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We begin with Carol’s offering of a poem, written with the tragedy of Nova Scotia large in our minds:


As the fragrance of a summer garden
is enhanced by thunder showers
so the sweetness of life
is made more intense
after the touch of tragedy.
As we emerge in the sunlight
each thing we view
becomes more clear,
more precious to our eyes.
Each birdsong more melodious,
each stem and leaf a greener green
moss and rock a particular
contrast to our touch
as we now explore
each singular thing passed
in haste before.


Holy One, hear these prayers:
Around the world, there is so much need for your healing love, O God. In the World Council of Churches cycle, we remember the churches and countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; giving thanks for the incredible ethnic diversity in this part of the earth and praying for good relations between Muslims and Christians there.  We ask your blessing on the congregation of the Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. We also pray for those who are gender-persecuted throughout the world, and for health care workers, teachers, engineers and the many who work for your peace and justice in various organizations throughout the world. We pray for our Bienestar partners in Guatemala and the front-line workers and essential service workers everywhere.

Here in Canada, we pray your love and healing be with all those touched by the tragedy in Nova Scotia. In the Pacific Mountain Regional Council prayer cycle, we are grateful to be named this week as the congregation to be prayed for, and we thank you for the support we receive from other congregations around the Region.  In our Nelson United Church community, we pray for all those named in our Prayer List. It is said that every prayer needs a place to start — when the intrusion of loneliness and silence threatens, I gather up my prayer shawl, wrap it ’round and feel its warmth and the creative kindness in which it was made. I see those beloved faces I now miss so much, crowd ’round me as they are smiling today, knowing what happiness they created for me and reassuring me that this present crisis will end one day and together we will gratefully say “Hallelujah! Amen!”

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