Saturday, September 15, 2018

Backpack Blessing

Hi God!
Another School year has started.
And every day people load up these backpacks
with school work and notes to (or from) the teacher and lunches and snacks.
Keep them safe.
Keep the straps from tearing, the zippers from jamming or bursting.
Help the backpack avoid the mud puddle or the toilet bowl.
Help it stay where it belongs so it can always find its human.
Keep the precious papers put inside safe, not scattered over the street (or the kitchen floor).

But really God we worry about the people who carry these things.
Keep them safe.
Keep them away from bullies, keep them from becoming bullies.
Make them brave enough to help when they see another person being bullied.
Sometimes school is scary, some days it seems too hard, some days we just don’t want to go.
God when this happens make us strong enough to keep trying,
remind us that learning means making mistakes so we can try again,
help us find the good things even on a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day.

And while we are at it,
we worry about all those other people.
The teachers who prepare and present lessons,
the parents who send their children off to school (sometimes worrying about what the day will be like),
the bus drivers who get kids from one place to another,
the people at after school programs who take over when the bell rings.
Help them too God.

God you promise that we are not alone.
At home, at school, on the bus, and everywhere else you are there.
Thank you.
Amen.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

PRayers of the People for May 20, 2018 -- Pentecost

Spirit of Life, blowing through our world,
on this Pentecost Day we open ourselves to your power.
God who calls us to be the church, to share our lives with you and with each other,
on this Pentecost Day we hear again the call, the challenge to be the church in the world.
And so, as Paul encourages us, we Rejoice in your presence always.

God whose Spirit moved over the world at the beginning,
you blew the breath of life into our lungs and let loose our borning cry,
you have been with us ever since.
All that we have been, and are, and ever will be is in and through you.
And we Rejoice.

Creator, source of wonders that appear throughout the world,
creator of those things that leave us awestruck,
we stop and say WOW!
Wow for the beauty of fresh spring flowers
Wow for the joy of children’s laughter
Wow for the times when we overcome our differences and hear each other as if we all spoke the same way.
For the wonders of life we share our awe...
and we Rejoice.

Gift-giver, God who offers us so much throughout our life’s journey.
We join with your faithful children of many colours and races and faiths
to share our songs of praise and thanks giving.
For all that makes life wonderful and full and abundant we say thank you...
And we Rejoice.

God of presence, God who will never leave us alone,
amongst the abundant gifts and the wonders of life come struggles.
And yet you are there.
And so we join our voices with the voices of all those around the world who struggle:
struggle with shootings in schools
struggle with the reality of racism and prejudice
struggle with conflict between nations
struggle with the reality of bodies or minds that no longer work the way they once did,
struggle with anxiety, or fear, or grief...
In our times of struggle may we know the peace that surpasses all understanding.
And so we can Rejoice.

God who calls us to move into the world.
As we go forth to be the church in a world aching for the Gospel of Love,
help us remain focused on those things that are true, just, honourable, pure, pleasing and commendable.
May we continue to share the Good News with all, may we never forget that you are with us,
may we rejoice in your presence always, and again we say REJOICE!
Amen.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Christ Candle Responses for Ordinary TIme

LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE
In this Season of the Spirit we light a candle, reminding us of the fire of hope and freedom
as this flame flickers in our midst, we commit ourselves to spread its light and heat in the world
Gathered as Spirit-filled disciples of Christ, we quiet our hearts for worship

Monday, May 7, 2018

Treaty Acknowledgement for June 2018

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TREATY
In the beginning the Creator shaped this land. The hills were sculpted, the river valleys dug deep, life sprang out of the soil. Then people came. We honour and thank those who were here before us: the Beaver, the Cree, the Métis. Then those who came here from across the sea made agreements to share the land and now we live together as Treaty partners.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

For April 22, 2018, Easter 4 -- Saul/Paul on the Damascus Road

OPENING PRAYER
God of Resurrection, in this Easter season,
we gather for worship, to celebrate the promise of New Life.
As we sing and pray and listen this morning,
open our eyes and ears and hearts to your Word
transform us, and then send us out to help transform the world.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, as we share the words he taught his friends so many years ago...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God you continue to invite us to see the new thing you are doing
but if we are honest, we don’t always do new things well.
In the Risen Christ, in the mystery of Easter, you transform the world,
but transformation may be uncomfortable, and so we sometimes work against it,
even persecuting those who proclaim the new thing
But still God you persist in the new thing, you call the loudest critics,
revealing the promise of New Life, opening their eyes to what is possible.
God who is doing a new thing, when we are unwilling to follow the new path,
open our eyes and hearts, move us beyond protection of old understandings, lead us to see where you are pointing.
God of Grace,
forgive our stubbornness and unwillingness to change,
forgive our willingness to strike back against the new simply because it is not what we have always done,
forgive our periodic blindness to what you are doing in our midst
God is doing a New Thing to share the old message of Love. Where we resist, God is patient and coaxing. God forgives us and calls us to try again. God opens our eyes to see what God is up to.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
God meets us on the road of life.
Sometimes in a still small voice, sometimes with a flash of light.
God calls us to go from those meetings and share the Good News of Christ.
We go to the world where we live and serve and carry the Love of Christ
Go now, secure in the knowledge that you are held in God’s Loving arms wherever the road may take you
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

For April 8, 2018 -- Easter 2 -- Jesus Appears to the Disciples

OPENING PRAYER
Source of Life, we gather together for worship,
hoping that here we will meet the Risen Christ.
Source of hope, we open ourselves in worship,
trusting that the Holy Spirit will blow through the room, filling us with peace.
God of New Life, in this time of worship,
empower us to go back into the wider world to share the Good News of Resurrection,
to proclaim the promise of forgiveness,
to encourage others with the peace of Christ.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who encourages us to pray saying...

PRAYER OF DOUBT AND BELIEF
God of life that conquers death, in this Easter season,
we are challenged to see life where we expect to see death. It seems to good to be true.
God we believe, help our unbelief.
God of surprises, we hear wondrous stories and have trouble believing they could be true.
Like Thomas we want to see the evidence for ourselves, so we can judge for ourselves.
God we believe, help our unbelief.
God of wisdom, you give us an intellect and ask us to use it,
asking questions, challenging what we are told, seeking for answers
God we believe, help our unbelief.
Holy God who is Wholly Mystery, you ask us to be open to the mysterious and mystical,
help us embrace the mystery that is part of our lives, help us see that we do not have to understand everything, help us remember that there are ways of knowing that go beyond the scientific and logical.
God we believe, help our unbelief. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
Appearing to his closest friends in an upper room,
the Risen Christ sent them out in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2000 years later we seek to encounter the Risen Christ,
who still sends us out to share the promise of New Life guided by the Holy Spirit.
Go with God who created us, who raised Jesus, who fills us with love and hope.
Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! Life Wins!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Good Friday 2018

CALL TO WORSHIP & OPENING PRAYER
The Word who was there in the beginning has called us together.
To sing, to pray, to tell the old story.
God of life and hope, move among us today,
as we tell the old story, as we remember the uncomfortable parts.
God of promise, God of the Kingdom, on this day we call Good,
remind us that even as the world falls apart you are still there
show us that you are present in trial and condemnation and execution
hold in our hearts the possibility of hope that lies beyond despair.
God of light shining through the shadows,
hold us in your love as we tell again of a cross on a hill.
This we pray in the name of the man from Nazareth, the one who lived with a great Passion for your Way, the one whose death is nigh, the one who taught his friends to pray saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
we admit that sometimes we join in the crowds that seek our best interests over the communal good. Have mercy on us as we work toward the goals of the kingdom.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
we admit that we are tempted to choose the path of personal safety over being faithful to The Way.
Have mercy on us as we sort out what it is that we need.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,
we admit that we wander away from you and then wonder why we feel abandoned.
Grant us the peace that comes with knowing that we are not alone.
Light of the world, shining through the shadows, for those time we have helped to create the shadows,
forgive us. Through Grace break into the darkness with the light of hope and promise; the beacon that leads us back into relationship
..time of silence...
Even in the face of betrayal and rebellion, even in the face of death and denial, even in the face of fear and despair, God's Grace knows no bounds. We ARE forgiven, we ARE called back into relationship, we ARE set back on the path that leads to the Realm of God.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

SENDING OUT:
We have gathered, we have told he story again.
We have watched the Lamb of God hanging on a tree, we have seen him laid into the tomb.
Now we wait. Now we put our worship into vigil and wait to see it the light will overcome the darkness,
As we wait we trust in the God who loves the world so much to send a Son to save it.
As we wait we trust in the promise of life everlasting.
As we wait we promise to return to this place to see what might happen next.
While we wait, while our worship continues, while we sit in the darkness of vigil,
we remember that we are not alone,
God waits and watches with us. God will not leave us abandoned.
Thanks be to God. Amen


Christ Candle Responses for Good Friday (Narrative Lectionary Year of John)

LIGHTING THE CHRIST CANDLE
We light this candle in the name of the one who said “I am the light of the world”
Jesus, the Word-made-flesh, who calls us to live in the light of hope and life.

THE CANDLE IS EXTINGUISHED
The powers of the world have had their say. The Light of the World lies in a tomb. And so we blow out the candle
But we remember the promise “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it”. And so we wait with hope.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Call to Worship for the Easter Season

On a first day Creation began.
God spoke and there was light.
On this first day Creation begins again.
God speaks, the stone rolls, and the tomb is empty.
Christ is risen!
Alleluia! Christ is Risen indeed!
In this Easter season, we join the early church in celebrating Christ's resurrection
LINE TO GO WITH THE PASSAGE THAT WEEK
The light shines from the empty tomb.
Darkness tried but could extinguish the light.
As worship begins we greet our neighbours with words and signs of Christ's peace.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Annual Meeting Prayers for 2018

OPENING
God who calls us to be the church,
over the past year we have tried to live out that calling.
We have gathered to celebrate your presence
we have sung songs of faith: the old classics and the new tunes.
We have shared the old stories of faith,
hopefully both in ways that remind us of their familiarity and in ways that make us see them as if for the first time.
We have opened our hearts in prayer:
praying for ourselves, for those near to us and for brothers and sisters around the world,
sharing the hopes and joys, the anxieties and struggles of life
We have sought justice, we have tried to grow as people of The Way,
we have explored how you are active in our world and in our lives.
You have called us to be the church and we have tried to be the church.

God in whom we live and move and have our being,
over the past year you have shared our lives, as we have shared life with each other.
As part of that sharing we have welcomed these new members into the family of faith through baptism (read names)
we have also marked the death of members of this community, supporting their families in grief and change (read names).
In the new beginnings, and in the endings you are there, and we offer thanks.

God who calls us into the future,
as we meet and look back at the year that was may you celebrate with us,
as we meet and look forward into the years that will yet be
may you light the fires of hope and promise in our souls.
In the time to come push us to listen for your voice, whether it comes as a roar of thunder or in the stillness of silence.
God who calls us to be the church, as we meet, as we reflect, as we look forward,
remind us that we are your people, help us to live as people of the Kingdom.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the true head of the church, who teaches and lead us in the Way of Love.
Amen.

CLOSING
God in whom we love and move and have our being,
in this place today we have sung, we have prayed, we have eaten, we have met.
Now we go out to continue to live and serve.
As we go out we trust that you walk with us;
we pledge to live as those who serve,
we open ourselves to your transforming love.
May we always remember that we are not alone,
as we strive to be the church you have called us to be.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our teacher and guide, our rock and redeemer,
who we call Christ and Messiah.
Amen.

Monday, February 19, 2018

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF TREATY


Here we gather on land that has been occupied for centuries. Long before Alexander Forbes claimed this site for a Presbyterian church the land was used by First Nations people: the Beaver, the Cree, the Métis. Now we share the land together as Treaty People.
We thank those who cared for this land before us. We pledge to work as partners as we move into the future

For February 25, 2018 -- Raising of LAzarus

OPENING PRAYER
God made known in Jesus, the Word-Made-Flesh;
we gather for worship.
Jesus, who is the Resurrection and the Life;
we search for the abundant life of eternity that you offer.
Holy Spirit, who enlivens and makes new;
we open ourselves to your life-giving breath.
Three-in-One, God of life and love, in our time together;
remind us that life is the victor, remind us that we are not alone.
We pray in the name of Jesus who lived and died and lives still as we share the words he shared with his friends...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Gracious, loving God, in Jesus of Nazareth you shared our lives.
You knew the joys and the sorrows, you felt the sting of death.
Gracious, loving God, in the Christ’s resurrection you reveal a new hope;
a promise that in the end life wins.
Gracious, loving God, in the healing of souls Jesus reveals your mercy and forgiveness.
We are unbound and set free, led into the life of eternity.
God of Life, God of Grace, God of Hope, God who calls us by name;
we trust and know your voice, we respond to your call, we rejoice in life renewed.
And so we live as people of hope, citizens of the Kingdom.
Each and every day. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
We have gathered, we have sung, we have prayed.
Now we are heading out to live and serve.
We have heard a story of life that conquers death.
We go to share the Good News that God brings life and hope that defeats death and despair.
As you go from this place be confident that the God of Life is with you wherever you go.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Opening and CLosing prayers for the opening of a Funeral Home

Opening:
Source of life, Creative Spirit, God of many names and faces,
You are with us in life and in death and in life after death.
We give thanks for those who support us in life and who are there at the time of death to offer comfort, to give us a safe place to express our grief and say good bye to a loved one.
In this place broken hearts will gather, in this place lives will be remembered, in this place tears will be shed, in this place final farewells will be said.
We know that such times of farewell are sacred times, thin places. And so we ask your blessing for this place, for those who work within it, and for those who will gather here. Amen.

Closing:
Eternal Spirit, Giver of life,
We have gathered to mark a new beginning, a new place for old practices.
Here people touch the holiness that lies at the core of life.
Here people will seek comfort according to their own beliefs and cultures and understandings.
Watch over this place. As we ask these things we remember one who revealed your presence and love in the world, a man named Jesus, who encouraged his friends to pray by saying..

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Communion PRayer for A Presbytery Meeting (service talking about God doing a new thing)

Communion Prayer

INVITATION
Here at this table we join in a ritual that stretches through time and space.
Here God invites us to share in the banquet of life.
This is God’s table, and God invites all who seek to follow the Way of Jesus Christ to eat and drink from it.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

GREAT THANKSGIVING
May the Peace of Christ, the love of God, and the Power of the Holy Spirit be with you.
God of life, in the beginning of our story you decided to do a new thing.
And so you spoke and creation came into being.
And we join with thousands who have gone before us to share words of praise and thanksgiving for this universe you spoke into being.
Then after a while you decided again to do a new thing.
You called Abram and Sarai into a new life, promising that through them the world would be blessed.
The new thing continued through the lives of their children and grandchildren through many generations.
Then the people were enslaved and you once again did a new thing.
Calling Moses and Aaron and Miriam to lead the people to freedom,
giving them a set of rules to guide how they lived with you and with each other,
covenanting to be with them always.
Over time the people would forget their part of the covenant, they would wander from the path.
And you would send messengers to call them back, men and women filled with your Spirit.
Remembering all these gifts, all these new things, all these ways you attempted to regenerate the people we join in the old songs of praise and thanksgiving.

THE STORY IS TOLD
Eventually, looking at the world you again decided to do a new thing.
You chose to become one of us, Word-made-Flesh, to share the joys and sorrows, the slings and arrows of our lives.
In Jesus of Nazareth, child of Mary you walked among your people
Jesus revealed a new way of being, Jesus revealed what it would look like to live a life based on love for all he met, Jesus challenged his peers and challenges us to live as though the Kingdom of God was really present in our midst.
But the world was not ready for Jesus’ message, for his challenge, for the Kingdom.
And so he was arrested, tried, convicted, executed.
But then you once again did a new thing!
You raised Jesus from death, shattering the bondage of the grave.

Here at this table we remember a meal Jesus shared with his closest friends.
During that meal he took bread, blessed it, broke it and passed ti to them saying:
Take, Eat, this is my body broken by the world. Whenever you eat this loaf remember me.
Then he took a cup of wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
Take, Drink, this is the cup of the new covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink from it remember me.
Joining with the community of Christian faith across the miles and the centuries we continue to eat and drink and remember.
As we share this bread and this cup send your Spirit upon and among us.
In the eating and the drinking may our commitment to living as people of The Way be strengthened.
Fill us with hope for the present and the future so that as people of hope we are ready to give of our selves so that your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
As we gather at this table, unite our hearts and souls with our brothers and sisters in faith across the country and around the globe.
We pray in the name and memory of Jesus, the man from Nazareth; whom we cal Christ and Messiah, and who encourages us to pray together saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven...

BREAKING, POURING, SHARING
The Bread we share is the Bread of Life.
The Cup we share is the Cup of Love
Gifts from God for the people of God.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
God who invites us to the table,
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your goodness.
May the meal we share here today awaken our hunger for the Banquet of Life.
May the company of these brothers and sisters renew our commitment to live a people of the Kingdom of Love.
God who regularly does a new thing,
As we go out from this meal may we be refreshed and renewed.
When the next new thing comes along may we have:
the wisdom to discern if it is from you,
the courage to embrace what you offer,
and the energy to journey with you on the road.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Teacher and Guide, our Rock and Redeemer.
Amen.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Call to Worship for the season of Lent

May the Peace of Christ be with you
And also with you.
Through these Lenten days and nights we journey closer to the cross.
Walking with Jesus, we seek to learn what it means to follow his Way
Jesus has invited us to journey with him, to learn, to grow, to be transformed.
LINE TO GO WITH THAT WEEK’S READING
As followers of Christ we begin our worship by greeting each other with words and signs of Christ’s peace.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

For January 28, 2018 -- God Loves the World

OPENING PRAYER
Loving God, as we gather for worship,
move within, around, and among us.
Loving God, caring deeply for the world,
remind us that we are loved, move us to share that love with our neighbours.
Loving God, yearning to redeem the world,
open our ears and souls to hear you calling us into relationship, open our eyes and hearts to see the light of hope and promise.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who encourages us to pray saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God sometimes we look around the world and wonder why bother. Then we read:
For God so loved the world...
And we are comforted that we are loved but there are others who we think need some condemnation
For God so loves the world....
Sometimes we wonder if another cleansing flood might be a good thing. And then we remember,
For God so loved the world...
That you became one of us, clothed in flesh, to show us a Way to live.
For God So loved the world...
In love and grace you choose to save and redeem, not condemn and punish.
For God still loves the world.
God of Love and Grace, as we live in this world,
May we never forget that we, and everyone we meet, are held in a love that will never let us go.
Lead us in the Way of wisdom, call us back when we stray, love us into what we could become.
We pray in the name of Jesus, Love Incarnate, Word-Made-Flesh. Amen

COMMISSIONING:
As Worship concludes we go out into the world that God loves
A world that may not be perfect but is beloved.
As we move through God’s beloved world we share the Good News
we remind each other and all we meet that God loves the world, and all those who live in it.
God with God who is Love; Jesus, Love Incarnate; and Spirit, Love’s Creative Breath
Always and everywhere. Amen.