Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

September 2016: Seeds

seeds flyer


A centre piece with flowers that had dried with seeds hanging (dandelion seeds, poppy heads, runner beans) and maybe just loose seeds/beans etc, and some seed shoots planted and just emerging etc. Stones to wedge seeds/plants in-between, candles and readings of scriptures with seed theme in.

Photos of the service here.

Welcome/intro - Jonny

At this time of year seeds are hanging on plants in God’s bountiful world and also being collected and stored for planting later. That and a diagram from the Grace day in June (which has become the flyer) have inspired tonight’s worship. A seed is a sign of new potential and beginnings, and today is traditionally the beginning of the Grace year when we look ahead and commit ourselves afresh to God and to one another. Tonight we also gather round the table to remember Christ the seed who fell into the ground and died that we might live. You are welcome.

Opening Prayer - Lynda

Seeds: exploring the theme - Sarah, Jen, Jonny

Explore a range of ideas related to seeds - the seed, timing/mystery and ecosystem.

Invite people to come and have a look at the seed centre piece and take a seed or plant and read some of the scriptures that are placed in it - Lynda

The seed - reflect on the cycle of seeds from this time of year to being planted, bearing fruit, being left to produce more seeds. Include wonder of process, food supply - Sarah

Timing/mystery - sometimes things grow, sometimes nothing’s happening - season of waiting, delay, hidden work. Mystery to it all - Jen

Ecosystem - environment in which growth occurs (soil, weather, nutrients, lack of predators etc). Growth through seeding and not through being bigger and bigger. Parallel with Grace - Relationship between being a community that needs some commitment to it in order to create the environment which then encourages people to flourish in their own calling/life. The point is the life but the community helps so can we encourage both of these simultaneously? - Jonny

Seeds - space to reflect

Having explored lower the lights and give space for silent reflection and prayer for ourselves, for Grace and for the world.

Confession - Jen

Gardener God
Forgive us for the times we have kept our seeds in the packet
For the times we’ve been too scared to risk, too selfish to love, too embarrassed to try
Gardener God, have mercy on us

Forgive us for where we have let weeds grow in the soil of our lives
For the times we have forgotten to pray,
for the days when we don’t bother to listen,
for the moments when we neglect the stirring of your spirit
Gardener God, have mercy on us

Forgive us for when we have trampled on the seedlings of others
Through careless words or outright criticism,
through envy or feeling threatened,
through being insensitive or wrapped up in ourselves
Gardener God, have mercy on us

Forgive us for when we think it’s all down to us
When we forget that to grow we need the earth of our community,
The water of other people’s contribution,
The sunshine of your favour,
The nutrients that come through conversation and challenge
Gardener God, have mercy on us


Creed [Ethos]

We believe in the Creator who imagined this world
And then made it with all its earthy glory
Who made us in God’s image
With the same gift of imagination
Made to CREATE
To look after the earth and develop its resources

We believe in Jesus the Son of God
Who most perfectly embodied that God like image
He was able to see what God was doing and join in
Participating in the overflow of God’s love for the world
Who call us to PARTICIPATE
In the the same love for the world

We believe in the Spirit of Life
Who animates us with the breath of God
Who assures us that we are God’s children
Who calls us to RISK
To offer up the gifts we have been given

We believe that one day God will make all things new
While we wait we will ENGAGE
In our communities, our neighbourhoods and our workplaces
Bringing foretastes of that new creation now
Sharing the good news of God’s wonderful Kingdom


Peace - Lynda (from Amos Trust book Words of Hope)

Peace is not the product of terror or fear
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression
Peace is the generous tranquil contribution of all to the good of all
Peace is dynamism
Peace is generosity
It is right and it is duty

Live in peace not as the world lives
Not in pretending, not in submitting
Not in possessing, not in the glory of winning
The fever of getting

Live in peace
As the makers of peace
As the shakers of wrong
As the people of God singing God’s song of peace

invite people to greet one another

Eucharistic Prayer - Anna

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground a dies it remains a single seed
but if it dies it will produce lots of wheat.

Wheat is ground to make flour
Flour is mixed with water, salt and yeast to make bread.

Bread is your body
Your body is broken
For healing

Unless a grape pip falls to the ground and dies it remains a single seed
but if it dies it will produce lots of grapes on the vine.

Grapes are crushed to make juice
Juice is mixed with water, yeast and sugar to make wine.

Wine is your blood
Your blood is poured out
For forgiveness

Thank you so much for gifts of bread and wine to remember you by
Thank you so much for being the seed that fell to the ground and died
that we might have new life
Send your Spirit on these gifts

Come to the table
You are welcome if you are waiting
You are welcome if you are buried
You are welcome if you are hidden
You are welcome if nothing’s happening
You are welcome if you are growing
You are welcome if you are flourishing
All are welcome at God’s table,
especially those who know they are poor, weak and broken.
God is here, the One who makes the seed grow


Share bread and wine

Post communion prayer

Almighty God,
we thank you for feeding us
with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
to be a living sacrifice.
Send us out
in the power of your Spirit
to live and work
to your praise and glory.

Blessing for the year ahead for our lives - Sarah

Invite people to reflect on one thing that they would like a prayer of blessing for for the year ahead - might be their work, family, relationship, a challenge etc. Write that on a card and come forward and name that one thing and be anointed with oil from a seed (e.g. rape seed). Then add the card to the central display.

Prayer of commitment

We hang our lives upon your mercy
measured out in miles
your boundaries and pathways,
coordinates and charts
that guide our steps
along roads you travelled before us

We will make time for you and your word
We will practice your ways until they are part of us
We will rest and play in you
We will be your people

We are not complete without one another
We cannot run the race alone

We will support one another
encourage one another
wait for the weak
pick up the fallen
through your strength and love

When we are together we will remember what it is like to travel alone
When we are alone we will remember what it is like to travel together
Wherever we are we will remember God who always goes with us

Go with us now, Lord, this night and always

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