A Reworking of Wesley’s covenant renewal

I am completely yours, God. 
Show me what I need to do. 
Place me with the people you will. Even if it hurts. 
Use my skills or set them aside as you need. 
Lift me up or bring me down. 
Give me what I need. Or don’t. 
Because I freely offer to you my whole self.

Holy One, 
my Creator, my Redeemer and my Sustainer, 
you are my God, 
and I am your child.

Let it always be so.

May these promises be blessed
by your wisdom and love.

Amen.

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For the New Year – Luke 2:22-40

One: The circle of the year has turned again.
All: Endings and beginnings.
Birth and death.
Changes and transitions.

One: The circle of the year has turned again.
All: But in all of the change,
there is one sure thing –
God is present.

One: God is present.
All: We are not alone.
One: We are not alone.
All: Thanks be to God!

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Christmas Communion Liturgy

Invitation

*Hymn: “What Child is This?” Words: William Chatterton Dix. Tune: GreensleevesIn the Public Domain.

One: God is with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Lift up your hearts!
All: We lift them up to God!
One: Let us give thanks to God, our God!
All: It is right to give God thanks, and praise.
One: On this night of unexpected angels,
on this night of guarding shepherds,
on this night of awestruck fathers,
on this night of tired, wondering, mothers,
and on this night of Abundant Life,
we give you thanks, God of all Creation!
All: Heaven and earth are full of your Glory!
Hosanna in the highest!

One: We give you thanks that you
have been with your creation,
from before it came to be.
We give you thanks that you
continue to be with your creation –
in new life aborning,
in times of calm,
in times of chaos,
in death, and beyond!
We give you thanks that –
no matter what we have done,
or have failed to do,
you invite us back into relationship with you;
again and again.
We give you thanks that you
given us the gift of your love –
unearned,
unasked for,
unbelievable –
a gift filled with grace and wonder!
We give you thanks, God of all Creation!
All: Heaven and earth are full of your Glory!
Hosanna in the highest!

One: And so, with all Creation,
with the earth, the sea, the sky,
and all the creatures that live within it,
we join with your angels, and sing our joy:
All: (Tune: What Child is This / Greensleeves)
O Holy, Holy, Holy God;
O God of earth and heaven.
Creation sings, all heaven rings,
acknowledging our salvation.
Hosanna in the highest –
Blessed is the One who comes
In the name of our God
Hosanna in the highest!

One: And you give us this great gift:
Child of Life,
Prince of Peace,
Emmanuel – God-with-us!
In the birth of a tiny baby,
born on the edge,
born in a shack,
visited by the poor,
guarded by his parent’s love,
you give us yourSelf!
Alleluia!
All: Alleluia!
One: Alleluia!
All: Alleluia!
One: Alleluia!
All: Alleluia!
One: He laughed with those who laughed,
he grieved with those who grieve,
he listened and taught,
but most of all – he loved.
He loved us with a love
that pointed us back to you.
He loved us with a love
that shocked and challenged.
He loved us with a love
that raised up the lowly,
and sent the powerful away
to reflect and learn.
He loved us into new relationship with You.
Your Christmas gift to the world.
Thank you, loving God!
All: Thank you, loving God!
One: On the night before his life would be ended,
ended because overwhelming love can sometimes
cause fear to react in violent ways,
Jesus sat with his friends, celebrating,
like we sit with our friends, celebrating.
Together, they remembered the story
of the people Israel, brought out of slavery
by your love.
During the meal, Jesus took a loaf of bread
and blessed it,
giving thanks to you, God, for your gift of life.
He broke that bread and passed it to his disciples,
and said, “This is my body, given for you.
Each time you eat this, remember me.”
When the meal was almost over,
Jesus took a cup of wine, and blessed it,
giving thanks to you, God, for your gift of love.
He lifted that cup, passing it to his disciples,
and said, “This is my life’s blood. This is my promise.
This is for you and for the world.
Each time you drink this, remember me.”
So we eat, we drink and we remember.
A tiny baby born in a shack.
A great teacher.
God-with-us – then and now.
We remember.
All: (Tune: What Child is this/Greensleeves)
O Christ has died,
O Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.
Yes, Christ has died!
Yes, Christ is risen!
The Christ will come again!

One: Send your spirit upon these gifts,
God of all love,
that they, and we, might truly be Christ’s body,
living his love in the world,
this Christmastide,
every day,
all our lives.
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory is yours, God most Holy,
now and forever. Amen.
All: Source of all life,
Divine Mother and Father of us all,
may your Name be held sacred by all creation.
May your kingdom and your will be lived here,
(as it is lived by that
great communion of saints
who have entered your Household!)
We ask that what we need –
what we really need –
would be provided.
We ask that you would forgive me my sins –
and help me to forgive the people
who have sinned against me.
Keep me from
that which would break me completely.
Help me to recognize,
and stand in the face of, evil
knowing that you hold me safe.
Yours is the kingdom.
Yours is the power.
Yours is the glory.
Not ours. Yours.
Yesterday. Today. Forever.
Let it be so.

The Bread is Broken / The Cup is Filled

Communion is shared.

Prayer after Communion:
All: For this Christmas gift,
thank you, God.
May it’s sweetness
be on our lips
and in our hearts,
as a reminder of your love.
Amen.

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Christmas Candle Lighting

Call to Gather/Christmas Candle:
One: Wait. Watch. Wonder. Waken.
All: This is the coming of our Christ!
One: Wait. Watch. Wonder. Waken.
All: This is the moment of our God!
One: And, now, we celebrate!
All: And, now, we celebrate!
One: But what are we celebrating?
Is it just the birth of a child?
Is it just the something that happened
2000 years ago?
Is it just an old, old story?
Or is it more?
Are we celebrating
the birth in our lives,
the messengers of God,
the people who do the jobs
no others are willing to do,
the mother who hopes against hope,
the father who watches and wonders?
Are we celebrating Christ now?
Are we celebrating Emmanuel –
God-with-us?
All: We are!
One: Where are the people who are celebrating!?
All: Here!
One: What are you celebrating?
All: A baby.
A child.
The Christ.

One: When will you celebrate?
All: Now.
Tomorrow.
Every day of our lives!

One: How will you celebrate?
All: Living hope.
Living love.
Living these things
with neighbour and stranger.

One: With God?
All: With God’s love, filling our lives!
One: Alleluia.
All: Alleluia!
ALLELUIA! AMEN!

Candle Lighting Hymn: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Opening Prayer:
All: With Christmas joy,
alive in our lives,
we come to you, O God!
Wondering at the stars,
listening to the angels,
trembling with the shepherds,
knowing that you are with us!
Knowing that you are with the world!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Amen!

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Advent Candle Lighting – Advent 4 – Luke 1:26-38

Call to Gather/Advent Candles:
One: Wait. Watch. Wonder. Waken.
All: This is the Advent of our Christ!
One: Wait. Watch. Wonder. Waken.
All: This is the Advent of our God!
One: And, now, we waken!
All: And, now, we waken!
One: Because we can’t only wait.
We can’t only watch.
We can’t only wonder.
We are called to be.
To be in the world and of the world
and with the world.
To be God’s people –
awake to God’s grace!
Just like Mary.
She chose,
in the face of oppression,
in the face of consequence,
to say, “YES!”
To God.
To Christ.
To miracle.
To life and life abundant.
Where are the people who are awakening!?
All: Here!
One: To what are you waking?
All: A baby.
A child.
The Christ.

One: When will you wake?
All: In 13 (6) days.
In nine months.
Right now.

One: How will you waken?
All: With hope.
With love.
With each other.

One: With God?
All: With God’s love, filling our lives!
One: Alleluia.
All: Alleluia!
ALLELUIA! AMEN!

Candle Lighting song: “Come Let us Walk” Music: Bruce Harding (c) 2010. (see )

Opening Prayer:
All: We want to say, “Yes,” God!
We want to say yes to Christ.
We want to say yes to life.
We want to say yes
to hope and wonder and joy.
Help us, we pray,
to stand against fear,
to stand against injustice,
to stand against everything
that tries to hide the world
from your love.
Help us to wake up
to you.
This morning.
Every morning.
Amen.

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Advent 3 – Advent Candle Lighting – Luke 1:39-55 – “Wonder”

Call to Gather/Advent Candles:
One: Wait. Watch. Wonder. Waken.
All: This is the Advent of our Christ!
One: Wait. Watch. Wonder. Waken.
All: This is the Advent of our God!
One: And so we wonder.
All: And so we wonder.
One: We wonder where mystery has gone.
We wonder where miracle is hidden.
We wonder if we still have the ability to wonder.
To hope.
To dream.
We wonder if the song of a woman
born to poverty and powerlessness,
but carrying in her body and arms
One who would change the world,
could be true.
Today.
Now.
Where are the people who wonder?
All: Here.
One: What are you wondering on?
All: A baby.
A child.
The Christ.

One: How long will you wonder?
All: 20 days.
Nine months.
All our lives.

One: How will you wonder?
All: With hope.
With love.
With each other.

One: With God?
All: With God’s love, filling our lives!
One: Alleluia.
All: Alleluia!
ALLELUIA! AMEN!

Candle Lighting song: “Come Let us Walk” Music: Bruce Harding (c) 2010. Words: Isaiah 2:5

Opening Prayer:
All: Turn us, God.
Turn us around
to see the wonder
of your Presence.
In each other,
in neighbour,
in the stranger.
Turn us, God.
Turn us around.
Turn us upside down.
As we wait.
As we watch.
As we wonder.
Make us new,
in your Love.
In Christ’s name we ask it!
May it be so!

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Advent 3 – Communion Liturgy – Luke 1:39-55

Invitation

*Hymn: “What Wondrous Love is This”
Words: Verses 1,2,4 Richard Bott (c) 2011 Creative Commons – BY-NC-SA
Verse 3: American folk hymn (1840). In the Public Domain.

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul?
What wondrous love is this,
O my soul?
What wondrous love is this,
that brought sweet Mary’s bliss,
that Child of Life to us,
O my soul, O my soul?
That Child of Life to us,
O my soul?

The Christ-child lives in me,
in my soul, in my soul!
The Christ-child lives in me,
in my soul!
The Christ-child lives in me,
and sets my spirit free,
His hands in the world to be,
for it’s soul, for it’s soul!
His hands in the world to be,
for it’s soul.

To God and to the Lamb
I will sing, I will sing!
To God and to the Lamb
I will sing!
To God and to the Lamb
who is the great I Am,
while millions join the theme
I will sing, I will sing;
while millions join the theme
I will sing.

This Advent-tide I’ll wait,
in God’s love, in God’s love.
This Advent-tide I’ll wait,
in God’s love.
This Advent-tide I’ll wait,
and at Christ’s table pray,
’till all the world shall eat,
in God’s love, in God’s love,
’till all the world shall eat,
in God’s love.

One: God is with you.
All: And also with you. / And with your spirit.
One: Lift up your hearts!
All: We lift them up to God.
One: Let us give thanks to God, our God!
All: It is right to give God thanks and praise!
Two: From the very beginning of the beginning, God,
you waited.
You watched.
You wondered.
Then, when the moment
(even though there were no moments)
when the moment was right,
your Advent ended –
and you brought everything into being!
One: Light!
Matter!
The stars and planets!
Water and earth!
Life!
You brought everything into being!
Alleluia!
All: Alleluia!
Two: And people. Us!
People who laugh and cry.
People who live and love.
People who are born and people who die.
People who live their lives
each and every day.
People from the east and the west,
the north and the south.
People of all lands and races,
all faiths and places.
One: People who have lived lives,
and people who live lives,
trying to understand who they are,
trying to understand who their neighbours are,
trying to understand who you are.
People like us, God.
All: People like us, God.
One: And, like us, sometimes people
lived out of your love.
Sometimes,
they understood how to love you,
and how to love their neighbours,
and how to love themselves.
But,
sometimes,
they didn’t.
People like us, God.
All: People like us, God.
Two: Sometimes they didn’t.
Sometimes they didn’t understand.
Sometimes they didn’t want to understand.
Sometimes, because of fear,
or anger,
or want,
or greed,
people stopped loving each other.
Stopped loving themselves.
Stopped loving you.
One: Or they forgot,
how important you were to who they are.
But you sent teachers,
you sent prophets,
you sent Grandmothers and Grandfathers,
to tell the story of your love –
to shout the story of your love –
to sing the story of your love –
and call them back again.
Two: You call us back again.
And so, with all of the voices of the heavens,
with all of the creatures of the land,
the sea and the air,
we shout:
All: Holy, holy Lord,
God of Love and Life,
The heavens and earth are full of your glory,
HOSANNAH in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes in your Name!
HOSANNAH in the highest!

Two: You are Blessed, God most Holy!
When the time was right,
Jesus came to be among us.
Born into this life,
seeing your grace revealed in all things,
he laughed with those who laughed,
and mourned with those who mourned.
Through your love, he healed the sick,
he welcomed the outcast,
he challenged those in power,
and the structures that kept them there.
And he called us back to your love.
He calls us back to your love.
As a tiny baby, as a teen, as an elder,
before and after
in the presence of the Holy Spirit,
the Christ laughs and cries,
heals and welcomes,
challenges and loves,
again and again and again.
One: We have been told that,
on the night before he was taken
to be tortured to death on a cross,
Jesus sat with his disciples.
Ate with them, in a feast of remembrance.
They remembered God’s acts of salvation,
bringing Israel’s people out of slavery,
into a new land of hope and wonder.
They told the story as it had been told
for countless generations,
and would be told far into the future –
giving thanks to you, God of all love,
for bread and for wine,
but, most of all for the covenant of your love.
Two: Jesus took a loaf of bread,
asked your blessing upon it,
broke it,
and gave it to his disciples saying:
One: Take this – all of you – and eat it.
This is me. My Body. Given for you.
Each time you eat it, remember me.
Two: Close to the meal’s end,
he took a cup filled with wine,
asked your blessing upon it,
and gave it to his disciples saying:
One: Take this – all of you – and drink it.
This is me. This is my promise in my life’s blood –
poured out for you and for the world.
Each time you drink it, remember me.
Two: So we, his disciples,
eat and drink and remember.
All: We eat and drink and remember.
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

One: God, we ask your blessing on this bread
and on this cup.
We ask that your Holy Spirit would fill it and fill us,
that we might truly be Christ’s body in the world.
Fill our souls with your Presence,
that we might fill the world with your Love!
Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all is yours, God most holy,
now and forever. Amen!
All: (Your version of Jesus’ Praye)

Bread is broken and Cup is Filled

Prayer after Communion:
All: Our souls magnify you, O God.
Our spirits rejoice in you, our Saviour.
For you are mighty
and have done great things,
and Holy is your Name.
You lift those who have nothing
into our places at the table.
And you challenge us,
to sit with them.
Learning who they are.
Knowing that they are yours.
And you love us,
all of us.
Poor and rich.
Powerful and powerless.
Holy is your Name!
Amen!

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