Saturday, February 23, 2013

Opening Prayer for an Annual Meeting

God, you call us to be the church,
to celebrate Your presence within and around us,
to love and serve each other,
to seek justice and love for all that You have created,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, calling us to be followers of the Way.
Periodically along the journey of faith we pause to reflect on the journey
and to prepare for the next few miles.
Today is one of those times.
Here and now we pause to give thanks for the gifts of the past year.
We raise up our celebrations.
Life-Giving God, over the past year there have been days when, as a faith community,
we have taken time to welcome people into Your family through the waters of baptism.
And so we name them [read list of names]
And also this year we were witnesses as [read list of names] stood before this faith community
to renew the vows their parents made at their baptisms.
As a baptized and baptizing community may we continue both to:
grow in our understanding of what it means to be faithful followers of The Way
and to provide opportunities for people of all ages to question, to explore, and to grow
in their own way as beloved children of God, called to be creatures of love and faith.
God of love, over the past year people have gathered together in this place to make a public statement of their love, of their commitment to each other.
We name them and pray that they are blessed in their lives together [read list of names]
And yet God of Life, we know that the past year has not only brought celebrations.
And so we also give thanks for the realization that even as you have laughed and rejoiced with us,
so too you have mourned and wept and struggled with us.
And so now we name those whose lives have been celebrated and deaths mourned in this place this year [read list of names]
God who has called us to be the church, be with us as we listen, as we discuss, as we dream.
In this time of meeting may we feel and hear you moving us forward on the road of faith...

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