‘O Lord, how long will we be without our washing machine?'
Written by K.C. Ackley
January - February 2002
: Holy One, we give you thanks for your nurturing love and abiding presence in this place where we spend so much time.
People: We gather to celebrate the renovations that are nearly complete and our arrival at our new and renewed space.
Leader: But we must confess that, at times, life in the midst of construction has been difficult.
People: At times we felt like the children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness, wondering if we would ever reach the "Promised Land" or the promised new space.
Leader: At times we cried out like David in Psalm 13, "How long, O Lord?" How long will we be without our kitchen or shower or washing machine?
People: At times, we could identify with Jesus when he said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Human One has nowhere to lie down and sleep."
Leader: Yet through all of this, O God, you did not abandon us. You provided us with loving family and friends who led us through the wilderness, equipped with the gifts of patience, humor, assertiveness, persistence and vision, to quell our anxious minds, soothe our weary souls, and help us keep a sense of perspective.
People: We are grateful for the skills and talents of all the carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, carpet layers and the countless other persons who labored to make our new space comfortable, safe, functional and inviting.
Leader: As we finish unpacking and settling in, Holy One, we ask you to continue to bless us with your love and graciousness. Help us to make the most of our new space, that we may be better prepared to serve you in the world.
The Rev. K.C. Ackley is executive for volunteer ministries in the UCC's Wider Church Ministries. A variation of this prayer was offered at the UCC's Church House in Cleveland near the end of the building's remodeling.