Sunday 8th October 2018 – Pentecost 18A

Let’s sing songs to the One we love,

songs of vineyards, and grapes,

of fertility and growth.

Standing within this watchtower

we are drawn

to the Creator who clears the stones

and prepares the ground,

so that the vines planted and tended

produce a fruitful crop of grace.

 

Dwelling in the land around

we find our branches

twisted and caught.

Our roots take hold in the wasteland,

and so we come

ready for pruning and shaping,

and the promise of refreshment.

 

Let us sing songs to the One we love,

as we are drawn to the light

of hope and justice.

 

Opening Prayer

Shepherd of our hearts,

You awaken your flock

to the promise if each day.

Your hand has lead Your people

from deep valleys of despair

and deserted wilderness,

to sumptuous plains of restoration.

With manna from heaven

and vineyard fruit,

You offer the best of creation

ensuring that hunger and thirst are met.

In the tenderness of Your hand

as the human vine of faith is shaped

by trimming,

uprooting,

replanting,

and feeding,

You call the best of the fruits

humanity bears

to be shared.

 

It is greed that haunts us

as we keep the best we have

for ourselves

and only offer meagre portions

of our talents, wealth and time.

When others struggle,

we turn aside,

afraid of what commitment might expect of us.

When others cry,

we keep our arms tight closed,

for fear that the pain of another

may weight to heavy on our hearts.

 

Restore us,

O Lord,

and make Your face to shine upon us.

Open our eyes, hands and hearts,

to make space for others

and remind us that our growth is fruitful

when encouraged

by the presence of Christ

met in others.

Amen.

 

Offertory Prayer

Generous God,

in the fruits of our lives You are generous,

reminding all of the abundance of our gifts.

May we be lavish with who we are

and all we have,

as we share Your generosity

for a world to celebrate.

Amen.

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Sunday 24th September 2018 – Pentecost 16A

Call to Worship

Praising the Creator,

the songs of joy and hope

ring through our lives,

as we take pleasure

in the created world around

and in the tasks we do

as we discover more of who we are

and the abilities within each one.

 

Praising the Creator,

stories are shared

that speak of the moments

that have been difficult,

when we have been alone or bereft;

when we have failed to seek what is best for all

and chosen the easy road for a few.

 

Praising the Creator,

there is wonder

in discovering the generosity

of the One who made us,

as our faults are smoothed

and the rough path evened.

 

Praising the Creator,

let us worship God.

 

 

Opening Prayer

Gracious King of heaven,

You are to be praised

for ever and ever.

Your story

and presence within all of life

are to be shared with all,

as we wonder at the shape and form

of all that surrounds,

and wonder at Your patience

and generosity in the creation You have made.

In the friendships that support of lives,

in the food upon our tables,

in the festivities of each passing day,

Your goodness and abundance

are joyful received,

and celebrated.

 

Compassionate Companion,

in praising You

we notice the slowness of Your anger

and the richness of Your love,

for while our faults may cause a blemish

in the passing of each day,

You are faithful in Your promises.

As Your love pours into our lives,

our eyes are drawn to those ways in which we fail You:

the jealousy we feel at the abilities of another;

the greed we carry as we ensure we have enough;

the anger we hold when we feel we have been harshly treated.

Focus our eyes on Your generosity

that in seeking renewal with You

we may turn our lives towards You

and reflect Your love in all we seek to do.

 

Silence

 

Faithful Host,

You have made a space for all

within Your kingdom,

and You lift up those who are bowed down

with the weight of the world.

As we find forgiveness in Your promises

may we be emboldened

to live Your truth

as shown in Christ.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Prayer

Inspired by the abundance of Your grace,

and Your generosity in loving us,

we bring our gifts to share.

While we might limit where love is shown,

You inspire us with the opportunity to grow towards the kingdom

when we welcome others in Your name.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

Giver of all good things,

you nourish us with goodness,

and bring out the best within all You have made.

 

Inspire us with love,

so that rather than trying to outdo one another,

we might instead take pleasure

in the hope we meet in the abilities of another.

Teach us to be patient,

and generous in our dealings with one another.

 

Inspire our country with prophets who speak the truth,

pointing out and standing against

the injustices that exist between individuals and communities.

We pray for those

who are the prophetic voices of our communities,

for journalists and political activists

who ask difficult questions

and search for the truth

where the lives of others are not valued or supported with respect.

May we find within ourselves

the power to be prophetic

whenever we are aware

that the values of Your kingdom

are not being lived within our lives.

 

We pray for generosity amongst the nations of our world.

The Autumn chill that surrounds us is more than the changing of a season,

instead it represents our hands being tied

as we struggle with how to respond

to the crisis we see across the globe.

As winds and storms continue to battle across the planet,

we pray for communities

that have been laid low in recent hurricanes;

for families displaced

and livelihoods lost.

In the chill winds and storming tempers

of Presidents and Supreme leaders,

we seek the warmth of Your patience

to break the battle of wills,

and ease the aggressive rhetoric.

In the chill of Europe’s reception to the possibilities of Brexit

may You throw wide the doors of communication

and encourage engaging and lively conversation.

 

Inspire our lives with generosity.

Here within this building

let us learn to value each other’s gifts and talents,

to offer them freely,

and to welcome those offered by others

even if we think they compete with what we do.

Help us to remember and learn from the gracious presence of Christ

show in the lives of those

who made us welcome

and encouraged us

to show glory to Christ

in the living of faith.

Amen.

Sunday 17th September – Pentecost 15A

 

Opening Prayer

Keeper of our souls,

we praise You

from the inner workings of our being,

remembering the wonder

of faith placed in You.

You who formed humanity from the dust of the earth,

care for and protect,

knowing the vulnerability of the patterned frame.

Your love is generous,

every aware of the flaws

that are to be tended,

and with compassion

cradle Your creation

to Your heart.

 

Your creation does not always share

the slowness of Your anger,

instead full hardy, and bull-like

we scurry into battle

for the wrong-doings that have marred our days,

keen to find a perpetrator.

We are much slower

in noticing the cruelty we inflict,

as we accuse, deny and denigrate.

Harbouring these pains

we call out to You

that we might called to the shores of Your love and be restored.

 

Silence

 

River of forgiveness,

who pours through our lives,

washing away the marks that mar

and encouraging the shoots of new life to grow,

may we live as those

who has found their life in You.

Amen.

 

 

 

Offertory Prayer

In Your holiness,

in Your presence,

Creator of life,

we meet Your warmth

and recognise the blessings and riches

of the lives we live.

In all we give

we respond to Your generosity

and with our hearts,

our actions,

and our lives

seek to offer others

the wonders we enjoy.

Amen.

 

 

Prayers of the People

Passionate Creator,

who cares for the weak and strong of faith,

You know the inner workings

or our hearts and thoughts

and sense the lulls and highs

of the tumbling human existence.

We thank You for Your presence with us

as You pour the healing balm

into situations

where flaring tempers

might tear apart families and lives.

We thank You for your presence with us

holding onto us,

even when we can find no threads

of connection

that allow You

to settle within our lives.

 

In our prayers

we remember those

whose lives rely on the thin threads of existence

for hope and happiness.

We remember those who carry the weight of debt.

No debts are easy to bear,

and so we think of those in this country

who have fallen into debt

in the hope of a better life,

only to find themselves further crushed by interest rates

and changing economic circumstances

that have not allowed for wages rises and job opportunities.

And we think of those

who are the last link in the chain

of the burden of the economic debt of their country,

and so find suffer because of

poor health, education and living standards.

We pray for courage for those who must stand up

against injustice,

and guidance for those

who seek to provide help to those in most need.

 

We think of those whose families have been torn apart

because forgiveness does not come easy,

and so discord, division and bitterness

have become the flavours of conversation.

May Your Spirit seek out moments

for reconciliation and forgiveness.

Where the kindly words of family members offer no hope,

may the wisdom of mediators

show redeeming moments.

We pray for Your human family,

and the discord that is sown

throw the thrust for power and wealth.

In the temperamental waters around North Korea,

may opportunities arise

to cool the temperature of politics.

In the rising worry of terrorism,

let us remember those who have been injured in the recent attack on London,

but may we also continue

to value the diversity of others

as we discover new moments of Your love in action.

Amen.

Sunday 10th September 2017 – Pentecost 14A

Back on the lectionary, and using bits of my own writing along with other people’s to form a communion service.   These are mine.

 

Call to Worship

Praising the Lord,

we sing.

In the sanctuary of ancient stories and traditions

new words and songs

form on our lips,

to rejoice in the Maker.

With instrument and movement,

we discover the Lord’s delight

in the creation around.

 

May the praise of God pour from our mouths,

pushing aside vengeance

and punishment;

freeing the constraints of this world

to take our place in the humility of heaven.

May we glory in the Lord.

 

Let us worship God…

 

Opening Prayer

Sentinel of heaven,

who watches through the day and night,

You cast Your eyes across all life

that all You have made

may find peace and fruitfulness

within Your care.

You call us to listen to Your voice

for in the words You offer,

You inspire hope and compassion,

shaping and building a community

where the vulnerable are placed at the centre

of all of life

and offered the assurance

of their worth and value.

Your attention calls out

the best qualities within each life

that the creation might sing with the harmony

of Your kingdom.

 

Our eyes flit and skim

not nothing the detail of the world we live in.

We are easily distracted

by our latest whim

or the attraction of the moment.

We long to ensure that all voices are heard,

and yet we recognise within ourselves

the desire for our voice

to be the one that holds the attention of others

and our needs met.

 

Patient Shepherd,

who walks amidst our foolishness

Your forgiveness

and assurance of belonging

is for all.

May we live as those

who watch for the vulnerable

and respond with Your love

that all may take their place within You embrace.

Amen.

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.