God’s presence

Social Fabric Prayer

The transgender man beaten,
and the woman harassed on the bus.
The disabled student not accommodated,
and the bomb threat at the Jewish child-care centre.
Racial profiling at the border
and another refugee told to go home.
A million tiny teeth ripping at the webs that connect us,
fissures fracturing the social fabric.
Reading the news my heart feels tattered,
and all that’s good seems lost
and left behind.

Can we defend, say, “Not here!” to hatred,
hold firm to every last strand of civility?

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Holding the Baby

The night God took a deep breath
for all that must be saved,
even the stars outshone themselves
and hillsides gloried with angelic music,
the good, good, good news bouncing down
like boulders, shaking the foundations royally,
announcing the advent of a ruler born
for all who must be saved.
It was the bloody same way
we all arrive on the scene
through the mother of all labour and sweat,
the pain stretching out like tidal waves
for all that must be made flesh.
Love is now newborn, if not exactly

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A Prayer for Times like These

or a world where lies are accepted at face value;
hear our prayer, God of truth.
For a world where racism in high places is tolerated;
hear our prayer, God of the oppressed.
For a world where people with disabilities are mocked;
hear our prayer, God of the disadvantaged.
For a world where the rich hold the reins of power;
hear our prayer, God of the poor.
For a world where men violate women with impunity;
hear our prayer, God of the downtrodden.
For a world where the earth is ignored and neglected;
hear our prayer, God of the voiceless.
For a world where nations interfere in enemies’ elections;
hear our prayer, God of the disenfranchised….

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Final Goodbyes (for Mimi)

thank you that you are God with us
even in our final good-byes.
Thank you for the ebbing of life,
which is as holy as its birth,
even with all the indignities
that infirmities bring.
Thank you for loved ones gathered,
for memories shared and savoured,
and for quiet vigils,
sweeter than all words,
where all we do is breathe.

And at the stillest moment of all,

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Singing Praises Call to Worship

Psalm 98:4-9 and
Here we are Lord!
We come into your house this morning
praising your faithfulness,
giving thanks for your mercy,
seeking the joy of your presence.
Thank you for creating us
and giving us life and breath today.
Thank you for your son Jesus Christ, our Saviour
and for the Holy Spirit
whose presence here
unites us as your people.
Fill us with your peace today. Amen.

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Holy Presence Offering Prayer

Like the disciples at Emmaus,
we offer what we have.
They offered their company,
their table, their bread.
We invite you to be with us, Jesus,
as we offer you our love,
our devotion, these gifts.
May our eyes be opened
to your holy presence among us,
now and always.  Amen.

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Open Arms Congregational Prayer

Thank you God for the slanting rays of the sun in the morning,
making everything golden and new.
For the blessing of snow, falling on everything,
covering everything like a benediction.
Thank you for the shock of cardinals against bare branches,
and the liveliness of squirrels running through trees.
Thank you for the smell of coffee and tea in the morning,
for warm houses and comfortable clothes,
for days off and time to relax.
Thank you for this day, which we have been given as a gift!
We long to know you, and your will for our lives.
We confess there are places in our lives where we are confused and puzzled.
In complicated family relationships, we don’t know where to turn.
In heavy financial difficulties, we feel stuck.

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Strong Arms Benediction

Go into your week
confident of God’s strong arms around you.
God’s arms will support you in your work,
and they will hold you when you rest,
they will keep you safe
every moment of the day and night.

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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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