Prayers for Easter Sunday, 2019

Love has won.  A new way begins.  Therefore we offer our prayers, full of hope, and trusting life.

[Short pause]

God of resurrection, you bring changes unlooked for, and new beginnings unhoped for.  Inspire our faith.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you have started over, therefore we can start over, and consider alternatives for our lives that we haven’t even thought of.  Inspire our hope.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you call your church to be a community of new life, in which old hatreds and fears are overcome by love and hope.  Inspire our worship.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, in the empty tomb we become aware that there are more possibilities for us and our world than we have previously thought possible.  Inspire our vision.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you send us to the places in life in which pain and separation and death are present.  May we never fear to embrace those who are hurting, including [NAMES, AND] those we name before you.
[Long pause]
Inspire our service.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, anything and everything are now possible.  Inspire our lives.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

We pray all this and more, trusting the promise of our risen and living Saviour, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

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And so, the Cross

Attached is the sermon for Good Friday which I preached in 2019.

It is written so that it can be presented as a dramatic reading for 2-4 voices, if desired.

Feel free to make use of it; just please let me know!

Peace.

Click here for And so, The Cross

Prayers of the People for Maundy Thursday, April 18, 2019

We pray for our world, our church and our selves, trusting in God’s grace and mercy.

[Pause]

God of the holy, you touch us at unexpected times, through unexpected people, in unexpected ways.  Open us to be surprised.  God who calls,
Make us your servants.

God of the holy, you come not just to welcome.  You come to call us to extend your welcome, to share your presence, to live your love.  Open us to giving what you have given us.  God who calls,
Make us your servants.

God of the holy, free us from thinking in terms of The Big.  Free us to embrace the small, the little, the insignificant.  Remind us that it is in the middle of The Unimportant where you are most profoundly present.  God who calls,
Make us your servants.

God of the holy, you call us holy.  You set us aside for a different kind of life: a life focussed on others instead of the self; a life focused on giving instead of getting; a life focussed on serving instead of ordering.  Walk with us, so we may learn to follow you.  God who calls,
Make us your servants.

God of the holy, we give you thanks for coming to us.  Show us how we can respond as faithful followers of our servant Jesus.  God who calls,
Make us your servants.

We pray all of this, asking for grace to follow our saviour, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

Prayers for April 7, 2019, Lent 5

The season of Lent invites us to go deep.  We respond to this invitation, in part, by offering our prayers for the world, the church, and all in need.

[Pause]

God of the past, you have guided us along our pathways with grace and love.  Help us celebrate what was, without wanting to live only in memories.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the present, you continue to walk with us.  Give us faith to trust your presence today.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the present, in the fog of our current realities, we crave surety and certainty.  We fear questions, and desire concrete answers.  Free is from our anxiety, and enable us to hear your promise again.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the present, open us to embrace what is today.   Release us from the desire to hide behind excuses, and get ourselves off the hook.  Inspire us to take hold of the ministry to which you call us: to serve the needy, to feed the hungry, to welcome the outcast.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the present, strengthen us through your promise to touch those who are hurting with your healing love.  We especially remember [NAMES, AND] those we name before you.
[Long silence]
God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the future, you call us forward, even though we cannot see the path.  Forgive our hesitation.  Move us toward your vision.  Help us take one step, trusting your voice.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

We ask all this in the name of the one who welcomes all voices, who is behind all our stories, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

Welcome to Vigil

The following was used as the opening to a Vigil held at Zion Lutheran Church in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Our community was distressed by the slaughter of innocent worshippers in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, and we felt the need to gather and express our grief and anger publicly.

Our vigil was held two days after the attacks, and involved people of different faith traditions and no faith tradition.

It was a holy time.

We began with lighting a candle, and then reading this responsively.

May you find it helpful.

(Permission is granted to use this in any kind of similar gathering. I only ask that you let me know. Thanks.)

===========================================

Welcome

L – Welcome, all who mourn the senseless slaughter of innocent people.

C – We come with tears.

L – Welcome, all who are angry at platitudes and intentional inaction.

C – We come with rage.

L – Welcome, all who feel helpless in the face of such hatred.

C – We come with emptiness.

L – Welcome, all who insist that something must be done.

C – We come with determination.

L – Welcome, all who care so much it hurts.

C – We come with grief.

L – Welcome, all who who are numb.

C – We come desiring life.

L – Whatever you feel, whatever you think, whatever you believe, whoever you are, you are welcome here.

C – All are welcome.

Prayers of the People for Lent 1, 2019

The season of Lent invites us to go deep.  We respond to this invitation, in part, by offering our prayers for the world, the church, and all in need.

[Pause]

Loving God, you free us.  Through the gift of creation, you provide a place for us, and a way to participate in your on-going work.  Open our ears to hear.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Through the coming of Jesus, through his faithfulness to your call, you point us to your welcome for all.  May we hear what you are saying to us.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Through your grace you open us to the whole world.  Enable us to let go of fear, that we may embrace whatever, and whoever, comes.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Drive your church into the wilderness of love for our neighbours.  Make us available to all whom we encounter.  May we not be afraid to fail.  May we trust your presence with us all.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Inspire us to reach out to those in any need: the poor, the lonely, the depressed and the sick, especially [NAMES, AND] those we name before you.
[Long silence]
God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Fire us with your love; motivate us by your Spirit; communicate your love through our lives.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

We ask all this in the name of the one who welcomes all voices, who is behind all our stories, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

Prayers for Ash Wednesday

The season of Lent invites us to go deep.  We respond to this invitation, in part, by offering our prayers for the world, the church, and all in need.

[Pause]

God of the few, you speak to the world through those who are outnumbered.  Open the ears of your church to hear the stories coming from those who are considered unimportant.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of misfits, you speak to societies through those who don’t fit in.  May we set aside our expectations of how others are supposed to be.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of outsiders, you speak to us through those who are different.  Keep us open to your surprising presence in those who are not like us.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the powerless, you speak through the the weak, the poor, the sick and isolated.  Enable us to listen to those who are hurting, that all may come to know your companionship.  We especially pray for those we name before you.
[Long silence]
God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the silenced, you speak to your world through those who are intentionally ignored and shut out.  Open our ears to those without power; make us hear the uncomfortable cries of the angry; help us respond with your love.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

We ask all this in the name of the one who welcomes all voices, who is behind all our stories, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.