Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Pastoral Prayer for Labor Day Sunday at UUSS–September 2, 2012


Now I invite you to join me for a time of contemplation in word and silence.  Feel your feet and bodies resting.  Notice the breath of life…   After I offer these words, we will take some time in silence, and this will be followed by music.

Spirit of Life and Love, give us hearts full of gratitude for the gift of this new day.   We can be grateful to be sitting in this fellowship of seekers, taking the time to reflect on life, with all of its blessings as well as its burdens.

We reach out in care to those facing a family crisis, medical challenge, financial distress, heartache and loss, or burdens of the mind or spirit.  Let us say the names of those people we have on our minds.  Either whispering to ourselves or calling out our concerns for others to hear, let us speak the names now on our hearts into the space of our sanctuary.

Some of us may be thinking of loved ones we have lost to death—those lost recently, and those whose absence we mark at this time of worship.  Let us now speak their names.

Life has its light moments and joyful milestones also.  We give thanks for the moments of celebration, and we invite those names or events to be spoken into the space of our sanctuary.

For those traveling this holiday weekend, we send wishes for safe journeys and good visits.  On Labor Day, let us give thanks for work and thanks for the time to rest.  We hold in our hearts those looking for paid employment and those worried about their jobs.  May all of us find a way to live out our deep calling, whether for pay or in other ways.

We lift up those who labor to support themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.  We thank those whose gifts are physical effort and the work of their hands, and those giving gifts of mind, music, art, and technology.  We remember those who construct, invent, repair, transport, invest and sell.  We give thanks for those in the teaching and helping fields, those who rear children and care for the vulnerable.  We give thanks for the workers who make it possible for us to eat, and those whose vigilance keeps people safe.  We pray for all whose jobs put them in harm’s way.

All work has dignity and value for those who know how it blesses other’s lives.

May those who pay employees fairly and treat workers well feel joy and satisfaction in doing so.

Labor Day was born out of struggles for fairness.  Knowing this, let us make note of the bills now sitting on the California governor’s desk:  one ensuring that farm workers in fields of extreme heat are able to have shade and water available, another one granting domestic workers overtime pay and rest periods, as afforded to other types of workers.

Here in this land, and around our globe, may hands of care embrace and include every member of the human family.  May peace prevail in every land, in every heart.  So may it be.

Now let us take some time for our private contemplations, and then some time with a gift of music for our souls.  Amen.


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