Category Archives: A Service of Prayer

Longest Night Experiences

Longest Night Experiences

Does it seem to you that the whole world has gone mad with joy? You are in the midst of grief over the death of a loved one, have a loved one who is approaching death, perhaps you’ve lost a job or hope in your future. All the while you are bombarded with ads for gifts ideas, cheerful music and memories of traditions that are impossible to you now and your aching heart just wants to escape.

Please join us at St. Francis at 4:00 p.m. on the winter solstice (December 21st) for our Longest Night service. We would like to offer you a safe place, a time to be gentle with your heart. There will be reflective music, readings and opportunities to light candles, if you wish. Feel free to invite a family member, friend, co-worker or anyone you think might benefit from this time.

For Children:

We will offer a Longest Night experience for children from 3:45 – 5:30. Through candle making, stories and more we will explore loss, God’s creation at night and that the night can shine. Limit: 20 elementary children, 10 preschool children.

Child Care:

Child care will be provided for infant through 2 year olds.

There is no charge for child care or the children’s experience, but we need each child to be registered by December 15th.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Longest Night Service – 4:00 p.m., in The Center, Refreshments afterward

Children’s Longest Night Experience – 3:45 – 5:30

Preschool – Rm 41, Elementary – Rm. 30-31, Snacks provided

Child Care – 3:45 – 5:30 – Room 10

St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church

Northwest corner of River and Swan

 

Liturgy for the New Appointment Year

 

Liturgy for the New Year

First Sunday of Appointments/Reappointments in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church 2014

(Note from author: Words in red are for communication only. I have listed samples of clergy, especially if you have a multi-pastoral staff. Please carefully use the title, names, ministry expression etc.  of the pastor(s) in your congregation and use only the pronoun(s) and the singular/plural forms that need to be in your bulletin or on your screens.

 

Lay Leader: This IS a day of new beginnings on which we pause to commit and recommit ourselves to the work of

bringing dreams to life

alleviating suffering

exuding joy

elevating human dignity

repairing creation

nurturing people in our Christian stories

impacting the whole world by our care-full presence

as we partner together in God’s love.

 

Lay Leader or SPRC Chair: We stand on the threshold of a new year and we are filled with hope and curiosity, enthusiasm and a desire to make a difference. We pray for Spirit to guide and energize us, to enlarge our hearts and our understanding of hospitality.

 

Laity: We are thankful for the minister(s) appointed by Bishop Bob to our congregation.

 

            Rev. ________________, ordained elder/deacon in the ___________ Church

Pastor __________________, licensed local pastor in the United Methodist Church.

(Title, name, ministry expression [i.e. ordained/commissioned elder/deacon, licensed local pastor, student local pastor, etc. and their place in the process])

 and we commit ourselves to serving God and neighbor in partnership with this/these pastor(s).

           

Laity: We are thankful for the minister(s) appointed by Bishop Bob to extension ministries who have chosen our congregation as their charge (church home)

 

            Rev. _________________, ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church appointed to serve as chaplain at TMC Hospice.

            Rev. _________________, commissioned elder in the United Methodist Church appointed to ________________________________.

 

            (Title, name, ministry expression and place in the process, extension appointment)

 and commit to not only serving God and neighbor in partnership with these pastors, but also praying for her/his/their extension ministry(ies).

 

Laity: We are thankful for lay persons we have hired to serve in a pastoral role:

             Pastor ____________________,

 and commit ourselves to serving God and neighbor in partnership with this pastor.

 

 Pastors: We are thankful for those affiliated with this congregation and commit ourselves to serving God and all our neighbors near and far with these persons. We commit ourselves to nurture and pray for the people of our appointment and charge, those yet to come and to lead them into the work of transforming the world through God’s love.

PRAYER (ALL): God of New Life and New Possibilities, awaken our hearts and minds to the potential within each of us, including ourselves. Rouse us from any complacency or desire to cling to the past. Give us vision and compassion to witness the needs of the world and the energy and inspiration to connect Christ’s hope and healing to those needs. We pray amazed by your grace and love for each and every person. Amen.

 

 ©July 1, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com.

 

A Service of Prayer, Remembrance and Hope

A Service of Prayer, Remembrance, and Hope

in Response to the Violence on January 8, 2010

 

*Please stand as you are able

*Words in bold print indicate congregational participation

 

WORDS OF GATHERING

 

*CALL TO WORSHIP 

Leader: We look for light but find darkness, for brightness, but walk in gloom.

People: We grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight.

All: You are the light of the world; be light in our darkness, O Christ.

Leader: If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night

People: Even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

All: You are the light of the world; be light in our darkness, O Christ.

Leader: Blessed be your name, O God, forever.  You reveal deep and mysterious things and stand with us in times of overwhelming tragedy.

All:  You are the light of the world; be light in our darkness, O Christ. 

 

Adapted from Canticle of Light and darkness p. 205 UMH which is based on Isaiah, Psalm, Daniel, I John

 

*HYMN                                             “You Are Mine”                       p. 2218  TFWS         

 

PRAYER

Holy and Merciful One, remind us “goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death.”

Amen.  

                                                                                From a prayer by Bishop Desmond Tutu

 

SCRIPTURE                            Psalm 71: 1-6

 

SILENCE FOR REFLECTION

 

PRAYER OF LAMENT

 

Jesus our Friend, you wept at the grave of Lazarus, you know all our sorrows. Behold our tears, and bind up the wounds of our hearts. Bring us closer into communion with you and with one another. In your keeping there is shelter from the storm, and in your mercy there is comfort for the sorrows of life. Receive our grief-stricken hearts. Receive our fear, our outrage, our disbelief. God of us all, we thank you for Christ, Light of the World, who taught us to pray…

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

                                                        

SCRIPTURE                       Ezekiel 37: 1-10

 

SILENCE FOR REFLECTION

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

 

Holy One full of mercy and compassion, hear our wordless prayers as the world seems to spin off its orbit and we cannot fully express the pain and concerns within us. And hear us as we pray for others.

 For those whose hearts and lives are shattered

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For those who wait, hopefully at a bedside

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For those who give so selflessly of themselves

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For broken bodies in need of healing

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For those whose lives have been cut much too short

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For victims of violence everywhere

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For those whose hearts are hard and full of hate

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

For all of us as we discern the path of peace and how to live it fully.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

SCRIPTURE                       John 1: 1-5

 

SILENCE FOR WRITING OUR PRAYERS/ LIGHTING CANDLES OF REMEMBRANCE AND HOPE

           

            Please write a word or expression of prayer. As the music plays, you will invited to come forward and light a candle and place your prayer on the altar.

           

*CLOSING HYMN                    “How Firm a Foundation”                P.529     

 

*BENEDICTION

 

POSTLUDE

 

 

Prayer of Lament adapted from UM Book of Worship