Event – Labour Day

New School Year Blessings

We stand at the threshold of the year…
some of us stand solidly on two feet, ready to take a bold step forward.
Some of us are more tentative–
we have one foot still lingering in the summer break,
reluctant to put that foot forward in the new season.

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Labour Day Prayer in an Ongoing Pandemic

Thank you, God, for the changes that fall brings:
the sun sleeping in a bit longer each morning,
the cooler temperatures, the quiet dark evenings.
As peaches disappear from the market,
we have early apples, fresh and crisp.
The usual bustle of preparation for school and fall routines
feels different this year.
We are filled with uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Prayer for Teachers

Go into the year,
ready to learn and to serve. 
Go into the year,
ready to share knowledge and hope.
Go into the year,
prepared to do your best
knowing that will be good enough.
Go into the year,
there is compassion enough for all of us.
Go into the year,
we are in this together.
Go into this year,
which is a gift that will show us
more about ourselves 
than we have ever known.
Go in peace.

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God of the Working World: A Prayer for Labour Day

God of the working world:
thank you for meaningful work that fills us with satisfaction,
the way challenges can spur us on to greater efforts
that pay off with a job well done.
But that’s not always the case.
Sometimes the work we do isn’t productive, or it isn’t recognized.
We spend the whole day working and nothing gets done,
the machine breaks down just after we fixed it,
the house gets messy just when it was clean,
more tasks are assigned to us when we are already overwhelmed.
Some of us hate our work.

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Prayer for Those Who Labour

God bless the bent over people,
the ones who are stooping.
God bless the arms stretched out people,
the ones who are reaching.
God bless the heavily laden people,
the ones who are carrying.
God bless the on-the-move people,
the ones who are walking.

Around the world, people of every
size and shape and age, labour for a living….

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Labour Day Congregational Prayer

On this Sabbath day of rest, dear God, we turn to you,
with thanks for the work that you give us to do.
We work by night, by day,
inside and in the great outdoors,
we work in coveralls or suits or casual clothes,
we work sitting, standing, travelling by car,
we work with tools or books or instruments in our hands,
we work silently, with words, or with technology.
Whatever our work, it’s shape or size,  we do it for you.
Thank you for employment, for salaries and paycheques,
for the chance to labour and do our best.
Thank you for the chance to retire from paid work….

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Fruit of our Labour Offering Prayer

We work for you, God, in whatever we do.
Paid labour, volunteer work, our home life–
all our time we spend for you.
Thank you for jobs which provide us with an income
or pensions that support us.
We share the fruit of our labour with you,
knowing that you are the Great Provider.
Use these offerings in your kingdom work,
as you provide good news, healing and hope to all people.  Amen.

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Labour Day Call to Worship

Psalm 90.17:  Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
   and prosper for us the work of our hands– O prosper the work of our hands!

Our God, in the glory of late summer
we come to worship
revelling in the beauty of your handiwork.
Give us insight this morning
into how the work of our hands
is part of the work of your hands.
We join with you in lifting the heavyhearted,
comforting the sorrowful,
and calming the anxious.
Fill us with the joy of service this morning.
We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Amen.

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A Working Prayer

God our Creator, thank you for giving us life and breath and work.

You expect us to do what we can with what we have,

to work with peace and patience,

to balance busyness with rest, work with Sabbath.

Give us healthy bodies, and the nourishment we need.

Help us to do our jobs without complaint,

with all our strength and might.

You see what we do, even when no one else is watching.

Every day, in every task, give us wisdom to remember who we are,

your children, your workers.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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