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Today we the faithful of Nelson United Church offers our prayers to our God, within which the mystery of the Trinity resides. It is a day of rejoicing that even in the midst of incredible sadness, fear, anger, and uncertainty, we experience the mystery of the Trinity, not a wall to run up against but an ocean in which to swim.” We trust that with God’s guidance, in faith and humility, and through community, we will continue to grow in our discipleship and understanding of our purpose on earth.

We pray in gratitude for the power of faith and the love of our God-given to all.

Today we the faithful come before you Yahweh with such a hunger for peace. Saint Oscar Romero, murdered archbishop of El Salvador reminds us that peace is not the product of silence or fear, it is not the peace of cemeteries, it is not the silence of violent repression. It is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generousity. It is right and it is duty.

Let our thoughts, words, and actions be intentional; instruments of this peace that is generous, kind, courageous, and visionary, that is not obscured by fear of the rawness that the pain of racism is once again bringing to light.

We pray in gratitude for the power of faith and the love of our God-given to all.

Today we the faithful pray for all of our sisters and brothers in the United States who continue to suffer from the 400 years and counting of racism underscored by systematic structures that were once erected to present “enslaved people” as the other – though these structures shift over time, the ugliness of such racism continues to be present in subtle and not so subtle daily actions, ways of thinking and behaving that continues unabated today.

While for some in our congregation, the pain of George Floyd’s death and the protests against police brutality is far away, for others in our congregation it hurts deeply as they are family, folks they have ministered to, the cities visited and know well – the entire country. We ache for the suffering of our brothers and sisters in our church family who are hurting deeply now also.

As we reflect upon racism in the United States, we also turn our hearts to racism in Canada, the 1000’s of murdered and missing indigenous women, the communities, families, and children whose lives and ways of being were destroyed by residential schools, the murder of Colton Boushie, Helen Betty Osborne, Tina Fontaine, and……

Accompany us God in this time as we bear witness, as we look deep into our own souls to root out our contribution to racism.

Let us take a moment of silence in the memory of those killed and those suffering today because of racism and listen deeply …..

Today we the faithful pray for the congregation and ministers of Oliver United Church and pastoral Charge. We also pray for the people of Botswana and Zimbabwe, especially our sisters and brothers at Nyanyadzi Methodist church and their prophetic witness to protest injustice and advocate good governance and to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS and treat those affected.

In the midst of recurring droughts, a collapsing economy, and food insecurity the people struggle to abide by the restrictions of lockdown so as to stem the tide of COVID-19 transmission. Give them and their leadership strength to survive the sacrifices they are making now for a better tomorrow. Instill within us the desire to share of our bounty with them and our project partners in Guatemala so that the price being paid can be lessened. We are one village…

We pray in gratitude for the power of faith and the love of our God-given to all.

Closer to home we pray for those known to us only and for those who are experiencing suffering, loneliness, fear, and hopelessness in mind, body, or spirit due to the pandemic, illness, unemployment, or domestic strife to name but a few of the sources of pain we are confronting.

Together aloud we pray for the following people whose request for prayer has come before us as a congregation:

Peacemakers and peacekeepers, health care workers, teachers, engineers and the many who serve throughout the world through many organizations.

LGBTQ2SIA+ people who are persecuted in many countries
The future of our environment; protecting and respecting this gift of creation. We pray for all those named in our Prayer List…

We pray in gratitude for the power of faith and the love of our God-given to all.

To quote Arundhati Roy, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.” Bless us, Yahweh, keep our heart turned toward your light, grace, and redemption now and always, amen.

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