CALL TO WORSHIP
Psalm 62

MUSIC
Curated by Kevin Borst
Bethel Music - Stand In Your Love
All Sons & Daughters - Great Are You Lord
Hillsong Worship - Whole Heart
Hillsong Worship - King of Kings
Bethel Music - Heaven Come
Hillsong Worship - O Praise The Name
Hillsong United - Good Grace
The Belonging Co. - Peace Be Still
Bethel Music - Raise A Hallelujah

COMMONS WORSHIP MUSIC PLAYLISTS
Spotify
Apple Music
Google Play Music
YouTube

REFLECTIVE PRAYER
Written by Bobbi Salkeld

Along with the Eucharist, fixed-hour prayer is the oldest practice of Christian spirituality. 

The notion of fixed-hour prayer is taken from the psalms, which tell us to pray seven times a day. One of the earliest Christian texts known as the Didache found first Christ-followers praying the Lord’s Prayer three times a day. The Common Prayer Book frames fixed-hour prayer around Morning, Noon, and Night. 

This kind of prayer is an act of reorientation. In the practice, we turn our attention from the many mundane distractions our brains buzz with. We settle ourselves and we focus on the divine. 

Tonight, the intention we come together around is “beginnings.” New seasons. Fresh starts. This is time to unclutter and reorganize. To take stock. To shift our attention to what really matters most to us. 

Maybe a goal.
Maybe an intention.
Maybe a longing. 

Maybe you really want to learn something new. 
Maybe you crave an adventure. 
Maybe you want this season to hold a new sense of confidence and peace. 

I invite you to an adapted fixed-hour prayer - something like Vespers. I will weave together poems, readings, prayers, and quiet moments. Take deep breaths. Feel your feet on the ground. Perhaps place your hands in a prayerful open posture on your lap. 

Let us pray. 

A Call to Prayer
Do you bow your head when you pray or do you look
up into that blue space? 
Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions. 
And don’t worry about what language you use, 
God no doubt understands them all.
(Mary Oliver, “Whitling Swans”)

The Request for Presence
We begin this season here, honouring this life, with all its potentials and possibilities. 
We begin this season with trust, knowing we are created for loving encounter. 
We begin this season with hope, knowing each day can hold love, kindness, forgiveness and justice.
(Adapted from Padraig O Tuama. Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community)

A Reading 
A reading from Rabbi Lawrence Kushner: 

Blessings give reverent and routine voice to our conviction that life is good, one blessing after another. Even, and especially, when life is cold and dark. Indeed to offer blessings at such times may be our only deliverance. We have specific and unique phrases by which we bless a sacred book before we read it, our children at the Sabbath table, our hands while washing them, the bread we eat, the moon, the fact that we are not slaves, and that the rooster can distinguish between night and day. We bless … trees in first blossom. We bless the hearing of good news and any kind of wine. We bless everything. Or, to be technically correct, we bless the Holy One who stands behind and within them all. Blessings keep our awareness of life’s holy potential ever-present. They awaken us to our own lives. Every blessing says, “I am grateful to be a creature and to remind myself and God that life is good.” With each blessing uttered we extend the boundaries of the sacred and ritualize our love of life. One hundred times a day. Everywhere we turn, everything we touch, everyone we see. The blessing can be whispered. No one even needs to hear. No one but the Holy One. “Holy One of Blessing, your Presence fills the universe. Your Presence fills me.”
(Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, The Book of Words)

The Refrain
When we are at the start of a season
When we are aware of new beginnings
GOD WELCOMES US
WITH LOVE

When we are at the end of a season
When we are aware of the grief of what is no more
GOD WELCOMES US
WITH LOVE

The “Beginnings” Prayer 
Lord, help me now to unclutter my life, to organize myself in the direction of simplicity. 
Lord, teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it. 
Lord, I give you these stirrings inside of me.
I give you my discontent. 
I give you my restlessness. 
I give you my doubt. 
I give you my despair. 
I give you all the longings I hold inside. 
Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth;
Help me to listen seriously and follow where they lead through the breathtaking empty space of an open door. 
(Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals)

The Refrain
When we are at the start of a season
When we are aware of new beginnings
GOD WELCOMES US
WITH LOVE

When we are at the end of a season
When we are aware of the grief of what is no more
GOD WELCOMES US
WITH LOVE

The Gloria
Glory be to God the Maker, God the Liberator, and God the Spirit. 
As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end.
Alleluia.

The Concluding Prayer
Loving God, mighty and most gentle Presence, 
You have brought us in safety to this fall season. 
Preserve us with your care, 
that we may not choose a selfish way, 
nor be overcome by our struggles, 
and in all we do will you invite us into your shalom - where nothing is broken and nothing is missing, through Jesus, our friend and the source of all that is true. 

AMEN.