Short reflective services to easily do at home, at the lake, or wherever you might be on a summer Sunday morning. 

Gathering

Reflect:
How are you feeling as you get ready to worship? 
Weary or energetic, happy or sad, hopeful or discouraged, anxious or at peace, or…?
No matter what you are experiencing, remember God is with you always.
God is with you right now, and loves you, just as you are.

Greet the Day and Say (Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver):
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the miserable and crotchety–
best preacher that ever was, dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe, to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching, to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness. 

Sing: “Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow” (or say the words)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise God all creatures, high and low!
Give thanks to God, in love made known:
Creator, Word, and Spirit, One. Amen. 

Pray: 
Creator God, thank you for the sun, which greets us each day,
whether it’s shining brightly, or hidden by dull grey clouds,
it is always there, as you are always there.
Thank you for this new day, whether it feels bright or dull, it is a gift to be alive today.
Thank you for all the blessings that flow from you, too numerous to count.
May I continue to live this day full of gratitude, and love, and joy, and kindness. Amen. 

Reflecting on God’s Word

August 8

Read: 1 Kings 19:3-8
Read it aloud or to yourself, or perhaps multiple times, with time for silent reflection in between.

Reflect
Have you ever felt like Elijah does here- alone, exhausted, feeling like you’ve had enough? What sustained and strengthened you to continue on? Elijah needed food, water, and rest, but also just to know that God was with him. How has God shown up for you? 

Pray
Loving God, sometimes the journey I face is difficult, and all I want to do is run away, retreat, lie down, escape. Wake me with your gentle touch, remind me to take care of myself. Help me to know I always have the strength of your presence, to help me get through. Amen 

 

August 15

Read: Mark 4:35-41
Read it aloud or to yourself, or perhaps multiple times, with time for silent reflection in between.

Reflect
Why do you think Jesus slept through the storm, but calmed it right away when the disciples woke him up? Do you think the disciples were afraid, or faithful, or both? Where are the places in your life where you feel afraid, and are longing for God’s peace? 

Pray
God of peace, when the storms of life are raging around me, when fear is high and hope is almost gone, be a calming presence for me. Help me remember that you are with me, and I don’t need to be afraid. Amen. 

 

August 22

Read: Psalm 84:1-5

Reflect
This Psalm reminds me of how we are all longing to be back together in church, singing together in praise. But “God’s dwelling place” is not in a building; it is in all creation, including in each one of us. When have you felt God’s presence this summer? Where do you most strongly find yourself “home” with God? 

Pray
God of life and love, I long to rest myself in your presence, to celebrate and praise you in song and word. O God, may it not be long before we can gather together as a faith community, but until then, help me find you all around me. Amen 

 

August 29

Read: James 1:16-21
Read it aloud or to yourself, or perhaps multiple times, with time for silent reflection in between.

Reflect
James cautions us to be quick to listen and slow to speak, and I think this is good advice for all of us, especially when there is so much pain and hurt in our world caused by speaking and acting in anger. How are you being called to listen today? By really listening to someone, instead of thinking of your response? By paying attention and not tuning out? By seeking out a story or perspective from someone with a different experience than you? 

Pray
Before I speak, or act, too quickly, God, my Light, help me pause, listen, and consider the effects of my words and deeds. May all that I do spring from your Word of truth and love, which you planted in me. Amen

 

September 5

Read: James 2:1-4, 14-17
Read it aloud or to yourself, or perhaps multiple times, with time for silent reflection in between.

Reflect
Martin Luther said we are saved by God through faith alone, meaning we don’t earn God’s love through good deeds. And yet, James says that for our faith to be alive, we need to practice it by doing good deeds. Think of a time you did something good and selfless. Did you do it because of your faith, or did the good deed strengthen your faith? How can you put your faith into practice today?  

Pray
God of All, thank you for your love which I you give me without me needing to earn it. Help me to share your love with others, not just in word, but in action, and to not show favouritism, but love even those who feel unlovable to me. Help me remember that you love all, just as you love me. Amen

Closing (for every week)

Continue in prayer:
Lift up to God your own prayers of thanksgiving and concern for people and issues you know of, and for yourself. Finish by saying The Lord’s Prayer

Sing:
Sing “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” again, or sing a favourite song!  
(Some of the hymns Stephen recorded over the past year are on our website with lyrics for you to sing along.) 

Blessing (from 2 Corinthians 13:11, 13)
This blessing is for you and our whole community of faith; remember that others from our community are saying the same blessing for you as well!

May we encourage one another and live in harmony and peace. May the grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen 

 

Thank you for worshipping today! May God be with you until we meet again!