One: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.
All: I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word. Accept my offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your ordinances.
One: Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
All: I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.
We thank you, God, for the Bible, which points our lives in your direction. We love the inspiring stories we find in the Scriptures. We rely on the Bible for words of encouragement and wisdom for living. At times we find the Bible confusing, boring, even shocking. Scripture tells us and our experience confirms that you are a God of peace, kindness, and boundless love. Nevertheless, we are aware that the Bible, too, can be weaponized and used for harm. Guide us with your Spirit as we read, study, and meditate on your Word. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication
God, your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Guide and inspire us in our giving and receiving. Amen.
God of all creation, you call us into communion with all that is. We live in sacred connection with the cashier at the grocery store, the ancient redwoods, and the child in the refugee camp.We confess that too often we live as our self-interest is all that matters. Give us the courage to live our sacred calling to communion. Give us the grace to embrace this and every moment of our lives. Amen.
Dedication of the Offering
Giving and receiving we commune with all creation, Holy God. We thank you for this sacred practice that heals the world. Amen.
Leader: As an eagle stirs up her nest and hovers over her young . . .
All: As she spreads her wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on her pinions . . .
Leader: God guides and protects us. She sets us atop the heights of the land . . .
All: And nurses us with honey from the crags, and milk from the flocks.
* Gathering Prayer (Unison)
Mothering God, God of our mothers, we thank you for the gift of life and those who gave it to us. Give us the grace to embrace our mothers in all their complexity. Bless our mothering so that those who are entrusted to our care might grow healthy and strong. May they remain safe and happy long after their need for our continual care has passed. We remember those who have cared for us and are gone. May we honor their sacrifice by following their example. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication
We dedicate our lives to your service and our hearts to your worship, Holy God. Amen.
Holy God, your Scripture points beyond conventional understandings to the heart of the matter. Who is rich? Who is poor? How is it that your abundant life is often so apparent among those who have relatively little and so hard to find among those who have so much? And who are we? Rich or poor? Like the widow who “put in everything she had,” teach us to step past conventional understandings of poverty and wealth into the limitless provision of your boundless love. Amen.
Holy God, we deal with powers beyond our comprehension. Algorithms shape our preferences. The ebb and flow of international finance affects our economic well being. Time and chance determine our social location. Changing weather patterns can damage our lives, livelihoods, and shelter in a matter of hours. A global pandemic can alter our habits and harm our health. In the face of these faceless powers we turn to you timeless creator, boundless benefactor, source of all that is. We entrust our lives to your abundant provision and matchless wisdom. Amen.
Holy God, in the changing circumstances of our lives give us wisdom to discern your will. Give us the skills and insight we need to be instruments of your salvation. Give us confidence to bear witness to your truth. Give us humility to meet each person as a shining example of your abundant provision. Though our limited views often prevent us from seeing the big picture, help us to trust your guiding hand. Amen.
God, we’re grateful for your call, and we’re grateful to those you’ve sent. We’re grateful for the prophets of old. We’re grateful for their words of warning and comfort. We’re grateful for healers and teachers, care-givers and protectors, warriors for justice, makers of peace. We’re grateful for all who gave the full measure of their devotion in service to this country and our world. Make us worthy of their sacrifice. Amen.
Mother God, womb of the world, thank you for mothers, who gave us life from their bodies. Life is the gift that makes all other gifts possible, so we say “Thank you, mom, for life.” A mother’s love can be so intimate as to be overlooked. We repent taking our mothers’ love for granted. A mother’s absence can be so painful as to leave us forever scarred. Give us the grace to embrace our own mothering, as imperfect as it may be. Give us the wisdom to honor our mothers in their full humanity. Give us the will as a nation to pay mothers more than just lip service. We pray for equal pay for equal work. We pray for paid maternity leave. We pray for access to health care and housing and education and all of the tools mothers need to flourish. Amen!
Good Shepherd, teach us to listen for your voice in rumbling traffic, clacking keyboards, complaints, laughter, birdsong, the ringing that remains when all other sounds go silent. Teach us to discern your call amid the myriad voices competing for our attention. Teach us to trust your leading. Amen.
God of the sparrow, God of the whale, God of quark and quasar, the Psalmist looked at the vastness of the heavens and wondered at your compassion for mere human beings. Thousands of years later we, too, wonder at the vastness of the universe while we exploit and pollute the Earth. Teach us to love our only home the way you love us. Teach us to treat our fellow beings with care. Free us from greed and fear, which drive our self-destructive behaviors. Teach us to trust in your abundant provision. Amen.