Water Creed

I believe in almighty God,
Creator and Divider of waters:
Salt and fresh,
Running and still,
Falling and frozen and fog;
Holy liquid, without which we would not be.

I believe in Jesus, the Christ,
Holy Child of God,
who was infused by the Spirit into the waters of creation,
who was nurtured and grown in Mary’s womb-water,
who entered the river-water with John,
who restored the storm-water to calm,
and who shared living-water with the woman at the well.

This was the One
who was condemned by the political sea-scape of the day,
whose blood-water was spilled on the cross,
whose breath-water was released back to God,
and who was placed in the ground to return his life-water to the earth.
But who, after three waterless, lifeless days, returned,
splashing us with heavenly identity
and holy promise.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
who hovered over the waters,
who pours God’s very self into us,
who unites us with each other in the regenerating flow of love,
who restores our parched souls with reconciliation,
who promises life,
and who pledges that we will never be thirsty again.

Amen.

(Feel free to use in any appropriate setting. I just ask that you let me know! Thanks.)

Prayers of the People for Ash Wednesday 2017

Together we come to God, aware of our brokenness, aware of our call, aware of the world’s need, and asking that we be strengthened for ministry.

[Short pause]

God of ashes, we acknowledge our guilt.  Remind that your forgiveness embraces everything about us.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of ashes, we acknowledge our limitations.  Remind us that it’s ok for us not be perfect.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of ashes, we acknowledge our fear.  Remind us that it does not have to set our agenda.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of ashes, we acknowledge our divisions.  Remind us that you bring us to reconciliation, with you and with each other.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of ashes, we acknowledge our unhealthy lives.  Remind us that you bring restoration, for us and for all.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of ashes, we acknowledge our efforts to keep you at bay.  Remind us of your promise that you will never leave us alone.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We offer all these prayers, as well as the unspoken longings of our hearts, to you, liberating God, in the name of Jesus, your liberating Saviour
Amen.

Prayers of the People for February 19, 2017 (Epiphany 6)

We are invited to bring our world and our lives to God in prayer, believing that we will not only be heard, but strengthened for ministry.  Trusting this promise, let us pray.

[Short pause]

Liberating God, we give thanks for story tellers, who tell us again who we are, who gently show us our inconsistencies, and who remind us of who we can be.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

Liberating God, the stories you tell us about ourselves set us free from expectations, and enable us to respond with eagerness and joy.  Help us listen; help us respond.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

Liberating God, so many stories in our world do not liberate, do not set free.  Use us to share your story in our hurting communities and broken relationships.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

Liberating God, you come to us especially when our stories are about pain and illness, about war and hunger, about poverty and injustice.  Open us to your presence, and come though us to those who need to hear, especially [NAMES, AND] those we name before you.
[Long pause]
God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

Liberating God, we pray for this congregation, this parish, this Ministry Area, this Synod, this Church.  We thank you for what we have been.  But we ask even more that you would give us your vision of what we can be, and that you show us the steps we need to take.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

We offer all these prayers, as well as the unspoken longings of our hearts, to you, liberating God, in the name of Jesus, your liberating Saviour.
Amen.

Ready or not….

I think God is playing Hide and Seek with us.

I really do.

And I’m thinking that God is the one who is hiding.

But I’m becoming more and more convinced that God is not hiding in the church’s choir stalls, or fellowship halls, or Sunday school rooms, or even in our sanctuaries.

Nor is God hiding in our committees, or our fellowship events, or our fundraisers, or our Bible studies and prayer groups.

And yes, I’ll say it: God is not even hiding in our worship or our prayers, our sermons or our singing, our confession or our communion, our altar calls or our devotions.

I think God is hiding outside.

Outside in plain sight.

On the street corners, in the coffee shops, in the neighbourhoods and factories, in the schools and town halls.

In jails and hospitals, in band stands and town squares, in overloaded refugee boats and food banks and pawn shops.

God is hiding in tattoo parlours and crack dens, in unemployments lines and politician’s  offices, in libraries and liquor stores, in restaurants and restrooms.

If we do not start there, outside, where God is truly hiding, we will never really see God in our churches, or our Mosques, or our Temples, or our sacred glades.

And certainly not in the person gazing at us in the mirror.

If we are not aware of God hiding in the people and interactions around us, if we don’t look for God OUT THERE…,

then all the divine revelations and ecstatic experiences and theological understandings and meditative discernments and inspired insights in the world will add up to absolutely nothing.

I think the best thing we can do is finally stop counting, finally open our eyes, and finally call out, “Ready or not, here I come.”

And start looking.

Prayers of the People for January 29, 2017 (Epiphany 4)

We are invited to bring our world and our lives to God in prayer, believing that we will not only be heard, but strengthened for ministry.  Trusting this promise, let us pray.

[Short pause]

God of the poor in spirit, God of all who mourn, remind us of your presence in the empty times of life.  Fill us with love, and inspire us to hope.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the meek, God of those who crave righteousness, teach us to let go of all that gets in the way of our following you, and teach us to hold on to everything that points to your love.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the merciful, God of the pure in heart, encourage a spirit of compassion within us, that we may faithfully continue the journey you began in our baptism.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of peacemakers, God of the persecuted, we fear the risk of following Jesus, yet you have made us your people precisely for this purpose.  Set us free from hesitation and rationalization.  Move us to carry today’s cross.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the reviled, the spat upon, the disparaged, the excluded; strengthen our resolve to be welcoming, our commitment to share, our desire to embrace.  Show us where we need to go together, and motivate us to take the necessary steps.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the sick and the hurting, the isolated and the scared, send us as carriers of your promise to all those who need healing: family, friends, acquaintances and strangers, as well as those whom we name before you.
[Long pause]
God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the Beatitudes, we give you thanks for the privilege of being your blessed ones.  As we wrestle with what it means to be church in our day, help us wrestle together, help us wrestle honestly, and help us wrestle toward that day when the whole world will be aware of your blessing.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

We offer all these prayers, as well as the unspoken longings of our hearts, to you, liberating God, in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray, Our Father….

Prayers of the People for January 8, 2017, (The Baptism of Our Lord)

We are invited to bring our world and our lives to God in prayer, believing that we will not only be heard, but strengthened for ministry.  Trusting this promise, let us pray.

[Short pause]

God of water, God of Word, you have chosen us to be your people in this place.  Strengthen our faith to embrace this calling.  God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

God of water, God of Word, creation’s waters cry out from abuse, from commodification, from straight pipe pollution.  Stir your people to care for this good creation.  God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

God of water, God of Word, the words we speak reveal the hearts within us.  Move us to use words which communicate the love and acceptance which you have poured into us.  God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

God of water, God of Word, we give thanks for the unity and friendship we have experienced between Christians.  May we grow further into this relationship, so that our community and world can catch a glimpse of your loving presence.  God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

God of water, God of Word, we remember before you our bishops, Susan and Fred, Michael and Ron.  We pray for the leaders of our congregations and parishes, and we ask your blessing on all members of your church.  Walk with us, that we may walk with each other.  God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

God of water, God of Word, you claim us in our weakness.  Enable us to reach out to those who are confronted with limitations: those who have lost jobs or family, those with no homes or no hope, those who lost health or meaning, especially those we name before you.
[Long pause]
God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

God of water, God of Word, you have chosen us to be your people in this place.  Strengthen our faith to embrace this calling.  God of our baptism,
Make us even more your people.

We offer all these prayers, as well as the unspoken longings of our hearts, to you, liberating God, in the name of Jesus, our liberating Saviour.
Amen.