Lectionary Year A words

Advent…Advent candles

Isaiah 2:1-5          

Psalm 122             

Romans 13:11-14     

Matthew 24:36-44

Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way. Las Posadas — Jim Burklo, […]

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Blue Christmas Prayer — Fiona Hulbert, UK

Our God, we gather together in the bleak midwinter. Those who have much to thank you for, who rejoice in your goodness, and those who look out on a landscape of broken dreams and hardly dare to hope for Good News. Those whose hearts and homes are full of Christmas joy, and those whose Christmas […]

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T.S. Eliot on waiting, words for Advent

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready […]

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Advent

What words herald the Advent season? Familiar?  New? Light-hearted?  Reflective? Here are Advent worship resources from around the world to explore and use: Scroll down to find: Complete services, Dramas, Nativities and Christmas Pageants Advent songs, carols & music Advent prayers and worship resources Complete services, Dramas, Nativities and Christmas Pageants: Advent songs, carols & […]

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Angel Intercessions — Ana Gobledale, UK

‘Do not be afraid’ — words of the angels Prayers of Intercession This was originally written for a worship service marking the opening of a week-long Angel Festival. It might be used during Advent, particularly at a Blue Christmas or Longest Night service. The word ‘angel’ is not always popular, or sometimes over-popular!  How can […]

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Advent Devotional — Joanna Hipp, Presbyterians for Earth Care, USA

This beautiful and thoughtful Advent devotional has been shared through the generosity of Presbyterians for Earth Care. Download a PDF copy in full colour: 2018-Advent-Devotional-Presbyterians for Earth Care, USA Presbyterians for Earth Care have created thoughtful and challenging, as well as beautiful, Advent and Lenten devotionals for several years.  Click here to explore their archive […]

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Advent Prayer — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, Colorado USA

Holy God, during this busy season of Advent, We pray for our World. We seek your light in the midst of darkness, Your peace in the midst of violence, Your love in the midst of discord, Your courage in the face of fear, And your wisdom to guide us.   Help us to be messengers […]

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Open Table service — Are Angels still speaking?

Open Table Worship  uses inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued. Compiled and written by Ana Gobledale, UK Theme:  Are Angels still speaking? What does the Bible say about angels? What do you think about angels? This complete worship service . . . weaves together scripture, song, reflection […]

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Open Table service – Advent

Open Table Worship  uses inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued   Advent Theme:  Hope: Light in the darkness A complete worship service weaving together scripture, song, reflection & conversation Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table This service is designed for a congregation gathered around tables.  It […]

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Advent Hope, Luke 3: 5-6 — Kay Lowe-Wendling, USA

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. — Luke 3: 5-6 Every valley shall be filled: may our low places, our wrong doings of the past, […]

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December prayer of thanks — Loren McGrail, USA

This month I desire to be still and know that You are God! To marvel in the miracle of You becoming flesh! To be continually mindful that You are a Light of revelation to me! That You are alive and active in me! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!    Loren writes a blog.  

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Home, Luke 2:4 — Amelia Dress, USA

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. — Luke 2:4   We all long to find a real home: the place where our pasts and our futures intersect. As we metaphorically journey […]

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Reformation Sunday Children’s Message — Ana & Tod Gobledale, UK

Standing up to bullies:  Anna & Martin make change (reform) happen   I have something in my bag. What’s this? … DVD – Frozen Who has seen Frozen? Who are the characters?  Who do you see here? …(on the cover):   Kristof, Svens (deer), Elsa (ice), Anna (red hair), Olaf (snowman), Prince Hans Who’s the bad guy?  […]

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Advent Prayer: God’s Timing — Ted Loder

  This Advent prayer would be appropriate for either a Longest Night or Blue Christmas service.   God’s Timing O God of all seasons and senses, grant us the sense of your timing to submit gracefully and rejoice quietly in the turn of the seasons. In this season of short days and long nights, of grey and […]

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Season of Giving (in rhyme), for Advent — Jack Ouston, UK

A delightful reminder of the meaning of Advent and Christmas traditions for use in a Sunday morning worship service or a special Advent service. Written for 3-12 readers, with Scrooge-type voices (3, 5, 7 and 9) grumbling about traditions and other voices offering meaning. Easily read by adults without any rehearsal — just distribute a […]

Read full text

Christmas Carols with Justice — SimpleLiving, USA

Simple Living provides lyrics for Christmas Carols with Justice. The verses blend traditional and bold progressive language.  They are easy to use and bring the real world into Christmas. “Jesus’ birth has taken on much cultural significance as a celebration of good will, warm feelings and excessive consumerism. These new stanzas help to connect his birth […]

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Scouts International Peace Light Service

Each Advent season, the Scout International Peace Light travels from Bethlehem around the world. Towns and faith communities hold services for receiving the light and for sending it forth. These resources are for use in a Peace Light Service. Peace Light Prayer May the kindly spirit of Christmas spread its radiance far and wide, So all the […]

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Prayer for the Beginning of Advent — Mary Luti, USA

You give us Advent, Lord, and we are grateful and glad to abide in your time, urgent, yet measured, imagining life. You give us Advent, Lord, and we are grateful and glad to watch by your light, candid, yet hidden, sharp as a truth. You give us Advent, Lord, and we are grateful and glad […]

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Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Romans 15:4-13

Matthew 3:1-12

Blue Christmas Prayer — Fiona Hulbert, UK

Our God, we gather together in the bleak midwinter. Those who have much to thank you for, who rejoice in your goodness, and those who look out on a landscape of broken dreams and hardly dare to hope for Good News. Those whose hearts and homes are full of Christmas joy, and those whose Christmas […]

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Teenage Mary calls home, an Advent monologue — Ana & Tod Gobledale, UK

Title: I have good news…and bad news… Readings:  Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:39-55 This dramatic monologue, a phone conversation between pregnant teenage Mary and her Mum, was originally written as the sermon accompanying the lighting of the Advent Candle of Love.  It can be used effectively anytime during Advent. Notes: Mary pauses throughout the conversation when […]

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Open Table service — Are Angels still speaking?

Open Table Worship  uses inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued. Compiled and written by Ana Gobledale, UK Theme:  Are Angels still speaking? What does the Bible say about angels? What do you think about angels? This complete worship service . . . weaves together scripture, song, reflection […]

Read full text

Open Table service – Advent

Open Table Worship  uses inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued   Advent Theme:  Hope: Light in the darkness A complete worship service weaving together scripture, song, reflection & conversation Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table This service is designed for a congregation gathered around tables.  It […]

Read full text

Gabriel’s Greeting, Mary’s monologue — Eleanor Hubbard, USA

Gabriel’s Greeting This dramatic monologue provides a possible perspective of Mary after Gabriel’s visit.   I’m a virgin and I’m pregnant. I’m shunned by my family and friends, and I’m engaged to Joseph, who may divorce me. Then some weird guy, tells me I’m favoured. Really, I can do without these favours, thank you very much.   […]

Read full text

Season of Giving (in rhyme), for Advent — Jack Ouston, UK

A delightful reminder of the meaning of Advent and Christmas traditions for use in a Sunday morning worship service or a special Advent service. Written for 3-12 readers, with Scrooge-type voices (3, 5, 7 and 9) grumbling about traditions and other voices offering meaning. Easily read by adults without any rehearsal — just distribute a […]

Read full text

Christmas Carols with Justice — SimpleLiving, USA

Simple Living provides lyrics for Christmas Carols with Justice. The verses blend traditional and bold progressive language.  They are easy to use and bring the real world into Christmas. “Jesus’ birth has taken on much cultural significance as a celebration of good will, warm feelings and excessive consumerism. These new stanzas help to connect his birth […]

Read full text

Equity Prayer, Isaiah 11 — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Inspired by Isaiah 11:3-4a Second Sunday of Advent, Year A     Holy One, open our spirits to your righteousness – a righteousness that helps us understand the power innate in all humanity. Grant us the righteousness to recognize the gifts, resources, resiliency, strength and wisdom present in ourselves and in others. Empower us, O […]

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Advent/Christmas Prayer of Approach — Cara Heafey, UK

This prayer might be used on the 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas Day or for a Lessons and Carols service.   This morning we have come to tell again The story of angels and shepherds Of disbelieving fathers and unlikely mothers   This morning we have come to hear again The good, good news Of […]

Read full text

Prayer for the Beginning of Advent — Mary Luti, USA

You give us Advent, Lord, and we are grateful and glad to abide in your time, urgent, yet measured, imagining life. You give us Advent, Lord, and we are grateful and glad to watch by your light, candid, yet hidden, sharp as a truth. You give us Advent, Lord, and we are grateful and glad […]

Read full text

 

Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 146:5-10

or

Luke 1:46b-55

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

Isaiah 7:10-16

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-25

Virgin Monologue — Jim Burklo, USA

 “‘God did it’ isn’t an explanation,” said Joseph. He got no account for the baby’s chromosomes, No description of the mechanism that Transmuted the divine shadow into royal blood. “‘The devil made me do it’ would have sounded better to me,” said Joseph, Though it never did him any good When he said it to […]

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Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way.  Jim Burklo has written new […]

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Psalm 80 Redux – Carla Grosch-Miller, UK

Inspired by Psalm 80 Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A     Hear us! You who are said to hear the cries of the people. You who hold all time and all matter in Your hands. You who knelt in the dust to make and to mould us. Hear and heed.  Come, save us! Bring us […]

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Christmas Carols with Justice — SimpleLiving, USA

Simple Living provides lyrics for Christmas Carols with Justice. The verses blend traditional and bold progressive language.  They are easy to use and bring the real world into Christmas. “Jesus’ birth has taken on much cultural significance as a celebration of good will, warm feelings and excessive consumerism. These new stanzas help to connect his birth […]

Read full text

Christmas Words of Assurance

As you gather with your loved ones this year, or pause to remember those you are missing most at this time, know that you are surrounded by a wider cloud of witnesses: your wider church family. Held together in God’s arms, encircled by the love of Christ, and blessed by the Holy Spirit, may you […]

Read full text

Christmas…

Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Or

Isaiah 62:6-12

Psalm 97

Titus 3:4-7

Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20

Or

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 98

Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

John 1:1-14

 

Some countries and cultures celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve, so the listed resources include both Advent and Christmas items.

Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way. Las Posadas — Jim Burklo, […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas

The Christmas season is not always a happy time. — Mary Oliver (from Thirst, Beacon Press, Boston, 2006) The Advent and Christmas seasons can remind us of loved ones or relationships we have lost. The sights and smells of the weeks approaching Christmas, rather than bring joy and delight, can bring sadness and grief. A “Blue […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas service, complete — Ana Gobledale, UK

(compiled from various resources) Click here for a Blue Christmas full service pdf download A one-hour reflective service for a December afternoon or evening 16 readers (or double-up if fewer readers are available) Order of Service Welcome “Why are we here?” Gathering Words Lighting the Christ candle Call to Worship (from Isaiah 9) Opening Prayer Reading   […]

Read full text

Children’s Message, Alpha & Omega symbols — Tod Gobledale, UK

Revelations 1:8, 21:6, 22:13 — Lectionary reading for Christmas and New Year A,B,C; Easter 2C, 5C and 7C, All Saints Day Year B, Pentecost 27B (Proper 29B) Alpha & Omega: Introducing the symbols of the church to children   This message offers children the opportunity to look around the sanctuary or worship room and discover […]

Read full text

Gabriel’s Greeting, Mary’s monologue — Eleanor Hubbard, USA

Gabriel’s Greeting This dramatic monologue provides a possible perspective of Mary after Gabriel’s visit.   I’m a virgin and I’m pregnant. I’m shunned by my family and friends, and I’m engaged to Joseph, who may divorce me. Then some weird guy, tells me I’m favoured. Really, I can do without these favours, thank you very much.   […]

Read full text

Now Comes the Brighter Day — Bob Hill, Missouri, USA

For Christmas Day or Epiphany Ready-to-print download:   Now Comes the Brighter Day. – Bob Hill    Now comes the brighter day so wanted, needed now, reminding all that dark is stalled when love comes home to stay.   Now comes the brighter ray, a beam for all to show, a flame of fame, no one […]

Read full text

Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way.  Jim Burklo has written new […]

Read full text

The Wise Man’s Confession — Jim Burklo, USA

A Christmas Poem What wisdom I have Awakens me to my blindness. I cannot see light itself: What I know of light Is only an alluring shadow Of what it is and does. From billions of years away in space-time, Through darkness intervening, At its inconceivable speed The light of an exploding star passes Through […]

Read full text

Season of Giving (in rhyme), for Advent — Jack Ouston, UK

A delightful reminder of the meaning of Advent and Christmas traditions for use in a Sunday morning worship service or a special Advent service. Written for 3-12 readers, with Scrooge-type voices (3, 5, 7 and 9) grumbling about traditions and other voices offering meaning. Easily read by adults without any rehearsal — just distribute a […]

Read full text

Shepherd’s Report, Luke 2 — Cara Heafey, UK

Luke 2:8-20 A shepherd’s recollection of that first Christmas, read as a dramatic monologue Note: shepherds and angel may be presented as female or male as desired.  Script It’s true! It sounds crazy, I know, but I’m telling you, it’s true. It was the most wonderful thing. We had the sheep in the fold for […]

Read full text

Christmas blessing — Cara Heafey, UK

Let us go from this place proclaiming that we have seen the glory of God Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness Which the darkness shall not overcome   And may the love of the Creator The joy of the Spirit And the peace of the Christ-child Be with you this […]

Read full text

Advent/Christmas Prayer of Approach — Cara Heafey, UK

This prayer might be used on the 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas Day or for a Lessons and Carols service.   This morning we have come to tell again The story of angels and shepherds Of disbelieving fathers and unlikely mothers   This morning we have come to hear again The good, good news Of […]

Read full text

Animal Nativity with knock-knock jokes & talking animals, UK

A Cat, Rat, Mouse and Spider bring the nativity story to life as they meet Mary, the Innkeeper, Shepherds, an Angel and the Magi. Full of knock-knock jokes, carols and talking animals, the Joyful Animals’ Nativity is a delightful Christmas nativity drama ready for you to use.   Download ready-to-print scripts: PDF Joyful Animal Nativity script […]

Read full text

Christmas Words of Assurance

As you gather with your loved ones this year, or pause to remember those you are missing most at this time, know that you are surrounded by a wider cloud of witnesses: your wider church family. Held together in God’s arms, encircled by the love of Christ, and blessed by the Holy Spirit, may you […]

Read full text

These are the readings for Christmas Eve, also.

Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Or

Isaiah 62:6-12

Psalm 97

Titus 3:4-7

Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20

Or

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 98

Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)

John 1:1-14

Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way. Las Posadas — Jim Burklo, […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas

The Christmas season is not always a happy time. — Mary Oliver (from Thirst, Beacon Press, Boston, 2006) The Advent and Christmas seasons can remind us of loved ones or relationships we have lost. The sights and smells of the weeks approaching Christmas, rather than bring joy and delight, can bring sadness and grief. A “Blue […]

Read full text

Blue Christmas service, complete — Ana Gobledale, UK

(compiled from various resources) Click here for a Blue Christmas full service pdf download A one-hour reflective service for a December afternoon or evening 16 readers (or double-up if fewer readers are available) Order of Service Welcome “Why are we here?” Gathering Words Lighting the Christ candle Call to Worship (from Isaiah 9) Opening Prayer Reading   […]

Read full text

Children’s Message, Alpha & Omega symbols — Tod Gobledale, UK

Revelations 1:8, 21:6, 22:13 — Lectionary reading for Christmas and New Year A,B,C; Easter 2C, 5C and 7C, All Saints Day Year B, Pentecost 27B (Proper 29B) Alpha & Omega: Introducing the symbols of the church to children   This message offers children the opportunity to look around the sanctuary or worship room and discover […]

Read full text

Gabriel’s Greeting, Mary’s monologue — Eleanor Hubbard, USA

Gabriel’s Greeting This dramatic monologue provides a possible perspective of Mary after Gabriel’s visit.   I’m a virgin and I’m pregnant. I’m shunned by my family and friends, and I’m engaged to Joseph, who may divorce me. Then some weird guy, tells me I’m favoured. Really, I can do without these favours, thank you very much.   […]

Read full text

Now Comes the Brighter Day — Bob Hill, Missouri, USA

For Christmas Day or Epiphany Ready-to-print download:   Now Comes the Brighter Day. – Bob Hill    Now comes the brighter day so wanted, needed now, reminding all that dark is stalled when love comes home to stay.   Now comes the brighter ray, a beam for all to show, a flame of fame, no one […]

Read full text

Las Posadas, Seeking room in the inn — Mexico

Las Posadas, a Mexican Advent tradition stretches from 16 December through Christmas, during which actors depict Mary and Joseph looking for lodging.  They travel throughout the town or city, followed by a procession of  children and other members of the community carrying candles.  A song is traditionally sung at each ‘inn’ along the way.  Jim Burklo has written new […]

Read full text

The Wise Man’s Confession — Jim Burklo, USA

A Christmas Poem What wisdom I have Awakens me to my blindness. I cannot see light itself: What I know of light Is only an alluring shadow Of what it is and does. From billions of years away in space-time, Through darkness intervening, At its inconceivable speed The light of an exploding star passes Through […]

Read full text

Season of Giving (in rhyme), for Advent — Jack Ouston, UK

A delightful reminder of the meaning of Advent and Christmas traditions for use in a Sunday morning worship service or a special Advent service. Written for 3-12 readers, with Scrooge-type voices (3, 5, 7 and 9) grumbling about traditions and other voices offering meaning. Easily read by adults without any rehearsal — just distribute a […]

Read full text

Shepherd’s Report, Luke 2 — Cara Heafey, UK

Luke 2:8-20 A shepherd’s recollection of that first Christmas, read as a dramatic monologue Note: shepherds and angel may be presented as female or male as desired.  Script It’s true! It sounds crazy, I know, but I’m telling you, it’s true. It was the most wonderful thing. We had the sheep in the fold for […]

Read full text

Christmas blessing — Cara Heafey, UK

Let us go from this place proclaiming that we have seen the glory of God Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness Which the darkness shall not overcome   And may the love of the Creator The joy of the Spirit And the peace of the Christ-child Be with you this […]

Read full text

Advent/Christmas Prayer of Approach — Cara Heafey, UK

This prayer might be used on the 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas Day or for a Lessons and Carols service.   This morning we have come to tell again The story of angels and shepherds Of disbelieving fathers and unlikely mothers   This morning we have come to hear again The good, good news Of […]

Read full text

Animal Nativity with knock-knock jokes & talking animals, UK

A Cat, Rat, Mouse and Spider bring the nativity story to life as they meet Mary, the Innkeeper, Shepherds, an Angel and the Magi. Full of knock-knock jokes, carols and talking animals, the Joyful Animals’ Nativity is a delightful Christmas nativity drama ready for you to use.   Download ready-to-print scripts: PDF Joyful Animal Nativity script […]

Read full text

Christmas Words of Assurance

As you gather with your loved ones this year, or pause to remember those you are missing most at this time, know that you are surrounded by a wider cloud of witnesses: your wider church family. Held together in God’s arms, encircled by the love of Christ, and blessed by the Holy Spirit, may you […]

Read full text

Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm 148

Hebrews 2:10-18

Matthew 2:13-23

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Psalm 8

Revelation 21:1-6a

Matthew 25:31-46

These readings are used on New Year’s Day, also.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Psalm 8

Revelation 21:1-6a

Matthew 25:31-46

New Year, a hymn — George Stuart, Australia

Tune: Bishopgarth Click here for printable lyrics and musical score. The New Year brings another time To practise some reflection, To contemplate priorities; What past ways need rejection; The call of Jesus comes again To strengthen our connection To his inspiring way of life, And maybe change direction. The past is gone; cannot be changed; […]

Read full text

Children’s Message, Alpha & Omega symbols — Tod Gobledale, UK

Revelations 1:8, 21:6, 22:13 — Lectionary reading for Christmas and New Year A,B,C; Easter 2C, 5C and 7C, All Saints Day Year B, Pentecost 27B (Proper 29B) Alpha & Omega: Introducing the symbols of the church to children   This message offers children the opportunity to look around the sanctuary or worship room and discover […]

Read full text

New Year Call to Worship — Ana Gobledale, UK

This responsive Call to Worship might be used at a special New Year’s Day service or on the first Sunday of the new year. Ready-to-print downloads: New Year, Call to Worship PDF New Year, Call to Worship WORD People of the world, it is time to celebrate new beginnings. We step into the new year […]

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Prayer for the New Year — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Quietly the New Year slips in. Are we now more fearful, the radio asks? More careful? More tired? Are we now more aware of the suffering, the violence, the inequality, the injustice in our world? Holy God, In this New Year, We seek you As we have always sought you. We need you As we […]

Read full text

Open Table service — New Year

Open Table Worship  uses inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued Theme:  Welcoming the New Year A complete worship service weaving together scripture, drama, reflection & conversation Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table This service is designed for a congregation gathered around tables.  It can easily […]

Read full text

Prayer for the New Year — Sandy Messick, USA

Ready-to-print copy: WORD Prayer for the New Year, Sandy Messick   God of all times and seasons, On this threshold of a new year, we turn and return again to you. The year spreads before us with possibilities and challenges, joys and concerns. There is beauty all around: in the smiles of children, in the […]

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Blessing for the new year — unknown author

May God make your year a joy-filled one! Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain, But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes; Not by making your path easy, But by making you sturdy to travel any path; Not by taking hardships from you, But by taking fear from your heart; […]

Read full text

New Year blessing — Cara Heafey, UK

Let us look for Christ wherever we go Let us never stop seeking Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness Which the darkness shall not overcome   And may the love of the Creator The joy of the Spirit And the peace of the Christ-child Be with you this New Year, […]

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Confession of a New Creation — Lawrence Moore, UK

Pause before the prayer, allowing God’s Spirit to search your heart.  Make your own confession. Pause after the prayer to experience the reality of God’s forgiveness. The old ways are so comfortable, O God. They fit like old slippers; they feel like old friends. I don them more readily than my resurrection clothes; I live […]

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A Prayer for the New Year — Alfred Lord Tennyson, UK

In Memoriam by Alfred Lord Tennyson British Poet Laureate, 1850 Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.   Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The […]

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Isaiah 63:7-9Psalm 148Hebrews 2:10-18Matthew 2:13-23

New Year, a hymn — George Stuart, Australia

Tune: Bishopgarth Click here for printable lyrics and musical score. The New Year brings another time To practise some reflection, To contemplate priorities; What past ways need rejection; The call of Jesus comes again To strengthen our connection To his inspiring way of life, And maybe change direction. The past is gone; cannot be changed; […]

Read full text

Children’s Message, Alpha & Omega symbols — Tod Gobledale, UK

Revelations 1:8, 21:6, 22:13 — Lectionary reading for Christmas and New Year A,B,C; Easter 2C, 5C and 7C, All Saints Day Year B, Pentecost 27B (Proper 29B) Alpha & Omega: Introducing the symbols of the church to children   This message offers children the opportunity to look around the sanctuary or worship room and discover […]

Read full text

New Year Call to Worship — Ana Gobledale, UK

This responsive Call to Worship might be used at a special New Year’s Day service or on the first Sunday of the new year. Ready-to-print downloads: New Year, Call to Worship PDF New Year, Call to Worship WORD People of the world, it is time to celebrate new beginnings. We step into the new year […]

Read full text

Prayer for the New Year — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Quietly the New Year slips in. Are we now more fearful, the radio asks? More careful? More tired? Are we now more aware of the suffering, the violence, the inequality, the injustice in our world? Holy God, In this New Year, We seek you As we have always sought you. We need you As we […]

Read full text

Open Table service — New Year

Open Table Worship  uses inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued Theme:  Welcoming the New Year A complete worship service weaving together scripture, drama, reflection & conversation Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table This service is designed for a congregation gathered around tables.  It can easily […]

Read full text

Prayer for the New Year — Sandy Messick, USA

Ready-to-print copy: WORD Prayer for the New Year, Sandy Messick   God of all times and seasons, On this threshold of a new year, we turn and return again to you. The year spreads before us with possibilities and challenges, joys and concerns. There is beauty all around: in the smiles of children, in the […]

Read full text

Blessing for the new year — unknown author

May God make your year a joy-filled one! Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain, But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes; Not by making your path easy, But by making you sturdy to travel any path; Not by taking hardships from you, But by taking fear from your heart; […]

Read full text

New Year blessing — Cara Heafey, UK

Let us look for Christ wherever we go Let us never stop seeking Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness Which the darkness shall not overcome   And may the love of the Creator The joy of the Spirit And the peace of the Christ-child Be with you this New Year, […]

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Confession of a New Creation — Lawrence Moore, UK

Pause before the prayer, allowing God’s Spirit to search your heart.  Make your own confession. Pause after the prayer to experience the reality of God’s forgiveness. The old ways are so comfortable, O God. They fit like old slippers; they feel like old friends. I don them more readily than my resurrection clothes; I live […]

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A Prayer for the New Year — Alfred Lord Tennyson, UK

In Memoriam by Alfred Lord Tennyson British Poet Laureate, 1850 Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.   Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The […]

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Epiphany…
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Epiphany Day is 6 January

Isaiah 60:1-6      

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14        

Ephesians 3:1-12             

Matthew 2:1-12

Epiphany

Wise ones… Magi… Kings, queens, rulers… Astronomers… What words do we use to tell the story of those traveling from the east? Those arriving with gifts? Those growing in wisdom as a result of encountering the Presence of Love? Worship resources for Epiphany — an alphabetical listing  (Further resources for the Epiphany Season are listed under […]

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Epiphany Prayers of Intercession — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Loving God, We gather as your people this morning Seeking your presence, your comfort and your love. In this Epiphany Season of light Shine your light upon us – Into the recesses of our spirits, Those places where we experience anxiety, depression, fear and despair. This morning, we lift up in particular all among us […]

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Now Comes the Brighter Day — Bob Hill, Missouri, USA

For Christmas Day or Epiphany Ready-to-print download:   Now Comes the Brighter Day. – Bob Hill    Now comes the brighter day so wanted, needed now, reminding all that dark is stalled when love comes home to stay.   Now comes the brighter ray, a beam for all to show, a flame of fame, no one […]

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A slow dawning — R S Thomas, UK

The first king was on horseback. The second a pillion rider. The third came by plane. Where was the god-child? He was in the manger with the beasts, all looking the other way where fourth was a slow dawning because wisdom must come on foot.   R. S. Thomas, Counterpoint (1990) Shared by Sarum College, […]

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The Wise Man’s Confession — Jim Burklo, USA

A Christmas Poem What wisdom I have Awakens me to my blindness. I cannot see light itself: What I know of light Is only an alluring shadow Of what it is and does. From billions of years away in space-time, Through darkness intervening, At its inconceivable speed The light of an exploding star passes Through […]

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Epiphany drama — Ana & Tod Gobledale, UK

Reading and Heeding the signs of the Times Matthew 2.1-12 Note:  The “king” or “magi” or “wise one” may be named as appropriate for the congregation.  The part may be played by either a woman or a man.  The “minister” might be any worship leader. Originally written for Epiphany Sunday, Year A. Script Minister:    …This […]

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Isaiah 42:1-9      

Psalm 29             

Acts 10:34-43    

Matthew 3:13-17

Isaiah 49:1-7      

Psalm 40:1-11   

1 Corinthians 1:1-9          

John 1:29-42

John 1:29-42 Dramatised, Tod Gobledale, UK

for Second Sunday of Epiphany, Year A           Characters: (and starting positions) Narrator  (pulpit or lecturn) John the Baptist    (to side) _____________________________ Andrew, Disciple of John (to side)  ___________________ Disciple of John 2  (to side)__________________ Jesus (at back) _____________________________ Simon Peter  (to a wing) _____________________________   Script   NARRATOR   [at pulpit or […]

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Isaiah 9:1-4        

Psalm 27:1, 4-9 1

Corinthians 1:10-18     

Matthew 4:12-23

Micah 6:1-8        

Psalm 15             

1 Corinthians 1:18-31     

Matthew 5:1-12

Dramatised Micah 6:1-8 (29 Jan 2017) — Ana Gobledale, UK

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Narrator:  Today’s reading is from the Prophet Micah, chapter 6, beginning with verse 1. Micah places us in a court room drama. First the judge speaks, ordering the complainant to rise, and introducing the case. Then God brings charges against Israel, God’s own people. Then Micah responds on behalf […]

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Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)    

Psalm 112:1-9 (10)          

1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)        

Matthew 5:13-20

 

Gathering Words   (adapted from Psalm 112:1-10) — Ana Gobledale, UK

Praise the Lord!

Happy are those who fear the Eternal One,

who greatly delight in the divine commandments. …

They are gracious, merciful, and just.

They rise in the darkness as a light for others.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

or Psalm 119:1-8    

1 Corinthians 3:1-9          

Matthew 5:21-37

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18     

Psalm 119:33-40               

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23        

Matthew 5:38-48

(Last Sunday before Lent)

Exodus 24:12-18              

Psalm 2    

or       Psalm 99             

2 Peter 1:16-21 Matthew 17:1-9

 

Prayer of adoration — Louise Gough, UK

Loving God who conceived life, originates ingenuity, embraces individuality, welcomes everyone, celebrates diversity, encourages unity, offers serenity, gifts simplicity, lavishes compassion, we worship you!   Living Jesus who breathes our air, walks our streets, feels our pain, sheds tears, enjoys company, bubbles with laughter, holds our hands, we worship you!   Gentle Spirit who strengthens […]

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Lent…

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Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

or  Isaiah 58:1-12    

Psalm 51:1-17   

2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10               

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

 

Ely reflection — Ana Gobledale, UI

Written April 2018 during a time of personal reflection in the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, UK, following the bombing of Syria by the US and the UK.     Broken Bombed Darkness descends How did it come to this? God groans The world whimpers. We cower Fearfully crying out, ‘Which way?’ What about our grandchildren? […]

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Matthew 4:1-11 drama — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

This is one of three readings used to explore the Lent theme: “Hineni: Here I Am” –  looking at the idea of spiritually showing up and saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call and invitation. Matthew 4:1-11   (slightly altered text) 3 Voices: Narrator, Tempter, Jesus Narrator: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness […]

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Invocation: Drum-beat Prayer for Divine Rhythm

Might be used as an opening meditation  at a confessional reflective service such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. Can be read by a single voice, multiple voices or responsively. Start in Silence. A drumbeat begins, getting louder than softer. The drumbeat tapers off into a soft background beat for the prayer. O Steady One, […]

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Isaiah 58:1-12, reading for 2-4 voices — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson

Isaiah 58:1-12 Arranged by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA For 2-4 Voices:  Isaiah (might be divided between 2 readers), People 1 & 2 This readings might be used to explore the Lent theme: “Hineni: Here I Am” –  looking at the idea of spiritually showing up and saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call and invitation. Isaiah: Shout out, do […]

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Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7   

Psalm 32             

Romans 5:12-19               

Matthew 4:1-11

 

Hymns and songs

Temptation by George Stuart, based on Matthew 4:1-11

 

Matthew 4:1-11 drama — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

This is one of three readings used to explore the Lent theme: “Hineni: Here I Am” –  looking at the idea of spiritually showing up and saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call and invitation. Matthew 4:1-11   (slightly altered text) 3 Voices: Narrator, Tempter, Jesus Narrator: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness […]

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Lent, hymns for the season — George Stuart, Australia

George Stuart has written at least one hymn for each Sunday of Lent, for each year of the Common Revised Lectionary.  Using familiar tunes, he incorporates words that are straightforward, understandable and faithful.  And they match musically so the songs are easy to sing. Each hymn is listed in the corresponding week in the Lectionary tabs of Worship […]

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Prayer of adoration — Louise Gough, UK

Loving God who conceived life, originates ingenuity, embraces individuality, welcomes everyone, celebrates diversity, encourages unity, offers serenity, gifts simplicity, lavishes compassion, we worship you!   Living Jesus who breathes our air, walks our streets, feels our pain, sheds tears, enjoys company, bubbles with laughter, holds our hands, we worship you!   Gentle Spirit who strengthens […]

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Matthew 4:1-11 with 3 voices (Lent 1A) — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

This reading, for the first Sunday of Lent in Year A,  might be used to explore the Lent theme: ‘Hineni: Here I Am’ –  looking at the idea of spiritually showing up and saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call and invitation. Matthew 4:1-11   (slightly altered text) 3 Voices: Narrator, Tempter (Satan, the devil), Jesus   Complete Script: […]

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A Prayer for Lent — Cara Heafey, UK

Wild and restless spirit of God Accompany our Lenten journeys. Give us courage to spend time in the wilderness The place where you bring us face to face with ourselves. Help us to pray with honesty Help us to live with simplicity Make us hungry and thirsty for your life-giving presence. When we return to […]

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Genesis 12:1-4a               

Psalm 121           

Romans 4:1-5, 13-17      

John 3:1-17

or

Matthew 17:1-9

 

Hymns and songs

Born Again by George Stuart, inspired by John 3:1-9 and Matthew 17:1-9

 

Genesis 12:1-4a & John 3:1-21 drama, Abram & Nicodemus interview

“Bucket Lists” Genesis 12:1-4a, John 3:1-21 Lent 1, Year A Adapted by Tod & Ana Gobledale, UK Related hymn:  Abide with me Interviewer, Abram and Nicodemus sit in a row facing the congregation.  Three tall bar stools serve well.   Remember to speak to the congregation, not to one another.  Use your hands!  Big gestures! Minister/Interviewer:  […]

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Lent, hymns for the season — George Stuart, Australia

George Stuart has written at least one hymn for each Sunday of Lent, for each year of the Common Revised Lectionary.  Using familiar tunes, he incorporates words that are straightforward, understandable and faithful.  And they match musically so the songs are easy to sing. Each hymn is listed in the corresponding week in the Lectionary tabs of Worship […]

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Psalm 121 Prayer — Ana Gobledale, UK

2nd Sunday of Lent, Year A   I lift up my eyes to the hills… We lift up our hearts To you, Spirit of the Universe God will not let your foot be moved… Trusting you to hold us securely When we feel caught in the mire of indecision When we hesitate to step forward […]

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Nicodemus & Jesus conversation, John 3 for Lent 2, Year A

A dramatic reading Year A, Second Sunday of Lent–12 March 2017 John 3:1- 21  (adapted from the New Revised Standard Version and “The New Testament and Psalms: an inclusive version” published by Oxford University Press in 1995)     Narrator:   Today’s reading is taken from John’s Gospel, the story of the encounter between Jesus and […]

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Exodus 17:1-7   

Psalm 95             

Romans 5:1-11

John 4:5-42

 

Hymns and songs

Jesus speaks to the Woman of Samaria, by George Stuart, inspired by John 4:5-9

Living Water, by George Stuart, inspired by John 4:13-14

 

Lent, hymns for the season — George Stuart, Australia

George Stuart has written at least one hymn for each Sunday of Lent, for each year of the Common Revised Lectionary.  Using familiar tunes, he incorporates words that are straightforward, understandable and faithful.  And they match musically so the songs are easy to sing. Each hymn is listed in the corresponding week in the Lectionary tabs of Worship […]

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Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95, a prayer — Ana Gobledale, UK

3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A 19 March 2017     God, are you with us? We seek assurance.   Like the Israelites at Massah we desire proof. Like the people of Meribah we ache for assurance beyond words, Something we can see and touch. Forgive our testiness and fickle faith. Renew our commitment to […]

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1 Samuel 16:1-13             

Psalm 23             

Ephesians 5:8-14             

John 9:1-41

Hymns and songs

Healing on the Sabbath, by George Stuart, inspired by John 9:13-16a

Hope and Light by George Stuart, inspired by John 9:5

Is it God’s will?  by George Stuart, Australia, inspired by John 9:1-3

May this year’s journey towards Easter be one which we enter in spirit and in truth. — Lynne Roberts, Australia

Blessing for parents — Lauren Mallaby, Australia

Written to be shared with parents and carers at a church-sponsored child care centre. Easily adapted for Mothering Sunday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.   If you made it on time to drop off, you are blessed. If you made it to drop off before pick up, you are blessed. If you made it with bits […]

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Mothering Sunday prayers of approach — Cara Heafey, UK

For Mothering Sunday Inspired by Julian of Norwich   Ready-to-use printable copies: WORD Mothering Sunday prayers of approach, Cara Heafey PDF Mothering Sunday prayers of approach   Mothering God, you birthed the universe into being. Home-maker, your creation is habitat and sustenance to all that lives. How costly for you our freedom must be. How […]

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Samuel (1) 16:1-3 drama, Jesse’s sons — Lent 4 Year A

This script is ready to download and print: 1 Samuel 16, 1-13 dramatised – full script ready-to-print Samuel:  Our Hebrew Bible reading this morning is the story of the priest, Samuel, that’s me.  I am busy searching for the King of Israel, and am not sure what to look for.  Finally, God, Yahweh, sends me […]

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Good Shepherd, Guide us in love — Ana Gobledale, UK

Prayers for our world — inspired by Psalm 23 Let us turn our mind and thoughts to others. We will lift up prayers for our world, our nation, our community and our church, responding with the phrase: Good Shepherd,  Guide us in love. Pray with me. . Good Shepherd, we hear the cries and joys […]

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Lent, hymns for the season — George Stuart, Australia

George Stuart has written at least one hymn for each Sunday of Lent, for each year of the Common Revised Lectionary.  Using familiar tunes, he incorporates words that are straightforward, understandable and faithful.  And they match musically so the songs are easy to sing. Each hymn is listed in the corresponding week in the Lectionary tabs of Worship […]

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Lenten Prayer (Lent 4, Year A)– Lynne Roberts, Australia

For the fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A Prayer for Lent 4 ready- print Gracious God, loving shepherd, friend and constant companion we thank you for the stillness of your presence that restores our souls. We acknowledge your comfort and guidance in the hard places and tough decisions of life. We express our gratitude for […]

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Ezekiel 37:1-14

Psalm 130           

Romans 8:6-11              

John 11:1-45

 

Offering Dedication
Pray with me. Spirit of Life, bless the offerings we have brought this morning that they might be used to bring new life into our world. And bless our bodies and minds, that we might use them to breathe new life into your kin-dom here on earth. Amen.

Prayer of Confession — Earl Roberts, USA

We confess that we do not always want our lives restored or renewed. Speaking truth to the things and the people who bind us is very scary. Our ‘burial bandages’ not only bind us tightly, but they also keep us thinking we are secure, hidden away in our tombs. Call us forth to discover that freedom overcomes slavery and life overcomes death. Amen.

 

Hymns and songs

Jesus Weeps by George Stuart, Australia — inspired by John 11: 25, 38-45

 

Prayers for Today — Caren Clarke, UK

Originally written for the fifth Sunday of Lent – Year A (2020)   Eternal One, we thank you for this opportunity to worship together. Please help everyone here today, to learn something new about you…   We pray for peace throughout the world and for everyone’s heart to be filled with love, so that we […]

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Prayers of Intercession — Caren Clarke, UK

Eternal One, thank you for this opportunity to worship together. Please help everyone here today, to learn something new about you… We pray for peace throughout the world and for everyone’s heart to be filled with love, so that we can all live together in harmony, whatever our differences are. We pray especially for refugees […]

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Prayer — Farai Chirisa, Zimbabwe

God, we give you thanks for sending Jesus to give us life. In the midst of wealth we are crushed by poverty, and while we are offered Christ-life in all its fullness, we are surrounded by disease, death and destruction. We are tempted to despair, and yet keep hoping, knowing that you care. At times we […]

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Can these bones live? Prayer for Lent 5 Year A — Ana Gobledale, UK

Ezekiel 37:1-14       Breathe on me, breath of God, till I am wholly thine, until this earthly part of me, glows with thy fire divine. Breath of Life, can these bones live? Valleys of dry bones confront us, threatening to separate us from you. Each day, our newspapers highlight the numerous and extensive dry-bone-valleys […]

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Dry bones, Ezekiel 37, a prayer — Ana Gobledale, UK

Ezekiel 37:1-14 Fifth Sunday in Lent – Year A 2 April 2017     God of life, hear my prayer.   Withered, cracked, pale Sometimes I feel like a pile of old bones Dry, brittle, broken Sometimes I feel as though all hope is lost.   Dry bones, hear the word of the Divine!   […]

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Breath of Life, hear our prayer: intercessions (Lent 5 Year A)

Prayers of Intercession arising from  Ezekiel 37:1–14  Valley of dry bones John 11:1-45        Resurrection of Lazarus Click here for a ready-to-print Word document:  Breath of Life – Prayers of Intercession, Lent 5 Year A   Join me in a moment of silence to reflect on those things in your life that feel […]

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Invocation: Drum-beat Prayer for Divine Rhythm

Might be used as an opening meditation  at a confessional reflective service such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. Can be read by a single voice, multiple voices or responsively. Start in Silence. A drumbeat begins, getting louder than softer. The drumbeat tapers off into a soft background beat for the prayer. O Steady One, […]

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Holy Week…
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Liturgy of the Palms

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29      

Matthew 21:1-11  

 

 

Liturgy of the Passion

Isaiah 50:4-9a    

Psalm 31:9-16   

Philippians 2:5-11            

Matthew 26:14-27:66

Or  Matthew 27:11-54

 

Prayer of Confession, Face the music — Ana Gobledale, UK

Call to Confession Face the music. Jesus calls us to follow him, not just to another party of praise, but to the hard work of bringing God’s love and justice into this world of violence and fear. Let us prepare ourselves for this task by confessing our sin. Prayer of Confession One: Source of all […]

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Passion Sunday Prayer, Matthew 21 — Ana Gobledale, UK

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ — Matthew 21:10-11 God of the palms, God of the passion, we arrive at this Palm Sunday remembering and celebrating the story. We, too, need to ask ‘Who is this?’ […]

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Holy Week Challenge & Prayer — Loren McGrail, Israel/Palestine

Prayed at Saint Andrews Scots Memorial Church in Jerusalem . Setting the scene When Jesus came into Jerusalem for that last supper the crowds were singing and dancing. Palms were waved and coats were tossed on the ground—all for the victorious One. Hosanna in the highest. No matter that he came on a donkey instead […]

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Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14       

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19      

1 Corinthians 11:23-26   

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Footwashing God: A Prayer of Intercession — Christian Aid, UK

A worship resource from Christian Aid UK   Invite worshippers to name situations and places of concern either silently to themselves, or aloud.   Footwashing God, We have named those names on our hearts We have spoken those situations out loud And we look forward To the time when all will know the shelter Of your […]

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Holy Week Challenge & Prayer — Loren McGrail, Israel/Palestine

Prayed at Saint Andrews Scots Memorial Church in Jerusalem . Setting the scene When Jesus came into Jerusalem for that last supper the crowds were singing and dancing. Palms were waved and coats were tossed on the ground—all for the victorious One. Hosanna in the highest. No matter that he came on a donkey instead […]

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Isaiah 52:13-53:12           

Psalm 22             

Hebrews 10:16-25

or  Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

John 18:1-19:42

Ely reflection — Ana Gobledale, UI

Written April 2018 during a time of personal reflection in the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, UK, following the bombing of Syria by the US and the UK.     Broken Bombed Darkness descends How did it come to this? God groans The world whimpers. We cower Fearfully crying out, ‘Which way?’ What about our grandchildren? […]

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In the silence, a reflection for Holy Saturday

Begin with a moment of silence and listen, for God is still speaking! In the silence, O God, I long to hear your words. In the breaking of dawn’s early light, I long to experience your presence. May the voice I hear this day be your voice, speaking a word of hope and healing into […]

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Insights — Richard Kidd, Australia

  John 11:47-53 Caiaphas said, “…to gather into one the dispersed children of God.” . Insights just occasionally an unexpected insight cuts through the veneer revealing the veneer revealing a layer that no-one, not even the prophet, has seen From Poets and Painters, page 34, by Richard Kidd (2015 published privately) Richard, previous principal of Northern […]

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Rachel weeps — Steve Garnaas-Holmes, USA

Chemical warfare in Syria and the bombs targeted in response by the United States of America, led to this reflection.   The Empire Feeds Cold and dark clamp down on us. The Empire feeds itself, human bodies as fuel, boots tracking blood. Rachel weeping for her children, we’ve heard it before. The man with the megaphone doesn’t […]

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Then they came for me — Martin Niemöller, Germany

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a […]

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Prayer — Farai Chirisa, Zimbabwe

God, we give you thanks for sending Jesus to give us life. In the midst of wealth we are crushed by poverty, and while we are offered Christ-life in all its fullness, we are surrounded by disease, death and destruction. We are tempted to despair, and yet keep hoping, knowing that you care. At times we […]

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Good Friday Confession — Lawrence Moore, UK

WORD Good Friday Confession, Lawrence Moore Pause before the prayer, allowing God’s Spirit to search your heart.  Make your own confession.  Pause after the prayer to experience the reality of God’s forgiveness. I want to keep my hands smooth, my skin unbroken, my feet unscarred. I don’t want the imprint of the cross on my […]

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Pieta, a Good Friday poem — Ana Blandiana, Romania

The clear pain, the death has brought me back, Submitted to your arms, almost a child. You don’t know whether to be thankful Or to cry For such happiness, Mother. My body, stripped of the mystery Is yours alone. Sweet your tears drip onto my shoulder And gather obediently near the blade. How good it […]

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Good Friday, a Response — Lawrence, Moore, UK

Mark 15:25-39 Response I didn’t sign up for this. Not whips and nails, splinters and thorns, blood and stink and agony. I didn’t sign up for this. Not failure and despair, discouragement and derision, ignominy and ridicule. If it comes to this, I want to walk away too – flee; deny having ever known you. […]

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Good Friday Ritual of the Nails — UK

This service involves each member of the congregation through actions.  Each worshipper receives a large nail upon arrival and is invited to interact with their nail at different points in the service. Following the reading from John 19 and Luke 23, they are invited to hold the nail for a personal reflection.  Later they are invited to […]

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Invocation: Drum-beat Prayer for Divine Rhythm

Might be used as an opening meditation  at a confessional reflective service such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. Can be read by a single voice, multiple voices or responsively. Start in Silence. A drumbeat begins, getting louder than softer. The drumbeat tapers off into a soft background beat for the prayer. O Steady One, […]

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Come, shine in the darkness — Cara Heafey, UK (John 1:5)

God, you are not distant from us You came to us in vulnerability You offered yourself as a gift of love. We pray today for those who are in the midst of darkness The darkness of poverty The darkness of loneliness The darkness of grief The darkness of despair Wherever shadows threaten to overwhelm Wherever […]

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Job 14:1-14  or  

Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24           

Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16        

1 Peter 4:1-8     

Matthew 27:57-66 

or   John 19:38-42

Easter…
banner at Rowville Uniting - Easter- by Margaret Birrell

Easter season intercessions — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Individual candles may be distributed to be used at the close of the prayer. Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing […]

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Soar, a poem — Nicola Slee, Australia:

Used with permission, from Nicola’s book, Seeking the Risen Christa (SPCK, 2011)  which can be purchased at Amazon.   Such a fast one You came running towards us Over the morning grass Then off, off forth on swing Sweeping smooth on a big wind Out of our sight I want to come with you Fly with […]

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Easter drama, at the tomb — Ana Gobledale, UK

A dramatic litany for Easter morning At the Tomb — A litany for 5+ voices 1st voice: Woman, why are you weeping? 1st woman: We mourn these dark days of death and denial. Abandoned, betrayed, forsaken. Left alone. Jesus gone. Where have they laid him? 1st voice: Woman, why are you weeping? 2nd woman: We […]

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All-age Easter communion liturgy — Ana Gobledale, UK

This communion liturgy seeks to be worshipful, educational and inspirational. Children and youth might be used as servers and/or readers.   Welcome & Invitation Here is the table set for our special meal. The bread, the juice, prepared and presented. Ready to be served and shared. We remember Jesus sharing a meal like this with […]

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Alleluia, an Easter prayer — Christian Aid, UK

A worship resource from Christian Aid UK Christ our life, You are alive in the beauty of the earth, In the rhythm of the seasons, In the mystery of time and space, Alleluia. Christ our life, You are alive in the tenderness of touch, In the heartbeat of intimacy, In the insights of solitude, Alleluia. Christ […]

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Easter Prayer, reponsive — Tod Gobledale, UK

Some Christians grapple with the meaning and explanations of resurrection, as both a phenomenon and an experience.  While this prayer uses some traditional language, Tod explores the on-going crucifixion of the Body of Christ today, and the response of the faithful to modern atrocities. Based on John 20: 1-18, an Easter Day reading from the […]

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Spring — Ross Kingham, Australia

Spring We should celebrate This wildest Erupting In Spring. With colours recklessly Splashed everywhere In this the season of new Daily episodes Of wonder And delight. Autumn is turned on its head: Not the richness the life’s ebbing, But buds bursting Hearts thirsting Green shoots on grey branches Marking Not the end, But a million […]

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All-age Easter communion liturgy — Ana Gobledale, UK

This communion liturgy seeks to be worshipful, educational and inspirational. Children and youth might be used as servers and/or readers.   Welcome & Invitation Here is the table set for our special meal. The bread, the juice, prepared and presented. Ready to be served and shared. We remember Jesus sharing a meal like this with […]

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Acts 10:34-43 

or   Jeremiah 31:1-6           

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24      

Colossians 3:1-4

or   Acts 10:34-43             

John 20:1-18 

or   Matthew 28:1-10


Easter season intercessions — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Individual candles may be distributed to be used at the close of the prayer. Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing […]

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Soar, a poem — Nicola Slee, Australia:

Used with permission, from Nicola’s book, Seeking the Risen Christa (SPCK, 2011)  which can be purchased at Amazon.   Such a fast one You came running towards us Over the morning grass Then off, off forth on swing Sweeping smooth on a big wind Out of our sight I want to come with you Fly with […]

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Easter drama, at the tomb — Ana Gobledale, UK

A dramatic litany for Easter morning At the Tomb — A litany for 5+ voices 1st voice: Woman, why are you weeping? 1st woman: We mourn these dark days of death and denial. Abandoned, betrayed, forsaken. Left alone. Jesus gone. Where have they laid him? 1st voice: Woman, why are you weeping? 2nd woman: We […]

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All-age Easter communion liturgy — Ana Gobledale, UK

This communion liturgy seeks to be worshipful, educational and inspirational. Children and youth might be used as servers and/or readers.   Welcome & Invitation Here is the table set for our special meal. The bread, the juice, prepared and presented. Ready to be served and shared. We remember Jesus sharing a meal like this with […]

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Alleluia, an Easter prayer — Christian Aid, UK

A worship resource from Christian Aid UK Christ our life, You are alive in the beauty of the earth, In the rhythm of the seasons, In the mystery of time and space, Alleluia. Christ our life, You are alive in the tenderness of touch, In the heartbeat of intimacy, In the insights of solitude, Alleluia. Christ […]

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Easter Prayer, reponsive — Tod Gobledale, UK

Some Christians grapple with the meaning and explanations of resurrection, as both a phenomenon and an experience.  While this prayer uses some traditional language, Tod explores the on-going crucifixion of the Body of Christ today, and the response of the faithful to modern atrocities. Based on John 20: 1-18, an Easter Day reading from the […]

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Spring — Ross Kingham, Australia

Spring We should celebrate This wildest Erupting In Spring. With colours recklessly Splashed everywhere In this the season of new Daily episodes Of wonder And delight. Autumn is turned on its head: Not the richness the life’s ebbing, But buds bursting Hearts thirsting Green shoots on grey branches Marking Not the end, But a million […]

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Acts 2:14a, 22-32             

Psalm 16             

1 Peter 1:3-9     

John 20:19-31

 

Easter season intercessions — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Individual candles may be distributed to be used at the close of the prayer. Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing […]

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Psalm 16, Responsive Call to Worship, Ana Gobledale, UK

Inspired by Psalm 16 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A 26th Sunday of Pentecost, Year B 3rd Sunday of Pentecost, Year C   Come! Rejoice! For we are in the presence of the Holy One.      We turn our eyes and hearts toward the Light of Love. Be glad and rest secure in the Eternal […]

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Acts 2:14a, 36-41             

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19      

1 Peter 1:17-23                 

Luke 24:13-35

 

Luke 24:13-49 — Prayer: Stay with Us
Theme: The road to Emmaus

Spirit of new hope and promise…

Stay with us in our places of hopelessness and despair.

Spirit of joy and delight…

Stay with us in the shadows of grief and terror.

Spirit of forgiveness and mercy…

Stay with us in the morass of our guilt and shame.

Spirit of abundance and fruitfulness…

Stay with us when we feel lacking and barren.

Spirit of truth and trust…

Stay with us in the mazes of dishonest and deceit we create.

Spirit of wisdom and inspiration…

Stay with us in our fogs of ignorance and dullness.

Spirit of love and comfort…

Stay with us, as you stayed with the disciples, in our eating and our sleeping.

In gratitude for your steadfast presence in our lives,

Empower us to distribute the fruits of your Spirit to others.

 

by Ana Gobledale, United Reformed Church in Great Britain

 

A Prayer based on Acts 2:14a,36-4

God of new beginnings,

Today we remember our baptisms:

A day shrouded in an infant’s hidden memory

A day chiselled in the sharp memory of a teenager

A day gloriously shining in the memory of a new convert.

Your promises live in each of us

Born anew in the waters of baptism

Generation to generation

Your spirit lives in each of us

Walking in your footsteps

Step by step

Your forgiveness lives in each of us

Kneeling in repentance

Open to your Spirit

Welcome into our hearts anew

by Ana Gobledale, United Reformed Church in Great Britain

 

Easter season intercessions — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Individual candles may be distributed to be used at the close of the prayer. Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing […]

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Luke 24:13-35  A dramatic reading, Easter 3A

The encounter on the Emmaus Road — recognizing Jesus Adapted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Reader 1: Narrator Disciple:  Cleopas, standing in for all those who met Jesus along the road Jesus:  the resurrected Reader 1: Our Gospel reading comes from Luke’s account of the encounter on the road to Emmaus.  […]

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Stay with us, a prayer, Luke 24:13-49 — Ana Gobledale, UK

Luke 24:13-49 Third Sunday of Easter, Year A Theme: The road to Emmaus   Spirit of new hope and promise… Stay with us in our places of hopelessness and despair. Spirit of joy and delight… Stay with us in the shadows of grief and terror. Spirit of forgiveness and mercy… Stay with us in the […]

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Prayer: Remembering our baptisms, Acts 2 — Ana Gobledale, UK

Year A: Third Sunday of Easter A Prayer based on Acts 2:14a,36-4   God of new beginnings, Today we remember our baptisms: A day shrouded in an infant’s hidden memory A day chiselled in the sharp memory of a teenager A day gloriously shining in the memory of a new convert. Your promises live in […]

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Acts 2:42-47       

Psalm 23             

1 Peter 2:19-25

John 10:1-10

Prayer of Intercession — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing presence in that darkness, and may your light shine in and through us.  Comfort and strengthen us that we may be beacons of your light to those around us.

Mysterious one, you walk among us, but do not always recognize you in our midst.  Open our eyes to you.  Open our ears and our hearts that we may see you at work in our midst, through our neighbours, in our community.

Source of all power, we pray for our leaders and the leaders of the world at large, that they too may recognize you in unexpected places, that instead of vying for power, they may strive to work with and for their constituents, that they may recognize the value of life of people near and far.  We especially pray for the leaders in [locale of any recent natural or other disaster] as they lead folks in the daunting task of re-imagining and rebuilding their lives.

Maker of the universe, as the world around us bursts into life and colour, we rejoice in your creation.  Help us to be good stewards of our home, the earth, that we so often take for granted.  May we, with awe and wonder, care for your creation: the land, water and air that sustain and nourish us.

Source of comfort and peace, we ask that you be with all those who suffer.  We lift up those who have lost loved ones: through illness, old age, disaster or violence.  We pray especially for those who have lost family and friends in the [include any recent disaster] this past week, those in the middle east whose lives are punctuated by war and unrest, and those here in our cities, for whom violence is an unquestioned part of life, children who walk to and from school fearing for their lives and safety. We ask for your comfort and peace in the face of the fear, anger and grief of loss.

Light of the world, you hear all of our prayers, those spoken aloud and those whispered only in the silence of our hearts.  Cast your light upon us, gracious one.

If prayer candles are being used:

Together with the many silent concerns and intentions within our hearts, in peaceful silence I invite you, when ready, to place your lit candle at the [foot of the cross/ or other location].

Easter season intercessions — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Individual candles may be distributed to be used at the close of the prayer. Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing […]

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Acts 7:55-60

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16        

1 Peter 2:2-10   

John 14:1-14

Easter season intercessions — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Individual candles may be distributed to be used at the close of the prayer. Hope of all hopes, God of new life, of resurrection, we come before you this Easter season, our hearts rejoicing in you.  And yet, despite our joy and hope, we feel the darkness around us.  God, may we know your healing […]

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The Way, Truth and Life –Michael Reiss, UK

inspired by John 14:6  Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A You are the Way Help us to find new ways of Walking You are the Truth Help us to find new ways of Talking You are the Life Help us to find new ways of Living You are Love Help us to find new ways […]

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Acts 17:22-31    

Psalm 66:8-20   

1 Peter 3:13-22

John 14:15-21

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47
or
Psalm 93
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

Acts 1:6-14

Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35      

1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11

John 17:1-11

Acts 2:1-21

or

Numbers 11:24-30          

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b     

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

or

Acts 2:1-21         

John 20:19-23

or

John 7:37-39

 

Come Holy Spirit, a Pentecost prayer — Ana Gobledale, UK

A Prayer for Pentecost (Replace prayer concerns as relevant for the gathered congregation.)   Come, Holy Spirit, come, Breathe into the hearts of your people, like a dove, like a wind, like a flame. Like a dove, find a resting place in our land and around the world, bringing hope and peace. We pray for […]

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Open Table service — Pentecost

  Theme:  Pentecost         A complete worship service weaving together scripture, drama, reflection & conversation Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table   This service is designed for a congregation gathered around tables.  It can easily be adapted for a more traditional setting. The Leader’s Sheet includes the entire service, with […]

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Our Pentecost — Joyce Dent, UK

Pentecost came once – long long, so long ago! What can it mean to us but to inspire perhaps? And yet could it be so that we might know the fire upon our heads and in our souls? Our lives might yet be changed beyond out wildest dreams – or fears? For we might have […]

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And they all understood, Pentecost reflection — Ana Gobledale, UK

And they all understood No missed messages No mixed messages Confusion moves to clarity Discord moves to harmony Cacophony moves to melody Agitation transformed by peace Individualism transformed by community Nationalism transformed by neighbour-sighting Flags waving to declare identity move to tabletops holding a common cup Strangers move into relationship And they all understand Message […]

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Pentecost — Steve Garnaas-Holmes, USA

You breathe in. You breathe out. You breathe fire, the making of stars, the winds of creation. You breathe a Word that goes out and lays hands on people to heal and bless. You breathe God in. and God out. You speak grace in tongues you can’t know. Look at us, walking around, glowing embers. […]

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Acts 2:1-21, Pentecost drama

The script is based on the text in the New Revised Version of the Bible, adapted by Ana Gobledale, UK Ready-to-print script: (for folding into a booklet) WORD Acts 2, 1-21 DRAMA Pentecost  PDF Acts 2, 1-21 DRAMA Pentecost  Actors/Readers: Storyteller, Peter, Disciple 1, Jew 1, Jew 2, Disciples (all congregation) PROPS:   Paper flames:    cut-out […]

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Pentecost Prayer — David Allen, Australia

Spirit of God, come among us on this Pentecost day. Make this day a re-birth-day for your people. Make us passionate in our faith, strong in our commitment, courageous beyond our imagining, and willing to love, and keep on loving, without reservation, we pray. Send your holy wind among us, not as a gentle breeze […]

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Acts 2, Pentecost Live from Jerusalem, Drama

Wirtten by Ana Gobledale, UK This ‘live’ interview of Peter and Andrew might be used as the sermon or message. Parts:  Andreas, Petros, Thaddeus, Reporter   Copies of script ready to download and print: Pentecost Drama Sermon   Word download Pentecost Drama Sermon  PDF download Leader:  Let us imagine ourselves transported through time and space to Jerusalem, […]

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She trusts in me, John 7:38 (hymn) — World Day of Prayer

She that trusts in me from her deepest heart, Shall rivers of living water flow forth. She that trusts in me from her deepest heart, Shall rivers of life flow forth.   She that trusts in me is the theme song for the World Day of Prayer worship service prepared by women of Sweden for […]

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Pentecost opening words — Rex Hunt, Australia

    Gathering Litany for multiple voices Act of Awareness Prayer     Gathering Litany Voice 1   Come, from every corner of the earth, Voice 2   from every time and place Voice 1   from south and north Voice 2   from east and west, Voice 3   gather… Voice 4   gather… Voice 5   gather… Voice 6   gather… […]

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Pentecost Hymn — George Stuart, Australia

    The Second Coming of Christ Tune:   Church Triumphant      Our Lord, our teacher, healer, friend, The One whose love shall never end, Back years ago he lived his life When times were harsh, in days of strife.   We look for signs of his return, But like before, we’re slow to learn. […]

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Season after Pentecost…

1046

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Psalm 8                  

2 Corinthians 13:11-13   

Matthew 28:16-20

S4300112God of Creation  (on reading Genesis 1) — Merryl Blair, Australia

Our God,

We come before you with minds, hearts and eyes open

To the many ways in which you reveal yourself to us:

In the colours of autumn,

In the challenges and possibilities of reading your Word together,

In the complexities of the very human lives

From which we have travelled to this place,

And into which we will re-immerse ourselves when we leave.

 

God of creation,

You invite us to wonder:

To use all our senses to see, touch, smell, hear, and think

As we continue the conversation between timeless truths and

The ever-changing demands of our lives.

In all of our engagement with you,

Keep us centred on the call

To see all of your creation as good;

To recognise every other person as made in your image;

To acknowledge our relationship with sky, earth, water, animals,

And to know you more and more fully

By looking closely, lovingly, at all of these.

Amen.

by Merryl Blair, Australia

Prayer arising from 1 Samuel 3:1-10 — Cara Heafey, UK

Prayers of Approach Second Sunday of Epiphany, Year B Trinity Sunday Second Sunday of Pentecost, Year B   God our creator: You spoke the universe into being Your word is the source of all life You spoke through the prophets You speak to us still We praise you!   Jesus, teacher, storyteller: You spoke and […]

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Genesis 1:1-2:4, a choral reading, Heaven and Earth

Based on  Genesis 1:1-2:4, The Message by Eugene Peterson -Arranged by Scott Ward, USA Lectionary: Trinity Sunday Year A, Epiphany Year B (Genesis 1:1-5), Easter Vigil Years A,B,C       Downloads:  full scripts, ready-to-print: (horizontal versions are easy for readers to hold) Heaven and Earth Choral Reading, Scott Ward WORD Heaven and Earth Choral Reading, Scott […]

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The Cosmic Walk, an interactive ritual

Appropriate for Earth Day, during the Season of Creation and other services focusing on the vastness of creation. The Cosmic Walk, an inter-active ritual with actions and readings, invites participants into the story of the universe. Moving between ‘stations’ along a long rope laid out in a spiral, participants are introduced to 21 major events in the history of […]

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Prayer of adoration — Louise Gough, UK

Loving God who conceived life, originates ingenuity, embraces individuality, welcomes everyone, celebrates diversity, encourages unity, offers serenity, gifts simplicity, lavishes compassion, we worship you!   Living Jesus who breathes our air, walks our streets, feels our pain, sheds tears, enjoys company, bubbles with laughter, holds our hands, we worship you!   Gentle Spirit who strengthens […]

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Spirit of Unity, hear our prayer — Ana Gobledale, UK

A prayer for our church, community and world, originally written for Trinity Sunday     Spirit of Unity,    hear our prayer. We pray for your Church in all its many forms and manifestations: for the churches in our neighbourhood; For [church name], [church name] and our own church, [church name], We pray for those […]

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Solidarity with creation — Lawrence Moore, UK

Photo by Kerry Handasyde, Australia A service for use in personal or corporate devotion focused on creation, perhaps on Earth Day or Trinity Sunday (Year A of the Common Lectionary) when Genesis 1 is read, or during Season of Creation (Creation Time). Reflecting on the universe You promised us the earth and you delivered. You gave […]

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Genesis 18:1-15, (21:1-7)

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19      

Exodus 19:2-8a

Psalm 100           

Romans 5:1-8    

Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)

Matthew 10.1, a reflection — Steve Garnaas-Holmes

The word apostle means “sent.”

We are not given a mandate to judge
or an obligation to convert.
We are not required to argue religion.
We are given power to heal.

We need not muster up the strength.
We are given authority.
Christ is in us to heal.

May I be a healer today;
may I set free those who are bound
by spirits that diminish life.
May I cast out fear with love,
cast out greed with wisdom,
cast out anxiety with calm,
cast out anger and bitterness with deep listening,
cast out hate with forgiveness.

May I bear your spirit of peace,
the authority of blessing,
the power of love.
May I be a healer today.

__________________
To visit Steve’s blog, Unfolding Light, click here.

Blessing for parents — Lauren Mallaby, Australia

Written to be shared with parents and carers at a church-sponsored child care centre. Easily adapted for Mothering Sunday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.   If you made it on time to drop off, you are blessed. If you made it to drop off before pick up, you are blessed. If you made it with bits […]

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Prayer of Intercession for Father’s Day

Mother Father God, creator and sustainer, we thank you for nurturing us like a mother. We praise you that your care and protection surround us like a father. On this Fathering Sunday, we remember all the people who have nurtured us, especially the important men in our lives, those who have seen, not just with […]

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Father’s Day Prayer of Mourning (Luke 15)

While written in response to a specific event, these prayers are easily altered to be applicable today. These prayers were originally written in memory and honour of Jo Cox, Member of Parliament, UK, murdered at her surgery, and her surviving husband, Brenden.  Jo was assassinated primarily for her supportive stand on LGBTQ rights.  Jo was killed the […]

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Genesis 21:8-21

Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17      

Jeremiah 20:7-13

Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18     

Romans 6:1b-11               

Matthew 10:24-39

Genesis 22:1-14

Psalm 13             

Jeremiah 28:5-9

Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18        

Romans 6:12-23               

Matthew 10:40-42

Psalm 89:1-18 redux — Carla Grosch-Miller, UK

Enduring melody,

Your song shall be sung

so long as the earth spins

and the heavens dance.

 

Frail flesh opens its mouth:

You are born again.

 

To songweavers

You are the scale and the tone.

To storytellers

You are the plot and the end.

To all of life

You are breath

and You are beauty.

 

Open my mouth

and my voice shall rise in praise.

 

Awaken me, O Lord, from false understanding.

Keep the limits of my knowing ever before me,

that I might not defame You

or claim too much for myself.

Show me true justice and right mercy,

that I may live humbly and simply

in accordance with the order You ordained

for the flourishing of life.

 

Then my song shall ring with clarion joy,

a call to worship,

an invitation to sing.

 

Used by permission from the author.

from Psalms Redux: Poems and Prayers by Carla A Grosch-Miller, Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2014

Independence from what? for what? a confession — Ana Gobledale

Independence Day for Jamacia for Ghana for the United States of America breaking away from oppression forgive us for the ways we keep others back down, under, behind, invisible breaking away from tyranny forgive us for the ways we claim privilege, power, prestige forgive us when we walk through an open gate and close it […]

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Psalm 89:1-18 redux — Carla Grosch-Miller, UK

Enduring melody, Your song shall be sung so long as the earth spins and the heavens dance.   Frail flesh opens its mouth: You are born again.   To songweavers You are the scale and the tone. To storytellers You are the plot and the end. To all of life You are breath and You […]

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Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

Psalm 45:10-17

or

Song of Solomon 2:8-13               

Zechariah 9:9-12

Psalm 145:8-14 Romans 7:15-25a             

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Genesis 25:19-34

Psalm 119:105-112          

Isaiah 55:10-13

Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13       

Romans 8:1-11

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Genesis 28:10-19a

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24    

Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19

or

Isaiah 44:6-8

Psalm 86:11-17

Romans 8:12-25               

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Contacting God, Children’s Message — Tod & Ana Gobledale, UK

Preparation:   Bag with telephone inside.  The telephone should be easily recognizable, as a telephone, by the children. Gather the children around. I like to face the children, with my back to the congregation.  I either sit on the floor or on a child’s small chair.  The children either sit on the floor around me or […]

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Genesis 29:15-28

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b

or

Psalm 128           

1 Kings 3:5-12

Psalm 119:129-136          

Romans 8:26-39               

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

 

Psalm 105 prayer, Australia

Inspired by Psalm 105 Lectionary for Year A: 8th Sunday after Pentecost 3th Sunday after Pentecost 16th Sunday after Pentecost We remember your wonderful works and we give thanks We sing praises, we tell of your strength, your faithfulness, your holiness, and we ask, how do we bring glory to you? Your judgements are over […]

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Genesis 32:22-31

Psalm 17:1-7, 15               

Isaiah 55:1-5

Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21      

Romans 9:1-5    

Matthew 14:13-21

Sending forth relating to Genesis 32 — Ana Gobledale, UK

by Geoffrey Clarke, UK

God’s peace: carry, keep and hold you.
God’s love: nourish, bless and enfold you.
God’s spirit: inspire, lift and mold you.
May God, merciful and just, help you persevere on the path before you.

 

Hiroshima Day, 6 August

What words can express the horrors of war? The atrocity of dropping an atom bomb on Hiroshima?  Nagasaki? The complicity of citizens? The heart-wrenching desire to set things more right. The craving for forgiveness and atonement? Spirit of Peace, hear our prayer. “U.S. airman Matthew McGunigle photographed the Hiroshima blast. After the war, he entered […]

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Genesis 32:22-32 drama, wrestling with God – Pentecost 9A

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A Sermon Drama Genesis 32: 22-32 Wrestle with God, receive the blessing. Adapted by Ana Gobledale, UK   Downloads of full text, ready-to-print and use: DRAMA Genesis 32, 22-32, Jacob wrestles PDF DRAMA Genesis 32, 22-32, Jacob wrestles WORD The scripture passage recounts Jacob’s saga, his trials and tribulations. Let […]

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Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b           

1 Kings 19:9-18

Psalm 85:8-13   

Romans 10:5-15               

Matthew 14:22-33

Genesis 45:1-15

Psalm 133           

Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

Psalm 67             

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

 

Genesis 45:1-15 dramatic reading, Pentecost 11A — Joseph

Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. The text used comes primarily from the New Revised Version of the Bible.   Storyteller (leader/narrator): Today’s Hebrew Bible reading is taken from the book of Genesis. We are reading from chapter 45, beginning with the first verse. Before we hear today’s reading, here is a recap … Today’s […]

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Matthew 15:21-18, Canaanite woman Drama, Pentecost 11A

Jesus shows mercy   Storyteller (narrator): Today’s New Testament reading is a story of Jesus being moved from judgment to mercy. We are reading from Matthew chapter 15, beginning with verse 21. Mathew writes:   Jesus left that place, and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from […]

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Exodus 1:8-2:10

Psalm 124           

Isaiah 51:1-6

Psalm 138           

Romans 12:1-8

Matthew 16:13-20

 

Matthew 16:13-20 drama, Who do you think I am?

Matthew 16:13-20 (adapted from NRSV) 12th Sunday of Pentecost Adapted by Ana Gobledale, UK Matthew 16, 13-20 Drama WORD Matthew-16,13-20 Drama PDF Readers: Storyteller, Jesus, Simon Peter, Disciple 2 (optional) Storyteller: Today’s reading comes from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 16, beginning with verse 13. Jesus, Peter and the other disciples enter the district of Caesarea Philippi. Listen […]

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Psalm 138, Call to Worship — Ana Gobledale, UK

Give thanks to God! Celebrate God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. Sing of the ways of God, for God is magnificent!   or select a more traditional last line:  for great is the glory of God! Psalm 138 is a Common Lectionary reading on the 12th Sunday of Pentecost in Years A, B and C.

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Exodus 1 Drama — Ana Gobledale, UK

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A Ready-to-Act:  a story from Exodus 1:8-2:10 — Ana Gobledale, UK Characters:  1) Narrator, 2) Pharoah,  3) Pharoah’s Daughter, 4) Miriam,  5) Midwife Shiphrah,  6) Midwife Puah Provide large-font copies for all actor/readers; no memorization required. Print landscape with two columns to avoid hiding mouths behind sheets. Narrator:   Now […]

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Psalm 138 – for 2 voices — Ana Gobledale, UK

12th Sunday after Pentecost, Year A Psalm 138 – for 2 voices Voice 1 lifts prayers directly to God. Voice 2 reflects on the nature of God. Worship Leader:   Hear the grateful words of the Psalmist. Voice 1: I give you thanks, O God, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; […]

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Ready-to-Act:  a story from Exodus 1:8-2:10 — Ana Gobledale, UK

Characters:  1) Narrator, 2) Pharoah,  3) Pharoah’s Daughter, 4) Miriam,  5) Midwife Shiphrah,  6) Midwife Puah

Provide large-font copies for all actor/readers; no memorization required. Print landscape with two columns to avoid hiding mouths behind sheets.

 

Narrator:   Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

He said to his people,

Pharaoh:    Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we.

Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.

Narrator:   Therefore the Egyptians set taskmasters over the Israelites to oppress them

with forced labor. They built supply cities for Pharaoh.  But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.  The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them. The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

Pharaoh:    When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.

Narrator:   But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.  So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them,

Pharaoh:    Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?”

Narrator:   The midwives said to Pharaoh,

Shiphrah and Puah (midwives):  Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”

Narrator:   So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.  And because the midwives feared God, God gave them families.  Then Pharaoh commanded all his people,

Pharaoh:    Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.

Narrator:   Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with tar.  She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. The child’s sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river.   She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him, and said,

Pharaoh’s Daughter:    This must be one of the Hebrews’ children.

Narrator:   Then the baby’s sister, Miriam, said to Pharaoh’s daughter,

Miriam:      Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?

Pharaoh’s Daughter:    Yes.

Narrator:   So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her,

Pharaoh’s Daughter:   Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.

Narrator:   So the woman took the child and nursed it.  When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses because,

Pharaoh’s Daughter:  I drew him out of the water.

Exodus 3:1-15

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b            

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 26:1-8      

Romans 12:9-21               

Matthew 16:21-28

Psalm 105 prayer, Australia

Inspired by Psalm 105 Lectionary for Year A: 8th Sunday after Pentecost 3th Sunday after Pentecost 16th Sunday after Pentecost We remember your wonderful works and we give thanks We sing praises, we tell of your strength, your faithfulness, your holiness, and we ask, how do we bring glory to you? Your judgements are over […]

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Contacting God, Children’s Message — Tod & Ana Gobledale, UK

Preparation:   Bag with telephone inside.  The telephone should be easily recognizable, as a telephone, by the children. Gather the children around. I like to face the children, with my back to the congregation.  I either sit on the floor or on a child’s small chair.  The children either sit on the floor around me or […]

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Romans 12:9-21, a prayer — Ana Gobledale, UK

Proper 17 13th Sunday after Pentecost – Year A 3 September 2017       Paul makes it sound so easy. Just be sincere, determined, altruistic. Yet we find ourselves hesitant, shifty, unreliable, selfish. Just be zealous, hopeful, patient. Yet we feel tired, desperate, anxious. Just be generous, hospitable, harmonious. Yet we find ourselves hoarding, […]

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Exodus 12:1-14

Psalm 149           

Ezekiel 33:7-11

Psalm 119:33-40               

Romans 13:8-14               

Matthew 18:15-20

Exodus 14:19-31

Psalm 114

or

Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21

Genesis 50:15-21

Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13     

Romans 14:1-12               

Matthew 18:21-35

Exodus 16:2-15

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45      

Jonah 3:10-4:11

Psalm 145:1-8   

Philippians 1:21-30          

Matthew 20:1-16

Psalm 105 prayer, Australia

Inspired by Psalm 105 Lectionary for Year A: 8th Sunday after Pentecost 3th Sunday after Pentecost 16th Sunday after Pentecost We remember your wonderful works and we give thanks We sing praises, we tell of your strength, your faithfulness, your holiness, and we ask, how do we bring glory to you? Your judgements are over […]

Read full text

 

World Communion Sunday

Exodus 17:1-7

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16        

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

Psalm 25:1-9      

Philippians 2:1-13            

Matthew 21:23-32

 

Prayer inspired by Psalm 78

Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20

Psalm 19             

Isaiah 5:1-7

Psalm 80:7-15   

Philippians 3:4b-14         

Matthew 21:33-46

Exodus 32:1-14

Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23      

Isaiah 25:1-9

Psalm 23             

Philippians 4:1-9              

Matthew 22:1-14

Exodus 33:12-23

Psalm 99             

Isaiah 45:1-7

Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13)     

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10  

Matthew 22:15-22

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17        

Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

Psalm 1                

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8    

Matthew 22:34-46

 

Reformation Sunday 

Worship resources:

Reconciling prayers of intercession for Reformation Sunday — UK

God of Grace, shepherd us Reconciling Prayer for Reformation Sunday – WORD Reconciling Prayer for Reformation Sunday – PDF Using a sung or spoken response:  Shep-herd us, O God, beyond our wants, be-yond our fears, from death in-to life. Click here for music.        God of grace, shepherd us.                    Sung/spoken response:  Shepherd us, O God, […]

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Reformation Sunday Children’s Message — Ana & Tod Gobledale, UK

Standing up to bullies:  Anna & Martin make change (reform) happen   I have something in my bag. What’s this? … DVD – Frozen Who has seen Frozen? Who are the characters?  Who do you see here? …(on the cover):   Kristof, Svens (deer), Elsa (ice), Anna (red hair), Olaf (snowman), Prince Hans Who’s the bad guy?  […]

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Observation of All Saints Day (1 November)

Joshua 3:7-17

Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37      

Micah 3:5-12

Psalm 43             

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13  

Matthew 23:1-12

God’s Angel, drama of Exodus 20 — Ana Gobledale

22nd Sunday of Pentecost, Year A Exodus 20:20-22a & 23:20   What do we think about ‘angels’?  What words express the phenomenon called ‘angel’ in the Bible? This dramatisation in which God promises to send an ‘angel’ can be used to open up reflection and discussion on the subject. Drama, Exodus 20 PDF Drama, Exodus […]

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Remembrance Sunday, UK  — Click here for Remembrance Day resources.

 

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25

Psalm 78:1-7      

Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16

or

Amos 5:18-24

Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20

or

Psalm 70             

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18                

Matthew 25:1-13

 

Prayer inspired by Psalm 78

Translated from Spanish by Katie Fiegenbaum

Questions for the teacher
(In light of Matthew 25: 1-13)

Perhaps you are asking me, teacher
to be numb to the needs
of those who have been mistaken in life?
Perhaps you expect me to continue on my path
without consideration for who is by my side,
who asks me for something that I can give,
who waits for a gesture of solidarity.
Perhaps I should judge my neighbors
for their forgetfulness, for their exhaustion,
for their mistakes or for anything else.

Was it not my mission, the one you taught me,
to clothe the naked,
to break bread with the hungry,
to give water to those who are thirsty,
to visit those who are lonely,
to accompany those in need,
to liberate those who are oppressed?
Should I deny them a little oil
just to be able to save myself?
Could I, in your name,
abandon others outside?
Oh, how beautiful the celebration will be,
how abundant the table will be,
how generous the groom will be…
Can I ignore the cries
of those who also want to be part
of the celebration of your Realm?

I cannot, Jesus.
I am sorry, but I cannot.
Perhaps I will stay outside,
perhaps my oil will not be enough
to await you with my lamp lit.
But it would not be true to your Gospel
if I thought solely of me,
if my aim was to save myself in solitude.

I do not know the day, nor the time that you will arrive
that the generous celebration of your Kingdom
will be heralded with music and with dancing,
with wine and with abundance,
that the hour of justice and fulfillment
will have arrived once and for all.

Even so, good Jesus,
I cannot selfishly hoard that oil…
Someone needs it, someone is asking for it
and someone would be left out of your celebration
if we do not share it.

Preguntas al maestro
(A la luz de Mateo 25:1-13)

¿Acaso me pides, maestro,
que sea insensible a la necesidad
de quien en la vida se ha equivocado?
¿Acaso esperas que siga mi camino
sin considerar a quien tengo a mi lado,
a quien me pide algo que puedo darle,
a quien espera un gesto de solidaridad?
¿Acaso debo juzgar a mis prójimos
por sus olvidos, por su cansancio,
por sus descuidos o por lo que fuere?
¿No era mi misión, la que me enseñaste,
vestir al desnudo,
compartir el pan con el hambriento,
dar de beber a quien tiene sed,
visitar a las personas solas,
acompañar a quien necesita,
liberar a quien sufre opresión?
¿Debo negar ahora un poco de aceite
sólo para acceder a salvarme yo?
¿Puedo, acaso, en tu nombre,
dejar afuera a otras personas?
Por bonita que sea la fiesta,
por abundante que sea la mesa,
por generoso que sea el novio…
¿puedo desoír el clamor
de quienes también quieren ser parte
de la fiesta de tu Reino?

Yo no puedo, Jesús.
Lo siento, pero no puedo.
Quizá me quede afuera,
quizá mi aceite no alcance
para esperarte con mi lámpara encendida.
Pero no sería fiel a tu Evangelio
si pensara solamente en mí,
si mi objetivo fuera salvarme en soledad.

No conozco el día, tampoco la hora en que llegarás
para que la fiesta generosa de tu Reino
anuncie con música y con bailes,
con vino y con abundancia,
que la hora de la justicia y de la plenitud
ha llegado de una vez para siempre.

Aún así, buen Jesús,
no puedo quedarme egoístamente con aquel aceite…
Alguien lo necesita, alguien lo pide
y alguien se quedaría afuera de tu fiesta
si no lo compartiera.

 

Originally posted on https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/3566/ , Gifts in Open Hands, a blog created by Maren Tirabassi, USA

Judges 4:1-7

Psalm 123           

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12                

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11  

Matthew 25:14-30

Reign of Christ Sunday

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Psalm 100           

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Psalm 95:1-7a   

Ephesians 1:15-23           

Matthew 25:31-46

Psalm 100, Words of Gathering- Ana Gobledale, UK

Pentecost 25, Year A Responsive reading inspired by Psalm 100     Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth. We will worship God with gladness; Come into God’s presence with singing. We sing, for God made us, and we are God’s people. Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and praise. We give thanks to […]

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Year A Ordinary 18, by Cerezo Barredo

Click here to view Cerezo’s artwork for each Sunday of Lectionary Year A.

“There are liberation theologians … and there are ‘liberation painters’. Maximino Cerezo Barredo is one of them. His drawings have been running for the past decades in Latin American publications and passing from one person to another without copyrights or royalties, photocopying photocopies until they wear out and become almost unrecognisable … as a true “property of the Latin American People” they are. Now they entered the time of digitization”    — quoted from the website