Sunday 6th May 2018 – Easter 6B

Call to Worship

Gladly singing of God’s work in creation,

we gather together,

that the story we hold

may be completed

in the words and actions

of those around.

 

Boldly we nestle

into the embrace of God

seeking the assurance of love

for those moments

when we have felt lost,

abandoned,

weighed down with the task of being human.

 

Shouting to the earth,

we cannot keep the news of all we know 

to ourselves,

for God invites us to make

the music of heaven,

in word and whisper,

with instrument and silence,

through voice and the percussion of creation.

 

In this moment of faith

may the melody of justice and hope

inspire us all

to follow Christ.

 

Let us worship God…

 

 

Opening Prayer

Lord of Creation,

the rush of the seas

begins the rolling applause

that appreciates

the wonder of Your hand.

As rivers 

rush to join the heralding praise,

the mountains sour to the highest note

taking their song to the heavens.

In the continuing action of creation

You ensure that the life to be found

is aware of Your presence.

Not some distant deity,

but an interested presence

that reaches out in love

to bring equity

where humanity would insist on heirarchy;

to bring justice and righteousness

where inequality pervades.

These are not some longed for values,

but instead integral characteristics

of the faith You hope to inspire within us.

In Christ,

You offered the assurance

of compassion 

in the midst of life.

 

Bringing the discord to creation’s melody,

our love often stumbles over the hurdles

we have placed

to prevent relationships from forming.

We like our hierarchies

for they give us a sense of purpose

and ambition.

We are not always willing to enjoy 

the equity of friendship,

seeking instead

to be the best.

We do not build up those who have been disenfranchised

and instead enjoy

the superiority of our self-belief.

In bring our faults

into the space of worship,

we seek Your Spirit’s compassion and resolve.

 

Silence

 

Christ of the Gospel,

who bring good news to all,

calls us all to live as those

who believe that we have been redeemed for a purpose.

May we respond in the hope

of all we are invited to be 

in Christ’s name.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Prayer

God of enduring love,

in the wonder of each day,

in the promise of the morning,

and the restfulness of evening,

we have found Your presence 

healing the flaws and wounds 

of the challenges we have faced.

In the gifts we share,

may Your Spirit,

sweep away the reluctance and anguish,

and offer the fullness of Your grace and love

to all encounter our offerings.

In Christ’s name.

Amen

 

 

Prayers of the People

Lord, in our world:

let Your love flow.

 

Lord of all,

You choose us,

empowering and enabling us

to reveal Your love

in the activities and words 

of each day.

We thank You 

for the task we have been offered

in the name friends.

Bringing blessing on our lives,

we long to hear Your word

so that we are continual inspired

for the activity of faith.

 

We pray for all

who have responded to Your call

as they live our their vocation of faith.

We recognise this gift within the tasks of ministry and eldership,

and yet Your call is to all

and for some it is found in the fulfilment of the work they do each day.

We remember those who act as friends to the community,

as healthcare workers,

social workers and youth co-ordinators,

social services and law enforcers.

 

Lord, in our world:

let Your love flow.

 

As leaders of industry and commerce

wrestle with the wealth of our world,

may they be given wisdom

so that nothing is hoarded or squandered.

We pray for the fair distribution of wealth.

We remember those who are abused or ill treated

in the work that they do.

Make us aware of the need for justice within workplaces,

and in the choices we make

enable others to be fairly paid and valued.

 

Lord, in our world:

let Your love flow.

 

In a world of anguish and sorrow,

we cannot close our ears to the pain and sadness of others.

We pray for those who have been badly treated at the hands of others;

for the homes where illness and disability bring loneliness;

for those who trouble and grief is overwhelming.

 

Lord, in our world:

let Your love flow.

 

We pray for those we miss from our fellowship,

whose faith marker touched our lives

and encouraged us in faith.

May we follow their light

until Your glory is revealed to all.

Amen.

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Sunday 4th March 2018 – Lent 3

Offertory Prayer

God,

who lifts us from our burdens

that our lives may be an offering of worship,

we respond with heart and soul,

acknowledging Your presence

in every breath and activity.

May what we offer

from our wealth and talent

reflect the hope and courage

of our faith

in Christ.

Amen.

 

Prayers of the People

In the winter chill and enforced rest,

You, Creator God,

have been at work.

When humanity would want to scurry on by,

opportunities for reflection

and awareness

have nestled into the waiting time.

As the cold wraps around us

and the hard work of movement frustrates,

we find it hard to be thankful.

But thanks we offer You,

for time spent with family;

for community spirit

that has neighbour reach out to neighbour.

We are grateful for those moments

when we have been moved to look beyond ourselves,

and notice all that You have created;

the awe we have felt at changing light

and icy blasts;

the compassion that has been stirred

as from warm homes

and full stomachs,

we have remembered those

who were seeking shelters in doorways

or who fridges were empty

with little hope of being replenished.

 

Disrupting Presence,

we pray for those

who have no place to call home,

moving from doorway,

to sofa to hostel.

Teach us the humility that we do no know the reasons why

and the answers to how,

and instead making us willing

to make conversation

and offer support.

Where we can offer simple help,

open our hearts.

Where we recognise the need for changing structure,

let our voices sound

to those who need to hear.

 

We pray for those who have felt trapped

by the weather,

as isolation settled in their homes.

While for some this was an unusual experience,

for others loneliness is the pattern of a day.

We give thanks for those who act as neighbours,

making phonecalls,

knocking at doors,

bring food,

offering support.

Where we see the need for community,

enable us to reach out to our neighbours

willing to help,

and to accept the offer.

 

On this mid-week of Fair-trade,

we find ourselves unsettled.

Aware of the goodwill, energy and support

that the branding has been brought,

it would be easy to be discouraged

at the businesses who are seizing the opportunity to do something different.

As church communities may we celebrate

the support that has been offered

to small local community businesses,

and covenant to continue the practices we have.

As a community with a voice and buying power,

may we challenge supermarkets and purchasers

to seek a fair price for work and goods.

 

Spirit of Creation,

sweep through our world,

and upset the tables that prevent us

from meeting You in others,

and allow Christ’s love ever-present love

to pour into all of life.

Amen.

Sunday 4th February 2018 – Epiphany 5B

A dying computer and a new assistant mean I’ve not been able to post much recently.   However a small morsel for this week.   Next week I think I’m on the prayer task so hopefully there will be more then.

Call to Worship

How good it is to sing

our praise to God.

How pleasant

as note and harmony

ring within our ears

and throats

to tell the wonder of creative Presence.

 

Building up community

with gentle touch,

and well-placed word

the Spirit of God

invites us

to shelter under the canopy of heavenly stars

and morning light.

And when dusk comes

we are to bathe

in the warm embrace

of God’s caress upon the earth.

 

Let us sing with thanksgiving,

and even if we think we cannot make music

may we take pleasure in the relationships

that God inspires

between humanity and the creation

between outcast and stranger

between sibling and parent

young and old,

restored and forgiven.

 

Let us worship God…

 

Sunday 17th December 2017 – Advent 3B

Call to Worship

Gathering to seek the favour of God,

we hope to be anointed

by the presence of the Eternal One.

In that blessing

we are to receive good news

that speaks to the poor,

the broken hearted and the captives,

that all may be released

from the darkness

that looms in their experiences.

 

We come to be comforted,

that in turn we may offer comfort,

allowing the beauty of creation

to become a garment

that causes hearts to sing.

The Lord will lead us through what we thought were ruins

to find the hope and potential

with the promise offered in faith.

 

Come let us delight

in the provision of God,

whose provision reaches beyond

our prejudice.

 

Opening Prayer

Mighty One,

You are to be praised

for You place Your trust and hope

in the humility of human form.

Not interested in wealth and status,

You invest in tenderness,

compassion

and creativity

to bring the presence of Your love

into the sight of those

who are to be lifted high.

Beyond our understanding of time and space,

You story repeats and renews

in every generation,

ringing with wonder,

causing the ignored and excluded

to be noticed.

 

As we are blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit,

make us aware of our prejudices

and our search for status and recognition.

As we walk past those who sit destitute,

give us the courage to question why,

and to challenge the normality of the experience.

As we watch televisions stories

of children who will be hungry

or not have the healthcare they need,

empower us to be vocal

in the calls we make on governments

and recognise that small changes

are the ripples that create waves.

 

As we seek Your forgiveness,

may we be open to the changes

that You create within our lives,

so that creation

finds the Incarnation waiting to be born in our time.

Amen.

 

Sunday 1st December 2017 – Advent 1B

Call to Worship

Time hastens on,

and in the flurry and scurry of preparations

there seems to be little time

to reflect upon the world.

 

Time hastens on,

and news stories cascade

faces of hungry children,

homeless mothers,

helpless men,

and there are no easy answers of solutions

on which to hang our hopes.

 

Time hastens on,

and governments quarrel over boundaries

and responsibilities,

with seeming little thought to individuals

in the midst of grand schemes.

 

Time hastens on,

and yet the length of eternity cannot be measured.

 

In the presence of the Eternal One,

a space to reflect,

restore

and remind ourselves of the purpose of our lives

is offered.

 

Let us worship God…

 

Offertory Prayer

God,

who calls us to be One with You,

we praise and adore You

for Your openness of heart.

Responding to Your gift

we bring the gifts of our lives,

in talent, time and money,

and allow Your invitation to us

to be shared

in the friends and strangers

who find a welcome

as Christ’s love reaches out to them.

Amen.

 

Sunday 26th November 2017 – Christ the King

Opening Prayer

Come, let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,

for Your are our God,

and we are the people of Your pasture,

the flock in Your care.

 

You have drawn us here

to meet with You,

and with the tenderness of the Holy Spirit

we are brought into Your nearer presence

that we might be stilled and calmed,

challenged and engaged,

made ready for the task of discipleship

in which You seek us to engage.

 

In the activities of the week

and the headlines of the news,

our need of You has been invigorated.

Within our community and our church

we have met the worries and fears of others,

and we have found ourselves to be in need

of the words of life

that only come from You.

So in faith we declare You

the Crown our our lives –

the One in which all the winding threads

are bound together,

to become an ornate tapestry of hope and joy.

 

As we worship and bow down,

as we kneel before You,

our Lord and Maker,

You have guided us on each step.

You are the shepherd of our live,

who anticipates our needs

before we recognised,

pouring grace into our thirst and hunger.

 

Patient shepherd,

hear the voices of the flock

who often stray from You care.

Lost in the world,

we have used money and power

in the hope of replacing Your presence.

We have not trusted in Your languishing of love,

and placed our trust in material things.

We have not cared for those

who stand in difficult places.

As we worship and bow down,

we seek Your care

and the recognise the need for restoration.

 

Silence

 

Loving Shepherd,

we are not worthy of Your love,

and yet You love without restriction.

Teach us to follow You,

and to welcome You in the face of others.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Prayer

Shepherd of all,

You gave in love and richness

that the nations would be drawn into Your presence

to understand humility.

In the depths of our pockets and the depths of our hearts

we are overwhelmed,

and yet in humbleness

we bring the gifts of our life and work

so that Christ’s gift can be shared

wherever light is needed.

Amen.

 

Prayers of the People

Crown of our hearts,

we thank You

for Your presence in all our activities,

and for the people we have been placed amongst.

In the richness of relationships

found within family and friends

You enrich our skills of celebration and negotiation,

and empower us

as those who are to notice struggle

and demonstrate compassion.

 

On the closing Sunday of the Christian year,

we look towards the promise of a new year of faith.

Stirring the memories of all that has been discovered, shared and offered

in this year,

the possibilities of the future are awakened.

 

In Christ’s name we offer our prayers

MAY THE SPIRIT GIVE US WISDOM AND VISION

 

We pray for the Church in Scotland and across the world,

as congregations long to serve the communities in which they are placed.

We recognise the changing demographic the people in worship

and look for ways in which to revitalise the life and worship

of congregations,

to inspire and offer welcome

to those who seek an encounter with the Holy Spirit.

In a season where schools begin to explore the Christian story

in the retelling of the Nativity,

we long for doors to be opened

for engaging with people of faith.

Encourage us to a better understanding between church communities

that we can be inspired by our differences,

and encouraged by our similarities.

 

In Christ’s name we offer our prayers

MAY THE SPIRIT GIVE US WISDOM AND VISION

 

We pray for those who are in need of care,

for patients in hospitals,

and residents in care homes,.

We remember the staff who offer care and support

with dignity and respect.

We think of those who live on the margins of our communities,

and find themselves vulnerable

because their need is not immediately recognised.

For those who find no hope of joy or comfort

in the weeks that lie ahead.

 

In Christ’s name we offer our prayers

MAY THE SPIRIT GIVE US WISDOM AND VISION

 

We pray for our planet:

for peace so that our lands are not torn apart

and people displaced;

for a respect of the natural resources

and a willingness to live with less.

 

In Christ’s name we offer our prayers

MAY THE SPIRIT GIVE US WISDOM AND VISION

 

And as we draw our prayers to our close

we remember those

who have touched our lives,

because in Christ’s name

they offered protection, support and love.

Amen.

Sunday 22nd October 2017 – Pentecost 20A

Prayer of Approach and Confession

Singing old and new songs,

we settle in Your presence,

Maker of the heavens and the earth

and Giver of salvation.

You alone are to be worshipped and adored,

for You have shaped

the day and night

with colour and light.

You shape human life

with the story of hope and justice

proclaimed and told

in the the good news of Your Son,

Jesus,

and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit

who continues to encircle

our lives,

leading us into the places

and towards the people

who are to be restored to You.

Worshipping You in all Your splendour,

we come to rejoice

at the moments of wonder and awe

that have rumbled through

the ordinary

and focussed our attention

upon the world You are creating.

 

In a world full of images,

our attention is easily caught on celebrity

and powerful,

all offering competing messages

of where to place our trust

and dedicate our attention.

We confess the flighty nature of our gaze.

Forgive us for us willingness to put convenience first,

and ignore the need to conserve;

for our belittling of difference,

and failing to celebrate diversity;

for our belief that we are right,

and failing to value the views of others.

 

Silence

 

Loving Lord,

before we opened our mouths

and lifted our hands,

You were whispering words of forgiveness,

reminding all to live as those who belong to You.

With Your presence in all we do,

may we live as those who bear Your image

and give glory to You

in all we do and say.