Thursday, June 11, 2015

For Summer Worship

In the dog days of the summer,
we gather to worship, to have the fire of the Spirit lit in our souls.
In this season of growth, as the earth puts out food,
we gather to worship, to be fed and energized.
As followers of Christ, we greet each other with Christ's peace...

Gracious God, you blow life's breath into our lungs.
We live in you, we live through you.
You call us to live lives marked by forgiveness, love, hope, compassion.
And we strive to do so.
But if we are honest,
sometimes our lives are marked by resentment, dis-interest, fear, self-centeredness
God of Grace,
when we get it right celebrate with us, when we miss the mark gently guide us back to the path of wisdom.
...time of silent prayer...
God is gracious and merciful. God celebrates our successes and mourns our mis-steps. God continues to call us back to the Way with forgiveness and grace and mercy.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

FOr June 21, 2015 -- NAtional Aboriginal Day

Cultural Genocide
The words echo through our country and through our hearts
Cultural Genocide
The words make us stop. Make us think again about who we are and how we are as a church, as a nation.
Creator God, Great Spirit,
we pause and remember the wrongs done on our behalf.
Creator God, Great Spirit,
we name that good intentions sometimes lead to the same results as bad intentions.
God of community,
we acknowledge the broken-ness of our community, the relationships that need to be rebuilt.
God of community,
move among us, push us to do the hard work of reconciliation, give us the courage and endurance to see the long task through.
God of forgiveness, God of grace,
help us to be honest and truthful with each other. Move in our hearts to hear each others stories. Place in our souls the desire to create a new relationship where we see you clearly in each others faces. Give us the humility to accept the need for repentance.
...time of silent prayer...
God is Gracious, God calls us to be Gracious. God moves among us to remind us that in Christ's life and death and New Life there is forgiveness, there is the possibility of repaired relationships, there is hope. Though the road may be long we have God to guide and strengthen us along the way.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

As we close our worship, we continue to pray,
for healing, for truth-telling, for truth-hearing, for reconciliation
As we leave this space we go out into the world,
committing to work for healing, for rebuilding relationships, for the coming of the Kingdom
As we live and serve we trust that God is with us,
moving in the hearts of all, pushing us to be more than we are.
Go with God

Monday, June 8, 2015

For June 14, 2015 -- Looking at Psalm 113

Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love,
we gather to worship, we gather to celebrate your presence.
In this place and time we join with the voices of ages,
sharing thanksgiving and praise, lifting our voices in songs of praise.
In this time together,
open our eyes and hearts to see all the reasons we have to offer praise.
And then when our worship closes,
send us out with praise-filled hearts, so full that we cannot keep from singing.
We voice our prayers and our praise in the name of Jesus the Christ, whose name we bear, and who taught us to pray saying...

Creator God, we see wonders all around us,
and yet somehow we take them for granted.
We use awesome to talk about TV shows and skateboard tricks,
but somehow we wonder if we have lost our sense of awe.
In our world of wonders, in our lives of abundance,
reawaken in us that sense of awe, loose our tongues to sing our praises.
And when we forget, when we become accustomed to the world, when we are blinded to the wonders of life...
wake us up, remind us, help us see clearly, so that once again we sing.
God of Grace, God of Wonders, God of Mystery, when we see clearly the world around us,
How can we keep from singing?
In grace, help us remember the song.

We leave this worship space
to go out into the wider world, where we worship and praise.
We leave this worship space,
to go out and see the wonders of life that astound us every day.
We leave this worship space,
we go out with joy and song.
God, Holy Mystery, Wholly Love, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer goes with us.
How can we keep from singing?

Monday, June 1, 2015

For June 7, 2015 -- To Go with Psalm 1

Like trees sending their roots out in search of water,
we seek God's presence in our lives.
Like trees drinking deep, pulling nutrition from the soil,
we soak in the wisdom of Scripture, seeking to grow strong as God's people.
God of wisdom, God of the Law,
speak to our hearts and minds and souls, grant us wisdom, anchor us in your Way.
God of the table, God of the world,
in our worship feed us, then send us back into the world to share your love, your wisdom, your hope.

Blessed are those who delight in the Law of God.
Sometimes we find the Law to be a gift. Sometimes we find it to be a straitjacket.
They are like trees planted beside a stream,
God of grace, help us seek out the life-giving water of faith and wisdom and law.
As we walk along The Way of Jesus the Christ,
keep us from being blown about like chaff, help us grow strong and bear fruit.
As the winds of life attempt to drive us away from the path of wisdom,
help us sing the old words “like a tree that's planted by the water we shall not be moved”
God of grace,
help our roots dig deep, grounding us, stabilizing us, feeding us.
...time of silent prayer...
God is gracious, offering us the wisdom of the ages. God is gracious, offering to feed our hearts, souls, and minds. God is gracious, calling us to the Way of wisdom even if we turn aside.
Thanks be to God who nourishes us, helping us grow, helping us be fruitful. Amen.

Our worship comes to a close. Our service continues.
We go out to carry on the story of faith, the story we inherited from our ancestors.
We go from this place as those who have been, are, and will be nourished by God's Word, God's wisdom, God's life-giving water.
We go out to share the nourishment we have received with our neighbours. We go out to drink deep, to grow strong, to be fruitful.
As you go, know that God is with you.
Always and everywhere. Amen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

For May 17, 2015

As a baptized and baptizing community.
We gather to sing, to pray, to listen, to worship
As people who are being changed, transformed, sanctified,
We respond to God's call, we embrace the Spirit moving in our midst.
As a community of Christ-followers, we share the peace of Christ with our neighbours.

God of life, in our baptism,
we walk through life into death and back into life.
God of transformation, in our baptism,
you make us a new being, changing us, making us more than we were.
God of grace, in our baptism,
we are set free from the bondage of sin, we are set free to be people of life.
Transforming, Empowering, Gracious God
help us live as those who are freed from sinfulness, help us put the old ways behind us, help us live into the new people we are becoming.
...time of silent prayer...
The God whose love flowed over us with the waters of baptism, the Christ who redeems and teaches us, the Ruach who fills our lungs with the breath of life, is Gracious. God leads us through the mis-steps of life and, grace-filled, pulls us forward, transforming and sanctifying us as we grow into what is made true in our baptism. This is Good News!
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

For May 10, 2015, to go with Romans 5:1-5

Jesus said “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest “
We gather in the loving presence of God, who gives us rest.
Here we lay out our lives, here we are refreshed for the continuing journey
We gather to worship,
And as we gather we turn to our neighbours and exchange the Peace of Christ.

Loving and Gracious God, we gather together again.
Here we celebrate your presence, here we give thanks for your gifts, here we come to drink from the spring of your wisdom.
Supporting God, we carry our burdens into this place.
Seeking to lay them in your hands.
Guiding God, we bring our struggles with us to this time of worship.
Trusting that you are with us in the struggle, that you will help us endure and give us hope for the future.
Challenging God, when this time of worship is over.
Send us back into the world, ready to carry our burdens, prepared to continue the struggles, open to see how you are active in our lives.
These things we pray in the name of Jesus, who walks with us, who offers to share our load, and who taught us to pray saying...

God of life, we acknowledge that the world is sometimes a confusing place.
A place that challenges our understandings and expectations of life.
In a world where we are told that if we do/buy/say the right things life will be easy,
we wonder why there is such suffering.
We meet our own struggles, our own suffering, small and great,
and we wonder what we are supposed to gain from it.
God of grace, God of presence, God of hope,
you promise to share our burdens, you promise to be with us always.
In grace, help us work through the struggles of life.
Through grace, push us to support others in their struggles, to ease the suffering where we can.
And if it is the right time, may we learn and grow in the struggle.
...time of silent prayer...
God is Gracious. God's grace is shown in the wonder that we are never alone in our suffering and struggles. God's grace is shown when we move forward and learn and grow. And also when we simply survive. This is Good News!
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Our time of worship ends, our time of service continues.
We go from this place back out into the wider world with its joys and its sorrows, its celebrations and its struggles.
As we live and serve, may we carry the love of God with us.
Sharing it with all we meet
And may we help each other with our burdens
Even as God walks with us and lifts the weight from our shoulders.
Go with God.
Always. Amen.

Monday, April 13, 2015

For April 19, 2015 -- Peter's Dream, Opening the Circle of Faith Wider

People of God! Gather together for worship!
We come in this Easter Season to celebrate the promise of new life.
People of God, gather together for worship!
We celebrate the diverse family of God, with whom we gather to celebrate God's presence.
And so we turn to our friends and neighbours, our brothers and sisters in faith, to share the Peace of Christ.

God of life in all it's wondrous diversity,
we come from many different places, many different tasks, many different realities.
Here in this place you call us together.
Here we worship together, naming what makes us united, celebrating our diversity.
During this time of prayer and song and word,
challenge our ideas of who is welcome in the community, open us to draw the circle wider.
This things we pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God you call us to embrace each other as part of one circle,
but we insist are drawing lines that keep some in and some out.
You tell us that what you have called clean, we should not call profane,
but we find ourselves unwilling to live that out.
You tell us that in you the old dividing lines don't count anymore :no more male or female, Jew or Gentile,
but we find comfort in knowing who fits and who doesn't.
God of grace,
move in our hearts, opening us to be channels of your abundant grace and love.
...time of silent prayer...
There is a wideness in God's mercy. God draws the circle wider than we can imagine – keeping all of us inside the line. This is Good News!
Thanks be to God!

We have gathered to celebrate the God who welcomes us all into the circle.
Now we go out into the many other circles of our lives.
Into those circles we carry a precious precious gift:
the love of God, the word of acceptance, the promise of welcome.
Go now with the knowledge that God: Parent, Child, and Spirit, Three-in-One goes with you
Wherever we go. We are not alone. Thanks be to God