Sunday 8th October 2017 – 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 2017 – 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 2017 – 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 31st January 2016 – Epiphany 4C (2)

Opening Prayer

 

In the womb,

You were shaping and moulding,

Eternal Creator.

You were whispering Your hopes and ambitions

of all creation might be

and our place within the masterpiece.

Instilling within each one of us

something unique

to be treasured as the part that makes us who we are,

and to be revealed

as age and wisdom

drew from within

our purpose

in the artwork of life.

 

In growing and learning,

we have been encouraged to seek You out,

that we may hear Your voice

and Your plans for us.

Encouraged by others around us

and by the impetus of the Spirit of Creation

we have found the living presence of Jesus

revealed in Scripture

and actioned in human life.

Each of our days offers new ways

in which the presence of Christ may be revealed

in our activity,

alone and with others.

 

When we are tired and awkward,

being unique and part of Your creation,

Wisdom of heaven,

becomes a burden we are not always willing to wear.

Standing on the precipice

of the our own feelings

and those around us,

our actions and words betray our selfish desire

to care for ourselves and those closest to us

over those we may not know,

and those we do that test our patience.

So we bring bewildered prayers

to ask that we might try again

to follow You.

 

Silence

 

Rock and refuge,

From Your forgiveness

we find the trust

that invites us to be all You have made us to be,

and to reveal Christ in every part of our lives.

Amen

Sunday 28th June 2015 – Pentecost 5B (2)

Opening Prayer

To You we sing our praise,

Great Healer,

for You reach out Your healing hands

to touch the scars of creation;

You speak words of tenderness

to smooth away the troubled waters;

You offer patience

that agonies may be poured over,

only for You

to call Your people beyond them

to the future You have promised.

Rejoicing in the favour of Your presence,

we greet You

and praise You

for the security that is found

when our faith is placed in You.

 

While we might long for the wholeness

that You offer,

Lord of all people,

we are sometimes willing to deny others

their full potential and humanity.

We name call,

and treat others as unworthy.

We devalue ourselves

by our willingness to hurt.

 

In Your mercy,

forgive us for the destruction we cause.

In Your faithfulness,

You call us from our wailing

to songs of joy,

that speak of Your love

and our thanks.

Amen.

Sunday 21st June 2015 – Pentecost 4B (2)

Prayer of Approach and Confession

Wind whisperer,

Storm breaker,

Peace bringer,

the wonders of creation lie in Your control

and to Your voice

the sea and earth respond

and sing Your praise.

Calming storms,

quelling thunder,

pouring healing balm on troubled waters,

Your presence is the peace we seek,

chasing away the fears of all we do not understand.

 

Even from the crumbled rubble

of what we feel has been disaster,

You bring forth beauty

that tells of the reshaping and renewal

that is to be found

in the midst of hardship.

 

So often we forget or ignore Your faithfulness,

and become afraid to step boldly into the world.

Listening to the antagonising voices around,

we feel at odds with ourselves and others,

lose confidence in our faith,

and fail to trust in the plans You have for us.

 

May Your voice rise above the storms of our emotions and our fears,

bringing peace to our thoughts

and reminding us of Christ’s presence in our lives.

Amen.

Sunday 24th May 2015 – Pentecost B (2)

Opening Prayer

Holy Spirit of God,

engulfing creation with the grace of God,

Your presence transforms life

bringing new energy and vigour

to tired and empty people and places.

Enflamed with a desire

to bring the presence of God

into every heart and community

You step out of expectations

and reach out

in unexpected ways

to speak of the work of the Creator

in unusual places.

 

Dancing in our time of worship,

You, Creative Spirit,

inspire us to have hope

in what we already know of God,

that we might bring peace and comfort

to times of uncertainty and unrest.

And in times of contentment,

you are the Urging Prompt

that stirs us

to never settle with what suits us,

but instead to open our arms

and embrace diversity and challenge.

 

At times we are impetuous

and do not listen for the call of Your Spirit

as we speak and act without thinking

and bring hurt and anxiety

into the lives of those we know.

But we are also complacent,

and do not respond to the call

fearing that we will not live up to the tasks

to which You invite us to participate.

 

Silence

 

Enflamed with the forgiveness of God

who call us from the darkness

of the barriers we have placed around us,

the Lord invites us

to sparkle with faith

and speak in joy

of the promise found in lives shared with Christ.

Amen.