Will you join me in the prayers of the people: when you hear “God of meaningful moments”, please respond with “Hear our prayers.”
We salute the Creator of Joy: We thank you for letting us live in one of the best places in the world; good governments and organizations, a warm, caring and creative community, opportunities for meaningful work and education, abundant food and water, the stunning beauty of a gently-used landscape and comfortable housing; although nothing is ever perfect, we have freedoms and opportunities unimagined by people in other areas of the world. Yes, we are privileged in so many ways. But as much as we pray in despair and for the despairing; we also pray in gratitude. Let us enjoy the glorious summer, our families and friends; let each smile and warm experience be a prayer of gratitude in the moment. It doesn’t mean we forget the rest if that’s okay with you. God of great moments… “hear our prayers.”
Today we shout out to Cordova Bay United Church in our Pacific Mountain Regional Council Prayer cycle: and imagine summer on the Salish Sea in Victoria with our sister church friends. In the World Council of Churches Cycle we arc over the planet in our prayers to Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda in curiosity; wonder how they are doing today? How do they play? How do they find good moments? And what about the folks in our outreach partners in Guatemala, and the people of Nyandyadzi church – can we imagine them singing in spite of challenges? And all the people on the front lines of organizations of peace, healing, teaching and building who serve throughout the world, do the good work they do keep them afloat, do they find wonderful moments in spite of their uphill battles? God of great moments… “hear our prayers.”
And then there is the tough stuff, where there is no humour and gratitude: This virus scourge – we pray for everybody who is affected in mind body and spirit. We don’t know where it’s going but it’s changing us all. We feel for the gender diverse folks who are persecuted in many countries and we stand as a church that honours them. The future of our environment is another tough one and we stand in our small corner to protect and respect this gift of creation, as much of it as we can. We pray for these hard things, we pray for these hard things, and look for guidance. God of great moments… “hear our prayers.”
We remember our own people, God, as these folks struggle with health, grief, long recovery, and some of the biggest trial families have to endure: we bring all those named in our Prayer List together with us now in prayer, which has a curious way of travelling… …And now remember others that need a prayer. God who listens in our darkest moments and gives us comfort, hear our prayers
Let us leave this service today in gratitude, comfort, hope and joy.
And the people say… “Amen!”