Sunday 30th September 2012 – Harvest Thanksgiving (2)

God of the seasons,

it was you who danced across the soil

in springtime

as seeds were planted,

and whispered to the ground

that you would provide all

that was needed for growth.

You promised nourishment and warmth

that the fruits of the earth

might burst to life.

In summertime,

You were to be found relaxing in the heat,

or sprinkling rain to refresh thirsty life.

Warming the air

You encouraged new shoots

to make their way

upwards and outwards

to become the fruits

sought in Autumn.

Celebrating Harvest with us

we wonder at how you have encouraged us

to be part of the stewardship

of the world we live in.

We bear the gifts

that you have rooted within the soil,

our work and our hearts

and bring them to Your table

for sharing beyond this building

and ourselves.

As winter draws close

may we not dwell in the dark and cold

of the things that have not grown

and the gifts that have not been used.

Nor may we make others feel the cold

by withdrawing our love and support.

Instead may we find

you in the Autumn colours brightening our world,

reminding us of your colourful presence

in every season of our lives,

and in the twinkling lights and warming fires

that speak of your love

transforming the bleak places

of life.



Sunday 30th September 2012 – Harvest Thanksgiving

This is my first week in a new charge.   The service for my arrival is Harvest, and there will be children included throughout the service.   In a Church of Scotland fashion, I am to be preached in by a friend and colleague.   So my only responsibility are the opening two worship items.   So here is a call to worship….

May the Lord be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us.

May His ways be known in all the earth.

With people of all nations,

we rejoice and are glad

for the for the Harvest God invites of our lives.

In our praise and worship

may we sing and tell of God’s love,

and His desire for justice

in our care of our world and each other.

Sunday 16th September 2012 – Pentecost 16B (5)

It is my last Sunday with a congregation this week, and so I suspect this prayer says more about our relationship and hopes than it does about the lectionary.   The hymn used as a response was a way of using someones favourite hymn sensitively.


Lord of all,

and God of grace,

You are to be praised

for Your sustaining presence

in the life of Your church,

for it is You

that guides and urges Your people

as they seek to tell the story of Your love

shown in the life of Jesus Christ.

We praise You

for all those who have shared Your story and love

with us;

those who have known the right words to say,

or the right thing to do;

those who have inspired us to seek after justice;

those who have touched lives with mercy;

and those who sit humbly

so that You might draw us close to them.

May we always be inspired

to follow You

as we encounter You

in Your varying guises,

for we should always know You

as the comforter and the inspiration,

for in all life

Your presence either calms or stirs.


Hymn 159 Lord for the years sing v1. 


Your Word, Lord, offers an invitation

for all creation

to be part of the kingdom of heaven.

As governments and politicians wag their tongues

and point their fingers,

may they look at the needs of the world

and respond with the leadership necessary

for all to be lifted out of distressing places and situations.

As journalists, authors and poets write of different worlds,

may they offer inspiration

for others to see the changes that all people need to make.

May we be careful with the words we use,

so that we do not confuse to hurt,

but instead teach and inspire.


sing v.2   Lord, for that word…



we pray for ourselves,

our friends and families,

and those we are yet to meet.

May the encounters we have had

and the meetings we are yet to make

continue to remind us of Your presence in our lives.

When we are bereaved,

or sharing time with someone experiencing loss,

enable us to take comfort from the pain and uncertainty.

In those times when we need healing

or offer care to another,

may all we say or do,

pour healing balm into life.

May we never be selfish in our emotions,

and instead live as those

who are aware that Your Holy Spirit takes every moment and experience

and shapes us with Christ’s love,

that Your presence may always be with us.


sing v.3  Lord, for ourselves…



Sunday 16th September 2012 – Pentecost 16B (4)

Life-giving God,

You have been generous

in the skills and talents

that are part of who each of us,

and that surround our living.

Your story is communicated in speech,

and in caring for others;

in love shared,

and in justice played out

in the choices we make.

As we respond to You gifts to us,

make us generous in the giving from our lives,

that we might be willing

to make Christ’s name known

in everything we do.


Sunday 16th September 2012 – Pentecost 16B (3)

You, Sovereign Lord,

sustain the world

when it wearies in its turning.

You cause the day to begin

and bring fresh inspiration

as the sun rises

on the possibilities of each hour.

With whistling wind,

and chattering birds;

with noisy children

and gossiping adults,

ears are drawn to the sounds

of all that surrounds.

In the kerfuffle

Your voice is calling

that all might take their place in Your presence.


It is not always easy

to find our way

to spend time in the presence of God.

The distractions of the world

can fill our time;

or there is a sense of unworthiness

that perhaps we do not belong.

Yet in the stories of Jesus

we find forgiveness and welcome

as we are reminded

that the whole of creation belongs to God.


May Your Spirit,

Sovereign God,

help us to live as those who are forgiven,

as we worship and remember Your place in our lives,

and then prepare us

to demonstrate Your love

in all we say and do

in Christ’s name.