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The following prayer of Invocation is from the United Church of Christ.
O God, with gladness and expectation, we gather in this space today.
For you are the one who makes all things new.
You are the one who satisfies our hunger and restores our soul.
In this holy space, help us, your daughters and sons,
to know that you always love us.
Through our worship today,
help us to know that if we stray away from you,
you are always ready to receive us with open arms.
Prepare our hearts as we worship you
to welcome and embrace all of your children as you do us.
With gladness and expectation we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The space between us is too great–
this agonizing expanse between you and us:
The rift we have created by demanding our share.
The distance we have put between us as we flee to a far country.
The resentment we hold when things don’t seem fair.
Our refusal to join your gracious party.
Forgive each selfish request
each step away
each bitter thought
each joyless rejection.
and run toward us
with open arms.
Submitted by Rev. Joanna Harader.
The following liturgy was shared via LiturgyLink.
One: God, you have called us into community, and gifted us with ways to celebrate your presence and to mark our journey.
All: Forgive us for the times when we have believed that our way is the only way, trusting in the words and actions rather than in the One to whom they point.
One: Through words ancient and new, you speak. Through bread and water, journey and prayer, feast and fast, you show us your way.
All: When these rituals of your people become nothing but empty rote recitation, not worth our attention, forgive us.
One: We hear your words of invitation, but sometimes we are certain they do not apply to us.
Reader 1: We are not worthy of your notice.
Reader 2: We are too smart and sophisticated for such things.
Reader 3: We aren’t sure we believe it all.
All: We are not ready, we do not understand, if you knew what we’d done…
One: And you say: You are my beloved, and I have called you by name.
All: We offer ourselves to you, O God, not because we are good, but because you are good.
sung: Kyrie Eleison
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.