Monday, November 16, 2015

Advent Candles 2015

This year we are using a sung piece (written by Lloyd Larson, copyright 1994) as the base for our candlelighting:

Advent 1: November 29, 2015 – Hope
Sung opening—Come Child of Light
Spoken interlude
1. No matter our circumstances, God promises and offers hope. Hope is born anew when we hear God's promise to the people in exile
2. “Here is your God!... He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep”. (Isaiah 40:10-11)
1. Hope is a star that shines in the night, leading us on till the morning is bright (Brian Wren)
Light one candle
Sung closing Come Child of Light

Advent 2: December 6, 2015 – PeaceSung opening—Come Child of Light
Spoken interlude
1. We await the birth of one who we call the Prince of Peace. God's kingdom is a kingdom of Peace.
2. When his son John was born the priest Zechariah said: “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace”. (Luke 1:78-79)
1. For lo! the days are hastening on, By prophet-bards foretold,
When peace shall over all the earth Its ancient splendours fling, (Edmund Sears)
Light two candles
Sung closing Come Child of Light
Advent 3: December 13, 2015 – Love
Sung opening—Come Child of Light
Spoken interlude
1. The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of love, the Christmas child is love incarnate
2. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son (John 3:16a)
1. Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign. (Christina Rossetti)
Light three candles
Sung closing Come Child of Light

Advent 4: December 20, 2015 – Joy
Sung opening—Come Child of Light
Spoken interlude
1. The birth of a child is a cause for joy, God breaking into the world is a cause for joy.
2. When Elizabeth met Mary she said “And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:43-44)
1. Joy to the World! The Lord is come; let earth receive her King! (Isaac Watts)
Light four candles
Sung closing Come Child of Light

Call To Worship for the Advent Season

In this season of preparation of watching and waiting
We gather to pray, to sing, to worship
In this season of Hope, Peace. Love and Joy
We gather in anticipation of the birth of Christ.
As we wait the birth of the Prince of Peace, we greet our neighbours with the Peace of Christ.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

For November 15, 2015 -- A service working with Hosea 11:1-9

The God who spoke Creation into being calls us to gather in worship.
We come together to sing, to pray, to listen.
We gather in God's presence and peace, we greet each other with the Peace of Christ.

God who calls us all Beloved Children,
we come into your presence, we come to be embraced by your loving arms.
In this time of worship,
remind us of the love which holds us fast.
In this time of worship,
restore in us the desire to love and serve.
In this time of worship,
prepare us to go back out into the world to live as your children, to love your children, to serve your children.
These things we pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God of grace, God who loves us like a child,
we acknowledge that, as children sometimes do, we wander astray.
God of grace, God who works to heal and protect,
we acknowledge that sometimes we do not recognize the healing and the protection.
God of grace, God who leads us in loving wisdom,
we acknowledge that sometimes we are headstrong and insist on going our own way.
God of grace, God who will not let go,
we acknowledge that sometimes we struggle and do not want to be held
...time of silent prayer...
Here is the extent of God's grace. Even though we wander astray, even when we do no see how God is present, even when we are stiff-necked people- even when we struggle against God's love, God is unable to just let us fall. In grace God holds us in love, in grace God remains part of the equation of life.
Thanks be to God! Amen.
Our time of worship closes,
we go back into the world to live and serve and love.
We go to a world where many feel isolated, alone, unloved.
And so we carry the Good News of a God who can not let go of God's beloved children.
And we go knowing that God is with us,
Creating, Redeeming, and Sustaining each step of the way.
Go in peace, in faith and in love

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

For November 8, 2015 -- Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

May the peace of Christ be with you.
And also with you.
We gather to celebrate God's presence, to be reminded of how God is active in our world
We gather to sing, to pray, to listen, to worship.
As we gather, we turn to our neighbours to offer each other the peace of Christ.

God of the ages, in our times of drought and struggle, those times we feel abandoned
we seek for a sign that you are with us, that you are indeed God.
God of the ages, in a world filled with potential idols and gods,
we know that sometimes we wander, we give our focus to the wrong things.
God of the ages, in a world of viral videos and sound bite politics,
we acknowledge that sometimes we want the “big show”, the spectacular, the fireworks and glory.
God of the ages, God of grace, God who moves within and amongst us always,
open our eyes to see the signs of your presence, open our souls to feel your grace, open our hearts to share that grace with the world around us.
God of grace, active in the world, active in our lives,
we sing songs of thanksgiving for your presence, help us listen for your voice urging us forward.

Monday, October 19, 2015

For October 25, 2015 (Service using parts of the story of Ruth)

God calls us to gather as sisters and brother in faith and life.
We gather with the members of our family.
God calls us together to be prepared to be sent out
we gather that we would be refreshed as servants of God.
As we gather together we turn to our friends and neighbours and exchange words and signs of Christ's Peace...

God you call us to name as family the people whose lives we share.
Help us to commit ourselves to care for them, and to allow them to care for us.
We know that sometimes our families, the ones we are born into and the ones we choose, fail us.
And we know that we sometimes fail them.
And so help us move beyond the failings to find the way where we can all flourish,
forgiving, giving another chance, taking the risks of love and commitment.
God of grace, God who calls us beloved children, God who challenges us to see brothers and sisters wherever we look,
give us the grace, the courage, the ability, to see beyond our old boundaries as we share the love you have shared with us.
And when our vision is limited, when we ask “who is my brother?”
open our hearts and souls to the breadth we find in Christ Jesus.
As part of the family you have chosen,
help us God to live in grace, in love, and in mutual support, committed to each other. Amen.

Monday, October 5, 2015

For October 11, 2015 -- Thanksgiving Sunday, The call of Moses

O God we call...
throughout the ages people have called out in their times of crisis.
O God we call...
those under the thumb of oppression, those struggling under the weight of life.
O God we call...
seeking to know that we are heard, seeking relief in our hardship.
From deep inside we yearn for you.
We ask you to break in to the world, to set things right.
We are not alone...
we trust that you hear the cries of your people.
We are not alone...
with thanksgiving we celebrate your constant presence, your assurance that the arc of the universe continuously bends toward justice.
We are not alone...
God of life, we thank you for the gifts you share with us, we thank you for changing the world so that all your children might flourish.
And so in hope and thanksgiving we echo the old prayer:
That all will be well, all manner of thing be well. Someday. Amen.

God hears.
And God calls us to hear too.
God acts.
And challenges us to act as agents of God.
We go out into the world,
looking for the “burning bush”, looking for those places where God invites us into the work of liberation.
And we go secure in the promise that we are not alone. God is with us.
Thanks be to God. Amen

Thursday, September 17, 2015

For October 4, 2015 (using Week 3 Year 2 readings from the Narative Lectionary)

We are called to be the church
to celebrate God's presence.
We have responded to the call
and so we gather together in worship
As we gather we turn to our neighbours, our family of faith, and exchange Christ's Peace

God who calls us to be a community of faith,
a community that strives for justice and struggles to understand how you would have us live.
We come to this place,
to worship, to be renewed, to be challenged,
to be sent out,
to live your Way of Love and Hope, to make a difference in the world.
And in so doing to proclaim the Gospel of the crucified and risen Christ

God, grant us the courage,
to send all others across the stream and stay alone in the wild to confront our fears and our demons.
God grant us the courage,
to wrestle and strive and to not let go.
God grant us the courage,
to name our own failings, to grow stronger through our weaknesses.
God grant us the courage,
to wrestle with you, to struggle with your Word, to discern where your mission intersects with our lives.
God grant us the courage,
to laugh, to live, to love. Amen.

Our time of worship draws to a close.
We have gathered at the table of faith, we have listened for God's voice.
Our time of service continues.
We live and work and serve in the world around us.
Go to the world, go into every place.
We go to share God's love and hope. We go to live as people of the Way.
Go with God: Parent, Child, and Spirit , who is with us always.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God.