Today we mourn.
We grieve for all those who have been unjustly accused;
We pray for those we know who are perpetually put in these unjust situations.
We pray for our Latina/o friends,
our African-American friends,
our poor friends,
our gay friends
–for all our friends who are ‘suspect’.
We repent of participation in systems of such abuse.
God forgive me.
God forgive us.
Open our eyes!
Open our ears!
Open our hearts!
Teach us to be different.
And to love difference.
Our gatherings each Sunday are like pit stops on our spiritual journeys.
Sundays together are a time to pause
to collect ourselves
to assess our direction
and re-set our navigation;
to find renewal.
Open our hearts so that we can drink in the refreshment of the Sabbath–
never mistaking these rest stops for the final destination.
Remind us that we are pilgrims on the way.
We have not arrived.
And that we never walk alone.
Teach us to bear the concerns and celebrate each other’s joys along the way.
Hear the prayers of this congregation:
[read aloud prayer cards]
We acknowledge that there are burdens so heavy
we cannot risk speaking them aloud or even writing them on a card.
And delights so sweet we can only treasure and ponder them quietly in our hearts.
We acknowledge these prayers:
[pause for silent prayer]
Hear our silent prayers as well!
And on our journey together,
remind us that love is a commitment renewed daily.
It works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably with our neighbors.
It helps us devote our ways to walking and journeying in the living traditions of Jesus
to care for the poor and most vulnerable
and to welcome the excluded.