Spirit of Life, God of Many Names and One Transforming and Abundant Love,
We pause before the start of a new year together,
conscious of the high hopes for the way forward,
expectations that will be met,
and those that surely will fall short.
May our hearts bend toward kindness in the face of new things,
may our words bear witness to our values,
and our hands remain open to welcoming what comes ahead.
May we not forget the years that brought us to this new ministry.
The people around us that have built up a community of caring;
and those that are now missing from our midst – for many reasons,
and so too the newcomer that only knows the fellowship from fresh eyes.
May we honor the generations that came before us,
appreciate the work that keeps our roof staying over our heads,
and our floor solid under our feet.
And may we also keep room for our mission – close to our heart,
Continue to teach us to create peace and justice,
To nurture compassion, and sustain beauty in this precious world.
Source of Hope, breathe your life into our lives.
Some of us celebrate a Summer of wonder and rest,
of seeing grandparents or grandchildren who live far away,
or enjoying beaches that are finally restored.
Others are tired from work that never seems to end,
or morning the loss of a dear friend, or the love of their life.
May we ever remember that in each of us are moments of joy and sorrow,
and teach us to care for the other, as best we can, in this light.