Wednesday, April 19, 2017

An Easter Prayer (to go with the story of the Emmaus Road)

God of Life, when the world falls apart,
we sometimes seek to run away, to go back to a safe place.
God of Hope, when we make these journeys of despair,
we turn and find a stranger walking beside us.
God of Peace, you ask us to share our fears and hopes, our dreams and anxieties.
And then you push us to see the world in a new way.
God of Easter, you move within us, opening our hearts,
so that they would burn as we talk about questions of meaning.
God of Resurrection, you invite us to the table,
where our eyes are opened,
where understanding dawns,
where we see you present
and we understand the reality that Life Wins.
In the name of the Risen Christ,
we pray, as we strive to live in his Way. Amen

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT (for an Annual Meeting Sunday)

(This prayer references and indeed quotes both A New Creed and A Song of Faith, parts of the Doctrine section in the United Church of Canada's Basis of Union)

God, you call us to be the church;
to celebrate your presence, to explore how to live lives based on love and justice.
God you call us to be the church,
to proclaim the Good News of the Risen Christ, to be made ready to live and serve.
God we acknowledge that the church has not always lived up to its vision
and so we pray that the Holy Spirit would reorient it and us
helping us balance faith and tradition,
so that the church might be a blessing to the earth.
God you call us to sing of a church with purpose,
faith nurtured and hearts comforted,
gifts shared for the good of all,
resistance to the forces that exploit and marginalize,
fierce love in the face of violence,
human dignity defended,
members of a community held and inspired by God, corrected and comforted,
instrument of the loving Spirit of Christ,
And so we sing of your mission O God,
pledging ourselves anew to answer the call to be the church in the world. Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2017

For FEbruary 12, 2017 -- John's Question of Jesus "Are you the One"

OPENING PRAYER
God of the table, you call us to break bread together.
As we gather for worship we open ourselves to your presence.
God of community, you call us to share our lives with each other.
In this time of prayer, song, listening and eating
reveal your self present among us.
God whose kingdom is growing in the world,
help us see signs of the kingdom in places we expect and in places that surprise us
This we pray in the name of Jesus, teacher and guide, preacher and saviour,
 in whom we see you active in the world. AMEN.

COMMISSIONING:
We have gathered, we have eaten, we have prayed,
and now we go out into the world where we live and serve.
We go out with eyes open to see God in ways that surprise us.
We go out to tell others what we have seen and heard and experienced.
AS we go we share the promise of faith:
God is with us, in this place, in every place.
Go with God.
Amen.


Call To Worship for February

CALL TO WORSHIP
The Peace of Christ be with you
And also with you.
We have been called together in this place and time
Here we celebrate God’s presence,
here we explore what it means to live in God’s way,
here we share our lives and faith with each other.
As we open ourselves to worship, we turn to our neighbours and greet each other with words and signs of Christ’s peace....

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Prayer to begin a Presbytery meeting

God who calls us to be the church,
God who calls people to leadership within the church,
God who challenges us to be the church in times of change and transition
we who have been called and selected as leaders in that part of Christ's body which we call Northern Lights Presbytery have gathered here in Beaverlodge.
Over this weekend we will talk together, eat together, pray together, listen together as we strive to understand how you are calling us to be the church in this time and place.

God who speaks through the prophets and sages of old, saying “behold I am doing a new thing”;
we gather this weekend to discern where you would have the church go,
we gather at a time of transition, knowing that the “way we have always done it” will no longer work,
and so we pray for wisdom, trusting that you move within and among us.
Open our ears to hear your wisdom, even when that wisdom may sound harsh.
Open our eyes to see the face of Christ in each other, even in the midst of disagreement.
Open our minds to new understandings of what the church could be.
Open our hearts to feel your love flowing through this gathering and through this church we love and serve, even though there are days it frustrates and confounds us.
Open our souls to trust that we are not alone.
Open our wills to be ready to let go, or to hold on, and grant us the wisdom to know when to do both.

God of life and love, when our meeting is over we will return to our various homes and ministries.
May we carry the love we find in this gathering back to those places.
May we carry hope for an uncertain future, secure in the knowledge that you walk with us.
May we leave this place ready to be people of Love, to live the Kingdom life of Love, to share the Kingdom promise of Love.
We pray as followers of the man from Nazareth, Jesus, our teacher and guide, our rock and redeemer, the one we call Christ and Messiah, whose life, death, resurrection, and passion for The Way shows us the path to the Kingdom.
Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2017

For January 29, 2017 -- Sabbath Controversies.

OPENING PRAYER
God of grace, God of life, God of love,
you have called us together for worship.
AS we gather in this place,
we bring our hopes and fears, our celebrations and cares.
In this time of prayer and song and listening,
we take a pause from the busy-ness of life,
we remind ourselves that taking a break is healthy,
we open ourselves to your wisdom, that will lead and guide us in the week to come.
We gather, we pray, we live, as followers of Jesus, who taught his friends to pray together saying...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God, you give us rules, guidelines to follow as we seek health and abundant life.
And there is a part of us which chafes at the idea that we are not in control.
God you challenge us to know when it is time to follow the letter of the rule and when to bend it.
And there are voices which insist on strict adherence no matter what the circumstances.
God, in your grace,
grant us the wisdom to know how best to use the rules and traditions of our faith to build healthy lives for ourselves and our neighbours.
God of grace, in our failure to follow the rules, and in our failure to suspend the rules when necessary,
we miss the mark, we are unwise. Forgive us, teach us, that next time we would find the path.
God of grace and mercy, God who forgives, we live and grow through your grace.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

 
COMMISSIONING:
As a community of faith,
we have sung, we have prayed, we have kept time with God and each other.
As a community that serves,
we go back out to our varied communities where we live and serve and love.
As a community of love,
we go out seeking to know when the rules need to be strict, and when they need to be bent.
As a community of hope,
we go secure in the knowledge that we are not alone. God is with us. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

For January 22, 2017 -- The Call of the First Disciples

OPENING PRAYER
God of life, as a baptized and baptizing community,
we gather to worship, to grow in discipleship, to share the faith story.
God of community, we gather this morning,
as part of a global family, united in faith, diverse in practice.
God of transformation, as we sing and pray and listen,
open our souls that we would know your presence, open our hearts to follow where you lead.
This we pray in the name of Jesus, who invites us to join the community, who teaches us to pray saying..

COMMISSIONING:
As a baptized and baptizing community,
we have welcomed another Beloved child into God’s global family.
As people who have heard Jesus’ invitation to join him,
we take up the challenge to follow the Way, to grow as disciples.
As part of a faith family that spans the globe,
we work with our brothers and sisters of many traditions to build the Kingdom.
Go with God: Father, Son and Spirit, Lover, Beloved, and Love, who is Creating, Redeeming and Sustaining.
Amen.