A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Very Beginning, 1st Sunday in the Season of Creation '16

For Sunday, October 9, 2016, Readings: In the Beginning* (©Mark Earey), Psalm 148, Sura 7:54 The Qu’ran**, Luke 17:11-19


In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 
  In the empty void and crushing darkness, God spoke light into being. 
[Mark Earey]

 Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights...sun and moon...all you shining stars...Praise him heaven of heavens and you waters above the heavens...for he commanded, and they were created.
[Psalm 148:1, 3, 4]

 "Your Guardian - Lord, is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days...He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command."  [Sura 7: 54, The Qu'ran]

 Then [Jesus] said, "Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" [Luke 17:18]

Welcome to the 
Season of Creation!

        The Season of Creation originated in the Anglican Church of South Africa in 2008 and is designed for us to explore our faith from a Creation perspective. We are to realize our place in the order of God’s creating and to see and act upon the need to care for our entire life-support system - the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil in which we grow our crops - not merely humanity, but our total environment, as it pertains to ALL life. 
         From the early days of the Season of Creation at SsAM [www.SsAM.org], we established that “the primary aim of the events of the season is to enable adults and youth to celebrate and experience the inextricable link which binds together the destinies of all of God’s creatures.” It is a moment of pause to remind ourselves that God calls us to see “what great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions” and for us to renew our commitment to making real the biblical vision of the earth at unity with itself. It is a vision of human beings of all races, backgrounds and walks of life in local communities and among the nations of the earth, living together in love and peace with justice for all. "As disciples of Christ, we are called through our Baptismal Covenant, to be instruments for the healing of our broken world," and with a renewed commitment to personal and communal prayer and action.
         This year, as a special feature of our season, the Earth Charter [http://earthcharter.org/discover/the-earth-charter/] will form a special context or backdrop of our observance. It provides an opportunity for our parish and its individual members--including our youngest members -- to make specific personal and institutional commitments for the healing of our planet, and to join the movement of millions around the world who endorse and commit to its principles.
         The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. This project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. It was finalized and launched as a people’s charter on 29 June, 2000 by the Earth Charter Commission, an independent international entity, in a ceremony at the Peace Palace, in The Hague. A global consensus statement of values and principles for a sustainable future, the Charter has at its core an ethic “of respect and care for the community of life as a whole in all its biological and cultural diversity…The Earth Charter adopted the concept of universal responsibility in part because it complements the idea of universal human rights. 
         We will use Biblical and other readings that pertain to the specific theme of each of the 7 weeks. The alternate readings used will follow the prayers on this page.  

         We begin the Season at the BeginningProfessor Wangari Maathai,*** 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, describes the Book of Genesis as "the book for environmentalists." "If we had been created on Tuesday," she said, "There would have been nowhere for us to stand! God, with infinite wisdom, waited until the last day!" 



LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Eternity, draw back the veil of darkness we pull over ourselves, and help us to hear You speak light into being within us. Quiet the incessant distractions of everyday life that we may experience and savor the glory of Your sun, moon, stars, each blade of grass, and every miraculous facet of Your Creation.

                                    Lord God, our Guardian                                   
RESPONSE:   Let us turn back to You in praise

~ God of Eternity, open the eyes of all who hold political authority on land and sea and in the air across Your diverse Creation, that they may see You reflected in themselves, every human face, every grain of sand, and govern in all good faith. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                    Lord God, our Guardian
                                    Let us turn back to You in praise

~ God of Eternity, as You raise up strength for all Your people, grant healing to the spirits of those laid low by earthly illness or infirmity. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Lord God, our Guardian
                                    Let us turn back to You in praise

~ God of Eternity, may echoes of sweet memory quell the pain of earth-bound grief, as the souls of those who’ve left this ground now soar in the peace and glory of everlasting life in Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Lord God, our Guardian
                                    Let us turn back to You in praise

~ God of Eternity, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud…add your own petitions

                                    Lord God, our Guardian
                                    Let us turn back to You in praise

~ God of Eternity, we give thanksgiving for Your loyal servants anointed to awaken us to the wonders of all Your works, and who call us find our true place within You forever. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    Lord God, our Guardian
                                    Let us turn back to You in praise

The Celebrant adds: LORD of Life from Beginning to Infinity, release us from all selfish diversion that lays waste to our human experience. Fill us with continuous awareness, praise, and delight for the Divine Good in all You have wrought, that propels us to faithful action and prepares us for the perfection of life in Your eternity. We ask through Jesus, our Merciful Healer, and the Holy Spirit, Your Still Small Voice, who together with You are our One Almighty God of all Creation.  Amen.



*A reading from: Mark Earey [http://engageworship.org/ideas/In_the_beginning_Liturgy]:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
In the empty void and crushing darkness, God spoke light into being.
Creator God, bring light into our darkness.

In the beginning, God took eternity and formed time and space, seasons, days and years.
Creator God, fill and shape the time you have given us.

In the beginning, God took land and sea and filled them with life of every kind.
Creator God, help us find our place within your diverse creation.

In the beginning, God spoke his very image, and the returning echo formed humanity.
Creator God, open our eyes to see you reflected in every human face.

In the beginning, God created, and it was good.
© Mark Earey

** A reading from: Sura 7:54, The Qu’ran

“Your GuardianLord, is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the Throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil. O’er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command.” 

*** Professor Wangari Maathai [1940-2011], a Kenyan environmental and political activist, Member of Parliament as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, was educated in the United States and in Kenya. In 2004, she was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She was honored for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace".



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