We gather together
-not because of postulation
but because we experience the Spirit’s presence
in, around, and among us.
We gather because of promise
-the promise of your presence
and our covenantal promise to one another.
And as such, we promise to hear and bear
each others’ burdens
and share in each others’ joy.
Hear the prayers of this people!
[read aloud the prayer cards of the congregation]
And we acknowledge those delights so sweet
we find ourselves at a loss for words
and those fears and pains so deep
they only find expression in tears and groans.
Hear those prayers as well.
[pause for silent prayer]
Teach us how to best love one another.
And remind us that love is a commitment renewed daily.
All day long it works for good in the world.
Love stirs up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.
And to devote our ways to the living traditions of Jesus
to welcome the excluded
to care for those in need
and to be faithful one to another.