United Church of Christ

Pray and Reflect

 Sermon - “Repairers of the Breach” by Rev. Dr. Janet L. Parker
Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ
July 31, 2011

Closing Prayer | A Prayer for Remembering Peace |  Litany for the Federal Budget

Closing Prayer
By Sandy Sorense


Creator God,

In you we live and move and have our being.  We give thanks for the abundance of creation and all good gifts, which come from you.  Yet in difficult and uncertain times, we often see scarcity more than we trust in your abundance, and fear of want can lead us to turn from community and neighbor and hold tight to what we have. 

Forgive us, gracious God, when doubt and fear and uncertainty cloud our living and limit our imaginations.  Forgive us when we abandon the common good for own individual gain.  Help us, O God, to live out of the spaciousness of your vision for all of creation. 

Grant us courage to see the needs of the vulnerable in our communities and to work for a world in which there is enough for all.  Remind us with the gentle breath of your spirit that we are truly in this together, caught in a network of inescapable mutuality.  Be with us God, and breathe life into the dry bones of our public debate and policymaking, that we may resist the temptation to point fingers of blame and condemnation, to cling to individual self interest and quick fixes, so that we can dare to believe another world is possible. 

In these times of economic strain and uncertainly, may we turn toward one another, and not away from each other, to seek a way forward.  Renew our hearts and strengthen our spirits as we face difficult policy choices in the days ahead.  Help us to choose the way of compassion and faith, in our own lives and in the life of our nation.  Holding fast to the teachings of Jesus, we pray,


A Prayer for Remembering Peace
By Rev. Loey Powell 


O good and gracious God, creator of earth and of sky, it is in you that we find our strength and it is through you that we find peace.  Forgive us for all the ways in which we fail to remember this.

We reach too often and too quickly for things that hurt and destroy – hateful words and sharp swords – rather than for the things that heal and restore – understanding and listening, patience and compassion.  Forgive us for all the ways in which we harm our sisters and brothers and hide behind our need for security at any cost.

We spend too much of our precious resources on the weapons of war rather than on creative enterprises that could sustain life and lives.  Forgive us, O God, and teach us your ways.

You give us beauty in the shimmering light that dances across the pond and in the giggle of a young child.  God of all Life, teach us how to hold onto this beauty and give it to each other.

You give us love in the hands that heal our elders with tenderness and in the passion for living that burns in the hearts of our youth.  God of all Love, teach us how to expand our loving to all who dwell upon this earth.

You give us your peace.  May we remember this always, God of all Peace, for it is the gift that Jesus placed deep inside our hearts.  May we re-member ourselves as peacemakers and hope-builders, bearers of your peace into this war-weary world.

In your name we pray.  Amen.

Litany for the Federal Budget
By Rev. Mari Castellanos


Holy One, we thank you for gathering us this day as your people, women and men committed to loving you in one another. We thank you for entrusting us with the care of your precious creation and for calling us to be doers of justice and makers of peace. We seek your grace to be the church you call us to be, even as we acknowledge our frequent failure to live into that call.

Your people suffer dear God. In a world you created with abundant food sources, people go hungry. The waters you called into being are diverted for uses you never intended and the poor of the earth go thirsty. Your people suffer and call out to you. Hear the cry of the poor Oh God!

In this land of plenty many live in scarcity. Countless have no work and many of those who do, still live with anxiety and need. We lay before you their concerns as we pray for those who are able to address them. Hear the cry of the poor Oh God!

We pray for those who have power; may they have compassion as well.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord.

We lift up to you our lawmakers; may they hold your law in their hearts.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord.

We commend to you those who have influence; may they use it on behalf of those who feel forsaken.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord.

 For our sisters and brothers who hunger for bread and justice, we ask the fullness of your mercy and pledge our best efforts to obtain the fullness of justice.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord.

For the poor of the earth who sustain our extravagance with their labor and whose environment we devastate with extractive industries and with our waste, may they be lifted out of poverty as we repent and make amends.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor; blessed be the Lord.

We surrender all of these concerns to you, Holy One, mindful of your mercy and of our responsibility. Amen.