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Pastoral Prayer for Worship at UU Service, July 14, 2013

An Embracing Meditation                 


Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento


            Please join me now for a time of contemplation in community.  Settle your body in your chair, feel your feet on the floor.  Relax your eyes, or close them if you wish.  Notice your breathing, your neighbors’ breathing, our common breath, which is the breath of life.

            We will invite you to speak the names of people, places or events on your heart, whether you whisper them to yourself our call them out so others may hear what you say. 

            On this warm summer day, we give thanks for the precious gift of life.    

            Let us greet each day with curiosity, and practice patience with ourselves and with others.   

            In this congregation, we extend our condolences to those living with loss. This includes the family and friends of Lynette Stueve, whose memorial service we hosted yesterday.

            At this time we may have other names on our hearts.  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.

            On many hearts and minds is the news that last night in Florida a jury announced a verdict of not guilty in the murder trial of the man who had shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an African American teenager.  No matter what the trial’s outcome would have been, a young man remains dead, taken from his family and friends.  Their shock and heartbreak remain, and Trayvon’s chance to live his one precious life is gone. 

            For many of us, the dynamics of this American tragedy are both familiar and frightening.

            We have no final clear answers, just heavy hearts and raw emotions.  We long for deliverance from the violence which plagues our communities.  We pray for the precious life of every young man of color, known to us or unknown to us.  We long for peace. 

            On this day let our hearts extend also to those grieving the deaths of 19 firefighters in the Arizona wilderness, and those lost in the wake of the train explosion in Quebec, and those grieving and suffering from the jetliner crash in San Francisco.






            Today we lift up those around us who are dealing with a crisis in life, with health problems, chronic pain, loneliness, or uncertainty about the road ahead.  There are people on our hearts who need good wishes, prayers, or gestures of care.  At this time we say the names of people we know, whether whispering to ourselves or speaking their names and needs aloud into the space of our sanctuary. 

            May we find the courage to reach out and the grace to give the simple gift of listening.

            Many people  are able to take some time for new experiences and adventures in the summer, including travel to places near or far or attending summer camps.  May they all venture safely and grow in awareness and spirit.

             Let us remember also those who are working all summer long, some in hot weather or dangerous conditions.  May their labors be noticed and appreciated.

            And now we recognize also that life has its joyful milestones and moments of discovery as well.  Let us now mention aloud or whisper to ourselves those who have good news to celebrate.  

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

            As we prepare now for a minute of meditation, may our hearts embrace gratitude,  compassion and peace.  May we choose to live our precious life with courage, kindness, and mindfulness.  Now, in the spirit of all that is holy and all that is human, let us be together in this time and in this embracing meditation. 



1 Comment so far
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Thank you, Roger. I appreciate your pastoral prayers, embracing meditations, or whatever else you name them!

Comment by lauren davis todd

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