Sep 17, 2017

Gathering Words

Here are gathering words from Cheryl Lawrie’s [hold this space] website.

The Gathering

We gather here
as people who have faith
in a story that stretches far before
and beyond us.

It’s a story that tells us that
what we know of life is only
a tiny part of the picture;
that here, who we are is still unfinished.

It’s a story of how God’s redemption and restoration
rewrites what we know of ourselves,
editing our lives with words
of grace and forgiveness
and creating an ending
that speaks only of love.

We gather to worship God.

~ written by Cheryl Lawrie and posted on [hold this space].

Call to Worship: Jonah

Here’s a responsive call to worship (or possibly a closing commission and benediction?) from Joanna Harader’s Spacious Faith blog.

Responsive Call to Worship
(inspired by Jonah 3-4)

The word of God came to Jonah
The word of God comes to us:
Despite your fears
the truth of God
your neighbor and you enemy
as you have been forgiven
grace upon grace
overflowing from the fullness of God.

~ written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith.

Prayer for Unity Amidst Diversity

Here’s a thoughtful prayer of petition for unity. It seems particularly timely these days.  It was posted on the “Monthly Prayers” page of the Christian Aid website.

Prayer for Unity

God of all creation 
who called every being into life 
who is mindful of humankind in all its diversity 
who embodies us with dignity, 
granting different gifts and talents to shape life in this world 
we ask for your Spirit to unite us 
where we face lack of understanding and disunity 
in our churches, in our communities, in our countries. 
And in silence we lay before you the burdens of our hearts.


We ask for your Spirit to unite us 
in the face of the conflicts, hatred and violation of life 
experienced in so many regions of the earth 
and in silence we bring to you the pain of the victims.


We ask for your Spirit to unite us 
wherever fear prevents us from caring for our neighbour, 
from meeting people of different ethnicities, cultures
and faith communities with respect 
and in silence we bring to you the brokenness of human relationships.


God of all creation, 
in Christ we are reconciled, 
and so we ask for your uniting Spirit 
to help us to overcome all our divisions 
that we may live in peace.

~ posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.

Sep 11, 2017

Gathering Words

Here's a responsive (or unison) call to worship from Tim Watson. It was posted on Lighting Beacons.

Gathering Words

We gather to meet with God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
To give God praise
And to seek God’s face
To bring before God all our days
And every part of our lives

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, draw near to us
As we draw near to you.  Amen

~ written by Tim Watson in “Sunday Morning Prayer,” posted on Lighting Beacons.

Prayer: God's Imagination

Here’s a prayer from Rachel Hackenberg’s website. It references numerous scripture passages, but perhaps especially Isaiah 25, Isaiah 55 and Psalm 98?

God’s Imagination

How is it within you, O God,
to imagine land flowing with milk and honey,
bright rivers spilling over with satisfying life
to make harvests abundant
and people glad to no longer know thirst?

How is it, O God,
that your holy imagination and your living heart
can conceive of a someday without hunger,
without tears,
without people lost and walking alone;
of a by-and-by in which nations no longer war,
when violence is the stuff of fiction
and hate fades like a nightmare at dawn?

How is it, dear God Most High,
that you can conceive of hills rising up in standing ovations,
mountains shaking their stodgy shoulders with deep laughter,
trees picking up their rooted skirts to join the eternal dance?

But most of all, O God of all creation,
O Christ who lived among us,
blessed Spirit who burns within us,
how is it at all possible
that you believe we are capable
of participating in imagination and grace with you?

~ written by Rachel Hackenberg, and posted on rachel g. hackenberg.