Disability Sunday resources

Rosalie Sugrue has provided some more resources for Disability Sunday, comprised of poems, prayers, and a children’s story written by her self and and another Kiwi writer, Trish Harris, and included in a new book issued last year entitled A Child Laughs: Prayers for Peace and Justice.

Unfortunately we cannot include all the material here, but we can provide you with a pdf here. 

disability

A personal prayer/poem

THE CARRIER AND THE CARRIED

I don’t notice your disability anymore. …. It’s

just something you carry with you, she said.
….
I carry it with me
like a handbag
swinging loosely by my side
        pick it up
        put it down.
A handbag
I never lose
and never replace.

I carry it on me
like a cotton shirt
on a summers day.
Wind easing its finger
between skin and fabric
billowing it out
pulling it too
playing at separation
but the buttons hold tight.

I carry it in me
channels
carved deep
by a river
always in flood.

I carry it through me
like the weight
of a name
for a child never born.
A presence
and an absence.

I carry it  with me
        on me
        in me
and through me.

I am the carrier

and I am also
the carried.

A blue tear
filled with gold.

 

Public Prayers   (Approach)

Loving God,
We acknowledge that regardless of health,
attitude, appearance or status,
we are people marred by imperfections.
Grant us the strength to manage our infirmities
with wise caring, good humour, and gratitude.
Help us use whatever we have to become
more insightful to the conditions of humans,
and more attentive to matters spiritual.
Save us from falling victim to self-centredness
         – a malaise that preys on the fit and the unfit
that left unchecked is more soul destroying
and more binding than any physical aberration.
In the loving of others may we find perfection.  Amen.

 

A story for children of all ages

The Tiny Town of Tontevoc

The tiny town of Tontevoc nestled in a sunny valley beside a sparkling river.  It was surrounded by green fields backed by snow capped mountains.  Everyone lived in a warm house and no one went short of anything they needed.  Instead of enjoying the good things they had the children of Tontevoc School were discontent.  Each child thought some other child was more fortunate.

One child owned a pony and another had a magnificent tree house.  There was a girl who could run like the wind.  Her brother could sing like angel.  Their cousins were exceptional at tennis.  There were twins who looked alike and often argued.  A boy who painted beautiful pictures lived with his grandmother.  The family of four played boisterous games and got to sleep in bunks.  The cleverest girl in the school wore thick glasses.  Her sister was very pretty.  One child lived in a grand house and had many toys.  And, there was a boy who limped and had to use a crutch.

One day the Wise-woman of Tontevoc visited the school holding a bunch of floating balloons.  … [See page 4 of the pdf file for more …]

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Prayers for Lent – III

Being Merciful – a Prayer of Confession

We are challenged to be merciful;
to forgive others,
acknowledging our own need of forgiveness.

[For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14]

We are challenged to be merciful;
to refrain from judging;
recognising that the standards
we apply to others
also apply to ourselves.

[Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.  For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. – Matthew 7:1-2]

We are challenged to be merciful;
to respond with generosity
towards the mean of spirit,
knowing that we too have a tendency towards being selfish and self-serving.

[Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. – Luke 6:35-36]

We are challenged to be merciful
and we confess that too often instead
we are self-righteously hard hearted.
Forgive us.

We are challenged to be gracious;
to act compassionately towards others,
acknowledging that we also

are dependent on grace.

[For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8]

We are challenged to be gracious;
to be sensitive to the feeling of others;
recognising our own need to be
always treated kindly

[And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32]

We are challenged to be gracious;
to uphold the dignity of others,
not allowing our dreams to destroy theirs,
knowing how deeply we too
desire to be successful and respected.

[Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4]

We are challenged to be gracious
and we confess that too often instead
we are self-righteously hard hearted.
Forgive us.

We are challenged to be loving
to treasure each and every person
however contemptible they seem,
acknowledging our own sinfulness
and longing to be valued.

[But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8]

We are challenged to be loving;
to support and encourage others
recognising our own need to be
cherished and nurtured.

[May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another. – Romans 15:5]

We are challenged to be loving;
to give of ourselves for the benefit of others;
knowing our dependence
on the benevolence of God
and the generosity of his creation.

[For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. – Mark 10:45]

We are challenged to be loving
and we confess that too often instead
we are self-righteously hard hearted.
Forgive us.

In being challenged to be merciful.
gracious and loving,
we acknowledge our need
to be transformed.

We, who are being formed in your image,
Merciful, Gracious, and Loving God,
recognise that we need nothing less
than the miracle of
becoming increasingly like you.

We know that only by becoming
more and more merciful,
gracious and loving,
will we become less
self-righteously hard-hearted.

We who have been challenged,
seek to be the recipients
of your mercy, grace and love.
We ask that you hear our prayer.
Amen.

 – by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

Prayers for Lent – II

Keep us Moving – a prayer for Transfiguration Sunday

Scriptural references: Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36

God who appeared as cloud and fire
to a slave people traversing desert lands in the shadow of Sinai;
God who appeared as a whispering voice
to a hunted prophet seeking safety in a cave high up on Sinai;
God who took on the limits of humanity
but who appeared in glorious divinity to disciples
experiencing anew your transforming presence as at Sinai;
it is you we address with our words of praise and our words of petition.

God guide us through our wilderness experiences.
Grant us the confidence to keep following you
when the way is gruelling, the journeying long and the destination uncertain.
Just like the Israelites we too often become fretful
and anxious and lose our faith in you.
Still our fears and keep us moving
on our journey through Lent and through life.

God comfort us when we are disheartened, afraid and alone. 
Not with big gestures that would frighten us
but in quiet moments grant us the assurance of your presence.
Just like the prophets we too often feel your demands
are too daunting and too difficult for us,
and we want to run away and hide.
Calm us, encourage us and keep us moving
on our journey through Lent and through life.

God reassure us when we face a pending crisis.
Grant us the ability to see beyond the present moment
to a future full of hope and promise.
Just like the disciples we too can be deceived into thinking that we can achieve
your goals by the easy pathways we much prefer to take.
Strengthen us, reorient us and keep us moving,
on our journey through Lent and through life.

We have come to a new Sinai, the mount of transfiguration.
We have come seeking to be transformed.
Forgive us, embolden us and change us continually
into being all that you intend us to be, all that we could possibly be.
Not bound by our weaknesses but freed by your grace.


God of cloud and fire, small voice and loud

God of majestic glory cloaked in the unremarkable commonplace
cross doveguide us and comfort us, reassure us and reorient us
so that we may continue daily our journeying with you. 
God keep us moving we pray
throughout Lent and throughout life.  Amen.

– by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

Prayers for Lent – I

Opening Prayer for a Service during Lent

From the ordinary and everyday
and the delightfully different;
from times when we’re been
happy and hopeful,
and times when we’re been
sad and discouraged;
in an attitude of faith
or in questioning uncertainty,
we come together to worship.
Open our minds to your majesty
our spirits to your glory
our souls to your loving kindness.
Bless our gathering this morning
with grace-filled transformation
on our pilgrimage together
through the holy season of Lent.  Amen.

– by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

Bill Wallace’s hymns, songs and chants

william-l-wallaceAccess to Bill Wallace’s hymns and songs

Bill Wallace, one of New Zealand’s most published hymn writers, has just had virtually all of his hymns and other worship resources filed and cross-referenced for easy access and free downloading.

The Center for Progressive Christianity in the USA (Progressive Christianity) has recently placed on their website 5 interlinked thematic indexes of Bill Wallace’s material. They give access to the text, score and sound file of each of the 198 hymns, songs and chants on their website along with Bills 35 children’s songs in the collection Sing Young, Sing Joyfully. Reference is also made to the 36 different hymns which are in volumes 1 and 2 of Singing the Sacred, published by World Library Publications. In addition these indexes are linked with the website of the New Zealand Methodist Church which has additional Boundless Life hymns by Bill, together with Hymns for Aotearoa and the 49 hymns in his The Mystery Telling.

The collections on the American website are:

1) Boundless Life (hymns);
2) Celebrating Mystery (general worship resources, including hymns);
3) Festive Worship (resources for Christian festivals, including hymns);
4) Seasoned Celebration (worship resources with hymns for the seasons of nature); and
5) The Sing Young, Sing Joyfully collection of inclusive songs for children.

seasoned-celebration-logo-198x300The worship resources include over 950 of Bill’s original sayings together with collects, poems, reflections and calls for action.

In addition, Bill’s Sacred Energy/ Mass of the Universe is now featured on the Web in three separate entries of either the text and melody line, or the score or the power point presentation.

To access these Bill’s worship resources, click resources at <progressivechristianity.org>, and then use the Search button (second from right in the blue banner at top of page) – select “keywords”, enter “William L Wallace” into the search engine, then click “Search”..  To access the Sacred Energy/Mass of the Universe files, follow the same procedure with “Sacred Energy” entered into the engine.

Two poems for Kaikoura, 14 Nov 2016

Rosalie Sugrue has sent in two poems from American pastor and poet, Maren C Tirabassi, for inclusion in our resources.  Both relate to the earthquakes of 14 November 2016.  The first specifically relates to the effects on Kaikoura:

God is not in the earthquake,
and God is not in the landslides,
rockfalls, terrible rains,
aftershocks, tsunamis.

God is in evacuators of Kaikoura, …

The second makes a comparison between recent political appointments in the USA and the seismic events in Aotearoa/New Zealand.  Both are prayers, both are reflective – they would both find a place in a liturgy remembering Kaikoura.  They can be found at the top of our Prayers and Blessings page.

 

Week of Prayer for World Peace

peace-01A liturgy, together with a reflection entitled “The Importunate Widow” – both prepared by Rosalie Sugrue – for the beginning of the Week of World Prayer, and a collection of prayers for use during the Week of prayer for World Peace, prepared by Paddy Payne, have been added to our Church Year resources page.  Scroll down to the bottom of page and look under “Ordinary Time” …

Some sources give the dates for the Week of Prayer for World Peace as 9-16 October 2016, others as 16-23 October 2016, while yet another simply says from the 3rd to the 4th Sundays in October – perhaps two weeks of prayer for world peace would not actually go amiss!