Sunday 26th June 2016 – Pentecost 6C (2)

O Holy Refuge,

You are the shelter,

and under Your canopy

we are protected from wind and rain,

from cruel blow and thoughtless taunt.

In the inheritance we receive from You,

You provide everything we need.

In the darkness,

You bring light,

as You speak to our hearts.

You do not abandon us,

but seek us out

with good things to enjoy.

 

Loving Presence,

we seek You shelter

from our world,

with worried thoughts,

excited hopes,

and anxious fears.

In our desire to seek the best for ourselves,

it is not always easy

to place our trust in You.

Our selfish needs,

our sense of purpose,

our ambition,

all place walls around which Your Spirit

laps,

tearing at our resilience

until we remember to whom we belong.

Forgive us when we do not see the bigger picture

of a world in need,

or Your desire to use us as the hearts, hands and voices

of justice, fairness and wholeness.

 

Silence

 

Spirit of Promise,

You invite us to renew our promises to You,

that the kingdom of heaven

may reach into all of life,

in Christ’s name.

Amen.

Sunday 26th June 2014 – Pentecost 6C

Call to Worship

We take our shelter in the Lord,

for He keeps us safe.

We will praise the Lord,

who offers us wisdom

as through the night He teaches our hearts.

Always ahead of us,

The Lord will not let our confidence be shaken.

 

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Leader: Keep me safe, O God

ALL: FOR WE TAKE OUR SHELTER IN YOU.

Leader: I will praise the Lord who offers me wisdom,

ALL: EVEN AT NIGHT HE IS TEACHING MY HEART.

Leader: The Lord is always before me,

ALL: HE WILL NOT LET MY CONFIDENCE BE SHAKEN.

Sunday 19th June 2016 – Pentecost 5C

Call to Worship

Drawing around the bones of humanity,

Divine Presence,

protects and warms

the precious life within the flesh.

From all that we may fear,

the Strength of the Lord stands firm,

a constant source of hope and courage.

 

This source of Love

does not despise the variety of the creation,

nor turns away for those

who others might call outcast.

Instead the healing grasp of the Lord

encompasses all,

incorporates all,

and welcomes all.

 

In the presence of overwhelming welcome

may we praise the God,

who longs to satisfies

all manner of hungers.

May we praise the Lord

who remember us,

and beckons us to kneel

within the temple of grace

and find our belonging.

 

 

Opening Prayer

Almighty and Everlasting God,

Eternal and Intimate Presence,

You draw near to Your creation,

bursting through the barriers

of expectation and convention.

You are the Lord

of those who are pushed to the margins

of communities,

and the bold spirit

that pushes them to the fore

that we might meet Your presence

in those who have been ignored.

In you all are one,

and creed, gender, nationality, and responsibility

become but words,

for You teach us not to be afraid,

for You are the sustaining hand

that provides for all our needs.

In praise,

we settle in our places,

and with praise

we will worship,

so that praise becomes the words upon our lips

and the action of our hearts,

as the experience of knowing Christ in song and story

permeates into daily tasks.

 

Comforting Saviour,

You confront the many voices within each of us

and speak to the hurts and pains we inflict and cause.

Help us to acknowledge

the divisions we make

as we allow humanity to stand in opposition

when love should prevail.

 

Guiding Spirit,

leading us from our old practices

to new life in the knowledge of God’s hope for us,

we long to live as those

transformed by the presence of Christ.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Prayer

Enfolding Creator,

with every breath

You spur us into life in all its fullness,

and in Your excess we give You thanks.

You inspire us to share,

and from our wealth

of talent, time and resources

we give

that others may meet the presence of Christ

in the ordinary moments

of each day.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

God of many names,

we thank You for the variety of images

that allow us to explore Your nature

and that enable us

to know You as our own.

You are the soaring eagle

that leads us to new thoughts and ideas,

to new adventures.

You are the mother hen

who gathers her chicks under her wings

that they may know worth and security.

You are the potter at the wheel,

moulding and shaping our lives

that we may be vessels of your love.

You are lady Wisdom,

calling in the market place

with guidance in all each day brings.

 

God of many names,

You come to challenge the many voices.

of our world

that set nations at war with each other,

humanity quarrelling

and seeking the best for individuals

rather than the common good.

 

We pray for Your church,

and the breadth of opinion contained

across congregations and denominations.

All seeking to demonstrate our faith and understanding,

at times we can seem fractious

in our meetings and plans.

May Your Spirit continue to guide and inspire,

if others are to meet You in our living our of Your story.

 

Leader: O Lord, our Strength

ALL: LORD, HASTEN WITH HELP AND COMPASSION

 

We pray for politicians and those involved in public service,

people who recognise the value of personal relationship

when it comes to making changes and grasping needs.

In these days since the traumatic death of Jo Cox,

there is a growing recognition of the vulnerability

of meeting with others.

We pray for Ms Cox’s family,

and those who have been touched by her presence.

We thank You for the gifts and talents she offered

in her actions.

We pray also for the Referendum this week,

that Your voice speaks to our hearts

and invites us to make choices

where people flourish and grow.

 

Leader: O Lord, our Strength

ALL: LORD, HASTEN WITH HELP AND COMPASSION

 

In a week where there has been a growing recognition

of the hostility and discrimination

that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community experience,

we pray that that new knowledge will continue

to tear at the divisive walls

that suggest that difference is a flaw.

We remember those who lost their lives

in the discriminating shooting of last Sunday,

and we pray for their families and friends.

We think of those who were in the club,

whose lives are now marked by the fear they felt,

and the lack of respect

they encounter for being who they are.

Cast out the demons of our prejudice

and bring us to new knowledge of what it means

to be made in the image of God,

in bold technicolour.

 

Leader: O Lord, our Strength

ALL: LORD, HASTEN WITH HELP AND COMPASSION

 

We praise You for those

who inspire us to live in relationship with each other,

and thank You for those who have gifted

with the example that places justice and mercy

at the centre of our lives.

 

Leader: O Lord, our Strength

ALL: LORD, HASTEN WITH HELP AND COMPASSION

Amen.

Sunday 12th June 2016 – Pentecost 4C

Call to Worship

As honoured guests,

the Lord welcomes us

to gather round the table.

The Spirit’s voice has issued an invitation

that looks not at status or standing.

Words of forgiveness fall in the spaces

that lie between the words,

and the steadfast, abundant love

of the Divine wraps healing arms

around the painful sores

of sharing in life in a community.

 

The Lord leads us to take a seat,

and leave behind boastful, selfish, pomposity.

Revealing our true selves,

Christ meets us in humility,

that having been served

we may serve,

and offer lives

that speak truth, offer wise counsel, and rebel against injustice.

 

Let us take refuge in the presence of the Holy of holies,

and rejoice.

 

Let us worship God…

 

 

Opening Prayer

Holy of holies,

who seeks the sacred space

within our hearts and minds,

You draw us into Your presence,

offering the tender welcome of the One

who has read our thoughts and knows our intentions

before a final decision has been made.

You are to be praised for Your patience,

as You whisper, weep, cajole and entice

the seeds of faith,

tempting Your creation

to place roots within the fertility

of Your being.

The worship of our lives may never match

the overwhelming offer of love

gifted in the life of Christ,

but You rejoice in the little pieces

of wonder and glory

that seep into those moments

where we treasure You.

You recognise the perfume of devotion

not just in the fragrance,

but in the tears of anxious hope

and the hand ringing of possibility.

 

Jealousy and condemnation

of the actions of others

can cause a stench

that marks division and leads to exclusion.

Rather than rejoicing in the well-being of others,

we undermine and undervalue,

making others feel less than human.

Wanting only the best for ourselves,

we under-resource those who are most in need.

As the healing balm,

the story of Christ walks amid our transgressions,

reshaping and remoulding

until the scent of holiness pervades.

 

Then may we rise anew,

led by the Spirit to a faith

that brings grace to others,

as we build with mercy and truth,

in Christ’s name.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

Sweet fragrance of the eternal,

we have met You in the tang of yeasty bread

and the aroma of wine,

both reminding us

of the abundance of life

to be found in Your presence.

We thank You for the eternal goodness

that is bestowed upon us

whenever we gather at the table,

and find ourselves welcomed

for who we are

and what we may become with You.

 

In the healing of the familiarity of Your love,

may our prayers reach beyond

our own passions

and speak to the life of the world

that others may feast on the grace

of being welcomed to Your table.

 

We pray of those in prison,

locked up by the guilt and remorse they bear.

May Your forgiveness offer reminders

of justice and freedom

that allows communities

to grow awards harmonious relationships.

 

We remember those who have shown us forgiveness:

patient people who have taught us love

even when we have torn at the foundations of trust.

 

We pray for those overwhelmed by their guilt:

the guilt of hindering the lives of others

because you need their help;

the burden of knowing the hurt that will be caused

when walking away from broken relationships

becomes the only option.

May Your mercy bring healing

and a new vision of wholeness.

 

On a weekend filled with civic and community markings of a royal birthday,

and with the fragrance of cake and good things,

we remember her majesty the Queen, and her family,

and celebrate her faith and her certainty of service.

We thank You for all those

who have offered signs of Your presence in their lives,

declaring the promise of Christ’s healing love

in their actions.

Amen.

 

 

Sunday 5th June 2016 – Pentecost 3C

Call to Worship

Praise to the Lord,

who lifts us out of our despair;

who raises us up when others diminish our confidence;

who listens for our calls for help

and heals us for new life.

 

Sing to the Lord,

who moves so swiftly from anger

to bestow favour for a lifetime;

who sits with us as we weep through the night

that we might greet each new day with rejoicing.

 

Whenever we are shaken

may we find security

in the eternity of the Lord.

Whenever we hit the ground in despair,

may the Lord’s mercy

remind us of the faithfulness of eternal love.

 

Dance with the Lord,

who turns our sadness to joy,

and teaches us new songs

full of eternal promise.

 

Opening Prayer

In the bread that finds its way to our table,

You, Providing Lord, are present,

as You meet the needs of our bellies and our hearts.

With bread

You feed our world,

that all may find their hunger eased

and be restored to health.

With bread

You take us to Your table

where we are reminded of Your purposes

for humanity,

for at Your table all are welcome,

all are equal,

and all receive Your grace in equal measure.

With bread

You teach us to share

and recognise the needs of those around us.

 

In placing the bread upon our tables

and the food within our live,

You, Healing Lord, meet us in our vulnerability.

Your tenderness unsettles our pride and belligerence

and causes us to review

the activity of our lives

and the words we have said.

Who have we hurt?

Who have we ignored?

In this time of restoration,

help us to leave behind

the old ways of being who we are

and allow our lives to be transformed by Your presence

and Your story.

 

Sustaining Lord,

each time we eat,

each time we meet,

You watch us grow and bend within Your love.

Inspire us to share in word and action,

the joy of being welcomed

to eat at Your eternal table.

Amen.

 

Offertory Prayer

Lord,

we often think our hands are empty,

our mind are overwhelmed,

and our hearts are broken,

only to find that with Your grace

our pockets are full,

our imagination is lively

and Your love is fulfilling.

In this offering we make,

we remember Your kindness to us

and seek to share

from our time, talent and money

that others may know Your presence.

Amen.