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Pastoral Prayer –Sunday, April 21, 2013
April 25, 2013, 3:16 pm
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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling, Virginia

            Good morning.  It’s a blessing to be with you and Reverend Anya today. 

         For the next part of our service, I invite you to notice your feet on the floor and the sensation of your body in the chair.  Notice your breath, coming in and out.  Notice your neighbor’s breathing, our common breath, the breath of life. 

         After these words of contemplation, we’ll take some time of silence together, followed by music.

         Spirit of Love and Breath of Life, we give you thanks for the gift of life and the gift of this new day.  We give thanks for this gathering of seekers around us, in search of inspiration and hope. We give thanks for this fellowship of compassion now at this time when we may be grieving, afraid, or sick at heart, as many have been during the past week.

         The famous finish line of the Boston marathon, normally a site of celebration and accomplishment, became a place of agony and fear.   A frantic and successful search for suspects has brought relief to many, but could not reverse the losses.

         In a Texas neighborhood, a fertilizer factory exploded.  A place of livelihoods for workers and a place of homes for neighbors became a place of devastation.   The blast killed many, maimed others, and made so many others bereft. 

         Violence always breaks the heart.  We long for peace.  We send our prayers of comfort and healing to those in need, beyond these walls, around our globe, and around this room to all gathered.   

         Around the room and around our globe the members of the human family seek meaning and hope, and find it often, in marking birthdays and anniversaries, in reflecting on joyful milestones and grieving sad ones, in sharing music and games with others, in simple meals with loved ones, and in smiling to strangers and friends alike.  We center and ground ourselves in kindness. 

         On this Earth Day Sunday, we give thanks for the fellowship of all beings on this earthly home, for the ease of greeting the sun as it lights up our world, for the gift of beholding the quiet night as it enfolds us with all creatures, with all forms of life. 

         Let us count our blessings and use our gifts to bless this world. 

         Let us give thanks for moments of silence, and the gift of breath. 

         Blessed be, and amen.   Now let us together for a time of silence.

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