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Homeless Sunday, January 18th 2015. Overarching Prayer Please use this prayer and the Homeless Sunday Prayer Cards (http://www.homeless-

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Presentation on theme: "Homeless Sunday, January 18th 2015. Overarching Prayer Please use this prayer and the Homeless Sunday Prayer Cards (http://www.homeless-"— Presentation transcript:

1 Homeless Sunday, January 18th 2015. Overarching Prayer Please use this prayer and the Homeless Sunday Prayer Cards (http://www.homeless- ) as part of your worship and as a resource throughout the rest of the year.http://www.homeless- Born in a stable, you were a refugee in a strange land. You lived life on the road, depending on others for shelter. Hear our prayer for all who today are homeless, or whose home is not a place of refuge. Grant us wisdom and compassion as we struggle to secure for everyone a home that truly meets their needs. Amen Prayer written specifically for Southampton O LORD, our LORD, who calls each of us to show your love to a watching world Gives us ears to hear the cries of those who are in need now and who we can help stop being cast in to the river homelessness. Give us willing hands to help: Those who are treading water as they sofa surf or overcrowd with their family. Those who are caught up in the rough waters of trying to save up for a deposit and are becoming desperate to find a home that they can afford. Those who are drowning in the struggles of rough sleeping. Give the strength of character needed to walk with those who were once homeless, who will need extra time and help to keep their feet dry and live confidently ashore. Give us a heart to work with the many agencies and charities in Southampton that fish precious lives out of the river and want to help them prosper on dry land. Please bless the work of (you choose) Southampton City Council: housing department, Homelessness Unit & Street Homeless Prevention team. Accommodation Providers: YMCA, Two Saints, The Society of Saint James, Salvation Army. Advice agencies: No Limits, Family Mosaic Floating Support, CLEAR, EU Welcome, Churches rent deposit scheme. And always give us a voice to thank you for the homes that we have, never taking them for granted, as many of us are only 3 pay cheques away from bankruptcy or eviction. AMEN

2 Most of the following resources have been cherry picked, to save you some time, from - http://www.homeless- =auto,-130,848 Thinking about Homeless Sunday. Before planning any actions or preparing for the service you might take some time to reflect on the key message for this year’s Homeless Sunday. The theme is “Welcoming the Stranger”, and in the suggested readings for today, we can see that Jesus does not turn away the strangers who come to his door. Instead, he welcomes them into his home and invites those who approach him in the street to follow him, promising them the Kingdom of God. Jesus calls us all to follow him and he tells us how to make our selves worthy to enter the Kingdom. A clear explanation of what is expected of us can be found in Isaiah 58: 6-12 and in Jesus’ own words in Matthew 25: 31-46. It is not a complicated message, but it is a challenge that is as difficult to meet now as it was when Christ spoke these words for the first time. However, the message is very clear. Our actions will determine the outcome of our encounter with God on the Last Day. When considering the theme of “Welcoming the Stranger”, consider how this might be expressed both in the service and afterwards. One idea is to hand out invitations to the Homeless Sunday Service at the end of every service the previous week. Then perhaps you can make the after - service teas and coffees extra welcoming. You could also decorate the church to reflect the idea of “Welcoming the stranger” and think of how to really welcome everyone. Consider how you might encourage every worshipper to be welcoming, too. But also explore how you can help people focus on WHO the stranger is and HOW they might offer them welcome. If you have managed to include people from the homelessness sector or those with personal knowledge of homelessness, make sure they are both welcomed and enabled to communicate their knowledge and experiences.

3 5.Prayer of Penitence Forgive us our closed doors shutting out those with no home, closing our hearts to their plight, turning the keys on their hope, leaving them to seek help elsewhere Lord, have mercy Forgive us the conditions people are made to endure in our name the overcrowding, the insecurity, the harassment that deprives them of their hope’ undermines their confidence and destroys their self respect Lord, have mercy Forgive us the deep hurt of those we abandon to loneliness; families separated, broken; children whose shelter does not offer them protection from harm Lord, have mercy Forgive us the indifference and incompetence of those employed in our name; who ought to offer care but have none to offer or are expected to deny support; forgive our own lack of understanding and the turning away of our eyes Lord, have mercy Forgive us for not welcoming those who need our help and our support and our generous love. Lord, have mercy

4 4.Collect/opening prayer God of grace and good news Send forth your Spirit to be with us today. As you speak your Word, may we hear it; As you show us your heart for the world, may we share it; And, as you call us to act, May we respond openly and with faith. Amen 7.Prayers of Intercession Jesus drew near to the city and wept over it Over our city, Lord, have mercy Light has come into the world, but we too often choose darkness Over our city, Lord, have mercy The light exposes our words and deeds, Over our city, Lord, have mercy Let us come into the light and live by truth Over our city, Lord, have mercy Help us to do the things that make for peace Over our city, Lord, have mercy So that all can see which God we worship Over our city, Lord, have mercy Come Lord Jesus, light of the world, and dwell in us Over our city, Lord, have mercy AMEN

5 11.Additional prayers /poems related to the theme Are you waiting at the door in the cold night hungry and tired? Will no one open that door? Are you sitting in the queue waiting for a glimmer of hope and a chance to sleep somewhere warm and dry tonight? Are you sleeping on the night bus passing my car as I drive home, late? Are you wrapped in newspaper huddled inside that old sleeping bag as I pass by on my way to work in the morning? Are you sleeping on that damp mattress dreaming of school and parks and friends as the black mould fills your young lungs with poisonous spores? Do you wake up when the rats scurry across your covers or is it the neighbours fighting yet again? Do you know that Christ is there with you? Can we see Christ in you and can we resolve to make some difference in your life? God of all things Take our hands and lead us to the places where we are needed where we can make that difference. Amen Lord Jesus, There were times you had no home, nowhere to sleep safely You were ignored and rejected by many who said they loved God Help us to recognise you in those we meet And not to make the same mistake. Amen

6 How long before the poor hear the good news, the oppressed are released from their bondage, the homeless find a refuge? Lord, free our captive hearts from apathy and fear, open our blind eyes to see the way you light before us, give us courage and love to work for your justice and faith to believe that it can be done. Amen Lord, there are so many people with no homes, no place to rest, no place to be safe, no place to bring up their children in peace, no place to call their own. It is too much for us, Lord; We are overwhelmed with the need with the enormity of the problems, with inadequacy, with the fear of failure. Oh Lord, show us where to begin; set us on the way of love revealed by your cross and be with us throughout our journey. Amen

7 12.Prayers of Thanksgiving Heavenly Father, we thank you for this beautiful world, for its comforts and provision, for the people you have given us to love for all we need to make us feel us at home. Lord Jesus, we thank you for coming to help us when we have spoilt things, for pursuing us when we have run away, and for bringing us safely back home. Holy Spirit, we thank you for your constant love that never fails to remind and encourage us, to shame and drive us to open our doors and make others welcome. Amen Lord, thank you for the shelter we offer, for warm beds, for hot food, for acceptance. And thank you for our homes and the people who make us welcome. May we never take them for granted. Amen Loving God, we thank and praise you for all the people who work in so many ways to provide us with homes and to prevent homelessness and offer a welcome to all who have lost their homes: builders, architects, planners, politicians, night shelter volunteers, day centre workers, housing advisors, mentors and befrienders and hostel workers... And most of all our mums, dads and families. Amen 13.Final Blessing Father God As we prepare to finish our time of worship together, Anoint us with your Spirit. Give us vision to see your justice coming on earth, Give us love to respond to those who are in need, Give us faith to believe that a different world is possible, In the name of Jesus, who we worship and follow. Amen

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