharing, so that we too will live out the covenant of life. Amen.

Monday, September 1, 2014

For September 7, 2014 -- the Story of Noah

As the summer draws to a close, as a new year begins,
we gather together to be reminded of the Promise.
As those who have seen some of the storms of life,
we gather to look for the rainbow, sign of the Promise.
As God called Noah so long ago, so God calls us in the present,
to gather as members of community, to celebrate God's Promise, to live as people of the covenant.
Let us worship together as we greet each other with words and signs of God's peace...

God of life, we gather in your presence,
here we bring our questions, our hopes, our fears, our hungers.
God of the table, we respond to your invitation,
to break bread together, to share in the building of community.
God of the storm, we come seeking shelter,
a safe place where we can reflect on the wind and the rain.
God of the Promise, we come as people of hope,
to be reminded of the Promise, to be empowered to live out our side of the Promise. Amen.

Creation was not what you hoped it would be God.
And you decided to start over.
But there was still something worth saving,
so you called out Noah to build an ark, a refuge for creation.
Then, after the waters washed away you made a promise,
setting your bow in the clouds, a sign that never again would the world be washed away, a sign of your love and grace.
Creation is not what you hope it would be God,
we continue to miss the mark, we continue to be less than we could be.
But still you see the possibility, still in grace you challenge us to live out the old covenants,
pulling us forward, reminding us who we are.
And still the bow is in the clouds, light bending through a prism, spreading into a display of colour.
Giving us hope, giving us beauty, promising us grace.
Thank you.

When the storms of life are raging,
we look for the Rainbow.
Go now from this time of worship, to a world full of storms.
We go to a world in need of the Promise.
As you go, may you carry the presence of God to all you meet.
And may we see God all around us, reminding us that we are not alone.
Thanks be to God!
Who has made us a Promise in many colours.

Christ Candle Response for Fall 2014 -- to go with the Narrative Lectionary

There is a promise, there is a God who promises to be with us, to lead us, to give us life – and that in abundance.
May the light of this candle remind us that we are people of the promise, and that God is faithful to the covenant of life.