Monday, September 19, 2016

Communion for October 2, 2016 -- Worldwide Communion Sunday, Story of the Passover

Note: Dayeinu is a Hebrew word meaning ‘enough’ it is pronounced Die-yea-noo

INVITATION
It is the season of harvest, the grain which once was scattered on the fields is now being gathered in.
Today the people of God gather from all corners of the earth to gather at tables like this.
Here at this table we take part in the feast of faith.
Here we share the meal that unites us with all the followers of The Way.
This is God’s table, God is the host,
and so all who seek to follow the Way of Jesus Christ are welcome to eat and drink.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

GREAT THANKSGIVING
God is here
Blowing among us with the breath of life.
God is here
And we place our hearts in God’s hands.
Let us give thanks
Thanks to God who frees us from our chains.

Creator God, Source of Life,
You spoke into the chaos and brought order, into the darkness and brought light, into the void and brought life.
If that was all you had done, given us life and this earth
Dayeinu, that would have been enough. But you did more.

Then you called your people out of slavery,
you formed a covenant with them, gave them rules and guidelines about how they should live with each other and with you.
If that was all you did, bring forth freedom and community
Dayeinu, that would have been enough. But you did more.

But your people did not fulfill their side of the covenant,
they went astray, wandering from the path of wisdom and faithfulness. In response you sent messengers, men and women to remind them what life could be, who they could be.
If that was the end of your work,
Dayeinu, that would have been enough. But you did more.

Eventually, in the fullness of time, you tried a new path.
You spoke to the woman Mary, promising her a son,
a child who would teach in word and action about the depth and breadth of your love;
a man who would reshape the understanding of what it meant to be faithful to the covenant;
a teacher who would transform the lives of his followers.

In this child, this teacher, this man, Jesus of Nazareth, we realized we had met God in human clothing.
However we were not ready for his message.
And he was arrested, tried and convicted.
To show the depth of his love and commitment he allowed himself to be executed, put to death on a cross.
If that was the end of the story,
Dayeinu, that would have been enough.But you did more.

You raised Jesus, you broke the bondage of death, you continue to set us free from those things that would enslave us.
So it is that we continue to gather at this table to sing songs of thanksgiving, joining our voices to the voices of ages saying:
Holy holy holy are you, Lord of Creation
Blessed is the One who comes in your name.

As we gather at this table we remember the night before Jesus was arrested.
We remember that he gathered with his closest friends to share the meal of faith and freedom.
There, in an upper room, he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
This is my Body, broken by and for the world. Take it, eat it, and remember.
Then he took a cup of goo wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
This is the cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Take, drink, and remember.
Remembering his life, death and resurrection, committing ourselves to follow The Way of love he taught, and anxiously awaiting the coming Kingdom of love and peace we eat and drink and we remember the great mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.

God of life, send your Spirit upon and among us as we gather at this table.
As we break bread together, unite us with the global family of faith.
As we eat and drink awaken the fire of hope in our souls, embolden us to live your love and share your promise with the world around us.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who we call Christ and Messiah, and who taught us to pray saying...
Our Father, who art in heaven...

FRACTION & DISTRIBUTION
The Bread we share is the bread of freedom.
The Cup we share is the cup of promise.
These are gifts from God for the people of God
Thanks be to God

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted God’s goodness.
God of freedom, grant that this meal we have shared today will remind us that in you and your love we are set free.
God of love, grant that in eating and drinking here our hearts are warmed and we are changed, moving us closer to being who we are created to be.
God of community, grant that this meal we share with our sisters and brothers around the globe helps to build a sense of unity and closeness that chases away all fear, mistrust, and hatred. These things we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

COmmissioning for October 2, 2016 -- Worldwide Communion Sunday

COMMISSIONING:
We have gathered at the table of faith
we have joined with the worldwide family of faith to break the bread and pour the cup
And now we go out to continue to live and serve
in a world crying out for love, where so many cry out to be set free.
So go, carrying with you God’s promise of freedom, God’s word of hope, God’s acts of love
to share with all we meet.
Go with God, who is with you always
Dayeinu, it is enough, Thanks be to God.

Friday, September 2, 2016

For September 11, 2016 -- Looking at the story of "The Fall"

OPENING PRAYER
Creator, Source of life and light and love;
we have gathered for worship.
As we sing and pray and eat and listen,
move in our hearts and souls, remind us who we were created to be.
As we move from this time of worship,
continue to move within us, pushing us to be who we were created to be.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Teacher, Saviour, Guide and Redeemer.
The one who came to open our eyes and remind us who we were created to be. Amen.

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of Creation, of Original Blessing, who calls us to be in relationship;
we know that we have not always been who or what we could be:
we let our own desires take precedence over your wisdom,
we see with eyes shaded by our own biases,
we choose violence and hatred and fear over the path of peace and love.
And yet you continue to seek relationship with us,
even when we are ashamed or confused and seek to hide from your presence.
As people who long for Paradise, we open ourselves to your grace,
trusting in your mercy to rebuild the relationship strained by our pride and wilfulness.
...time of silent prayer...
God is loving and gracious and merciful.
Thanks be to God.
God continues to invite us into relationship, seeking us when we hare lost or trying to hide.
Thanks be to God.
In Christ's life, death and resurrection we find the visible signs of God's grace, we find the path back to relationship,
Thanks be to God! Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
We have gathered, we have broken bread, we have shared in the continuing story of faith.
And now we go to share in God's mission in the world.
Go out into the world, knowing that you are beloved creations of a loving Creator
Go out to share the love of Gd with all you meet.
Go out to use the wisdom and knowledge that God has given you to enhance the world around us.
We go to live and serve.
Go knowing that the God who created you, Christ who redeems you, and the Holy Spirit who sustains you is with you each and every moment of every day.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Christ Candle for Fall 2016

In the beginning God said '”let there be light” and there was light,
and the light continues to shine.
As the candle glow reminds us of God's steadfast light we center ourselves for worship...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

For May 8, 2016 -- Easter 7, Paul teaches on Resurrection

OPENING PRAYER (uses lines from VU446 O God of Life)
O God of life, who wills new life to be through love created,
we gather as a people of life, of resurrection, of life that conquers death.
O God of love, who gives baptism to be the outward symbol of your love,
we gather as a baptized and baptizing community, welcoming all into the family of faith.
O God of power, whose Spirit you have sent to be received here,
in our worship together move among, within, and through us: preparing us to go out and proclaim the promise of resurrection life to the world around us.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who has conquered death, who brings us life, and who invites us to pray together saying...

PRAYER FOR LIFE
Where death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
God we admit that death scares us.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death
With the voices of the ages we celebrate the promise and reality of Resurrection.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
we know that You are with us.
God of life, when we meet the fear of death,
remind us of the great mystery and victory of faith: LIFE WINS.
And as people of life, of life beyond death, when the trumpet blast sounds
lead us in the dance of joy and hope and life.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who has conquered death
To Life! Christ is Risen! Hallelujah!


COMMISSIONING:
As people of hope,
we return to the world to share our hope.
As people of life,
we go out into the world to spread the promise of life.
As people of Easter,
we share the Good News of resurrection, the victory of life over death.
As you go to live and serve, go knowing that the Risen Christ is with you always, to the end of the age.
And in confidence we go out to share the promise of God: To LIFE!

Friday, April 22, 2016

For May 1, 2016 -- 6th Sunday of Easter, Paul's Hymn to Love.



OPENING PRAYER (uses lines from VU #603 In Loving Partnership)
In loving partnership we come, seeking O God, your will to do.
As we gather for worship we open our hearts and souls and minds. Loving community we seek; your hope and strength within us move.
As we gather at the table of faith, we pray that you will fill and strengthen us.
God of love, as we pray and listen and sing and ponder,
remind us of the power of love, help us keep love at the center of our faith, of our work, of our life
In loving partnership, O God, help us your future to proclaim.
When our worship ends, lead us out to share your love with friend and neighbour, stranger and enemy. We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us about the power of love. Amen.

WORDS ABOUT LOVE
(with thanks to the Beatles, and the Gospel of John, and Huey Lewis and the News, and Jacques Brel)
All you need is love! ...Love is all you need.
God grant us the ability to love deeply, to love with our whole being.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you...
We strive to follow the words and example of Jesus, loving neighbours and enemies.
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel...that's the power of love
May love be our strength, keeping us solid and soft all at once.
If we only have love..then death has no shadow
Held in the arms of your love, gracious God, we face life and death and life beyond death with hope and confidence.
If we only have love...Then with nothing at all but the little we are We'll have conquered all time All space, the sun, and the stars.
The greatest gift the Holy Spirit gives us is indeed love. God help us to remember to keep this love at the core of our life, of our actions, of our very being. For in love we meet you and know you, and are known.
Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
As people of love
we have sung, we have broken bread, we have prayed, we have listened, we have worshipped.
As people of love,
we go from this place back out into the world where love is so sorely needed.
As people of love,
we pledge to share the love we meet in God with the world around us.
As people of love,
we know and trust that the God who is made known in love walks with us and shines through us each minute of each day. Amen.

Monday, March 28, 2016

For April 10, 2016, Easter 3 -- Acts 3:1-10

OPENING PRAYER
God of Easter,
we gather in this season of celebration.
God of Life,
we praise you for the signs of new life we see bursting forth around us
God of Hope,
we look around for signs of the Kingdom, those things that bring hope to our lives.
God active in our world,
in this time of worship renew us, remind us that we are agents of your love and hope, send us out to carry your promises to the world around us.
We pray in the name of the Risen Christ, who taught his friends to pray by saying together...

PRAYER FOR AND ASSURANCE OF GRACE
God of Grace, when the world looks on us with scorn and distrust,
you look at us with love and compassion.
When we look for help with symptoms and secondary problems,
you challenge us to fix the primary issues.
When life has us feeling defeated and broken you say:
Get up and walk.
God grant us the wisdom to know how you are calling us to respond.
Grant us the grace to see your power flowing through those around us
...time of silent prayer...
The God we meet in the Risen Christ is gracious. In Christ God opens our eyes and hearts and enables us to respond to the needs of those around us. God allows us to accept the help and love offered by those around us.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

COMMISSIONING:
Here in this place today,
we have worshipped, we have welcomed.
The God who welcomes us all through the waters of baptism,
sends us out into the world to make a difference.
The God revealed in the Risen Christ,
challenges us to share the Good News of life that conquers death, life that brings healing.
As we serve in the world we know that:
the God who created and recreates us
the Risen Christ who redeems and teaches us
the Holy Spirit who strengthens and sustains us
is with us wherever we go. Hallelujah!