This is one of my favorite prayers that I’ve written. It came to me as I prepared for the Annual Meeting of the church in 2011.
A Prayer for St. John’s UCC
God of stunning golden leaves and soft pink cherry blossoms,
God of children’s laughter and squeals of delight,
We thank you for this place you share with us—
this church that is St. John’s.
Lord, you have filled this place with sweet songs, gurgling infants, and creaking bones—a wide and diverse gathering of your people:
and for this, we give you thanks.
Holy One, you have taken a group of German immigrants building a house of faith and transformed them into a city on a hill—
full of the joy of the gospel
and welcoming all your children,
of all backgrounds, ages and races.
Again, for this, we give you thanks and praise.
God who loves all the world and sent your Son to save it,
We call on you this day and every day to strengthen your people of St. John’s to do the work of the Gospel:
to offer extravagant welcome to all you send through our doors;
to share in heartfelt worship and praise;
to serve as Jesus Christ taught us;
and to open our hearts and minds to learning something new about you each day of our lives.
Each day, dear God, make clear for us the path which Jesus Christ showed us to follow.
Strengthen us by your unconditional love.
Fill us with your joy.
Guide us by your Holy Spirit.
Breathe in us the wisdom of being grateful for all you share with us.
We pray, this day and every day, you will shape our lives and our church into what you call us to be.
We offer this thanksgiving and praise, and we ask for this guidance in the name of the one whom we follow: Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.