Thursday, June 4, 2020

For June 7, 2020 -- Pride Sunday and Church Union Sunday

PRAYER OF CONFESSION ASSURANCE OF PARDON
God, you call us to be the church:
To live with respect in creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil.
Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we miss the target by several miles.
We confess that we have failed to listen for your voice calling us to move out of our comfort zones.
We know that sometimes we miss your wisdom because it comes from an unfamiliar source.
We admit that loving others, seeking justice, and resisting evil are challenging,
that sometimes they take more energy than we feel we can give
and so we would rather share our prayers but not get too involved.
We admit that sometimes we who have privilege because of our skin colour,
or our sexual orientation, or our social class, or our gender identity or some other criterion
fail to, or choose not to, recognize the benefits of that privilege.
Help us use our privilege in the work of seeking justice, resisting evil, loving and serving others.
God, you call us to be the church, a testing ground for the Kingdom,
a place where different priorities and values are raised up.
For the times we fail to be the church, the times we miss the target, forgive us.
For the missed opportunities to change the world so it too lives by Kingdom values, forgive us.
Help us repent, to change direction, so that we make different choices in the future.
...time of silent prayer...
Here is Good News!
God is at work in this broken, flawed, imperfect world. God is at work in us.
God offers us forgiveness, for our poor choices, our missed opportunities, our failures.
God calls us to lament and repent and to step back into the fray of living and loving as we have been loved.
We are a forgiven and redeemed people! Thanks be to God! Amen.

Prayers of the People
God who calls us to be the church,
God made known in Jesus of Nazareth, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, in the wonders of creation,
in you we live, we move, we exist.
Today we remember those who have gone before us, those who built the church we have today.
We remember and we thank you for their vision, their determination, their generosity.
Today we give thanks for those who work to build the church today.
As they find new ways to share the old message, as they balance tradition with innovation,
we hold them in prayer, we thank them for their labour, we commit to support them.
Today we pause to listen for your voice calling us forward,
giving us a dream and a vision for what the church will be.
Help us to hear. Help us to dream.
Help us to continue to sing of a church that embodies Christ’s presence in the world, to sing your mission.
God who calls us to be the church, a loving and supportive community,
today and every day we lift up those in our communities who are struggling:
LGBTQ+ folk wanting to be accepted for who they are...
people of colour wanting to be seen and treated as equal...
those who have bodies or minds that no longer do what they once did...
those who find themselves isolated and lonely...
those who are grieving....
those who are anxious because of pandemic, or economics, or just because they read the news...
may all who struggle know that they are not alone, that they are loved.
God who calls us to be the church,
today and everyday we sing songs of praise and shout words of thanksgiving
for the many gifts we encounter along life’s highway:
for family and friends and loved ones...
for food on our plates and in our bellies...
for bright spring flowers, for new life springing from the earth...
for these, and so many other, gifts we share our thanks.
God of life and love, we offer these prayers, and all the other prayers of our hearts and souls, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, our Teacher and Guide, our Rock and Redeemer, in whose life, death and resurrection we find the promise of Abundant Life.
And we continue to pray as we sing words he once taught his closest friends...

BLESSING
As our worship draws to a close, we remember.
We are loved. We are challenged. We are called to serve. And most importantly, we are loved.
In the week ahead, may you know the love of God each and every second.
And may you share that love with all you meet – in person, by phone, or through a computer screen.

Friday, May 22, 2020

A Communion Prayer for May 31, 202 -- Pentecost During COVID-19

INVITATION

From the Beginning, followers of Christ have broken bread together.

Gathered at tables fancy and simple, sharing wafers or full meals.

In this era of pandemic and separation we continue to gather together.

Sitting in our homes, with our own supplies, but linked together by the bits and bytes and cables.

The meal we share is hosted by the God who meets us where we are. And so all who seek to live by the values of God’s Kingdom are welcome to join as we eat together, from a distance.

Let us break bread together in our homes.



GREAT THANKSGIVING

May the Peace of Christ be with you.

And also with you.

Feel the wind of God blow in your lives.

Refreshing us, bringing in new air.

We offer the God who is in our every breath our prayers

With the breath of God in us we share our fears, our hopes, our dreams, our thanks.



God you speak Creation into being. We give thanks for all that You have made.

For the waters from which life sprang forth, for the wind that fills our lungs, for the food that fills our bellies,

for the fellow creature with whom we share the world.

We sing songs and shout cries of praise and thanksgiving.



God you call us to live in you and you choose to share our lives.

And so we pour out our fears and anxieties...

We scream our laments....

We dare to share our dreams and visions...

Trusting that you hear our prayers, trusting that in love you hold them and answer them.



God you meet us where we are, be that in our churches, or in the fields, or in the forest, or in our living rooms.

You speak to us constantly through many voices.

You remind us over and over again that even when we are distanced from each other we are not alone.

We thank you for all those voices that have shared your love and promise over the centuries:

prophets and pastors, men and women filled with your Spirit,

all those who remind us of who you would have us live within the world you have made.



And as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who we call Christ, we join in the cry of the ages:

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!



REMEMBERING

As followers of Jesus, the one we name as the Messiah we remember his story.

Born of the young woman Mary, raised in a backwater town,

he came out to share your vision for the world.

He modelled your Kingdom, lived by its values, and in doing so enraged those with power.

Knowing what was to come, he promised that we would not be left orphaned;

that an Advocate, the Holy Spirit would be there to sustain us always.

Then he was arrested, tried, convicted executed.

But the story was not over.

You, God of power in weakness, you raised him from death

and he returned to breathe hope and life into his fear-filled followers, into us.



As we gather for this meal we remember a meal Jesus shared with his friends on the night before his death.

We remember that he took some bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to the 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, Drink it and remember me.



And so, even all these years later, we continue to eat and drink and remember, sharing in the meal of faith.

And pledging, as we remember, to follow the Way that Jesus laid out for us.



INVOKING

Holy Spirit, you blow though closed doors and into the places where we are.

You meet us in our homes and fill us with hope, you light the fire of transformation in our hearts.

As we pause to eat and drink this morning,

make us, while separate, unified in heart and hope.

In this bread and this cup may we meet the Risen Christ.

In this meal of faith and transformation may we feel the fire and wind of the Kingdom.

And once we have eaten, may we be unified in the common quest to share the dreams You have given us.

Willing to offer what we have so that those dreams and visions take shape in our world.

We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who breathes hope and peace into our fear, and who encouraged us to pray together saying:

Our Father, who art in heaven...



And all the people said

AMEN!



BREAKING/POURING

The Bread we break is the Bread of Life

The Drink we pour is the Drink of Love

These are Gifts from God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Shall we eat and drink together?



PRAYER AFTER THE MEAL

We have broken the bread, we have poured the drink, we have shared a meal together.

Even while we remain physically separated, we have been united in our souls.

May this meal we share with each other and with the whole Christian family across the centuries and miles change who we are.

May it feed the fire in our bellies. May it strengthen us when the storms blow through.

And now, as we continue to live as people who have had the Holy Spirit breathed onto and into us, may we love and serve God, our neighbour, and ourselves.

So that the Kingdom of Love is made real in our lives. Amen

Monday, May 11, 2020

REsources for May 17, 2020 -- Easter 6A during COVID-19

CALL TO WORSHIP
We. are not alone, we live in God’s world.
We meet God daily, we feel God’s peace around and within us.
We give thanks for God’s presence as we worship this morning.

Opening PRAYER
Peace-giving God, you promise that you will not leave us alone.
As we pause for worship this week, fill us, we pray, with your presence.
As we live through this time of turmoil and anxiety, remind us that we are not alone;
refresh our souls with the peace that passes understanding,
and help us love each other as we have been loved.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, as we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Amen.


PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you
God we could use some peace these days.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
But our hearts are troubled. We are anxious. We are afraid.
As we listen to the news around us we get worried. Sometimes it is hard to trust that we are not alone.
I will not leave you orphaned
We want to trust that you are there, that we can have peaceful hearts.
God move in our hearts, remind us that we are not alone, that you are with us.
When we think we have lost the way bring us back to the path.
When we feel forsaken wrap us in love.
When we feel guilt, offer us grace and mercy and forgiveness.
because I live, you also will live
In the Risen Christ God offers all of us New Life.
In and through Christ God offers the promise that we will never be left alone.
Through Christ God grants us peace that stills the storms of our hearts.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
From across the ages Jesus speaks to us saying:
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
And so we go out into the world knowing that we are not alone.
We go out to love the world that God loves.
While our hearts may sometimes be troubled and we may sometimes be afraid,
God is with us, we will not be forgotten.
May God’s peace be with us. Amen.


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Resources for April 19, 2020 -- Easter 2 in the Midst of COVID-19

CALL TO WORSHIP
Whether gathered in a room full of friends or alone in our own homes God is with us.
God calls us to open our hearts and souls to God’s presence.
Gathered in the name of the Risen Christ we pause to worship.

OPENING PRAYER
God a week ago we remembered the old story of an empty tomb.
A week ago you shattered the power of death.
But the world doesn’t seem all that different today.
As we share more of the old story, as we pray, as we sing, as we reflect,
move in our hearts, help us see the possibilities of a world where Resurrection is a reality.
And then lead us to live as different people, people who know that Life wins.
Even when we may be doubtful, Life still wins. Amen.

PRAYER OF DOUBT AND FAITH
God of Easter, it is easy to doubt.
It is easy to be skeptical.
It is easy to wonder what the truth actually is.
It can be harder to hope for the best.
It can be harder to believe in something we can not see.
It can be harder to accept things that don’t match our expectations or experiences.
And yet you call us to be people of faith and trust.
Give us the freedom to ask our questions,
so that our faith can grow.
Give us the openness of heart and mind that allows for new understandings,
and stretches us to see the world in new ways.
God of surprises and challenges, God made known in the Risen Christ
you meet us in our doubts and in our faith,
and for that we are truly thankful. Amen

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
God of life and death and life beyond death,
in this Easter season we sing songs of praise and wonder for life that defeats death.
As the seasons turn toward spring, as the snow is replaced with grass and soil,
bringing the promise of new growth and life,
we give thanks for all that makes life full and abundant:
for family and friends who share our lives, our care, our celebration – even if from a distance...
for fresh green shoots pushing their way out of frozen soil...
for deer making their way through our urban jungle...
for food on our tables, and roofs over our heads...
for the ability to stay at home, the resources to keep clean and safe...
for these and many other things we give thanks to you, Gracious God.
At the same time, Source of Life and Love,
we pause to remember those near and far who are struggling today:
those for whom staying at home is not a possibility as they head to their jobs and worry..
those who look for their next meal, those who fret over how to make rent...
those who worry about a loved one’s physical, mental, spiritual or emotional health...
those who worry about their own physical, mental, spiritual or emotional health...
those who feel they are just treading water, fighting to keep above the waves...
God of love, may all those who struggle know that they are not alone.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ as we share the words he once taught his closest friends...

COMMISSIONING:
We have paused our lives for a time of worship.
As we go into the rest our day and the rest of our week, we carry our doubts and our faith,
our questions and our answers, our wariness and our trust,
and we use all of them to try and determine how God would have us live and love.
In all of it, God: Parent, Risen Christ, and Holy Spirit, is with us.
Thanks be to God. Amen

Monday, January 20, 2020

Prayer FOr and ASsurance of Grace for JAnuary 26, 202 -- Epiphany 3A

God of Grace, in Jesus of Nazareth you meet us face to face.
And then you invite us to follow a different path.
God of Grace, you see us, you know us, our strengths, our weaknesses, our shortcomings.
And still you invite us to join in the re-creation of the world.
God of Grace, we try to respond to the invitation, to join in the task
And sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it fails.
God of Grace, forgive our mis-steps, lead us on the new path, guide us in the task.
And our life will never be the same again.
In Christ God offers us New Life and Good News. We are forgiven and invited to live as citizens of the Kingdom.
With praise and thanks we share the Good News. And our life will never be the same again. Amen