a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

prayer for a new year

Let us quiet our minds and be at rest in our hearts as we gather ourselves to pray…
Holy One,
Spirit that blew across the Deep and ruffles the still waters in our soul,
Move in and through each of us gathered here as we begin a new year of teaching, learning, questioning and growing.
Immerse us in holy curiosity, that we may be brave enough to accept our questions and kind enough to share the questions of others.
Soak us in the knowledge that we are loved not for our achievements or accolades but because we are your children, called good from before our birth, and valued as we are beyond all measure.
Make us thirsty for justice, that we my boldly face blatant and subversive oppressions in our community with unwavering conviction.
Make us thirsty for truth, that we may shed light on that which is hidden and right the wrongs long kept in the dark.
Make us thirsty for righteousness, that we may work together to repair broken relationships and build up fractured communities with empathy and compassion.
Gather your people, Holy One, that we may strive together – asking big questions, wrestling with hard answers, and never ceasing in the work of helping and healing the world.


Submitted by Rev. Laura Brekke, Campus Minister, Santa Clara University

POP–after Charleston

Oh God, Oh God, Why have you forsaken me?

Jesus cries out from the Cross, and the Psalmist cries out from the depth of despair. But, we your faithful people know that you are never far from our cries. You were with Christ upon the Cross, you were with the Psalmist in the darkness, and you were with the 9 victims in Charleston. You weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.

We remember those who were murdered on holy ground – in your very house – and we pray that they are raised as saints eternal…

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
Reverend Clementa Pinckney
Cynthia Hurd
Tywanza Sanders
Myra Thompson
Ethel Lee Lance
Daniel L. Simmons
Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor
Susie Jackson

Welcome these beloved children into your glorious kingdom.

We pray for the Community of Mother Emmanuel AME Church. We pray for the families, the friends, and the community shaken by this terrible crime. God, you are never far from the words of our groaning; send your spirit of comfort and healing upon Charleston.

We pray for all victims of racially-motivated violence. We pray especially for Haitians in the Dominican Republic, who too are targeted as victims of racial violence; and for the Church of Fishes and Loaves in the West Bank who were attacked by arsonists. God, do not be far from your children in their time of trouble.

God we pray for our community leaders and our national leaders. Give them a spirit of boldness, that they may be willing to confront this giant of racism. Give them hearts full of righteousness and yearning for justice.

We are poured out like water. Our hearts are like wax and melt in our chests.
Send your peace upon us, O God. Send your spirit of wisdom that we may see the ways we participate in sinful systems. Give us the courage to confront our own complacency, and the strength to change.

Merciful God, we pray even for our enemies. We pray for those who hurt and harm. We pray for Dylan Roof, and other like him, that you may break their hearts. That you make take their hearts of stone and replace it with a heart of repentance and love. We pray that you deliver those who are mangled by hate from themselves, and give them a spirit of resurrection.

God of all nations and families, we pause and in silence lift the prayers of our hearts up to you…

God you are the deliverer of the nations. You are proclaimed from every corner of the earth. Hear our prayers, our petitions, and lamentations that we turn over to you, our refuge and our rock. We pray all things in the name of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, Amen.

Rev. Laura Brekke, Santa Clara University chaplain, Santa Clara, CA

CTW for Ash Wednesday

One: This is the season of Lent, a time when we recognize the ways we have moved away from God, a time when we look deeply into our lives and see the ways we have not lived faithfully. Lent is also a time of reorientation and renewal; a time of turning our hearts and minds back to God.
Many: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love

One: God is a God of abundant mercy, who seeks reconciliation with wayward Creation.
Many: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

One: God is a God who constantly reaches out to us, inviting us into love, inviting us into life.

Many: Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

One: The sacrifice which is pleasing to God is a contrite heart and a spirit of brokenness; let us turn to God humility and faith.
Many: God, you are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Wash away our guilt, heal our brokenness, and draw us ever closer to you.

Submitted by Laura Brekke, Campus Minister at Santa Clara University in California, adapted from Psalm 51