INVITATIONS TO WORSHIP
|This is the place and this is the time;|
|here and now God waits to break into our experience:|
|to change our minds,|
|to change our lives,|
|to change our ways;|
|to make us see the world and the whole of life in a new light;|
|to fill us with hope, joy, and certainty for the future.|
|This is the place, as are all places;|
|this is the times, as are all times.|
|Here and now, let us praise God.|
Consultation on Church Union
|Thus says the Lord:|
|do not let the wise boast in their wisdom,|
|do not let the mighty boast in their might,|
|do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth;|
|but let those who boast boast in this,|
|that they understand and know me,|
|that I am the Lord;|
|I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth,|
|for in these things I delight, says the Lord.|
PRAYER FOR HEALTH AND HEALING
There is little we take more for granted than our own good health. It often takes the loss of that blessing to make us realize our ever so fragile being, our responsibility for maintaining our good health and the good health of others. Carelessness in this pursuit is a recipe for personal disaster.
For many, insurance, public, or personal means make access to health care easily available and the maintenance of one's good health an individual task. For far too many others, however, even the most basic access is absent, and the right we all deserve to proper health care is an unreachable dream.
May the future and our shared ideas of a more perfect world inspire each of us to commit ourselves to maintain our own good health and the health of those dear to us. May we likewise commit our efforts towards a society within which all - rich and poor alike - have access to proper health care.
Finally, may we as a society have the foresight to devote adequate resources to those on the front lines of medical research, who seek the cure and prevention of illness and disease. Amen.
Rabbi David Weiss for the Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
|All-merciful tender God, you have given birth to our world,|
|conceiving and bearing all that lives and breathes.|
|We come to you as your daughters and sons,|
|aware of our aggression and anger,|
|our drive to dominate and manipulate others.|
|We ask you to forgive us, and by the gentle touch of your spirit|
|help us to find a renewed sense of compassion|
|that we may truly live as your people in service to all humanity.|
20th Century English Churchwoman
Living God, from the beginning you have been teaching us what goodness is and how human beings should live together: with integrity and justice, each one a refuge for the others. Forgive our hard-heartedness, our lack of imagination, our inability to read the value of each person and to bring out the best in everyone we meet. God, forgive us: we have made such a chaos of the earth. forgive our babel sounds, our lust for power and religious strife, separating us from one another and sapping all life's joys. Teach us humility, keep our hope alive, sustain our love for all humanity, until conflict is stifled and we stand together in your silence which is filled with eternal praise. Amen.
from New Prayers for Worship by Alan Gaunt
© 1972 John Paul Press, p. 15
God of justice, you have shown us what is right: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you. Forgive all in the life of our nation that falls short of what you require. Forgive the poverty of body, mind, and spirit that still exists among us; Forgive all the broken lives and all the broken hearts that are not tended; Forgive us for the lives of young children that are being perverted and degraded, and all the social casualties that are not lifted up. Forgive us, as individuals and as a nation, for not being big enough, broad-minded enough, or loving enough to create a just society. Forgive us and help us, so that our life as a nation, and the contribution we make to the life of the world, may honor you and do justice to your demands. Amen.
from New Prayers for Worship by Alan Gaunt
© 1972 John Paul Press, p. 3
O God, be present among us, for the sake of all human beings on earth. Open our eyes that we may see the salvation that is in you, and reveal yourself to a blind humanity. Make your face shine upon those stricken with disease; give them your strength and your peace. All the poor ones, the weak, all those weighed down by want, may they have the knowledge of you, so to lean on you and be filled to overflowing in you. To the mighty and the wealthy, grant the power they are lacking; give them a discerning spirit, that they may be free by your freedom, and free to love others. To one and all of us, may you grant your life and your peace. Amen.
from In Spirit and In Truth
© 1991 World Council of Churches, p. 22
God, send us into our work with new resolves. Help us to work out the problems that have perplexed us, and to serve the people we meet. May we see our work as a part of your great plan and find significance in what we do. We do not know what any day will bring us, but we do know the hour for serving you is always present. We dedicate our hearts, minds, and wills to your glory. Amen. from Litanies and Other Prayers for the Common Lectionary, Year A by Everett Tilson and Phyllis Cole, © 1992, Abingdon Press, p. 127 Grant, Holy One, that thinking, we may think your thoughts; that speaking, we may speak your word; that singing, we may sing your praise; that hearing, we may hear your truth; and that willing, we may make your will our own, so that going out at the end of our worship, we may walk in your love and your peace, and departing from one another, not depart from you. Amen.
adapted from Hear Our Prayer by Roy Pearson,
McGraw-Hill, 1961, p. 17
Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. In the slums we are the light of God's kindness to the poor, To children, to the poor, to all who suffer and are lonely, give always a happy smile, Give them not only your care, but also your heart. Mother Teresa of Calcutta from Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Malcolm Muggeridge, © 1971 Mother Teresa Committee
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