Holy one, spirit of creation
of flesh, of mystery,
we gather in worship
as part of the worldwide church seeking
to give birth to expressions of community
that embody your vision for us and for our world.
We gather affirming your presence
in our midst.
dwelling place for all people,
dancing energy in our souls,
we offer gratitude
that we are invited to move among the creations
of this world
bringing joy and renewing love.
Womb of all,
as we recognize our national holiday
that honors Christopher Columbus,
may we be reminded
of how blind we can be
to the needs and rights of others
when we discover things
we want for ourselves,
how we can fail
to protect and honor those
whose lives and way of life
may be affected by our own selfish concerns.
We intercede for all
who have suffered from such selfishness.
Compassionate, healing Christ spirit,
we seek your encouragement and guidance
as we offer your message of inclusion and acceptance.
As we seek to build our community
afresh for another year with a vision of liberation and love,
show us the ways
to move from isolation and separation
into bonding relationships of mutuality,
into healing relationships that make possible
reconciliation and new beginnings, into prayer
for the welfare of the alienated and exiled.
with praise and thanksgiving we center ourselves
in your presence,
knowing that thanksgiving is
a true understanding of who we are.
As we prepare for a holiday of thankfulness,
we know much gratitude for the precious gift of life,
and for all the ways our own lives have been encouraged.
We are thankful too
for the gift of the life of Jesus,
for the gift of faith and
our continued hunger to understand and connect to that faith stream.
We know gratitude and joy
as we allow the abundance of creation
to embrace us.
We stand, we sit, we lie
on the good earth and
know she nourishes and heals.
She reveals the cycles of life –
birth, growth, death and recreation –
it is good.
We recognize the sun, source of energy.
We are in awe of its power
to warm and call forth life.
Its radiance speaks of divine power
that has brought all that is into being.
We breathe deeply
the invisible, all pervasive air
which sustains creation.
Oh mysterious spirit,
we believe your breath gives life to our world,
that our breath is prayer for the world.
We are refreshed
as we claim the waters of life,
whose rush announces birth,
water of life that nourishes seed,
cleans and soothes each of us,
reminding us of our thirst to be
in relationship with the source of all life.
we pray that we might express our gratitude for your gift of creation
by walking and living gently in this universe,
that we might learn to protect the earth
and all elements that surround her.
May our gratitude find expression
in our caring.
initiator of all time and of this time,
we begin a new year
here at your love feast,
this ordinary and simple,
mysterious and powerful
expression of our life in Christ
and with one another.
Help us embrace
the whole meaning of the Christmas story
we just celebrated –
birth, life, death and new life.
We enter a year full of unknowns,
yearning to believe
it is filled with possibility and hope.
It is a good day,
a day for new beginnings,
a day to experience love.
we do not want this hope, this love,
to be known only for us present here,
we want to mediate
its joy to others.
Gracious, Holy one,
you invite us to the mountain top
and call us into the everyday.
Our lives move between being and becoming,
yearning to discover the depth of our being
and the totality of our potential yet to be.
We are grateful for your embracing spirit
as we explore and drink deeply
of the sweetness and bitterness of life.
We are thankful that
the being of Jesus revealed, touched and opened ways
to know the fullness and truth of your being.
He encouraged us to risk gladly,
to love wastefully,
to act compassionately.
We have learned that our lives can be rich
with hope and possibility
when we receive your spirit,
welcome your revelation.
Spirit of watchful care,
you have covenanted with us and with our ancestors before us
and promised your graced gifts.
We seek to act out of faith in your promise,
not to shrink back or withhold our prophetic word
offered as your good news,
not to resist the call to full humanity,
not to look for the security of the known
and so avoid the adventure
and challenge of the unknown,
but always to explore ways
we can more fully love you and others.
Source of great love and mercy,
nurture in us the vision of the poet,
the questions of the child,
the boldness of the prophet,
the courage of a disciple
that we may be faithful intercessors in our prayers
and in our lives.
lover of all nations and people,
on this weekend when we remember and honor
those who have been killed in our nation’s wars,
we are confronted anew with
issues of peacemaking in our time.
We see how violence and war
are taking many forms,
fueled by religious intolerance,
historical hatreds and divisions,
poverty and powerlessness,
and by our self-righteousness and fear.
Still our spirits long for
Receive our prayers of intercession
for all those places
where hostilities rage from within and without,
and for all who need
love and healing.
Creating spirit, giver of all good things,
we thank you for
the natural majesty and beauty of this land in which we live.
They restore us, though we often destroy them.
We ask for healing.
We offer thanksgiving for
the great resources of our nation.
They make us rich in many ways, though we too often exploit them.
Forgive our selfishness.
We are thankful for
the women and men who have made this country strong.
They can be mirrors for us, though we often fall short of their vision.
We seek fresh inspiration.
We offer our gratitude for
the torch of liberty which has been lit in our land.
It has drawn people from every nation to give energy and strength to our common life
though we too often hide from liberty’s light of inclusion.
We need your enlightenment.
We are thankful for
the faith we have inherited in all its rich variety.
It sustains life, though we have been faithless again and again.
We ask for renewal of spirit.
We are grateful for
all the goodness, love and grace in our lives.
Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice and
to abolish violence and economic injustice.
Hasten the day when all our people, with many voices, can
live together in true unity and peace.
Spirit of wonder and unlimited vision,
we praise you
for the bounty of the creation that surrounds us
and for all the marvels of life we have known.
Giver of life,
we come in faith and in doubt,
open to your love, truth and wholeness.
Be with us,
hear us as we worship and pray.
your word called the sun, stars and earth into being,
we stand in awe in your presence.
Breath of the Cosmos,
you have stirred within us
and caused our hearts
to thirst for wisdom, forgiveness, for love and truth.
We stand open to receive.
Gentle one of the earth,
whose arms have held children,
whose eyes have sparkled with laughter,
we come yearning to trust your companionship.
Womb of all, our creator and lover,
we offer gratitude,
for you have given us life,
and we are made in your image.
We are alive with divinity.
We are alive with humanity.
We have been touched by grace.