Sunday 30th October 2016 – Pentecost 24 (2)

Prayers of the People

For the welcome You offer,

and the generosity You inspire,

Son of God,

we give You thanks.

On the journeys we have made,

You have walked with us,

offering companionship and guidance.

You have lifted us up when we felt low,

and joined in the songs

that have spoken of encouragement, celebration and love.

We thank You for those who have made us welcome,

in their homes and in their lives.

For quiet meals with family and friends,

when stories of the past have allowed us to notice You around us;

for celebrations and fellowship,

where You have led the dancing

and spilled through the laughter.

 

May Your welcome spill into our meetings with the world,

ever-present Christ,

and remind us to see the world

with Your love and longing.

 

When politicians and world leaders meet,

may they walk as You would walk.

Enable them to hear the voices of the crowd,

the competing values,

the reps and aspirations,

and through the noise and clamour

may Your presence of God spill forth,

as talks focus on the need for peace,

the ensuring of the equity of the sharing of resources,

and the hope of the valuing of all life.

Open the eyes of those in power

to those who are ignored because they have been pushed to the edges of community life.

We pray for the vulnerable:

physically because of ill health

and politically

because of lack of wealth or status.

 

Teach us the value of taking time to watch the crowds around.

Too often we get caught up in the noise and the values

of the world in which we live.

We long for the wealth or freedom

to keep up with those we believe are important.

Or we join in the jeering voices,

and mock those who would not live as we do.

Take us to the edge of the crowd,

or have us climb to a height

where we are able to see the world differently

and notice

all we are missing.

We pray for journalists and reporters

who tell the story of our world,

that You enable them to point out the people and places in need of care.

For the police and community support workers,

who touch the lives

of those we view as trouble makers,

that their stories may allow us to see those we distrust in a new light.

For bankers, tax officers, and financiers,

that their knowledge of budgets and economics

may offer a challenge to poverty.

 

As we remember those who have shared their faith with us

and allowed us to meet the presence of Jesus in their lives,

may we give thanks for all they encouraged within us,

and welcome Your presence

as Your story is retold in our lives.

Christ of all people,

may you continue to seek out the lost,

and lead them and us

into the kingdom of God.

Amen.

Sunday 30th October – Pentecost 24

The Call to Worship and Opening Prayer are being led by someone else this week.

 

Offertory Prayer

Aware of Your presence around,

Welcoming Creator,

You have surprised us with warmth

and the assurance of belonging.

As we make our offering,

we thank You for the generosity

of sharing in the life of faith

and the comfort of our existence.

In moving us from greed to generosity

and from hoarding to hosting,

You challenge us

to see the world,

its needs and Your hopes.

Blessing the gifts of life and work,

open our eyes to the needs of others

and enable us to offer Christ

in all we do.

Amen.

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 (3)

Offertory Prayer

God our helper,

You are faithful to us

in every aspect of our lives.

You bring light

to the darkness

of all that seems impossible.

We find there is dancing to be done,

as You walk amidst our mourning

and point out the celebrations

In what we give this day,

may others find Your presence

turning over the tables

of the situations they face

and meeting You

in the possibilities

that Jesus brings.

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 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.