Here We Are Gathered in Our Customary Place Again.
By Pat Brennan-Alpert, September 2014
Here we are gathered in our customary place again to bring you our thanks and concerns.
As we open our hearts to you we feel the presence of members who are with us in spirit;
Travelers and students, young and old, and those who’ve passed over to your care.
We ask your blessing on this congregation as we put away summer things and enter into the invigorating work and celebrations of the season in these times of change.
God of our ancestors, you know we fear the storms of change.
Are we up to the work that needs to be done?
Can we make sense of what is happening?
Can we keep faith with our core values when the world is changing?
The dead calm of denial and stagnation is tempting in the short run.
May we have the courage to go with your winds through deep discomfort to the renewal you promise.
Rock of our salvation, grateful for your steadfast love through time we offer you our thanks and praise.
Sustaining God, protect our loved ones especially the ones we must let go into the world and the ones we must let go out of this world.
Keep us together in the circle of your love.
We pray for our leaders, for Official Board and Session who lead us in discerning our call.
For Linda as she prepares to answer your call and prepares us to hear our call.
Bless Ray and Heidi as they create new ways for us to encounter your spirit in our lives.
We pray for the leaders of nations and corporations to find ways to use their power for the good.
We pray for the weak caught up in violence and war in places in the headlines, places that don’t make the news and in homes and neighbourhoods of our city.
We pray for the sick. Most especially we pray for West Africans who after years of civil war and instability are in the midst of the Ebola epidemic.
We pray that the immunity to the virus developed by some people lead quickly to protection for the many and that we make ways to get food and support to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea before famine strikes.
God, our father, our mother, may we quiet ourselves to hear your call.
Open the ears of our ears to hear you in the voices of those those who Jesus lived with, poor people cast out on account of their difference in race, gender and class, their frightening illness or poverty.
Sustaining God, be with us as we eat together, pray together, learn together and love each other, following the way of Jesus.
In his name we pray.
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