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Pastoral Prayer from UUSS Sunday Services, April 7, 2013

Pastoral Prayer

[Last names of living people are omitted for the online version of this but spoken aloud.]

           Breath of Life, Spirit of Love, we give thanks for the gift of life, and the gift of this new day.  We give thanks for the world we share with human our kin and other forms of life.  Our planet is fragile as well as resilient.  Help us tend our home with care.  On this day, wars and rumors of war tear apart our human family together.  We send prayers for peace around the globe:  the Korean peninsula, the Middle East, and our own cities and neighborhoods.  We remember the Holocaust on this day, which is Yom Hashoah.  We celebrate the courage of women and girls around the globe who insist on their education and their dignity in the face of hostility.  We celebrate the poets, artists, writers and journalists who express themselves, seek truth, and speak their own truths.

In this congregation, we extend our condolences to those living with loss.  Linda’s sister Mary died from a head injury sustained in a fall while on vacation.  We send our love to her family.  Taylor’s father passed away last week.  We extend our sympathy to Taylor and to his sons on the loss of their grandfather.  Our longtime friend Leon Lefson passed away this past week.  We give thanks for his long and active life, and we mourn his passing.  We extend our condolences to those among us who have lost their beloved pets recently:  Denis, Karen and family on the loss of their dog, and JoLane and her sons on the loss of their dog.

At this time we have other names on our hearts of those we have lost recently and those lost some time ago.  Now into the space of our sanctuary, let us call out the names of those we mourn and remember.

May their memory be a blessing.

We lift up and extend our hope to those dealing with financial troubles, a health crisis, chronic pain, isolation and loneliness, and uncertainty about the road ahead.  In particular, we extend our love and care to Anne, recovering now from pneumonia.   To Jeane, in treatment for a blood infection.  Barbara, in the ICU at Kaiser with liver complications.  There are other people on our hearts who need good wishes, prayers, or gestures of care.   At this time we say their names, whether whispering to ourselves or speaking their names and needs aloud in the space of our sanctuary.

My we find the courage to reach out.  May we find the grace to listen and give the gift of our simple presence.

We recognize that life has its joyful milestones and reasons for celebration as well.  Today we celebrate our Junior High Youth Group and adult volunteers on their field trip, as they visit local sites to learn about our Unitarian Universalist heritage in Sacramento.  We celebrate our Parenting Group, Alliance Program, Games Night, and all the activities by which we create community.  We congratulate Maxine and Bob, marking 60 years of marriage this coming week, and sharing a cake with us next Sunday.  At this time let us say the names or events that give us gratitude and good cheer.  Let us speak them into the space of our sanctuary.

May another’s good news give to all of us cause for joy.

Spirit of Love, give us hearts full of gratitude, kindness and courage for the living of our days.  In the name of all that is holy and all that is human, blessed be.  Amen

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