God who unites–
We are individuals who gather together
with our own unique and different concerns and joys.
But we gather each Sunday as a community
knowing it loosens our group on our private notions of the ‘self’.
Gathering in your name unites us in hope
that we aren’t alone in our experiences
or our concerns.
We gather as a people of hope
believing we can help shoulder each others loads
and dance together in celebration.
Hear the expressions of this congregation’s hope:
[read aloud the prayer cards]
And hear, oh God, the trust implied in our silence
when struggles are so burdensome we can’t bear to speak them aloud
or delights are so sweet we can but ponder them in our hearts.
Hear our silent expressions of hope!
[pause for silent prayer]
Remind us, Lord,
that hope is a commitment renewed daily.
It works for good in the world,
stirring up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.
Hope invites us to follow in the the living traditions of Jesus
to welcome the excluded
to care for those in need
and to remember that we are never alone.