It is your fellowship
and the promise of your peace
which draws us together as a community.
And it is in this sense that we are a graced community:
not without our problems or faults
but voluntarily bound by a covenant-
a promise to extend your grace and mercy and presence to each other.
Open our hearts, Lord
Teach us how to best love one another.
Teach us to hear each other’s prayers and hopes.
[prayers of the people read aloud]
And we acknowledge there are prayers
(hopes and joys)
too tender for words.
Hear those prayers as well.
[pause for silent prayer]
Again we ask: teach us how to best love one another.
And remind us
that love is a commitment renewed daily.
All the day long it works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.
And to devote our days to walking in the living traditions of Jesus
to welcome the excluded
and tend to those in need.
This love is committed to justice
and favors mercy
and allows us to continue walking together.