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Dec312017

Call to Worship- December 31, 2017

Endings and beginnings: An old year ends, and a new year begins. In the unfolding pages of our lives, God goes with us on our individual and collective journeys. We thank Him for His presence with us and His guidance for our passage. We experience His saving grace every day, and we are redeemed anew to start over when we have faltered or have fallen. We gather as people who know ourselves to be sons and daughters of God, called by His grace into His family. Let us, with confidence for the new year, worship God.

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

We bow in thanksgiving before Thee, O loving God, for all Thy blessings to us in the past year, and for the promise of Thy presence with us in the year which is about to dawn. We marvel at how intricately Thou hast created the universe and the world, and how the passage of time keeps everything in harmony in a remarkably ordered fashion. We praise Thee that, despite the many miscalculations we make as Thy stewards of the earth, the earth keeps providing food for all its inhabitants and an environment suited to all the animals and plants which inhabit the world, so long as human beings do not seriously damage the created order. We pray Thy blessing to be upon all those who feel called to maintain and enhance creation in all its bounty. Grant them wisdom and perseverance in their efforts, and inspire us to follow their lead.

 

We pray for those who enter the new year fearing that it may be their last one on this earth. May they be drawn ever closer to Thee, who alone art our eternal hope and consolation. Grant strength and courage to the seriously ill, continuing tenacity to those who experience relentless pain, calmness of spirit to those who feel constantly thrown the vicissitudes of life, and brightness of vision to those who live in darkness which is either self-imposed or thrust upon them by factors outside themselves.

 

In an election year, we pray for all the candidates who are already making plans for their campaigns, and for those fortunate officials who need not run for re-election in the new year. Guide all those whom we elect to serve well and wisely in their positions. Help them to work together for the people rather than for themselves and their own benefit. Deepen the meaning of public service in everyone who serves the public in any capacity, so that Thy kingdom may more fully be perceived on earth. Bless the President of the United States as he enters the second year of his presidency, and guide all those who seek to provide advice and counsel to him. These prayers we make in the name of Jesus, by whom and through whom we have been led into Thy presence. Now we join together in prayer as Jesus taught us, saying, Our Father….

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