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


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. 

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

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

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

 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

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

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