Prayers from the New Zealand Hymnwriters

John Thornley, Palmerston North, led the second Advent service at Wesley Broadway on 10 December 2018. Theme focus: Peace.

Each of the four Advent services focused on one country as a recipient of CWS aid, and John’s country was Palestine. John’s chosen theme: ‘No peace without justice/No justice without peace’. Three of the carols chosen were texts by Shirley Erena Murray – Peace Child, Dream a Dream, and All Over Creation.

In the whole service there was a continual linking of the Christmas story 2000 years ago, and the realities of peace/justice issues in 2018. A fourth hymn text – ‘God Weeps’ – was adapted as a response prayer, described not as ‘Confession and Assurance’ but ‘Confession and Commitment’:

Leader: God weeps
at love withheld,
at strength misused,
at children’s innocence abused
All: and till we change the way we love
God weeps.

Leader: God bleeds
at anger’s fist,
at trust betrayed,
at women battered and afraid,
All: and till we change the way we win,
God bleed.

Leader: God cries
at hungry mouths,
at running sores,
at creatures dying without cause,
All: and till we change the way we care
God cries.

Leader: God waits
for stones to melt,
for peace to seed,
for hearts to hold each other’s need,
All: and till we understand the Christ.
God waits.

[Used by permission]

John says, ‘There are many hymn texts in the four NZ hymnbooktrustlogocollections  published by the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust that find a place in worship as prayers/ reflections.’

To order the books: Website: www.hymns.org.nz
Or email Philip Garside Publishing Limited, Christian mail order specialists.

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Prayer for Children

Come As You Are

Dear God, you know what?
I reckon coming to church
is like a “come as you are party.”

You do not invite us
because we are good looking,
or well dressed or have clean hands,
or because we are extra nice people.

You invite us to come as just we are,
with all our faults poking out
like elbows through a worn jacket.
Thank you for loving us
with such an accepting love.
Amen!
– Bruce Prewer

Prayer for Children – http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocC/C51sun22.htm

Advent is Here – a prayer of approach from Rosalie Sugrue

advent 02

Prayer of Approach (read antiphonally)

Advent is here
In this liturgical season of anticipation
Free us to embrace Christmas in all its fullness
Help us enter the magic world of myth and story
With the unfettered imagination of children
Present in the moment
Living in the story

Advent is here
In this liturgical season of preparation
Free us from becoming overburdened
By the many things we have to do
Help us meet angels in our story
May angels quell our fears
As they did for Mary and Joseph

Advent is here
May angels give us safe directions
As they did for the Magi
May angels startle us to wonder
As they did for the shepherds
And may we sing from angel song-sheets
Songs of hope and peace that evoke joy
and spontaneous acts of love. Amen

Rosalie Sugrue

Offertory for Spring

Rosalie Sugrue writes:

Kia Ora,

Inspired by your spring newsletter, and with thoughts of Spring Flower Sunday I wrote this offertory prayer that may be of use to others.

Nga mihinui

Rosalie

Coins and rice seeds

Offertory for Spring

Renewing God
As we contemplate the season of spring
we see connection between coins and seeds;
Both come in various sizes and colours,
and bear different markings,
are symmetrical, and fit in pockets.
Held in our gaze they appear lifeless
yet both hold the power of transformation.

We ask that you bless our coins
brought here today
along with paper tokens of notes
and unseen bank transfers;
May our offerings be placed in
environments that permit them to fulfil
their potential of bringing beauty and health
to this world we all share.  Amen.

Rosalie Sugrue

Spring Newsletter – Canterbury LPA

kowhaiYes, it is that time of year when life seems to be bursting forth at every turn of the path.  And, once more, Joy Kingsbury-Aitken and Linda Cowan, of the Canterbury LPA, have produced another newsletter full of resources for Spring – prayers, poems, a call to worship, a meditation – for use on Flower Sunday as well as during Creation Season, beginning this coming Sunday, 1 September.

And, here, one small taste of the contents –

…  We pray in the name of Jesus, who has walked with us through winter cold and dances by our side into the new life of spring.
[Linda Cowan]

Download your copy of the newsletter here!

Pacific Day of Prayer

My apologies for the lateness in posting this, although it was not made available until fairly late in the process to begin with (4 May)!  If you are planning a Pacific day of Prayer in the coming weeks, this recourse may well prove very useful.

~ ~ ~ ~

PACIFIC CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES
PACIFIC DAY OF PRAYER 2018

Image result for pacific oceanCountry of FOCUS: Few of our regional countries was recently hit by Tropical Cyclones (SAMOA, TONGA and FIJI), if not included here, please do INCLUDE THEM – and despite our pain and sorrow, our struggle, we as people of the Pacific continue to celebrate our faith, we celebrate our King who is also our Savior, and we celebrate the strength and the resilience that GOD gave us in the midst of our dark, troubled times.  …

~ ~ ~ ~

For the complete liturgy, click here to download …