Author Archives: rickpryce

Prayers of the People for May 26, 2019, Easter 6

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

[Short pause]

God of resurrection, you remind us that the new life you bring is for all.  Open our hands to share what you give.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, the life you bring is for the healing of the nations.  Save us from narrow thinking and selfish priorities.  Enable us to extend your welcome to all.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, may the activities in which we engage, and the work we undertake, reflect your emphasis on restoration and justice.  Use us as peacemakers.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you form us into a community of peace and welcome, and ask us to live your New Life in ways that touch people’s pain.  May our life together, as your people, be gentle and honest, and may our words and actions reflect your grace and love.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, we pray for the healing of the nations, those who serve in government, those who experience brokenness in daily life, those near us who also need healing, especially [NAMES, AND] those we name before you now.
[Long silence]
God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, reprioritize our lives.  Show us a new way to be in the world, that the nations may catch a vision of your healing, which is given for all.  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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Prayers of the People for May 19, 2019, Easter 5

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

[Short pause]

God of resurrection, in Christ you have welcomed us into your family, called us clean, and embraced us as we are.  May our lives reflect our thanks.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, in Christ your welcome extends beyond us, to include those whom we have considered “outside.”  Teach us to love as you love.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, there is no one who is outside your care and compassion.  Show us how we can et out of your way, and become more welcoming.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, send again your life giving Spirit to this congregation, this parish, and your whole church.  Open our eyes to what you are doing; open our hearts to join the journey.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, your new life breaks into our world in the most unlikely places.  Enable us to see your loving presence with the weak, the sick, the excluded, the foreigner, and those we name before you.
[Long silence]
God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, your new life breaks in to our world, and suddenly all are welcome.  Use us to extend your welcome to the world.  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.

Guns and the 2nd Amendment

In the wake of the latest school shooting in Colorado, I commented,

“Another loss to the gun industrial complex.
I wonder when it will be enough. I wonder when we will get mad enough to actually do something.
I wonder if we will.”

I was asked, “What’s your solution?”

My response.

“In theological discussions, we always start with the text. So, one part of the ‘solution’ (and I admit it’s only one step) is to acknowledge that this whole discussion is not about the 2nd Amendment, or the Constitution (in spite of the best efforts of the gun industrial complex to keep throwing that red herring in our faces).

The real discussion needs to be about the INTERPRETATION of the 2nd Amendment with which we have been saddled for too many decades, an INTERPRETATION which ignores the original intent of the framers, ignores the passage of time, and severely ignores that the “right to bear arms” is not an absolute right, but is granted for a constitutionally prescribed purpose. For the framers (and this is made clear in the actual document), they included that clause specifically for national self defence.

Note – Not defence of home and property, not defence against other people carrying guns (the whole “good guy with a gun” fairy tale), and CERTAINLY not for protection FROM the government!

The INTERPRETATION that it’s just about ‘gun ownership’ is killing people. Every day.  It’s about time that was acknowledged.

Another step, as others have mentioned, is to keep military grade weaponry out of the hands of civilians. In these days of professional militaries, there is no need for civilians to have these weapons, since they are not needed for a “well regulated militia,” or any other reasonable purpose.

I know there are more guns in the country than people. I know that there are generations of gun owners who have been steeped in the myth of an absolute right to own any firearm they might crave. I know that politicians are afraid to address the issue in any substantive way because they don’t want to lose donations or votes (or get shot like Gabby Giffords by a gun-crazed constituent). And I know that the gun industrial complex is a huge money maker, with its tentacles in many other industries and many electoral districts.

I am not delusional enough to think that this will be easy, or that a quick fix is available.

But I also know that too many people like Kendrick Castillo are no longer with us, and that there is no justification for that fact.

None. Period.

And I also know that sitting back, ringing our collective hands, and pretending that it’s too big so nothing can be done, is actually a not-very-well-disguised attempt to hide from the hard work of engaging with life in all its messiness.

I know that some commentators will ask about personal responsibility, and why didn’t the latest shooter take some for himself.

But that’s just another attempt to get ourselves off the hook.

The real questions we need to be asking are, what is YOUR and MY personal responsibility to Kendrick Castillo? What is YOUR and MY personal responsibility to addressing the gun industrial complex? What is YOUR and MY personal responsibility to engage the government to get off its collective rear end, and do something so we don’t have to be having the conversation again next week?

Because we all know that if we do nothing, or pretend that nothing can be done (which amounts to the same thing), we will be having this conversation again next week.

And the week after that.

And the week after that.

Silence, it has been noted, only helps the oppressor. Silence is what killed Kendrick.

Enough.”

Prayers of the People for Easter 2, April 28, 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 came to the disciples when they were afraid; you came to Thomas when he was questioning.  We thank you for coming to us.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, our fear does not keep you away.  Our doubt does not limit your ability to bring life.  Enable us to trust.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you breathed your Spirit onto the disciples, commissioning them for ministry.  Inspire us with this same Spirit, that we may follow as well.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you call your church out of our hiding places, reminding us that eternal life is to be found in the midst of life in the world.  Open our eyes to see, and our hearts to love.  God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, new life happens all around.  Use us to proclaim your life-giving love to those who are sick, isolated, put down and excluded, especially [NAMES, AND] those we name before you.
[Long pause]
God of life,
We offer our praise.

God of resurrection, you come to us, bearing the wounds inflicted by fearful, angry people; but also bringing the love of God for fearful, angry people.  May we share what you have given.  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.

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.

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.