I don’t know about you, but I’m in that slump time when it feels like words have failed me. I have a holiday coming up but until then I need some liturgi-help! If you do too, here’s some from your friends and colleagues. Feel free to use or adapt or be inspired. If you use these, please give credit in print or video descriptions, but verbal attribution isn’t necessary. Thanks!
Centering Prayer (Inspired by Mark 6) by Michelle L. Torigian
Divine Creator of the Sabbath,
This is the day of rest and reflection, and yet, our minds race ahead towards the rest of the week or lag behind, holding the worries of yesterday.
And in this space, the Christ is calling for us to “come away…rest for a while.”
So in this space… breathe. Breathe in the God of peace. Breathe out worries. Breathe in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Breathe out insecurities.
Before we step into this new week, may we find the spaces to rest for a while. May we know that stepping away from life’s necessities will clear our minds to start this new week with renewed spirits.
Bless our minds, our hearts, our souls, loving God.
Call to Worship based on Psalm 23, by Teri Peterson
(1 and 2 should be roughly half the congregation each…divide however you will, by which side they sit on, what colour they’re wearing, alphabet, etc)
Leader: Come, the shepherd is calling.
All: The sheep know the shepherd’s voice.
1: Come and rest
2: Come and be nourished
1: Come and be comforted
2: Come and be fed
1: Come and be led into righteousness
2: Come and know goodness and mercy
All: The shepherd is calling, and we know his voice.
Prayers of the People by Teri Peterson
Holy God, your grace is amazing
surrounding and filling
We give you thanks
for your unbounded love
for glimpses of your kingdom
for faith lived and visible
for hope that will not let go
for joy that has come in the morning.
Where weeping lingers
where grief overwhelms
where colour divides
where fires rage
where hate is on display
where love is unacceptable
where cynicism threatens
Give us courage to reach out a hand.
And where we have tried to pull away—
ignoring our part
whitewashing our history
accepting lies as truth —
stand firm in your call and your promise
and give us courage to live your truth
according to your way
in order that all may have life.
O Christ the master carpenter
use your tools well in the workshop of your world.
Build us into your household
and fill the house with your Spirit.
Hold us together and never let us go.
When we are tempted to move on
from Haiti and Cuba and South Africa and Yemen,
from Charleston and Ferguson and Pulse,
from (local place associated with negative news)
give us your heart, and break us open
to tear down dividing walls
to love one another as you love us.
When we are tempted to downplay joy
as a sacrifice to our fear
as a new prison for those now free
give us courage
to rejoice with those who rejoice
to celebrate love and commitment
to insist that your covenant is indeed for all
and to love one another,
even beyond the measures of our mind.
You, O God, are the builder of the house
and we your living stones.
Ground us in the word preached
by your apostles and prophets
and build us up into your kingdom
with room for all
and dividing walls for none.
Open our hands as you open our hearts
move us by your Spirit to reach out
beyond our comfort
beyond our understanding
into the work of your hope and promise.
We pray in the name of the One whose empty hands stretch out to all creation, creating one humanity fit for your kingdom, Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray together…
A house blessing for moving out — by Nancy Young (written when helping her parents move out of the house we lived in for over 40 years.)
Gracious and loving God,
You have abundantly blessed this family in this house.
In this house, your love filled our lives, guided our growing and surrounded us in all things.
In this house, we have worked and played, laughed and cried.
In this house, we have said hello and goodbye to one another, always with the assurance that love would bring us together again.
In this house, strangers have become friends, guests have become family; we have learned to welcome the stranger and guest wherever we go.
In this house, sorrow has been shared, grief has been comforted, joys have been celebrated, hopes and dreams have been spoken and realized.
In this house, a mother and a father taught their children
To value and respect each human being.
To work with integrity and purpose.
To be responsible and accountable for all that we are, all that we do, and all that we say.
To practice hospitality with grace.
To value friends and family above all else.
In this house, love was practiced, taught, and lived.
Gracious and loving God,
May your love go with us, continue to surround us, and may your love be with those who come to this house after us.
Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland, where she ministers to a fantastic congregation in the most beautiful place, and lives in perhaps the nation’s best manse with the best view. She is the liturgy writer for the BibleWorm podcast, blogs (very) occasionally at CleverTitleHere, co-authored the book Who’s Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation, and serves on the RevGalBlogPals board.
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