Event – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Prayer in Times Like These

God, being thankful for peace and plenty
is complicated, especially this Thanksgiving.
Whose peace and whose plenty?
So many people here and around the world
face violence every day.
And while some tables are full,
others have empty cupboards
or no cupboards at all.
In some countries homes are torn to smithereens
and grieving families are scattered to the four winds.
So teach us, Jesus, to be thankful in times like these.
Thankful for the good earth, the sun and the rain.
Thankful for farmers who labour to feed us….

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Thanks for Niagara Bounty

God of Grace,
everywhere we look in Niagara, there is bounty.
Orchards brimming with red cherries.
Vineyards heavy with purple grapes.
Fields carpeted in golden grain.
Green vegetables, row on row,
and bushes laden with blueberries.
And the good earth
hiding its white potatoes till harvest.
A feast for the eye and body,
all gifts from your hands.

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Thanksgiving in Times Like These

God of all great gifts,
hear our thanksgiving prayer!
Thank you for this beautiful world spinning its way through space,
the earth, our home, magnificent beyond understanding.
Thank you for the golden sun beaming out energy,
and for moonlight and starlight gracing the night.
Thank you for the cycle of seasons and most particularly for autumn:
streams of golden grain flowing from combines,
fresh green and red apples mounded on market shelves,
pumpkins lined up at roadside stands.   

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Stumbling Towards Thanksgiving: Congregational Pandemic Prayer

God, in this hard year, we’re stumbling towards Thanksgiving.
There has been lots to trip us up;
a pandemic, economic meltdowns, social isolation,
injustice on so many fronts: #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo,
and the ongoing call for justice for indigenous peoples.
Not to mention hurricanes, forest fires and climate change…
and this is not even including the everyday sorrows
that haven’t let up for one minute!
We wouldn’t wish this year on anyone!

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Confession on Thanksgiving

We confess that we sometimes forget how to say thank you;
         we get used to saying, “I earned this,”
          thinking we have only ourselves to thank. 
We confess that we are sometimes too jealous to be thankful;
          we compare ourselves to others who have more, “Why do they get everything?”
          and we rarely compare ourselves to those who have less.
We confess that we are sometimes too busy to be thankful;
          we asked ourselves this morning, “Do I have time to go to church?”
          and even in worship we are thinking about our to-do lists.

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A Prayer for Family Holiday Gatherings

esus, you grew up in a family
that did not always understand,
who questioned you and no doubt squabbled;
hear our prayer for family gatherings this year.
Thank you for families that get along,
showing unconditional love and support:
families that are flexible and adaptive,
that can stand any storm.
Bless all who are travelling to gatherings
that they can’t wait to get to.
And then there are other families,
where tension, suspicion and judgement
vie for power with love and acceptance.
Sentences begin with “You always…”

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Thanksgiving Prayer for Farmers

Thank you, God, for farmers!
For those people who have touched the soil,
who have known it intimately,
the feel of it in their fingernails,
the taste of it, the way it smells after the rain.
For those who have cared for animals,
touched them, heard their cries,
nurtured them carefully.
Being a farmer can be a hard life,
the bills don’t match the income,
the weather doesn’t co-operate

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Thanksgiving Call to Worship

This morning, God of grace,
we want everything to be for your glory.
We want our thoughts,
our words, our songs,
our church, our community,
our resources, our time, our lives:
all to be for you.
Everything ours is yours,
and we come together to declare this to be so,
on this holy day of thanksgiving.
Bless our time together with your holy presence,

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Thanksgiving Responsive Communion Service

Leader: We come to this table with thankful hearts.
People: Why do we give thanks at this table?
Leader: We give thanks because God has invited us here!
All God’s children are invited to the Lord’s supper.
We come humbly to the table,
knowing that we have not earned our way here,
but are invited, guests at this feast of love. 

People: Why do we eat at this table?
Leader: We eat at this table to remember
that on the night before Jesus died, he ate with his friends.

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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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