2 before Advent (19/11/2017)

Pewsheet 19 November 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In the eternal scheme of things, we discover that all God wants from you is you.

It’s just so humbling, because it always feels like not enough, doesn’t it?

“All I want is to be like Saint Francis,” I said to my spiritual director, over and over…

Finally, one day he said, “Hey Richard, you’re not, and you’re never going to be, Francis of Assisi. You’re not even close, all right? You’re ‘unfortunately’ Richard Rohr from Kansas.” I said to myself, This doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic or exciting.

Except when I realised: all God wants is Richard from Kansas.

But that’s what I don’t know how to give you, God!

It feels so insignificant, and yet this is the liberating secret: I am precisely the gift God wants—in full and humble surrender. There is unity between the path taken and the destination where we finally arrive. Saints are not uniform but are each unique creations of grace according to the journey God has led them through.                      Richard Rohr

Remembrance Sunday (12/11/2017)

Robert Vonnoh (1890), Poppies in Flanders Field

 

WAR

Why must I live in this grim age
When, to a far horizon, God
Has ebbed away, and man, with rage
Now wields the sceptre and the rod?

Man raised his sword, once God had gone,
To slay his brother, and the roar
Of battlefields now casts upon
Our homes the shadow of the war.

The harps to which we sang are hung
On willow boughs, and their refrain
Drowned by the anguish of the young
Whose blood is mingled with the rain.

Hedd Wyn (1887-1917)

Hedd Wyn (born Ellis Humphrey Evans, 13 January 1887 – 31 July 1917) was a Welsh-language poet who was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I. He was posthumously awarded the bard’s chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod. Evans, who had been awarded several chairs for his poetry, was inspired to take the bardic name Hedd Wyn (Welsh: blessed peace) from the way sunlight penetrated the mist in the Meirionnydd valleys.

Pewsheet 12 November 2017

All Saints’ Sunday (5/11/2017)

Pewsheet 05 November 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Merciful teacher on the mountain,
You’ve offered us a challenge that is converse to the world we exist in.
You’ve boldly declared what it means to not be transformed by this world but to be renewed by the Spirit.

We confess that we have failed to live up to the call of—peacemaking, meekness, mercy, justice—and filled our lives with the ways of the world—selfishness, greed, degradation of your creation, injustice.

Open our hearts, O God, to understand your will.
May your passion on the mountain for a new world order illumine our work for the kin–dom that you proclaim.

We pray in the name of the One who first loved us and calls us to love,
Amen.

Reformation Sunday (29/10/2017)

Clocks are going back an hour today – don’t arrive an hour early!

Pewsheet 29 October 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Oh God, you search me and you know me –
you know me in my deepest longings
and in my most fierce passions;
you know me in my loneliness
and in my saddest times.

I confess the times of silences between us –
when I am distracted
when I don’t listen
when I am afraid
when I turn from you.

I celebrate the times of silence between us –
when I wait expectantly
when we are content with each other’s presence
when I ponder a prompt that puzzles me.

In the silences and the questions that we share, dear lover God,
I give thanks for your desire not to trap,
but to free each soul in order
to make this world a peaceful place for all.

Amen.

Trinity 18 (15/10/2017)

Pewsheet 15 October 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Beyond our understanding you alone are God; you speak to a world of brutal rule and shallow indifference, of arms fairs and reality shows: may the one who came to sit at table with the victimized and excluded disturb our barren peace and call us to another feast where only love may rule; through Jesus Christ, the bridegroom. Amen.

 

Trinity 17 (8/10/2017)

Pewsheet 8 October 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

God, your mercy extends over us in ways unimaginable. Even on the cross, Jesus, you ask God to forgive those who are doing a heinous and evil act to you. Your forgiveness is what draws us to change in our lives. So, move us now into a new understanding of what it means to bear fruit in your kingdom. Transform our hearts, so that we might seek first that kingdom. We desire to be generous with others as you have been generous to us. We thank you now that you are Emmanuel, God with us, and that you will aid us in this journey. In Jesus name, Amen.

Harvest festival (1/10/2017)

 

 

 

 

 

Pewsheet 1 October 2017

Demanding God,
you call us to account
for the use of your gifts:
pull down the storehouses
of accumulated greed
which impoverish people
and despoil the earth;
put our hands to work
sowing the seeds
and reaping the growth
of justice, thanksgiving and praise;
through Jesus Christ, the Lord of the harvest. Amen.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“To be a Christian is to live dangerously, honestly, freely – to step in the name of love as if you may land on nothing, yet to keep on stepping because the something that sustains you no empire can give you and no empire can take away.”   Cornel West

 

Trinity 15 (24/9/2017)

Pewsheet 24 September 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Father of the upside–down kingdom
Who sees us beyond the worth and value of others
Teach us to recognise our own positions of privilege and power, to know that there is no favoured few or select group,
As we seek to demonstrate your grace to all whom we come across, may we commit to living out YOUR kingdom values, even when they conflict with what we see around us
For your grace and mercy bring transformation
Amen

Trinity 14 (17/9/2017)

Pewsheet 17 September 2017

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Father of Forgiveness,
who has forgiven us so much in order to bring us back into relationship with you, Teach us to forgive.
Help us forgive even when the personal cost is huge, knowing we are always held by you.

But let us always push for an end to injustice, to challenge the systems of oppression we find ourselves in
For you are the God of mercy, but also a lover of justice. Amen.