A worship opening remembering & recognizing that *we* are treaty #idlenomore

I’m a minister in The United Church of Canada. I’ve been asking myself What would it do if we began each worship service in the Christian congregations we serve with:

“Giving thanks to the Creator of all things,
we acknowledge that we gather on the traditional lands
of people of the Katzie First Nation (in the case of where I live and serve.)
May we find ways of seeking justice,
of loving kindness
and walking humbly – together.”

I wonder what that reminder would do to us
and to our relations with our First Nations neighbours…
and to our living out of “loving God, loving our neighbours as we love ourselves.”

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Liturgical words for “Second Sunday of Epiphany” – Year C

Texts can be found at:

Call to Gather

O: I know God is Calling.
I hear it. I feel it.
But I’m not ready!
A: You’re not ready?
O: I’ve got so much living to do.
So many people to see.
So many places to go.
A: How do you know that isn’t your Call:
to live, to see, to go?

O: Maybe.
But I’m just not ready!
A: Neither was Jesus.
O: What?!
A: Jesus didn’t think he was ready, either.
His mom had to give him a nudge.

O: His mom?
A: His mom!
Sometimes we’re more ready
than we know.
So – listen to your mom.
Listen to us.
Live. See. Go.
Be with Christ!

O: Now?
A: Now!
For as much as we can,
we’ll be with you.
We’ll be together
as we worship God!

Prayer of Approach

A: For all your goodness, God,
we give you thanks.
For the signs and symbols,
for the moments,
asked and unasked,
for the relationships,
that remind us of your love
we give you thanks.
For all that we have,
for all that we are,
for all that we might become,
we give you thanks!
Even when we aren’t quite ready.
Even when we aren’t quite sure.
Even when we aren’t quite here.
We give you thanks,
loving God!
In Jesus’ name.
In the Spirit’s laughter.
In the Creator’s joy.
Let it be!

Words before scripture:

O: Let us go to the wedding, let us sit at the feast, let us celebrate the love – let us taste of the wine that fills our souls. Listen for God’s words in these words…

Words before reflection on scripture (based on 1 Cor. 12)

O: May the words of our mouths,
may the thoughts of our minds,
may the actions of our hearts,
be filled with the gifts of your Spirit.
That “utterance of wisdom,
utterance of knowledge,
faith, healing and prophecy”
would be spoken this day. Amen.

Words before the Offering:

O: Whether it be
“a superb vintage” or “vin ordinare,”
whether it be
“dollars and cents” or “time” or “talent,”
whether it be
“the most” or “the least” –
let it be our best
that we give to God!
A: Every moment.
Every day.
Every breath.
Let it be our best
that we give to God!

Commissioning and Benediction:

O: We’ve come to the table.
A: We’ve gathered at the feast.
O: We’ve been with the family.
A: We’ve celebrated the love.
O: So now it’s time to go…
A: With the smile of joy on our lips,
with the wine of hope in our mouths,
with the bread of life, filling our souls!

O: So now it’s time to go…
A: to share the joy,
the hope,
the life.

O: And the peace of Christ goes with us.
The love of the Creator fills us.
The dance of the Holy Spirit
carries us.
A: Where we are called.
O: And beyond!
A: Alleluia, amen!

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Liturgical Words for “Baptism of Christ” Sunday – Year C

Texts can be found at: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=107

Call to Gather:

O: To all who are lost, God says –
A: I have called you by your name.
You are mine.

O: To all who are confused, God says –
A: I have called you by your name.
You are mine.

O: To all who have forgotten, God says –
A: I have called you by your name.
You are mine.

O: To the broken and the whole,
to the hungry and the full,
to all people everywhere, God says –
A: I have called you by your name.
You are mine.

O: To God’s call, we listen.
A: At God’s call, we respond.
O: With worship.
A: With love.
O: For we are called.
A: We are named.
O: We are loved.

Prayer of Approach:

A: As we gather at the font,
as we wander in the rain,
as we dive deep into Christ’s call,
we remember that you have baptised us, Creator!
With your hope.
With your Spirit.
With your LOVE!
May our covenant reminder,
live in our hearts,
live in our words,
live in our lives,
Let it be!

Words before scripture:

O: Let us dive deeply into the waters of our grandmothers’ and grandfathers’ witness,
that we might be refreshed – refilled – renewed – by God’s word.

Prayer before reflection (based on Psalm 29):

O: Let the words of our hearts cry “Glory!”
Let the words of our mouths shout “Praise!”
Let our hearts be shaken, let our senses be stirred.
Let us hear your Voice, O God!

Words before Offering:

O: In our baptism, we gave all that we are to God: Creator, Christ and Spirit.
Let us gather what we have.
Let us gather who we are.
Let us offer it, again, to God!
A: Let us offer it, again, to God!

Commissioning & Benediction:
O: As Christ’s people, baptised by the Spirit,
A: we go into the world.
O: As Christ’s people, drenched by the Spirit,
A: we go filled with God’s love.
O: As Christ’s people, overflowing with the Spirit.
A: we go to feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
bring justice to those pushed down,

and peace to all the nations!
O: But we never do it alone.
A: The peace of Christ holds us,
the love of God enfolds us,
and the communion of the Spirit carries us,
today and forever.

O: Amen!

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Pentecost 11 – Year B – Psalm 130

Call to Gather:
O: No matter where we are…
A: God is with us.
O: On the highest peaks…
A: in the deepest oceans.
O: Wrapped in cool shadows…
A: or in the bright noon sun.
O: No matter where we are…
A: God is with us.
O: No matter where we are…
A: we are with God.

A: God of all time and space,
we celebrate your Presence with all creation!
Touch our hearts and minds,
touch our bodies and souls,
so that we would know this truth:
we are not alone!
From wherever we come,
wherever we are going,
help us to know, to live, to share,
your Love.
In Christ name, by the power of the Spirit,
held close by the Creator,
we ask it.
May it be so.

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Pentecost 8 – Year B – 2 Samuel 7.1-14

O: The Ark of the Covenant
went with God’s people,
every step of the way.
A: A symbol of God’s Presence.
A symbol of God’s Freedom.
A symbol of God’s Promise.

O: The Ark of the Covenant
lived in a tent.
A: Ready to move.
Ready to travel.
Ready to lead the way.

O: King David wanted to build a house for the Ark.
A monument.
A place of permanence and solidity,
of cedar and stone.
A: And God said, “No.
That’s not your job.”

O: And David listened.
As we sit in this house,
this monument to Christ’s Presence,
built of cedar and stone,
we need to ask ourselves – and God –
what is our job?
A: To worship God.
To educate and serve in Christ’s name.
To be Christ’s disciples
and share God’s love,
every day of our lives!

O: Alleluia!
A: Alleluia! Amen!

Opening Prayer:
A: With all of our hopes,
with all of our dreams,
with all of our lives,
we celebrate your Presence,
God of all creation.
In this time and place,
touch our lives in ways
that help us to understand
what is ours to do,
and what is yours to do.
That we might be Christ’s disciples,
living out of Christ’s love.
In his name we ask it.
May it be so.

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Prayer For Year B – Proper 10 (Mark 6:14-29)

For your gift of love,
for your gift of life,
for your gift of forgiveness and hope,
we thank you, Creator!
For the knowledge in our hearts
and the knowledge in our heads
that there is always a place
in you, no matter what –
we thank you, Christ!
For the transformation of our choices,
for the transformation of our actions,
into something life-giving and abundant,
we thank you, Holy Spirit!
May the dances we dance,
the choices we choose,
the actions we live,
be examples of your grace, always.
Thank you, loving God!

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For Year B – Proper 10 (Mark 6:14-29)

The choices we make…
colour our lives.
The steps we take…
change our way.
And yet…
and yet,
God is with us,
in all our steps,
in all our choices,
in all our days.

And yet…
and yet,
God loves us,
in our missteps,
in our poor choices,
in our worst and our best.

That is amazing grace.
That is amazing hope.
That is amazing love.
In that grace,
in that love,
in that hope;
by Creator’s power,
by Christ’s presence,
by the Holy Spirit’s urging…
we worship God.

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For Transfiguration Sunday – Mark 9.2-9

(This was the beginning of an eight week series on discipleship. This Sunday was focused on “Uplifted through conversation with God.”)

Call to Gather:
One: God touches the world,
All: and the world changes.
One: God touches us,
All: and we are transformed.
One: In the brightest of day,
All: in the deepest of night,
One: on mountain,
All: in valley,
One: everywhere.
All: In this time, together,
we invite God
to open our eyes
to the transformation
of our lives.

One: And through the change –
All: we worship God.

Opening Prayer:
In the rush of the wind,
in the laugh of a child,
in the beat of our hearts,
speak to us, God.
In the purr of a kitten,
in the lap of the waves,
in the warmth of our hands,
speak to us, Christ.
In the cry of the moment,
in the dance of our feet,
in the crackle of the flame,
speak to us, Holy Spirit.
We are listening.

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Epiphany 6 – Year B – 2 Kings 5:1-14

You invite us into many places, God.
You invite us into relationships,
you invite us into conversation,
you invite us into action.
When the invitation is difficult to accept,
give us strength, and wonder, and hope.
When the invitation is to an easy way –
help us to accept and walk on!
In Christ’s name we ask it, amen.

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Epiphany 6 – Year B – 2 Kings:1-14

One: They went to Jesus,
and he asked them,
“Who do you say I am?”
Two: They answered,
“You are the eschatological manifestation
of the ground of our being,
the kerygma of which we find meaning
in our interpersonal relationships.”

One: And Jesus said,
All: “What?!”
One: Faith doesn’t have to be that hard.
All: Life doesn’t have to be that difficult.
One: Sometimes, we just have to live God’s love.
Sometimes, we just have to live what we believe.
All: And so we are here,
to sing,
to celebrate,
to worship God!

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