Some Very Useful Websites

The Text This Week – a great starting point as you begin to work on service preparation

Faith and Worship – prayers

Starters for Sunday – this is from the Church of Scotland and provides useful material related to lectionary readings, prayers, and ideas for a children’s talk

Storypath – connecting Children’s Literature with our Faith Story – using the lectionary readings and providing good suggestions for linking the children’s story into the service

Lectionary and Worship – has a huge range of resources including suggestions of hymns from the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust that could be suitable for each Sunday. It is well worth exploring.

World in Prayer – each Thursday posts a current prayer of intercession for the following Sunday.  You can sign up to have it emailed to you.  The sample below shows just how current it is.  It reflects the US environment from which it comes but it is truly international and with a little tweaking can be very valuable.

World News This Week in Prayer – Thursday, May 19, 2016

Heavenly Father, we come to you with open but hurt hearts with this week’s news. May the Holy Spirit fill us with strength and compassion towards our neighbors, near and far.
We pray for the millions of students who celebrate their graduations. May their learning enrich our world.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for the the 66 Egyptian, French, and British passengers aboard EgyptAir flight MS804 between Paris and Cairo that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea near Greece. We pray for the victims’ families and the Greek and Egyptian armed forces involved in the recovery effort. May we have answers soon and reforms to prevent such crashes in the future.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for the victims of terrorism throughout the world, including those in Baghdad, where in the past week more than 150 people have died in violence linked to the Islamic State. May people all over the world be able to shop, play, and attend school without fear.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for the seven miners that have been rescued and for the two that remain trapped in a platinum mine in Rustenburg, South Africa. We pray for the people of Sri Lanka, where landslides have left 134 people unaccounted for and have displaced nearly 350,000 people; continued bad weather has hampered the army’s efforts to reach possible survivors. May the rescue teams find strength to complete their tasks and to save as many lives as possible.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for parents: biological, adoptive, stepparents, grandparents, and all who provide care giving. May their children, our future, feel safe and loved.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for reforms that promote equality and discourage discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation. We pray for The United Methodist Church as their quadrennial General Conference continues to debate, continuing for 40 years, the issues of human sexuality. We praise Seychelles’ parliament for decriminalizing homosexuality and Mexico’s president for proposing constitutional reform that would legalize same sex marriage throughout the country. May these actions broaden our understanding of those who love.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for the hungry in Venezuela, where the president has declared a state of emergency. Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate at 180%. The country is experiencing shortages of basic goods as well as power outages due to the country’s economy being highly dependent on the export of oil, the price of which has more than halved in the past two years. May their political, social, and religious leaders work together to mitigate the effects of unrest.
Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for mercy and grace towards immigrants, where political officials in Australia and the United States have discounted their value. May we broaden our understanding of those who live, work, and worship differently from us.
Lord, hear our prayer.
O Lord, may we feel the Holy Spirit in our daily lives—on planes, in markets, at school or work, within our homes—and may we love each other as your Son loved us. May we feel the peace he left with us. May we seek and find peace within each other. Amen.