service draws to a close.
We go out with hope rising in our souls.
In this season of shorter days and longer nights.
may you see sparks of hope in the lights of the season,
may you find hope simmering in the quietness of the night.
we celebrate the gifts that both light and darkness have to offer.
Go out secure that God who is made known in light and dark; who is revealed in Jesus, whose birth we await; and who works in us through the Holy Spirit is with you every step of the journey to the manger.
Thanks be to God who brings us hope! Amen.
Saturday, November 18, 2023
service draws to a close.
Thursday, October 26, 2023
of our ancestors, ourselves, and our children,
as we live out our faith, surrounded and supported by our cloud of witnesses,
we give thanks for all those who have gone before us:
for their faithfulness to a new vision of what the world could be,
for the ways they passed on the story and the hope,
for the foundation they left for us to build on.
And we give thanks for those people in our cloud who are still living:
the ones who taught and teach us the stories of faith,
the ones who show us daily what it means to live as people of love,
the ones who give us hope for the future.
God of our children, ourselves, and our ancestors, we sing songs of thankfulness and praise
for the witnesses who have told, tell now, and will tell, the stories that reveal Your activity in the world.
for the clouds of people that have done, are now doing, and will do, things to increase the amount of faith, hope and love in the world;
We offer these words in Jesus’ name.
Saturday, October 14, 2023
As people of faith we affirm that all this land is owned not by people but by God. Over the centuries many different children of God have lived and loved on this land. Before Europeans arrived along the banks of Bear Creek this was the home of the Cree and the Beaver. Then the Metis, people who share ancestry with those who were here before and those who came later, arrived.
As time went on a treaty was signed, an agreement about how the land would be shared. Here in Grande Prairie and area we live on land shared under Treaty #8 and in Metis Region #6.
As beloved children of God, gathered from many different parts of God’s creation, may we share God’s land together as Treaty people.
May the Peace of Christ be with you
And also with you.
God has invited us to gather together,
for a time of singing, praying, and listening; a time of being in community.
We come to be reminded what gives us life in abundance.
We come to celebrate the presence of God, who holds all creation in their hands.
God of life, the ancient Psalmist writes:
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it
As your beloved children, living in the world that you love,
we open our hearts and souls to your presence.
In this time of worship, move within and around us.
Remind us of the gifts we have received. Move us to share those gifts with you by sharing them with the world around us.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who reminds us of your love, calls us to live in your Way, and encourages us to pray saying...
FOR & ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Gift Giver, God of Grace, who offers us life in abundance,
All that we have, all that we are, all that surrounds us, belongs to you.
Sometimes we forget that. Sometimes we claim to own things that are not ours.
And when we forget, when we lose sight of how many gifts we have received, we start to forget that your gifts are given to be shared.
God of Grace, God who offers us life in abundance,
help us to share freely and cheerfully out of our abundance,
help us give back to you by giving to the world around us,
help us remember that all the world is yours, shared with your world as an act of love.
God of Grace, Gift Giver, we live through your grace. And for that we are truly thankful.
Thursday, September 14, 2023
you invite us to the table,
where we can eat and drink and experience a fellowship of hope and love.
At this table you give us a foretaste of the Kingdom:
where all will eat and drink together,
where all will be fed as they need,
where all are loved and accepted.
You call us to make the table of Life and Love an open, welcoming place, and we try.
But sometimes we fence some people out,
some eat their fill and others go away hungry,
sometimes we act in ways that are unworthy of your table of hope.
God of Grace, who meets us at the table,
we rejoice in the invitation, we lament those times we have not lived up to the vision.
Help us keep the table open, help us ensure that all are fed there.
The God who invites us to the table does so with arms that are open wide. God keeps the table set so we can come back again and again to be fed and refreshed. We are always welcomed at the table as forgiven, loved, hungry children of God. Let us continue to eat and drink and be refreshed.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Source of life, you catch our attention, you pique our curiosity.
And we turn from our regular day, we step off the well-worn path, we investigate what is happening.
Only to find ourselves on holy ground, standing in your presence.
Creator God, who invites us to stand on holy ground, in this time together,
Renew us, we pray, in body and soul.
Open our ears and hearts and souls to hear your voice.
Feed and strengthen us so that we can go from here refreshed and energized.
Then lead us back out to live and serve.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
FOR & ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of bushes that burn and not get consumed, God of our ancestors,
we stand in your presence with questions and uncertainties.
You invite us, challenge us, call us to bring Good News of liberation to our neighbours.
And our uncertainties surge forward:
Who are we to take on this task? Who exactly are you to ask it of us?
Our uncertainties, our doubts, our questions
may be ways we try to avoid the invitation, the challenge, the call.
So help us, we pray, to work past them
through your grace may we be empowered to share that Good News, even if we still have doubts, and questions, and uncertainties.
The God who spoke to Moses out of a burning bush, who met Jonah in the belly of the big fish, and who called Peter and Andrew from their fishing nets, calls to us. God meets our questions and doubts and encourages us to continue to live and serve. We are able to play our part in the drama of faith and life because God is with us.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
We were called to take a break from the everyday and sit in God’s presence.
We have listened for God’s voice. We have eaten at God’s table.
Now our worship ends, and our service continues
We respond to God’s invitation to share Good News of love and liberation with the world around us.
Go now to live and love and serve.
Go knowing that God who was once revealed in a burning bush, who was made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, who has blown through Creation since the beginning is with you.
Always and everywhere. Hallelujah!
Saturday, June 10, 2023
INVOCATION & LIGHTING OF CANDLES
Source of Life and Love, you call us together to support each other.
You bring light into our world, light that darkness can not defeat (Christ Candle is lit)
The world you created, the world you love, has such diversity
A variety of ages, birthplaces, genders, sexual expressions, racial origins, a multi-hued picture
All beloved parts of your beloved family, all part of the rainbow that makes up the light (Rainbow Candle is lit)
As we gather here this afternoon, fill our hearts with love for all our neighbours,
remind us that all are welcome, that all belong in the world you love.
And help us ensure that this love, this welcome, this belonging, is part of how we all live together.
PRAYER OF CELEBRATION AND COMMITMENT
God who has created and is creating,
Source of life and love in abundance,
Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love.
Over and over in our faith story you remind us
to draw the circle wider,
you urge us to welcome the outcast and the stranger.
Over and over again in history you have shown us that
the arc of the moral universe may be long
but it bends inexorably toward justice.
And you invite us along for the journey
toward overwhelming acceptance,
full inclusion, justice for all.
Today we gather here in this place to celebrate.
Today we recognize that this community of faith has jumped aboard the town car of justice
and made a public commitment to make;
your abundant love,
your promise of abundant life,
your hope for a world where all are fully included and allowed to be
exactly who you created them to be,
explicit in our life together.
We make a public pledge to be intentional about sharing that vision of the world not only within these walls,
but also in the world outside them –
in Grande Prairie and in the wider world
in the best ways we can.
Today we celebrate the wondrous diversity that makes up your world,
the amazing rainbow of identities that makes up the spectrum of our community.
May all of your beloved children:
whenever they were born,
wherever they were born, wherever they live now,
whatever the colour of their skin,
whatever their gender identity or sexuality,
however they express their identity,
may they all know your abundant life and love.
God who has called us to this place and time,
Love Incarnate who has moved us to make this commitment today,
help us live out the pledge we make public this day.
Help each of us, as individuals and as communities,
be open to have old assumptions and understandings challenged.
Give each of us the courage to stand alongside our neighbours,
to speak out against voices that would demean or condemn them
simply for being who you created them to be.
In a world so often filled with hatred and fear and division,
may our voices be ones of inclusion and love and faith.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who commands us to love each other as we love ourselves,
to love each other as you first loved us.
For in doing this, sharing this wonderfully abundant inclusive love,
folk will know that we are indeed your people
and following your Way.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
All who are thirsty, all who are tired, all who wish to be refreshed,
All of us, whoever we are, where ever we find ourselves in life,
Old and young; cis-gendered, trans and non-binary; dark and pale skinned; neuro-typical and neuro-divergent,
Long time members of the community and first-timers,
All are welcome to come here to pray, to sing, to be in God’s presence
We have come to worship the God who created and loves us all.
Let us worship together...
Welcoming and inviting God, you have called us together this morning.
We have come to listen for your wisdom, to be refreshed by your presence.
In this time of prayer and song and listening,
move in our hearts, awaken in us a commitment to welcome your diverse family in our community.
Then when our time of worship is over,
lead us back out to proclaim the wideness and inclusiveness of your love and hope.
We pray in Jesus’ name as we share a prayer like he taught his friends long ago...
FOR & ASSURANCE OF GRACE
Holy Mystery who is Wholly love, you call us to build a new community,
one where all are welcome, one where all are included.
Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong.
There are days when we only see the differences between us and forget that others are part of your beloved family.
There are times when the community of Christ has openly attacked others because of their skin colour, or age, or sexuality, or gender
Where we get community and inclusion right, celebrate with us
Where we miss the chance to include all our neighbours, to welcome the diversity of your family, through grace, help us get back on track.
...time of silent prayer...
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea. God has a vision for what kind of a community we could be and God helps us take small steps or large leaps to live out that vision. When we miss the mark we are offered grace, forgiveness, and renewal. We are encouraged to learn and try again.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
Go now into the world committed to live out these words:
Through Faith, we walk on the path Jesus set for us.
The people of St. Paul’s Belong… Believe… Love... Listen… Lead. (St. Paul’s Mission Statement)
As you go, carry with you the wide, boundless love of God that breaks down boundaries
We pledge to love the world God loves, to see and welcome our neighbours as beloved siblings
And trust that God: who has created and is creating; who is made known in Jesus, the Word-made-Flesh; and who works in all of us through the Holy Spirit is with you whoever you are and where ever you go.