Sunday 30th July 2017 – Narrative Lectionary

This week is the second of the Sacraments series of readings, Psalm 84 and Romans 6: 1-11.

Opening Prayer

It was You,

Artist of Creation,

who placed your hands into the seas

and pulled from the depths

the sandy shores and rolling fields,

the bleakest deserts and rumbling jungles.

It was you who used and prodded

at the earth,

until the mountains soared

and the valleys sank beyond unfathomable view.

It was You

formed the human frame

and breathed life within it,

and made a space and place

in which the wonder You were shaping

was to be caressed with care.

It was You

who still offered love,

who kept the gates held wide,

who reframed promises,

always laying new paths that would bring

Your children back to Your embrace.

It was You

who walked amongst all You had made,

ensuring that those who were ignored

were brought to sight

and seen for the value You had placed within them.

It is You

who has soaked us with Your waters

and in each splash

retells You love

that we might meet You nestled

at the heart of who we are.

 

Choosing to live

as those who are still cast out,

we run and hide

unless You see the naked cruelty of our actions,

unless You hear the temptations we declare with our words.

 

Life-giving Spirit,
You swoop through our lives

and revive the seeds of hope within us,

replenishing Your world with the presence of Your kingdom.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

How lovely is Your dwelling place,

O Lord of hosts!

We would boldly sing these words,

for within this precious space

we sense the beauty of Your presence.

Yet You remind us that You are not held within a precious space

but within and outwith the life of the world.

How lovely is Your dwelling place,

You invite us to sing,

and to see ourselves

and the world in which we live

in new light.

To recognise Your beauty

as You rest within each one of us

and stir within

sharing with and meeting that beauty

in others.

 

It can be difficult to see the beauty

of a war-torn land,

or famine starved people.

The images of women, men and children

settled in ramshackle dwellings,

and scrapping at bowls and the ground

for minuscule amounts of food

remind us of the comfort and wealth in which we live.

You call on the beauty within us

to value all life,

and to seek ways in which small changes

to our daily activities

may make changes for others.

 

Politicians haranguing each other,

journalists point out the weaknesses of those in public view

are not pictures we would hang within our homes.

We prayer for the beauty of respect,

for the valuing of differing viewpoints,

and the building of community.

 

In a world where images matter,

we pray for those who cannot see their own beauty –

for the instagram generation

who do not always recognise the manipulated images of media,

and long to shape themselves

to an unachievable shape or form.

May we offer signs of Your beauty

hidden within us all.

 

How lovely is Your dwelling place,

that offers rest eternal

for those we know and love.

We give thanks for those of who have offered signs of Your beauty

in their living,

and who have encouraged us in our faith.

May our encounters with the community of creation

bring forth the beauty of You

within us all,

and allow Your kingdom to be present in all of life.

Amen.

 

Offertory Prayer

Living God,

with our giving we step into Your living waters,

hoping that our gifts

may challenge conflict and bring peace,

ease hunger and offer signs of growth.

We place them in Your keeping

long for all to live full lives

in the presence of Christ.

Amen.

 

Sunday 28th May 2017 – Easter 7A – Ascension Sunday

As we meet

will we allow God to rise within our worship,

and scatter the thoughts that crowd

and keep us from the divine presence.

Will the smoke screen of our imagined busyness clear

so that jubilant praise can be sung.

 

Lets sing our songs,

and may our praise carry on the clouds,

that all will know the protection of the vulnerable

that comes in the name of the Eternal.

Let the care of the Creator I’ve home

to those who have been lost.

 

Come sing to the Ancient one

who brings new life

in the turning of time.

Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King

Call to Worship

Leader:     God is our refuge and strength,

ALL:          A HELP IN OUR TIMES OF TROUBLE.

Leader:     We will not be afraid, even when all is changing around us;

ALL:          FOR GOD CALLS THROUGH THE STORM AND ANXIETY

OF LIFE.

Leader:     In this holy citadel, the Lord hopes to make us glad;

ALL:          AND AS A NEW MORNING DAWNS, THE HOPE OF NEW

BEGINNINGS AWAIT.

Leader:     The Lord is with us;

ALL:          LET US BE STILL AND KNOW THE PRESENCE AROUND.

Leader:     Let us worship the Lord.

Sunday 14th August 2016 – Pentecost 13 (Narrative Lectionary on 2 Corinthians)

Still off on my adventure in 2 Corinthians, but here are those that I have written.

Call to Worship

In living within the world

we find our resolve tested

and our faith faltering,

as who we are in Christ ripples through

the actions of our hands,

the words of our mouths,

and the thoughts of our hearts.

In coming to this place

we seek after the energising Spirit of God,

to restore the flavour of Christ

at the heart of our being

so that His words,

His enlightening presence may make us

bold and challenging

in the mercy and love we show.

 

Let us worship God…

 

 

Opening Prayer

Treasure of Heaven,

whose hands have worked and shaped

the clay of earth

to bring life and form;

whose imagination played

with light and colour,

with gas and solid,

bring into being

the wonder of creature and nature;

whose resting delights

in all that is made:

we praise You.

In the uniqueness of each part of creation,

You cause us to wonder

at some new knowledge

to be found of Your.

In the pattern and uniform

we are reminded of Your constancy.

In the diversity of our days

you draw us through our dependence

on Your grace and mercy,

and send us independently

to speak of Your love

and celebrate.

 

Like the clay from which we are formed,

we are easily shaped

by the hurts and scars

that living with others can cause.

In the heat of anger and frustration

our hearts are hardened

and we lash out,

afraid of the vulnerability we feel.

Broken by experiences,

we place our hands upon the treasure of faith within,

and seek the healing of Your forgiveness.

 

Silence

 

Lightening our hearts and imaginations with Your presence,

Compassionate Creator,

You remould us for Your purposes

sending us to bring Your healing in the world.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Prayer

Source of life and renewal,

who provides for all our needs,

in our praise of all we have been given

we make our offering.

May all we give

be used in the glory of Your name

that others may be drawn into Your embrace

and know Your love

shown in Christ.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

 

Creator God,

In our frailty You do no abandon us,

instead You have made us a people of relationship.

In Your image and design,

You demonstrate the intertwining of hearts and lives,

and as we explore You

as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,

as Lover, Beloved and Love,

we discover that at Your heart

that living is enhanced by the mutuality

of being with others.

We rejoice in the relationship we have with You,

from loving parent,

to insistent friend,

to critical companion.

We thank you for the friendships that sustain us,

for the people who encourage us forward

and those who are willing to tell us

when we have got it wrong;

for friendships that have marked the signposts of years

and those we are still to make;

for those lost in the midst of time.

As we remember the weakness of our humanity

overcome by the friendships and relationships

we have shared,

we offer the hand of friendship in prayer.

This prayer continues in an intercession on “friendship” found in “Moments of our nights and days” by Ruth Burgess

 

Amen.

Sunday 31st July – Pentecost 11

I’ve been on holiday for a fortnight, hence the recent silence.   This week, and for another four, I will be frustrating to those who are following the RCL Lectionary.   For tomorrow and August I’m moving to the Narrative Lectionary and focussing on 2 Corinthians.   This week’s theme is “Consolation”.

Call to Worship

Grace and peace from God

and from the Lord Jesus Christ

surround this place

and all of life.

Blessed by God with mercy and comfort,

we gather in our experience of laughter and joy,

sorrow and pain,

to grow in hope and love,

and then console beyond our own frame

that others may know the love of Christ.

 

With the experience of ordinary living

and this day,

we come,

to be issued of the Lord’s grace and mercy.

Then may we rise anew,

called to lives that speak of Christ.

 

Let us worship God…

 

Opening Prayer

Blessed Creator,

who gathers all within a loving embrace,

You are to be praised

for the hope and mercy

brought into human experience.

When doubt and cynicism cloud vision,

You shed light,

capturing imagination

so that fresh thought

may give way to new innovations.

We praise You

for our experience of love and kindness

found in the thoughts and words

of others.

We praise You

for the fresh dawn of each day

that urges us

to begin anew.

 

Consoling Presence,

You know the thoughts that stir,

and the actions taken,

and so we acknowledge

that we do not always respond in love.

Forgive us for our hardness of heart,

and free us to live

withering to offer compassion.

 

Empowering Spirit,

as we walk in the grace of God,

call us to offer mercy to all

in Christ’s name.

Amen.

 

Dedication of Offering

Rejoicing in Your presence,

Comforter of hearts,

we look for ways

in which we can offer a little of our life and love.

We bring these gifts

from our working lives and talents,

thankful for all we have,

and willing to share

that others may find

the comfort of the living God.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

Rejoicing:-

Rejoicing in Your presence, living Lord,

we thank You for what we know of You

because others shared their experiences of faith.

We thank You for those who taught and told stories

of a living, hopeful presence

of God revealed in Jesus Christ,

so that peace and love would reign

within our own lives.

 

Teaching:-

No matter our age

there are always opportunities to learn.

As we give thanks for inspiring moments,

we remember those

for whom the simmer months

allow time to reflect on working lives.

We pray for children, young people and students,

teachers and lecturers,

as they delight in the creation around.

We give thanks for fight shared in holidays clubs and Messy churches,

and we seek the encouragement

to act upon the moments when we know we are to share our own faith.

 

Peace:-

In this unsettled world

we pray for peace.

We remember the people across the world this week

whose lives have been shaken by terrorism.

We pray for life lost in the actions of others,

and we pray for the perpetrators.

We pray for families mourning loved ones,

or waiting hopeful news.

And we long for peace.

Peace that comes from recognising the sacred nature of life,

and respecting differences,

while searching for common purpose.

 

Love:-

If our common purpose is to love and value

all human life,

then stretch our hearts,

that we may become the hands and voices

that bring comfort and justice

to those who are hungry,

homeless and hurting.

 

Power:-

We pray for those who are seen as powerful,

for governments, monarchs and heads of state,

that they may seek after the best for all people

and Your creation.

May they learn graciousness at Your hand

that values those

whose needs are often ignored.

In Your embrace,

may the troubles of our world find rest

and Christ’s love reign

in all of life.

Amen.

Sunday 3rd July 2016 – Pentecost 7C

Call to Worship

Shout for joy,

and sing the Lord’s praise.

As sun shines,

and wind blows;

as rains falls,

and gale disturbs,

may we notice

the activity of the Creating Spirit

shaping and enticing our world

towards its praise of the Eternal One.

 

Drawing back the water from the shore,

and pulling from the dust of the earth

at the rocks, and plants,

all living things,

the Creator invites us

to rejoice in and with Him

and welcome our part

in the stewardship

of earth.

Let’s praise the Lord,

and may the song of earth and heaven

chime in harmony together,

as we enjoy our shaping at the hand of the Lord.

 

Let us worship God.

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.

 

or/

 

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.