Sep 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Call to Worship: Grateful Praise

Here’s a call to worship for Thanksgiving written by David Inglis.  It uses the sung refrain from the hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth as a congregational response.

Call to Worship for Thanksgiving:
Grateful Praise

God created the heavens,
star-spattered with beauty,
and the earth, teeming with life.
And God set us on the Earth,
alive and wide-eyed,
able to see and hear,
feel and taste life's beauty,
able to dream and plan,
create and build out of the richness of the earth.
Lord of all to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise!

God gave us families to love us,
teachers to teach us,
elders to guide us,
and leaders to inspire us.
God gave us His Son
to save us from the path of destruction and sin,
and to be a strengthening presence
in our trials and temptations.
Lord of all to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise!

Every good thing that fills our souls with gladness
and our lives with light
is a gift from God.
We have been entrusted with unfathomable riches.
For this, let us come before God
in thanksgiving and grateful praise.
Lord of all to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise!

~ written by David Inglis, Senior Pastor at the Henrietta United Church of Christ in Henrietta, New York.

Sep 26, 2015

Prayer: In Your Name

Here’s a prayer of commitment from Roddy Hamilton’s Listening to the Stones blog.

In Your Name

May we honour your name
not by paying it lip service, Lord Jesus
but by trusting the vision it speaks of
and the way it calls for

May we honour it by following you
speaking into the word with our actions
and showing who we’re chosen to follow

May we love in your name
speak in your name
care in your name
that willingness to touch the outcast
feed the hungry
remember the sick
visit the imprisoned
clothe the naked
give water to the thirsty
in your name

~ excerpted from a longer piece by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones.  Used by permission.

Sep 25, 2015

Prayer: Open Our Eyes!

A prayer of invocation, confession and commitment inspired by Mark 10:51.  It comes from the Baptist Union of Great Britain website.

Prayer of Invocation:  Open Our Eyes!
(inspired by Mark 10:51)

“’Teacher,’ the blind man said, ‘I want to see!” Mark 10:51

Lord God, our Provider.
We worship you as the one who meets our needs,
who grants our daily bread,
who restores our humanity.

We worship you as the God who knows human need from experience,
who knows want, and thirst and humiliation.

And we worship you as your people,
in a world where wealth is mixed with poverty;
where we have all we need, but don’t know how to share.
Where want, and hunger and thirst and humiliation are hidden
from those with the power to offer challenge and bring change.

So, open our eyes.
Not only that we learn sad facts about the world.
But open the eyes of our heart,
that we may feel our place in this world, as your people.
Where there is need,
teach us to learn where our wealth lies, and help us to give.
Where there is injustice,
teach us to learn the causes, and help us to fight.
Where there is brokenness,
teach us to learn of our own brokenness, and help us to bring wholeness.

Help us to look to you,
that we neither remain ignorant of the world,
nor lose ourselves in despair at its brokenness.

Show us how to worship you,
the crucified God,
the risen God,
the God who provides.

Help us to carry our cross,
to accept your gift of new life,
to bring that gift to others.

~ from the Baptist Union of Great Britain website.

Sep 24, 2015

Closing Commission: Walk Gently Upon the Earth

Here’s a closing commission for a day of thanksgiving, or a service that focuses on our relationship with creation.  It was posted on the Third Space blog.

Closing Commission and Prayer

May we always walk gently upon the Earth,
in right relationship,
nurtured by your love,
open to the wind of the Spirit,
taking only what we need,
always open to the needs of others,
making choices that bring wellbeing,
living with generosity,
striving for justice,
honouring all with reverence,
reconciling and peacemaking,
mindful of those who will come after,
recognising our proper place as part of your creation.

Grant us the strength and courage, Lord,
for such a radical transformation into your Kingdom.

~ from Christian Aid and Christian Ecology Link.  Posted on Third Space blog.

Sep 22, 2015

Prayer of Confession: Salt of the Earth

Here’s a prayer of confession from Presbyterian World Service & Development website.  It was inspired by Mark 9:50.

Prayer of Confession
(inspired by Mark 9:50)

Salt is good for seasoning.
But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Mark 9:50

Merciful God,
You call us to be salt of the earth and light of the world.
We confess that our witness is often bland and gloomy.
Forgive us when we fail to be an influence for good,
and when we condone or do what is wrong in Your sight.
Help us to flavour the earth with righteousness
and to reflect the light of Your love in a dark world;
through Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Amen.

~ written by The Rev. Iona MacLean, First Presbyterian Church, Pictou, Nova Scotia, in Change is Happening, published by the Presbyterian World Service & Development, the development and relief agency of The Presbyterian Church in Canada and a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.