Gracious God, in the morning as we begin a new day….and in the evening when we lie down to rest….and in all the moments of our day in between…we know you are with us. We thank you, God….for your constancy, and love, and presence….which nurtures us and holds us throughout all our days and years. Grant us the strength of faith to hold on, and the power of hope to believe…even when our way seems confusing or unclear.
We pray today for those who are suffering…and for those who are personally challenged in any way. We pray in particular today for the victims, and students, and families, and community of Santa Clarita, California, following the school shooting there on Thursday…. Touch each of these, God, and all of these, God, with your healing presence and courage…..and bless them all with your faithful promise….that, because of your love and care…”not a hair on their head will perish.”
Finally, O God, be with us as we seek to be a church—where all are welcomed and all are valued—And where all are celebrated for the varieties of talents and gifts that are volunteered—We especially thank you today for our 3 new members.
O God, we know You created us to be in relationship with you and with one another—and we know that we need the diversity of the various parts of our community in order to be a whole, and healthy, and functioning body. May we be that sacred and faithful community of believers here at the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor….and may we together shine a beacon of your love, and hope, and freedom to all.
O God, you are the breath of the souls that love you, and you are the strength of those who seek to trust and serve you—Enable us this week to see ourselves and our world through eyes of faith……and then live and walk with compassion, love, and grace. Amen.