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May262019

Call to Worship – May 26, 2019

All we, like sheep, have gone astray.  We have turned, every one, to his own way.  Nonetheless we have a Shepherd, one who never loses sight of us or gives up on us.  He becomes the Hound of Heaven, the herder who seeks us and finds us wherever we go and whatever we do. In gratitude to Him for His steadfastness toward us and sorrow for our inconstancy toward Him, we gather to give thanks and praise to the God who created us, sustains us, and redeems us.  Therefore let us, with chastened confidence, worship God.

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

            Lord God of unending love and compassion, we bow before Thee in the deepest gratitude of which are capable to thank Thee for Thy care of us through all the twists and turns of our lives.  We praise Thee for watching over us when we are much too careless to watch over ourselves.  We ask Thy forgiveness for the willful ignorance we display when we turn away from Thee and Thy law.  In being forgiven by Thee, may we also feel ourselves far more intent to follow Thee and Thy plans for us.

 

            We thank Thee for all the people Thou hast sent into our lives to provide the kind of direction Thou hast intended for us.  Especially on this day we thank Thee for pastors and ministers from our past who have touched our lives by nurturing us in Christian faith.  We thank Thee for their diligence, patience, wisdom, kindness, warmth, and affection.  We trust that most if not all of us are better people because of their pastoral leadership.  We pray Thy blessing upon all who are pastors of all kinds of congregations in this country and all over the world.  Strength Thy Church, O God, that it may become the ecumenical sheepfold and bulwark Thou hast meant it to be.

 

            We pray for people anywhere who are being increasingly adversely affected by worsening economic conditions.  We remember people in the European Union who are feeling economic and social stress, for people in this country who have seen their savings melt away, and for American farmers who are confronted by the loss of their farms due to conditions over which they have no control at all.  Especially we pray for people in the poorest countries in the world, who daily struggle just to keep food on the table.  God of compassion, extend our compassion to those in severe need.  We pray all these things in the name of him who constantly was friend to the poor and needy, Jesus Christ, Thy singular Son.  Now we pray together as he taught his followers, saying, Our Father….

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