June 13th, 2021

Holy God, who called creation into being,

Who calls us into Christ’s church;

We thank you for the church

For the mission of the church

For the ministry of the church.

Today, we thank you for the ministry of this church,

For pastors and people who have named your name and lived your life.

We thank you for cleansing us and making us alive through the waters of baptism. We give you thanks for new life you offer us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thank you also for the ministry of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada – our brothers and sisters in faith:

For steadfastness over time,

For faithful witness in the struggle

For justice and peace,

                Christ of love, hear our prayers for those in need of healing, hope, and wholeness and those whose needs we carry  deep in our hearts.

We pray for all awaiting appointments or test results.

We pray for caregivers including those supporting loved ones in long term care including Aldaview residents.

We pray for all who are suffering due to covid pandemic: the lonely, the sick, the over-whelmed. We pray for the grieving. May your comfort and peace abound.

We also pray for our households of faith:

Christ of love, hear our deep lament, our deep sorrow

in response to the tragic discovery of 215 First Nation’s children’s bodies at a Residential School in Kamloops.

Hear our deep lament and sorrow due to act of terrorism and tragic loss of life of our Muslim neighbours in London.

Where hate resides may love overcome.

Where bitterness takes root, we pray for cleansing and deep healing.

Where oppression rages, we pray for peace, the blessed peace that comes from doing justice.  Lord, hear our prayer.. and show us how to respond as peacemakers…   

Spirit of guiding, continue to guide our congregation in our shared life of faith. We strive to be your faithful people.

Guide us to listen deeply and love one another generously.

Guide us with clarity as we take next steps

Guide us as we live within the tension of holding multiple understandings,

bind us together as one body, your body, bearing witness to your love

always.

Spirit of guiding, move among us

Receive our prayers those spoken and those held deep within our hearts, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

June 6th, 2021

In the past days we have bore witness to horrific violence, racism, and the devastating outcome of hatred due to one’s faith. What is our response?

Last year the birch tree on the church’s front lawn became a place where we could add our prayers in solidarity with our community and those who have suffered deeply. In light of the tragic act of terrorism in London, and in light of the discovery of 215 bodies on the grounds of a Kamloops Residential School, how are we being called to respond? Perhaps one place to begin is with lament.

Biblical lament shows us how to express deep sorrow, name suffering and cry out for God. “Laments tell the truth of the suffering that is smothering our worthiness, our dreams, our ability to work toward a better tomorrow,” writes womanist scholar Dr. Emilie M. Townes. “Naming these horrors in an unrestrained lament helps mold us into a people who respond with an emphatic ‘No!’ to the ways our nation and our communities of faith are turned into graven images of hatred and despair.”

Let us pray,

God, we lament the damage that our silence in the face of racial violence has done,
for the sins of racism that run through our lives like so many threads in a cloth.
Forgive us for the times we have given in to our discomfort, for the times
we have forgotten our own privilege and failed to stand with our black siblings, our Indigenous, and our Muslim neighbours.
Help those of us who experience white privilege every day remember that, with our privilege,
we are imbued with the responsibility to challenge and hold one another accountable.
Give us the courage to educate ourselves, to listen well,
and to use our voices when it is most needed. Amen    (adaptation of a prayer written by Clara Weybright)

My summer reading list includes the highly recommended book: “White Fragility: why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism.” May we commit to continuing the discussion, to feel the raw edges of our discomfort, name our privilege in the world, and work for justice, in the name of Christ our Lord.

June 6th, 2021

Ever living and ever loving God,

We praise you for your loving presence with us.

Come, Holy Spirit,

take and transform our communities and neighbourhoods—

that broken people find healing;

that lonely people find love;

that oppressed people find justice;

that bitter people find peace;

that fearful people find hope.

Come, Holy Spirit,

take our world’s leaders and governments and bring renewal—

that communication can be open;

that relationships between hostile people and hostile nations be reconciled;

that a hunger for justice address the hunger for food felt by so many.

Come, Holy Spirit

Pour out your compassion, healing, and grace upon all who stand in need

of physical, emotional, or relational healing.

Hear our prayer for all who grieve, the lonely, and those struggling with mental wellness.

We pray for all caregivers including Aldaview Staff.

In response to a community request, we hold in prayer a medically fragile baby boy who is fighting a non-covid pneumonia and is currently on a ventilator. God may your breath of life fill him, restore him, renew him. Hold his family in peace we pray as they hold to hope.  

We pray for our Households of Faith.

Come, Holy Spirit,

Bless your church—

that our worship will be pleasing to You;

that prayers might change our hearts, our minds, and our lives

    instead of trying to get you to change Yours;

We pray that that our lives will make a real difference

to real people in the real world.

Open our hands that we might live generously

Open our hearts to be encouragers, always ready to build up

Rather than tear down

Strengthen us to serve in your name and act with love

Come, Holy Spirit,

fill our lives with your presence—

so that more and more every day,

all that we do and say and hope

will be an act of worship to you and an expression of love to others,

to the glory of your name.  Amen.

 This week we continue to join in prayer in response to the discovery of 215 First Nation’s children’s bodies in Kamloops.Here are resources provided by MCEC to add to the list of resources that were sent on Wednesday of this week.We pray, God have mercy. https://mcec.ca/article/13275-responding-to-the-loss-of-215-indigenous-children

peace be yours,Kara

June 2nd, 2021

Our hearts ache in response to reports of the discovery of a mass grave holding the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a First Nations Residential School in Kamloops.How will we respond? Inshallah, a choir I have sung with recently recorded the song: Senzenina. “What have we done?”https://youtu.be/yHjpeRyZaWA
May this be our prayer… and may our lament and song move us to action.Perhaps you have hung an orange shirt in front of your home as I have.Perhaps you will add your voice to those calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Government of Canada to recognize a national day of mourning. ..Perhaps you will consider a donation to support Residential School survivors and their families or a local Indigenous Centre such as the Seven Generation or Anishinaabe Outreach Centre. Here are several links with information

Perhaps you will want to learn more. Here are some educational resources on residential schools: 

Following in the footsteps of Jesus involves responding to injustices. Congregationally, we adopted a Land Acknowledgement Statement, engaged in a “Blanket Exercise” led by MCC and Kairos. We have read Indigenous authors….  What next steps is the Spirit of God inviting us to take. May we listen deeply for the Spirit and pray for courage and grace to respond with healing and hope.