Monday, March 16, 2015

For March 22 -- Looking at the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

May the Peace of Christ be with you
And also with you.
We have been called together in this place
To celebrate God's presence, to listen for God's wisdom, to be renewed as God's servants
As we gather to worship, let us greet each other with God's peace...

God of life, who calls us to be the church,
we gather together as a community to listen for how you are speaking to us today.
God of justice, who calls us to live lives of love,
we gather as a community of people who try to understand what that means day to day.
God of promise, who calls us to be people of hope,
we gather as people who are looking for signs that the Kingdom is being made real in our midst.
In this time of worship,
refresh us, challenge us, renew us.
We pray in in the name of the one who taught about the way of love, who challenges us to serve each other, and who taught us to pray by saying...

God, when we look around we see so much need.
And we wonder how best to respond.
God we hear your voice in the old stories.
Challenging us to feed the hungry, to visit the lonely, to comfort the suffering.
Not in search of reward or payback,
but simply because it is the loving thing to do.
God of grace, we hear the voice, we understand the challenge,
but we find it hard to live out. God of grace, give us the grace to live the way of love.
...time of silent prayer...
God challenges us to be people of love. In grace God helps us along the way. In mercy, God works with us through our mis-steps and our mis-understandings. We are forgiven, set back on the path, and urged to try again. This is Good News.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

Monday, March 9, 2015

FOr March 15, 2015 -- Looking at the Day Labourers and the Generous Landowner

God you meet us where we are, when we are ready.
Maybe in the light of dawn, or the heat of mid-day, or in the last hours of sunlight.
Whenever we meet you, whenever we pick up your invitation, you say:
Come, join in the labour, I have work for you.
And when the day's labour ends you say:
here is your payment, here is what you need for today.
In our worship, in our songs and prayers, in our lives,
open our hearts and souls to the wonder of you mercy, your grace, your justice.
This we pray in the name of Jesus, our rock and Redeemer, who taught his friends to pray saying...

Our time of worship, a break from the busy-ness of life, draws to a close.
And we return to the world where we live and serve, where we share God's love in word and deed.
Go from this place as agents of justice, as carriers of grace, as workers in the vineyard.
We go to share in the preparation of the Kingdom.
And as you go, remember that you do not walk alone.
The one who has called us saying “Come, I have work for you” is with us always.
Guiding and supporting. Parent, Child and Spirit.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

For February 8, 2015 -- Jesus Feeds the Multitudes, Peter Walks on Water

In a world of storms and winds and want.
God calls us to trust, to listen, to step out boldly.
As the storms of life are raging,
we gather to worship the God who stands by us.
As people who trust that the Peace of Christ can calm the storms,
we share that peace with our neighbours...

OPENING PRAYER (uses words from the hymn “Stand By Me”)
God of life, God of the wild wind and the still calm, we gather for worship.
When the storms of life are raging, stand by me.
God who calls us to step out into the storm, to take risks in faith and trust,
When the world is tossing me like a ship upon the sea
Thou Who rulest wind and water, stand by me
In this time of worship remind us that though the storms may rage we are held in your arms.
So that we would have the courage to step out of the boat.
We pray in the name of the One who stilled the water, the One who taught his friends to pray saying...

God of grace, the wind blows, the snow piles up, the waves threaten to overwhelm us. And yet you would have us say:
It's time to see what I can do to test the limits and break through... Let the storm rage on
God of challenge, you call us to step out of the boat, out of our safe places, to take risks for the Gospel.
But we are afraid, we are sure we will sink and be overwhelmed.
God of grace, God of power, help us take the risk, overcome the fear, help us trust in your wisdom and power. Help us stand tall and proclaim:
Here I stand in the light of day let the storm rage on,
Walking on water, or maybe swimming, as we live out who you have formed us to be.
And maybe we we will find that the storm won't bother us anyway. Amen.

Our hour of worship comes to a close,
and now it is time to step out of the boat, to walk into the storm.
We go from this place with faith and trust,
those things that keep us going, that keep us from floundering.
We go to share the promise and possibility of life with the storm-bound world,
so that the peace that passes understanding would bring hope and calm.
Go with God, who stands by us as the wind blows and the storm roars.
Our rock, our anchor, always.  Thanks be to God!  Amen.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

For February 1, 2015 -- Don't Worry, Be Like the Flowers of the Field and the Birds of the Air

In a world which presents us with so many worries,
we need to be reminded to trust, to relax, to not worry so much.
As we gather we bring our worries, our anxieties, our fears.
May we set them aside for a time while we celebrate the presence of the One who helps us to relax.
As our time of worship begins, let us greet our family of faith with words and signs of God's peace...

God of life, we come to this place with many things on our mind,
concern about parents and children, anxiety about the economy, worry about our own health.
And yet through the voices of many you tell us:
Don't Worry, Be Happy.
In this time of worship,
remind us to let go of our anxiety, help us to re-focus our energy on our most valuable treasures.
And then when we have been fed and refreshed,
Lead us out to live lives a little bit more worry-free.
We pray in Jesus' name,

In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
God, the worries of life are so numerous.
Ain't got no place to lay your head...Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Sometimes we find it hard to let go, to open ourselves to trust.
And yet you continue to sing to us:
... when you worry your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don't worry, be happy don't worry, be happy now.
God of grace, God who calls us to be like the flowers of the field and the birds of the air,
help us to trust, help us to let go, help us to relax.
So that we can all sing together:
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
I'm not worried, I'm happy

We have gathered, we have eaten, we have listened.
Now we head back out into the mission field, the world outside the church doors.
As we go, may we carry the peace that passes understanding, the Peace of Christ, with us.
To share with all we meet, to shape the way we live our lives.
And as we go, may we be secure in the trust that God
Parent, Child and Spirit, Love Incarnate in the world
Goes with us wherever we go.

Monday, January 19, 2015

For January 25, 2015 -- BLessings and Woes

Children of God! Gather together to worship!
We come to share the life of faith with friends new and old.
Children of God! Open your hearts and souls and minds and ears!
We open our very beings to let God speak and move in our midst.
Children of God! Your brothers and sisters in faith are all around you. Let us greet them with words and signs of God's peace...

Blessed are those who...
God of life, we give thanks that we have been blessed in so many ways.
But woe to those who...
God of life, we wonder if we are the hungry or the filled, the winners or the losers in the game of life.
Blessings and curses, praises and woes, all seem so intermingled.
God of life, help us to sort them out, help us to seek the path of blessing.
As we walk the road that leads to the Kingdom,
may we be open to the upturning of the world, ready to challenge the injustices we see, willing to risk the changes that Kingdom living brings.
And may we be graceful and grace-filled as it happens.
God of grace, God of blessings, God of the Kingdom, we pray and wait in hope. Amen.

Children of God! Our time of worship draws to a close.
And we prepare to return to the mission field, the world where we live and work and serve.
Children of God! As those who have been blessed,
we go out to share our blessings with others.
Children of God! In a world where there are winners and losers,
we go to share God's word of hope and promise for the Kingdom of Justice and peace.
Children of God! Go with God: Parent, Child and Spirit; One in Three.
We go secure in the knowledge that God is with us every step of the way. Amen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

For January 18, 2015 -- The Temptation of Jesus.

As the week begins anew we come together for worship.
Gathering with friends new and old to explore where God is in our world.
Here in this place we open ourselves to look beyond our understandings
Here we come to be challenged to live as residents of the Kingdom of God
We open our worship together by exchanging words and signs of God's piece with our brothers and sisters in faith.

God of light, of love, of life,
we open our hearts, our ears, our minds, our souls to your presence.
In this time of singing, of praying, of listening,
challenge us about the ways we face temptation, awaken in us a vision of who you would have us be.
God of transformation, as we hear your call to a new life,
give us the courage to embrace transformation as we follow a new path.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our rock and redeemer, our teacher and guide, who taught his followers to pray saying...

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Christmas Prayer for 2014

God of Hope,
where despair rages, where things seem lost, you make us a promise.
When we are tempted to give up, when we decide the world is falling apart, you hold up a vision of what could be.
Into the world as it is, with all the drama and the hurt and the pain, you insert a bit of hope,
you show us a glimpse of the Kingdom of God,
you remind us that things are not always going to be as bad as they seem.
This Christmas season, re-make us into people of hope, make us those who have hope for a better world even against all the evidence.
Help us carry hope for the present and the future into a world where despair and resignation seem to be winning. And so we remember those places in our lives and around the world where hope is most needed
...time of silence...

God of Peace,
we live in a world where peace is so seldom a reality.
Our news sources share stories of bombs around the world, of people shot by those called to serve and protect, of people shooting those called to serve and protect, of militants killing all who get in their way, of schoolgirls kidnapped and presumed to be sold off in marriage against their will.
Where does peace fit in?
Tonight we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, tonight we hear again the angel song “glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all of goodwill”.
As we celebrate, may we be so filled with Christ's Peace that we carry it with us wherever we go, bringing peace in our own way to the world that we touch.
And so we pray that Peace would be more than just a word, we pray for those places where it's reality is most urgently needed
...time of silence...

God of Joy,
in churches and houses and village squares around the globe tonight the sounds of joy ring out.
And also in churches and houses and village squares around the globe tonight there are those whose hearts are heavy or whose life is a struggle that leaves little room for joy.
Tonight as we sing the carols and hear the old story, we hold in our hearts those who are lonely this night, and those who have an empty space at the table, and those who lie in hospital beds or sit beside those beds, and those who struggle to find basics like food and shelter.
Sometimes life is not what we want it to be.
On this night, on every night, we pray with and for all those who struggle
may they know that they are not alone, may they hear the word of promise and joy and love
...time of silence...

God of Love,
love, they say, is what makes the world go round
love is the power that makes life possible.
In love you continue to break into our lives, to break into our world.
You remind us that we are loved, you call us to be people who love others.
This Christmas season, and throughout the year that is to come, fill our hearts to overflowing with love.
And may we, having experienced Your boundless, unlimited, passionate love, pass it on to all we meet.
May love become the watchword and guidepost of our lives and the lives of all Your children.
And in this season of love, we pause to remember all our loved ones
...time of silence...

God of Light,
in the beginning there was darkness. And you called forth the light.
Throughout recorded time there has been darkness, and you called out the light.
In our world today there is darkness, help us to find the light.
The Christmas story reminds us of your love and care for your created, how you will never abandon us to the dark.
In the face of the darkness help us choose to be people of the light.
As we stand in the glow of starlight and angel song and a babe with his mother may we always remember that though the light shines in the darkness the darkness has not, will not, and can not over come it.
For the shadowed places of the world that that cry for light we pray
...time of silence...

God of Birth,
tonight we gather to celebrate a birth that happened long ago,
the birth of a child laid in a manger because there was no place for his family in the inn.
But tonight we also celebrate births that happen everyday:
we sing praises for hope born anew in the midst of despair,
we watch as peace is born in the middle of violence and struggle and disparity,
we listen as joy is born afresh in the broken-hearted,
we are overcome with emotion as love is born time and time again, overcoming fear and distrust and hatred,
we stand in the glow as tiny sparks give birth to a light that warms and illuminates the wonders of life.
For all the births we celebrate this night we offer prayers of thanksgiving and praise
...time of silence...