Our Purpose and Mission Statement

Working to build God's dream. Help wanted!

We the people of Glen Rhodes United Church, are determined that our life together will be fully inclusive for people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, differing abilities, ethnic origins and economic circumstances. Therefore, we hope that God will work in us so that we will be a sensitive congregation, willing to share our faith and gifts in language and worship, in the life and work of our church and wherever God calls us to do justice in the wider community, with compassion, fun and laughter

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Homily Glen Rhodes April 22 2012 Rev. Malcolm Spencer

Deepening the relationship

Sometimes after a party after most people have left one or two may stay and why is that? I think that they want to have a closer relationship to the host, perhaps to share some situation or even difficulty or simply to have the one on one time impossible when a large group is around. This experience shows us that we often seek a relationship even outside of families when we can let our hair down and where we know it will go no further. I have often thought this was the point of Jesus’s many post resurrection appearances. He was no ghost he was someone who sought a relationship with the disciples and others in on ongoing way. He came in Peace and he wanted them to know this was the same wounded Jesus who even ate breakfast with them. This the proof that Divinity is near us not far away, we are no hopelessly lost to God’s love in fact God will go to great extremes to lure us into a relationship that will tell us who we are and what we are and allow us to share the mission and the work of the risen Christ among us now. That is the point to deepen the relationship to say that you can’t get this intimacy with a ghost.

Often it is not easy to see this in ourselves this yearning for this relationship – we live cluttered lives sometimes worshipping at the temple of the mall thinking shopping can help our deepest hungers and we forget our Baptism which says we are part of the Kingdom of God, we are in the family of the saviour and we represent that family in good times and bad. The key to our hope is to stay with that family and pray to seek a blessing to seek the wonder of Easter.

Like all family life we have times when we are not sure about how things are going and we doubt that the future might be very good. We often are at our wits end and feel far from an intimate relationship with the risen Saviour, the wounded one who lived and loved and healed and showed compassion and died out of love of us and rose to embrace us again and empowers us to find signs of that love in our community. We are call to persist in this love, persist in this relationship.

Our word belief comes from the German word Liebe which is about love not about accepting a set of propositions or an old story but about a relationship. Our creeds should really start by saying God Loves the world; I love God and seek to be near God though my life.

Jesus came to deepen the relationship with us because we are children of God part of the family. Let us keep in touch as they say through prayer and reading and being read by the scriptures and even by the newspaper which often surprises us with stories that show God is near.

Courage is just around the corner.

The other reason that Jesus showed himself as the risen Lord is to give the disciples courage. And Acts tells us about the courage that Peter and John had to go out and tell the story of Jesus as they healed a man in Jesus name and took no credit but said it came from Jesus. This is courage Christians need today to face the attack upon the poorest among us and on the environment. I meet so many people who say they would like to do more for the environment but they find it hard. Recycle yes but who can afford an electric car and the bus and train are inconvenient. We don’t need any more information about how much the Earth is suffering from the many humans who live here. Whole species of life have become extinct and many more are endangered. Our aboriginal ancestors in this country left a pristine natural environment with animals and fish and plants and believed that they were in relationship with plants, lakes and animals. We can’t quite get around this but we are animals too, rather clever but not clever enough to not soil our own nest. Yet in Courage that comes from knowing the love of the creator for the creation we are able to tackle these issues with gusto. Yes we can do that out of love not from anger just as we build a just human community in love not from anger. Of course we can be angry about many situations we feel are unjust and the way the earth is treated. Rachel Carson many years ago needed some anger to write of the dangers of DDT

And yet she often spoke lovingly about the natural order and her desire to see it treated with respect. She was fond of saying she would like to see all children have a deep and close relationship with the natural world.

As we go through change in our congregation we can remember that we are the community of the risen Christ in our neighbourhood. We are those whom the community sees as the people who understand the family of God and how wide it is. When we welcome a new pastor let us also welcome each other and embrace again the community with love. Let this be a time for us to renew that relationship with Our risen Lord who will breakfast who will give us courage and the promise of a long, long, long relationship that will fuel our hope our compassion and our desire And yearning for the holy in our life. It is here – this is promise of Easter. It is the dearest desire of God to care for and love us all.

I was quite impressed by this thought of the marine biologist Rachael Carson who thought that it is the children who need to find that assurance that they belong to the world that they have a place to not just learn and play but to live out meaningful lives in a rich relationship with the natural order and discover what spiritual treasures there are in the seasons of faith which call us all back into the forces which God uses to renew the earth and renew us and invites us to that profoundly personal and deeply happy relationship with Jesus our risen saviour and our Lord. He seeks us and he knows us –this is no ghost this is a living present Lord.

Let us not fear the future -  it is bright – the sunlight we have seen this spring is the harbinger of summer- this is the summer of Glen Rhodes. Let us rejoice and take heart as we go forward this year.

Let us pray

Sacrificial and loving God you have given us a sign of great love and hope –help us to open our hearts to you and to love as you have loved and keep us ever in your love.

In Jesus Name we Pray. Amen

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Homily, April 15, 2012 - Rev. Malcolm Spencer

 Doubt and Belief

We have two stories today one of a trusting and excited early Christian community in Jerusalem and the other coping with a doubt illustrated by Thomas. He did not accept the others when they said they saw the risen Jesus. This is not so uncommon-sometimes it is easier to doubt than to believe. When someone tells us something we think is fanciful we often don’t believe it. When an advertiser claims something we question, we often doubt the claims in fact maybe we don’t doubt enough in this field. If you have ever bought a used car doubt is a major factor in claims about it makes it seem like a perfect auto. We live in a time when many doubt the church and faith as we have had a perfect history after those heady days of resurrection joy living among the disciples.

 It took a visit by the wounded risen Jesus to convince Thomas that he was alive, the real thing present in the world and among the disciples. Sometime we look for proof to believe in something. That is especially true if we have felt betrayed by someone then we need assurance of real change or reform. Like Thomas we like to open the box to see that all the parts are there.

 Yet every day we trust a lot that our bank card will work in the ATM or if we fly that the plane will take off and land. Experience has taught us to trust in many things in life. So it is in our Christian life that Jesus frees us to see him and know him as we care for others and even ourselves.

1. Doubt is an ally of faith

It is very natural to doubt, our very make up as humans is that we learn from experience and to critically think about things. Nothing would ever change in the world if someone didn’t have doubts about how things were going. It can be an ally of our faith as sometimes our faith is grounded more in our ego rather than in the living God or Risen Christ. Doubt can challenge some of our prejudices we acquired from the unthinking culture. It allows us to re-examine and reconsider things, become free from things that hold us back from a more compassionate and caring faith that Jesus has encouraged us to practice. Doubt can be unfortunately an ally of cynicism as well as when we are unsure we have no hope in the future. We know that a lack of hope is a tragic loss. Jesus’ risen presence is our hope. It is the statement that whatever you throw at it, love and hope will persist and bring us fresh new life.

 This is the 100th anniversary of the unsinkable Titanic, many movies have been made and much has been written about this disaster yet even in this disaster there was great courage; the workers below tried to save the ship, the musicians played on while other jumped off and this even happened as today’s ships sink so there is no unsinkable ship-but it does give us pause - these tragedies test our faith and demonstrate our courage as well –when John was writing this gospel life was becoming hard for that Jerusalem Christian community since rebellion was in the air- much suffering would come to the Jewish nation at the hand of Rome yet he tells this story of Thomas to show that even the doubters can see the risen Christ in the midst of all that is going on.

Like Thomas we are right to seek proof and as Mary of Magdala we too can see Jesus among us, giving us new life and redeeming the world – one day last year I was in the religious section of a large bookstore and someone said to me that Christianity made sense since only love will save the environment and save ourselves from cruelty and war like activities. Certainly I think that person has got it. Like Thomas we can all declare “My Lord and My God!”

 Someone has written that when Jesus asked Thomas to touch his wounds he was also asking Thomas to recognize his own wounds.

 2. The wounded believe

The disciples were wounded with fear haunted by betrayal and locked in a room like those afraid of their neighbours Thomas was wounded by his doubts, his independence, his desire to know separate from the rest. But Jesus come and say Peace be with you, Jesus came in peace. This is the peace the shalom where redemption is possible. We are as a congregation in transition moving slowly to that Peace where the doubting, the hand wringing the trouble of another day has passed and we are preparing for the future.

Let us take heart with the disciples they went from the frightened to the daring. Thomas went all the way to India. They launched the faith to the Gentiles and were not afraid to die for what they believed – and even that small cooperative community in Jerusalem survived with Paul’s help collecting money, they kept the flame of faith alive and watched it grow in the empire.

Take heart the wounded living Lord risen and alive is with us.

Let us pray

Sacrificial and loving God you have given us a sign of great love and hope –help us to open our hearts to you and to love as you have loved and keep us ever in your love.

In Jesus’ Name we Pray   Amen

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Sanctuary with Helicopters Flying

Mark 16: 1-8

Jong Bok Kim at Glen Rhodes UC on Sunday, April 8th, 2012

 God of joy and delight, we open our hearts to receive the risen Christ with hope in the new life you promise. May we calm our fears and free our voices to sing out for all to hear: Christ is risen! Alleluia!

 Last Sunday morning some of us were surprised to see huge black curtains covering the entire choir loft and both sides of the front of the sanctuary.  It might have been even more surprising to know that helicopters were heard flying around this sanctuary last week.  What was going on here?  When the Fairview Mall Library Theatre was closed abruptly as a result of a city worker’s strike the week before, the Curtain Call Players had to find a place in a rush to perform their scheduled show, “Miss Saigon,” and eventually presented it in our sanctuary under the name, “Rhodes Avenue Theatre,” over the past two weekends.

Last week, we marked Holy Week in this sanctuary, starting with the Palm/Passion Sunday service and continuing with special services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  This year, we had to celebrate it in quite a different setting.  Our sanctuary was transformed into a theatre with huge curtains, two big lighting poles and a spacious stage.  The black curtains formed a dramatic backdrop to the Holy Week services. Not only was our sanctuary bombarded with the noise from the flying helicopters but our pews were packed with audiences for several nights.  How many years has it been since we saw such a crowd in our sanctuary during Holy Week? 

Holy Week has ended and this morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The show, “Miss Saigon,” ended yesterday.  The loyal patrons of the theatre group have returned to their normal lives.  For those who would never have come into a church otherwise, Easter is merely another day, or, at the most, a long holiday weekend.  For us, Easter Sunday is a very special day, commemorating the single most important event on the Christian calendar.  Today begins a 50-day period, the season of Easter, that lasts until the Day of Pentecost.

A short while ago, we read Mark’s Gospel.  According to Mark, three women, two named Mary and one, Salome, went to the tomb early in the morning to anoint the dead body of Jesus.  They had seen Joseph roll the large stone across the entrance (15:46) so they knew what had to be done; Joseph had not anointed the body prior to burying it.  They went to the tomb to complete the burial requirement of their tradition. 

What they were concerned about on the way to the tomb, however, was how to get into the tomb because it had been closed with that large stone.  They knew they could not move it themselves. They hoped someone would roll it away so they could go inside. But as soon as they arrived they realized they did not have to worry about the stone; it had already been rolled away and the tomb was open.  Surprised as they were, they entered the tomb.  What they saw was not the dead body of Jesus, but a young man dressed in a white robe. They were alarmed (v.5).  

The angel knew what they were looking for.  The three women heard that Jesus had been raised and would go ahead of them and see them in Galilee just as he had told them previously.  They were commissioned to tell the other disciples, and especially Peter.  The women are told to remind the disciples of the promise that Jesus had already made; after his resurrection, he would go before them to Galilee (14:28).

Here, we are reminded how all the male disciples had failed to understand who Jesus was and to stand by him in his passion.  In particular, it was Peter who had boasted that he would die with Jesus even if all the rest fled (14:31); instead, he denied even knowing who Jesus was (14:71). When we last saw Peter, he was weeping as he recalled Jesus’ words.  Now, these women were the first disciples commissioned to tell the story of Jesus’ resurrection.  Nevertheless, they too fled from the tomb and abandoned their commission because they were so terrified.  The story says they said nothing to anyone because they were afraid (v.8).  This is the end of the story in Mark: that is it.  It sounds odd.  Obviously the women must have said something to someone sometime, or else how would we know what they saw in the tomb?  

According to Mark, even the women disciples fled from and abandoned their calling out of fear.  The women’s response also brings us face to face with the mystery of faith. There are no heroes or heroines among Jesus’ followers. The hostility that put Jesus on the cross has reduced them all to flight and fearful silence. Nevertheless, God brings faith out of just such weakness and failure. Jesus did not need to come once again and choose a new team of better disciples. Despite all the stories of our weakness and failure, the Gospel message has spread around the globe and the story of Jesus has touched the world throughout the ages. However imperfect our faith and however many times we remain silent when we should testify to the Gospel, we can always return to God. Not one of us can get so far away from Jesus that we cannot be touched by God’s powerful presence in our lives.

The finale of “Miss Saigon” is heart-breaking.  Kim, the heroine, kills herself for the sake of the future of both her son, Tam, and her lover, Chris.  The tragic story of a seventeen- year- old girl in a war-torn country has touched many people.  That is why it still draws such large crowds.  The show is over: there is no more crowd here; there are no more helicopters flying in this sanctuary.  Our pews are empty once again.

“Do not be alarmed,” says the angel sitting in the empty tomb today.  Our story at Glen Rhodes does not end here.  Mark’s Gospel invites us to find ourselves in the ongoing story. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ ministry begins in Galilee. At the conclusion of Mark, it is in Galilee that Jesus’ followers find the risen Christ. Galilee also is the land of the Gentiles. What does that mean?  It may be that Christ’s return to Galilee completes the full circle of Jesus’ ministry. Perhaps it is for us an indication that Jesus’ ministry is not finished but will begin again, in the life and ministry of the disciples and even in ours today.

Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! This ancient Easter greeting heralds the defining story of our faith.  Sharing bread and wine at the common table set by Jesus Christ, let us go out into the world with this great news of the risen Christ, carrying on Jesus’ ministry in our ministry today and in the days ahead. Amen.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

“That Was The Story Then…  And It Still Happens Now.”

Palm Sunday Playlet at Glen Rhodes UC on April 1st, 2012

(All those taking part in the Playlet will gather at the front, Narrator1 will go to the pulpit and narrator2 will go to the lectern. The other readers will sit in the front pew and take turns to come to the mike on the floor. The Prayers of the People today is incorporated into this Playlet.)

Narrator 1: This is Palm Sunday and it is also Passion Sunday, the beginning of Holy week, the focus of Jesus passion. We will hear the experience, the story of Jesus passion, his suffering and death. "Passion" means powerful feelings which Jesus experienced, feelings of joy, anger, sadness, loneliness, comfort, miracle, pain. So it’s more than a story; its a story of feelings and we'll hear some of them.

Narrator 2: Jesus cared deeply about Jerusalem; his disciples found him a donkey to ride on, so people would know he came to bring peace. The crowds gathered, like for the Santa Claus parade, and they cheered as he entered the city. They waved palm branches, and even threw their clothes on the ground, like we do with red carpet for important people. The crowds shouted "Hosanna Hosanna", which means “Save us now”. Jesus didn't like that so much; he wanted peace.  And it threatened some of the leaders, who asked Jesus to tell the crowds to be quiet. He said “If I quiet them even the stones will shout.”

Narrator 1: Jesus went to the temple.  He became angry that it had been turned into a marketplace, and he drove the bankers out. He went to the hills to pray while the leaders plotted how to get rid of him. Later on he invited his disciples to Passover dinner and in offering bread and wine told them how he would lose his life.

Narrator 2: Now I'd invite you the congregation to take part. When one of us says "That was the story then" would you please respond "And it still happens now"

Narrator 1: Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples to pray. He asked them to pray for themselves, and He went farther on, and he prayed long and hard, "God, take this cup from me, but not my will, but yours be done." When he returned, he found his disciples asleep. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation." (Luke 22:39-46)

Disciple 1: (sadly) That was so embarrassing! Jesus told us to pray for strength; simple enough, but we fell asleep instead. I'm so sad that we let him down How often have I let down a friend or loved one when I was really needed?

Narrator 1 "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Narrator 2: While Jesus was still speaking a crowd came up, with Judas leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, do you betray me with a kiss?" (Luke 22:47-48)

Judas: (angrily) "Look I don't understand anything Jesus does or says any more.  Following him has been a waste of my time.  The world still belongs to the rich and the strong."

Narrator 2 "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Jong Bok: Prayers for Judas* – O God, we pray for those who are disillusioned on the long journey in search of excellence. We pray for those who have compromised themselves, or sold out their loved ones and their ideals when life did not unfold according to their plan. We pray for those whose sin seems so obvious that it keeps us from looking at the little deadly betrayals we make in our own lives. We pray for those we use as scapegoats, who carry the blame and weight of our individual and collective failures. We pray for the strength to forgive those who cannot forgive themselves.

(* Adapted from a Good Friday prayer by Juanita Austin, Trinity U.C., Merritt, B.C. in Gathering, LEP, 2005, pp. 58-59.)

Narrator 1: Jesus' followers saw things were getting interesting, so they said, "Jesus, should we strike with our swords?" One of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. Jesus interrupted, "No more of this!" He touched the man's ear and healed him. (Luke 22:49-51)

 Disciple 2: (regretfully) Sometimes I get angry; I just react without thinking. I end up hurting someone else or myself. When Judas betrayed Jesus, I was steamed. I went at one of the enemy. Jesus up and healed him, but he probably saved me from being arrested in the process."

Narrator 1 "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Narrator 2: They seized him, and took him into the high priest’s house. As Peter sat with some of them around a fire in the courtyard, a servant girl saw him there and said, "This man was with him."
Peter denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.

 Later someone else saw him: "You also are one of them."
"I am not!" Peter replied.

Again another said, "Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean."

 Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just then, the rooster crowed. Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." He went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:54-62)

Peter: (confessionally & tearfully) I can’t believe I did that!  I denied Jesus not once, even twice , but three times!  I’ve denied the master I’ve followed and loved and promised to die for.  I’m too hung up on being liked and safe, even when I know Jesus is taking those risks and would want me to. How did he know?

Narrator 2: "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Jong Bok: Prayers for Peter*As we reflect on the thoughts of those gathered on this Palm/Passion Sunday, God, hear our prayers for all in our world, including ourselves, who face similar dilemmas, hopes, and fears. We pray for all people who, like Peter, feel lost and confused when life does not go the way they had anticipated. We pray for all those who give up on their dreams and go back to basic survival techniques—addictions, complying with the demands of others, or getting lost in their work. We pray for all people who, like Peter, deny that they are in denial. We pray for fresh dreams and the courage to live them out.

Narrator 1: The men guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, "Prophesy! Who hit you?" And they said many other insulting things to him. (Luke 22:63-71)

Religious Leader: (accusingly)  All these people who challenge the traditional way we’ve always done things;  -they are just trouble makers.  This Jesus character is a dangerous man  -filled with dangerous new Ideas.  We’ve have to get rid of him!

Narrator 1: "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Jong Bok: Prayers for Caiaphas* – Holy One, we pray for religious leaders around the world and within our own faith tradition. We pray for those who have the burden of caring for the whole flock amidst the call to be prophetic, upsetting and open to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Help us to be aware when our own need for security and control subverts your holy calling. We pray for the strength to put our faith in you as you call us into a new way of being.

Narrator 2: They took Jesus to Pilate, and accused him, saying, "This man is subverting our nation. He’s against paying taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."   Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"You say so," Jesus replied.  Pilate said to the people, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."   They insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. When Pilate found out he was a Galilean, he sent him to Herod.  Herod had been hoping to see Jesus perform a miracle. He asked him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. (Luke 23:1-12)

Herod (mockingly): I was really looking forward to see this famous Jesus. I wanted to hear what he’d say for himself. But the fool just stood there and said nothing, even when we made big time fun out of him! He thinks he can change the world.  Ha!  He’ll amount to nothing

Narrator 2: "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Hymn VU 145 – O sacred Head (verse 1 only)

Narrator 1: Pilate said to the chief priests, the rulers and the people: " I have examined this man in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod; he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him." They all cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us instead!" Their shouts prevailed; Pilate granted their demand, released Barabbas, and handed over Jesus. (Luke 23:13-25)

Pilate (defensively): I gave Jesus every chance I could. But what was I to do? I’ve got to keep the peace.  The people were on my case; they were going to riot if I didn’t have him crucified. Last week they cheered for him, and now want him crucified. It can’t be any big deal.

Narrator 1: "That was the story then."

All: And it still happens now."

Jong Bok: Prayers for Pilate*We pray today for political leaders, those who must balance the demands of opposing views of their constituents at the municipal, provincial, or national level. Give them a heart of compassion and a head for common sense when making decisions that affect the lives of the people they govern or represent. We pray for wisdom and insight, and we pray for foresight, that we may be aware that whatever decisions we make today will affect the future of this planet and our children's children.

Narrator 2: As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)

Simon from Cyrene (with astonishment):  I had no idea what was going on. Some soldiers grabbed me and made me carry some criminal’s cross. The way that poor man looked at me, he wasn’t just thanking me; he was, well I just can’t put it into words how loved I felt.

Narrator 2: "That was the story then."

All: And it still happens now."

Narrator 1:  Two criminals were executed with him. The soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
The people watched; the rulers sneered, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ. They offered him wine vinegar.  The soldiers mocked him: "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." (Luke 23:32-38)

Soldier: (flippantly): Hey you, hot-shot King of the Jews, come on down!  Show us a miracle! What a loser. Hey Joe, its my turn to roll. Maybe I can win his cloak. Gimme the dice.

Narrator 1: "That was the story then."

All: And it still happens now."

Jong Bok: Prayers for the Soldiers*O God, there seems to be no respite from war. In a world perpetually enmeshed in battle we pray for the strength to stop destroying our brothers and sisters in the human family. As we think of the soldiers who took part in the torture and crucifixion of Jesus, we think of soldiers in our world today. We pray for those who enlist with the highest ideals to serve their country, to defend the innocent, to free the persecuted, to say "no" to demonic dictatorship. We pray for those who enlist because it seems like the only option to avoid economic poverty, or because they are conscripted and have no choice but to go. We pray for their safety and for their souls. For the peace-keeping roles they play, we are grateful. The life and death choices they must face to kill or be killed, many of us can only imagine, or do not wish to contemplate. May the wounds and scars they must forever bear on body and soul stir us to steadfastly seek your ways of peace in our families, in our communities, in our world.

Narrator 2: One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" The other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God?  We are getting what we deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong; Remember me Jesus, when you come into your kingdom."
"I tell you the truth, said Jesus,  today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)

 Second Criminal: Here is an innocent man in pain and dying, and he forgives the ones killing him, and comforts me at the same time. This is beyond belief. Thank-you Jesus in my darkest hour.

Narrator 2: "That was the story then."

All: “And it still happens now."

Jong Bok: Let us continue our prayer of intersession and thanksgiving.

 Prayers for Mary Magdalene* – We pray for those who have loved and lost. Holy One, be with all who grieve the loss of loved ones. Comfort them with your abiding love and sustain them with precious memories. We give thanks for those who have brought love into our lives, those who have brought out the best in us. Help us to continue to offer our best in recognition of the love we have received and continue to receive from you.

Prayers for Mary and Other Parents* – Dear God, (Holy Mary), only one who has lived through the death of their own child can know this kind of grief. Bless with your parental love all who grieve for the sake of their children. We pray for those whose children have died by accident, illness, murder, or at their own hand. We pray for all parents, grandparents, and family who live in fear for their children's lives. We pray for those whose children suffer from illness, addictions, or destructive lifestyles. We pray for those who are estranged from their children, that there may be healing of relationships and hope in our hearts once again.

Prayers for Ourselves; Concerns and Thanksgivings TodayWe give you thanks for your gifts of wisdom on our journey of searching for a new minister here at Glen Rhodes.  We are deeply grateful for the commitment and dedication of our Joint Search Committee.  As the search process comes to an end, we trust in your guidance so that they make a wise recommendation to the congregation.  May we be strengthened by our learning from the past and ready to grow into our future ministry together.

Now, in silence and aloud, we name those in our hearts who are in need of your loving presence and healing touch…

May those we name in silence and aloud find strength and courage through our prayers to continue their journey of healing.

With Jesus, we pray together, saying,

Our Mother-Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.