January 20th, 2021

“Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:5-9)

This year’s “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” focus includes these words of Jesus, spoken prior to his passion.
It is the great desire of God, expressed by Jesus, that we might come to him and abide in him.
Jesus waits for us tirelessly, hoping that, united to him in love, we will bear fruit that will bring life to all.
Faced with the difference of ‘the other’, we risk withdrawing into ourselves and seeing only that which separates us.

As we pray let us remember the call of Christ. May we turn to his love, to Jesus who is the centre of our life
for the path of unity begins in our intimate relationship with God.

In peace let us pray: Lord, you are the vinedresser who cares for us with love. You call on us to see the beauty of each branch united to the vine, the beauty of each person. And yet, too often the differences in others make us afraid. We withdraw into ourselves. Our trust in you is forsaken. Enmity develops between us. Come and direct our hearts toward you once again. Grant us to live from your forgiveness so that we may bear good fruit and praise your name. Amen

Here is a link to access further resources for “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.”

January 17th, 2021

Holy One,  Father of Christ who asked the disciples,

“What are you looking for,” and who offered the invitation to “Come and See,”

open our hearts to what you reveal and give us the courage to follow. 

By Your Spirit aid us in our journey,

so that like John, our words and deeds point to the Lamb of God. 

For those who are suffering, let us point to Christ through comfort. 

For those who are hungry, let us point to Christ through bread. 

For those in the grip of despair, let us point to Christ through hope.

Lord God, you call your people to tasks we would not ourselves choose. Give us the grace to love you enough to follow when you call.  You know our weakness and have promised to give resources for that which you ask of us. We praise you for your generous care. Like Samuel, let us say “Here I am.” God of surprising light, here we are.  

Lord God, hear our prayer for all who stand in need of healing, hope, and wholeness. We pray for our loved ones in long-term care, front-line and essential workers. Keep them safe and strong in mind, body, and spirit. May strength be renewed, may hope burn bright, may comfort and peace abound.  We pray for all who grieve. May God’s comfort surround them at this time of loss. We pray for those awaiting diagnosis, surgery, or treatment. Grace each one with strength for the journey and a wide circle of support. For needs named and for those we hold deep in our hearts, we offer our prayers……

We also pray for our Households of Faith.

 Lord God, we are surrounded, with people who need to hear the gospel story, people who need to meet the one from Nazareth, Jesus our Lord.  As we worship virtually and live deeply into this time of being the church in the community, may we reach out and care generously. Make our words and actions gracious and inviting. Like Philip, let us say, “Come and see.” God of surprising light, here we are.  Amen  

January 13th, 2021

In follow-up to this past Sunday’s scripture – Jesus’ baptism – and in response to unsettledness and violence in the world, here is a prayer offered by Nadia Bolz Weber:

God, You once tore open the heavens and descended as a dove upon Jesus and a dirty river full of repentant people. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but now would be a good time to tear open the heaven and send down that dove again.

Send your Holy Spirit to stir up repentance in your people:

Who would rather double down than admit we were wrong; Who fill with pride at being one of the few who “know the real truth”; Who only manage to point to others and never ourselves, (and are maybe a tiny bit grateful for the obvious, overt racism, violence and xenophobia of others since it conveniently takes the spotlight off of our own)

I pray that you send your Holy Spirit comfort your people:

Who are grieving our dead; Whose rightful rage might be corroding the edges of our hearts – because those hearts are still needed elsewhere; Who have had to break up with abusers or draw boundaries with unstable people in the past and know in our bodies how ugly this all gets; Who have joyous news they feel they cannot share; Who are trying (and failing) to still love those who voted differently than themselves; Who literally or figuratively find themselves (yet again) sweeping up the detritus of others’ racism, violence, and ignorance

Send down that dove, Lord, but help us look to the needs of our neighbor and not to the escape hatch of heaven to find her. Amen

January 10th, 2020

God of new beginnings and endings and all moments in between be with us this coming year. Through the waters of baptism you name us beloved – you confer our identity as your beloved children. May this identity grow and be shaped richly as we journey with you. May ‘beloved’ flow to the deep places of our hearts and being and may we embrace deeper understandings of our identity. May we be open to how you reveal yourself to us and shape and transform us as your holy called people.  

As we embrace this new year beginning, may we relearn lament and strive for joy. May we show up with courage and faithfulness for our lives and our callings as your people. May we be restored and renewed, the wilderness places becoming our cathedral and our altar.

As we embrace this new year beginning, may we say good-bye to the things that do not serve us – the selfishness, the fear, the illusions of control, the bitterness, the doom-scrolling, the self-pity, the martyr complex, the us-and-them fire stokers.

As we embrace this new year beginning may we say hello to wisdom, to kindness, to justice, curiosity, wonder, goodness, generosity, possibility, peace making.

As we embrace this year we pray for the sick, those who grieve, and those struggling to hold onto hope amidst isolation and loneliness.

We also pray for our Households of Faith.

Good and gracious God, throw open the doors of our lives to the disruptive, wild, healing Holy Spirit. May this be a year of unclenched hands and new songs, of vaccines and reunions, of good food and laughter, of kind endings and new beginnings. May we be given a mustard seed of faith knowing it will be enough. All this we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

January 6th, 2021

Today is Epiphany, an occasion to celebrate that the Light of the World has come!
It is my prayer that the light of God and the peace of Christ be with you all.

Due to provincial lockdown we are spending more time in our homes than ever before.
As we embrace this New Year, it’s challenges and opportunities, here is a special house blessing for the year:
God who is Three, God who is One,
Give blessing to the house that is here.
Bless it from roof to floor,
from wall to wall, from end to end.
May your Spirit alone dwell within these walls,
to bring joy and laughter to all who enter here.
We call upon the Sacred Three
to save, to shield and surround this home.
The circle of God around it,
The peace of Christ within it,
The life of the Spirit above it,
this day, this night and every night.
May the Triune God be the guardian of this place.
Peace be here in the name of the God of love.
Welcome be here in the name of the Christ of peace,
Joy be here in the name of the Spirit of life.
God who is One, God who is Three,
Bring light for the day and rest for the night
We call upon the Sacred Three
to welcome, guide and nurture all who enter here.
The circle of God, around friend and stranger.
The peace of Christ within guest and host,
The life of the Spirit above all who stand at the door,
this day, this night and evermore.
(adapted from a blessing in Celtin Daily Prayer)

January 3rd, 2021

Lord, as we begin a new year we remember what has gone before and we anticipate new beginnings. Like the wise men on their journey, we face uncertainty about what is to come. As we move into the unknown, help us to learn from the lessons of yesterday, and fill us with a vision of what we can be as we move forward.

            We ask that you keep the Advent candles of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love burning in our hearts. Above all, help us to continue to be drawn to the light of the Christ candle, which reminds us that You are the light of the world and in You there is no darkness.

            Lord, shine Your light into all those places where we experience anxiety, worry and despair. Bring us your comfort and your peace.

            Shine Your light into all places of conflict and tension – in families, in friendships, in workplaces, in our communities, and among nations. Bring us to forgiveness and reconciliation.

            Shine Your light of love upon all those who stand in a place of need. We pray for all who grieve. Bring them to wholeness.  

We pray for our households of faith. We pray that your peace and joy will surround each one whether at work or at rest, in their relationships and in their homes. Bring them to gratitude and contentment.

Help us to walk boldly into the future, knowing that You are our Light. You are Emmanuel – God with us. Amen
(prayer provided by Diane Peters)