Sunday 4th March 2018 – Lent 3

Offertory Prayer

God,

who lifts us from our burdens

that our lives may be an offering of worship,

we respond with heart and soul,

acknowledging Your presence

in every breath and activity.

May what we offer

from our wealth and talent

reflect the hope and courage

of our faith

in Christ.

Amen.

 

Prayers of the People

In the winter chill and enforced rest,

You, Creator God,

have been at work.

When humanity would want to scurry on by,

opportunities for reflection

and awareness

have nestled into the waiting time.

As the cold wraps around us

and the hard work of movement frustrates,

we find it hard to be thankful.

But thanks we offer You,

for time spent with family;

for community spirit

that has neighbour reach out to neighbour.

We are grateful for those moments

when we have been moved to look beyond ourselves,

and notice all that You have created;

the awe we have felt at changing light

and icy blasts;

the compassion that has been stirred

as from warm homes

and full stomachs,

we have remembered those

who were seeking shelters in doorways

or who fridges were empty

with little hope of being replenished.

 

Disrupting Presence,

we pray for those

who have no place to call home,

moving from doorway,

to sofa to hostel.

Teach us the humility that we do no know the reasons why

and the answers to how,

and instead making us willing

to make conversation

and offer support.

Where we can offer simple help,

open our hearts.

Where we recognise the need for changing structure,

let our voices sound

to those who need to hear.

 

We pray for those who have felt trapped

by the weather,

as isolation settled in their homes.

While for some this was an unusual experience,

for others loneliness is the pattern of a day.

We give thanks for those who act as neighbours,

making phonecalls,

knocking at doors,

bring food,

offering support.

Where we see the need for community,

enable us to reach out to our neighbours

willing to help,

and to accept the offer.

 

On this mid-week of Fair-trade,

we find ourselves unsettled.

Aware of the goodwill, energy and support

that the branding has been brought,

it would be easy to be discouraged

at the businesses who are seizing the opportunity to do something different.

As church communities may we celebrate

the support that has been offered

to small local community businesses,

and covenant to continue the practices we have.

As a community with a voice and buying power,

may we challenge supermarkets and purchasers

to seek a fair price for work and goods.

 

Spirit of Creation,

sweep through our world,

and upset the tables that prevent us

from meeting You in others,

and allow Christ’s love ever-present love

to pour into all of life.

Amen.

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Sunday 28th May 2017 – Easter 7A – Ascension Sunday (4)

Glorious God,

we worship You

for while the heavens are beyond our grasp,

You have chose to dwell within our lives.

In Your presence majesty is revealed

as all are offered welcome and love

around the heavenly table.

You have revealed the depths of Your love

in the life and death of Jesus Christ,

and the soaring heights in the resurrection and ascension.

 

We come in prayer to sit between

the life and purpose of Christ,

and seek the intention of our tasks

that that our words, thoughts and actions

may declare Christ’s presence

in all of life.

We pray today for those

who are awaiting transforming change

that will give them a sight of a different future

than the present that they inhabit.

 

We remember those who are prisoners,

and remember the different circumstances in which people find their freedom removed.

Praying for those who have perpetrated crime,

knowing that circumstance and nurture are not always easy for some,

and hoping that the life to which people return offers new ways of being.

Praying for political prisoners,

we recognise the discontent that was riled against,

and seek a world where all are treated fairly.

Praying for those imprisoned

and used and abused

by those who see their bodies as commodities,

we long for compassion from the perpetrators

and freedom for those who hurt.

Praying for those who are imprisoned by ill-health and physical ability,

may their needs be met,

that they may know life in all its fullness.

Amen.

Sunday 28th May 2017 – Easter 7A – Ascension Sunday (2)

High and heavenly One,

raised from the ground,

then raised to heaven,

we praise You.

For far beyond our understanding,

You came to dwell amongst humanity,

that the presence of God would be met

in the hands and voices of Your living Presence.

In the parting of the clouds

that took You from our midst

space was created

in which to prepare human hearts

to tell and share the story of Love.

 

Too heavenly minded that sometimes we are of no earthly use,

for in seeking to emulate the precious wall of the Eternal Kingdom,

we forget compassion and care.

Eyes on the clouds

we stumble with careless words and actions,

or neglect the world in which we live.

 

As forgiveness revitalise our live,

make us passionate for the whole of creation,

that our lives may speak of the fullness of God.

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 9th April 2017 – Palm/ Passion Sunday

Son of David,

You are welcomed

with shouts of praise,

songs of wonder,

and garments strewn to prepare the path of entry

to the Holy City.

You are welcomed

for the stories You will tell

that create a world of compassion

and equilibrium

for all to find their place within.

You are welcomed

as the healing You offer

transforms the lives of those

who have been burdened and excluded.

You are welcomed,

and yet it is Your welcome

that has made place and space

so that are included

in the heavenly procession.

 

The path You have worn,

Christ of Crowds

is not an easy path to walk,

and at time the branches of temptation have wound themselves

around the plans and relationships

we meet.

In sorrow we call to mind the places we have tripped

and in our hurt

have scarred and marked

those who would walk with us.

 

Welcoming Spirit,

You call us back to the crowd,

and restore us for the task of serving in Your name.

Amen

Sunday 1st January 2017 – Christmas 1/Epiphany

We’re marking Epiphany here, because it is too late by next week.   All the decorations will be down.   It also means an easy Sunday as I’ve found some meditations that will work.   This is the opening prayer.

 

Glorious Presence,

who has awakened our hearts

with the light of stars,

and dazzled our imaginations

with the possibility of heaven,

You shine into this dawning new year

and cast Your rays across the world

that new vision may settle

into life.

Bringing hope and love

You are turning over the old ways

and announcing the possibility of change

and determination

to seek after the best for all people.

With signs and wonders

You stir up

the settled view,

disrupting the convenient

for the challenge of alternative patterns.

 

Clothing ourselves in the comfort of darkness,

we hide away our bad habits

lest people see us at our worst.

We close our minds

to welcoming difference.

We linger in the familiarity of past memories,

afraid of an unknown future.

 

You make us brave with starlight and wonder,

and it is Your loving tenderness,

Lord of all nations,

that reminds us

of Your on-going work in our lives.

Incomplete and uncertain

we place our lives in Your hands.

Amen.