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When I say, “Holy God, Heart of Winter,” you are invited to pray with me “Gather us in.”

Holy God, Heart of Winter…   Gather us in.

Breathing in and out
feeling our shoulders relax
and spine unfurl
we settle into our bodies
and open in prayer.

Holy God, Heart of Winter…   Gather us in.

Like a leaden sky suddenly
dissolves in flecks of salt and pepper
and the bare branch
of a winter-stripped tree
begins to tremble with tiny wings,
so may this frozen moment
skip a beat and
take wing in You.

Holy God, Heart of Winter…   Gather us in.

In this cold time
when the fabric of our world
is being stretched into a fine thread
each strand glitters like gold,
fragile and irreplaceable.

Through the window,
on the phone,
in front of our screens
we stammer words of devotion:
“Treasured Friend”
“Beloved Companion”
“Good Neighbour”
“Cherished Chickadees”

Gather up our broken love poems in baskets of bread,
re-weave our heartstrings into psalms of joy,
unfurl  a new earth where
where no one is outcast, overlooked or left behind.

Holy God, Heart of Winter…   Gather us in.

 We pray for peacemakers and peacekeepers, health care workers, teachers, engineers, and the many throughout the world who courageously devote themselves to our common life. This morning we gather in prayer with these communities: Our Bienestar partners involved in our outreach project in Guatemala; Our brothers & sisters
at Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe;
Knox Pastoral Charge in Terrace
Our sister churches in Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, and Vatican City.
Together we celebrate acts of faithful witness in the midst of colonization and empire-building even as we pray for a deeper reckoning with the systemic injustices which undermine our profession of justice-love.

Together we celebrate the gift of creation and pray for the health of forests, glaciers, soil, and shorelines ~ elemental and beloved constituents of our earth Home.

 Holy God, Heart of Winter…   Gather us in.

In Jesus, we know that you share human life with us. In joy and in sorrow,
in health and in suffering, in well-being and loss, you hold and enfold us.
In our prayers this morning we lift up these people, praying that they may know your presence in us:

 All affected by COVID-19, whether in body, mind or spirit;
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Questioning/Queer, 2 Spirited, Intersex, Asexual, and other people of diverse sexual and gender identities who are persecuted in many countries;
All those named in our Prayer List and those we name now silently or out loud.

Holy God, Heart of Winter…   Gather us in.

 Amen.

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