Spirit of Life, God of Many Names, and One Transforming and Abundant Love,
We pause this hour before the mixed stories of our region,
The stories of loss –
We grieve the death of over a 100 people from the Caribbean to the Mid-Atlantic;
A week without heat, without power, without water
Of homes washed away,
Of cars destroyed by the river,
and what the waters carried with them.
We are grateful for those of us who remained physically untouched by the storm despite being in its midst.
We honor the relief workers, the first responders, who were caring for us in our time of need – even though their own need was great.
—We hold in our heart communities like Breezy Point in the Rockaways – close knit home to many first responders – ravaged by the storm.
—We too hold Staten Island, and our sister congregation there who serves as a staging ground for relief
—We too hold the Red Hook Initiative and the community is serves – may our collection today and on-going help in what small way it can
—We too hold the clinics damaged by the storm,
The families still without power and water here and in the Caribbean,
We pray for the speedy support and recovery of the AliForneyCenter whose intake shelter was absolutely destroyed by the Hurricane. This shelter serves the needs of hundreds of LGBT homeless youth every night as they help them transition to permanent housing and work.
We are saddened by the cancellation of our own act-of-success-in-the-face- of-adversity – the Marathon.
May the effort so many have spent a year or a life-time preparing for not be seen in vain, knowing that even the act of preparing is a marker of the greatness of the human spirit.
May our own celebration this evening, of the installation of Rev. Ana,
be a call for continued acts of service to our communities.
May the supplies and food we gather today at both services bless us in our continued ministry,
knowing that our walls do not define us,
only our doorways so do.
God of Hope, we are humbled by the stories of neighbor reaching out to neighbor,
and reminded ever that this is the core of religion –
compassion for the sake of compassion.
We pray that our politicians may become leaders,
Letting go of partisan and consumer idols,
And act as one to heal the ravages of globing warming,
That our city and our coast have so clearly, so imminently, born witness.
We ask for healing in our communities,
In our playgrounds and our homes,
We hold especially in our hearts this morning all those living in shelter,
Whether from the storm, or from the ravages of systems of poverty,
May they all find a way to stability,
And may we learn ways to end these cycles.
We pray for the W. family whose tree on their house is being removed as we speak. For JS who’s brand new home in the Rockaways was flooded by the storm surge.
We pray for PE. who will be going into surgery on Tuesday to treat thyroid cancer. May he know in his heart the love this congregation holds for him, may his healing be swift and lasting.
We invite the gathering to speak aloud the names we wish to hold in our hearts.