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May we for just a brief while transfer our focus from all of today’s convergent challenges and become open to new ways of “BEING” in this world.  In our families, we remember those who have gone before, teaching us right from wrong and how to choose the right path with God’s help.  We remember those special saints who taught by example with love and compassion as we grew to accept the rules in our society.  We invite you now to join with us in the Prayers of the People and when you hear, deep within your heart, the words “Benevolent God, hear our prayers”, please respond by answering in child-like innocence, “Strengthen us and keep us in Your loving care.”

We pray for those who feel discouraged or alone, those who are desolate or depressed; those who struggle with pain, the challenge of serious illness, or the loss of a loved one. May they be filled with faith and with strength.   In our prayers today we name all those in our Prayer List.  We pause at this time to name, either silently or aloud, all those for whom we feel concern…   …Benevolent God, hear our Prayers…   Strengthen us and keep us in Your loving care.

God of compassion, hear our prayer for all nations and all people of the Earth.  Hear our prayers of support for health care workers, teachers, engineers, and the many who serve throughout the world in various organizations.  Hear our cry for justice and peace as we remember our brothers and sisters at Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.  Hear our words of support for our Bienestar partners involved in our outreach project in Guatemala; for all those affected by COVID-19, whether in body, mind, or spirit; and for our friends and neighbours, LGBTQ2SIA+ people who are persecuted in many countries.

Hear us as we ask your protection for peacekeepers and peacemakers, and their families.  Hear us as we seek stronger economic and practical ways to sustain, protect and respect our environment and its resources.  In our Regional Council prayer cycle this week, we pray for Penticton United Church and for the congregation of Lax Kw’alaams north of Prince Rupert who had their Church, Grace United, burn down yesterday; bless Lawrence Sankey and the congregation in this loss.  In the World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle, we present our prayers for the people of Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey.  We pray that there may be a healing of memories and wounds inflicted by early 20th Century genocides in Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian communities; that there may be enhanced respect for minority groups and their claims; and that more stable democratic governments, intent on furthering the good of all, be elected. Benevolent God, hear our Prayers…   Strengthen us and keep us in Your loving care.

We pray for a beatific vision of the future to lift us up from the trials of the daily routine to your joyful presence.  And together we say, “AMEN!”

 

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