This prayer was offered by Rev. Matthew Nickel in worship on Sunday, June 21, 2015 for the Prayers of the People.
Our lives and the life of the world O God, are constantly in transition.
Change is weekly, if not daily,
like the tides rising and falling, like the seasons always turning.
In all the shifting transitions,
we are knit together a one community in you, Lord, by your Spirit.
Gather us, God, by the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ,
to be one with you and with each other.
We give thanks for the new life that forms among us.
For the gift of babies born into families of our community.
Particularly, we celebrate Julia and Sam and thank you for their family’s health.
Bless them as we anticipate meeting them.
Bless all families who are in transition,
whether with exciting births and in saying goodbye.
When we send beloved friends with blessing to new adventures,
send them O God with a reminder that a beloved community
will always welcome them in and that such a community receives them in transition.
On this day our nation celebrates fathers.
There are Fathers who have seen us from birth to life to independence,
And we celebrate their commitment walk with us through our lives.
There are Fathers who chose us, not by birth, but by willingness to raise us,
Regardless of where we came from, or what we’ve been through,
You called them to be a father.
There are men in the world who have acted with a father’s love,
Even without being a Father. Bless their gifts of grace and possibility,
We give to you O Christ, our gift of thanks, for raising abundant life among Fathers.
We prayer for reconciliation where there is violence,
healing where hatred and contempt are cultivated.
We also pray once again for the life of our nation and community
as we transition to an awareness of pain and racism
that has long dwelled among us and within us.
Our hearts wail and groan this week
for Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston, SC
For the people of that church and that city.
For the family and friends of
Clementia, Sharonda, Cynthia, Tywanza, Ethel, Suzie, Depayne, Daniel and Myra.
When we lose our words facing such tragedy, let silence speak.
Awaken the community in Charleston,
and awaken all of us to the healing power your reconciliation.
Do not let the sun set on our anger and frustration with racism.
Guide us O God to be people who live to reflect your grace among all people,
to let our hands and our voices to do justice
for living a good life is simply not enough
when strong witness to resurrection is required.
When walking humble is called for every day,
when people remain captured within the prison of brokenness.
Heal and awaken your people to be faithful disciples of that most powerful love,
to be neighbors bound by love
to be the people of hospitality that you created and have called us to be,
And may we gather our voices as one, as the children of God who pray
the prayer you gave us to pray saying…