a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

morning prayer: respite from our task-filled days

God of this new morning…

As the sounds of sunrise stir us from our slumber…
As the birds chirp their songs outside our windows…
As the squirrels scamper from tree to tree…

we celebrate the gift of rest…
the gift of sabbath…
the gift that reminds us to take care of ourselves…
so that the moments when we’re overwhelmed
by the burdens and challenges of life
might find balance with the much needed moments
of relaxation and self-indulgence.

We have all gathered here,
if only for a few days,
to find respite from our task-filled days.

We have all gathered here,
if only for a few days,
to be inspired with new ideas
and new visions of what it means to be “church”.

We have all gathered here,
if only for a few days,
to eat,
to drink,
to sing,
to dance,
and to play…

to create,
and to be RE-created…

to hear,
to smell,
to feel,
to taste
and to see your goodness!

We give thanks for the community we share at UNCO…
even this morning…
whether we struggle to stay alert
in our pre-caffeinated trances;
we struggle to stay focused
with each soothing, intra-caffeinated sip;
or we struggle to stay still
in our post-caffeinated restlessness.

In the aftermath of many spoken words
and many ingested thoughts…
give legs to those things that should not lose momentum…
so that vision, energy, and creativity
are not stifled by skepticism, traditionalism,
or any other “-ism” that seeks to sabotage
the potential that you see…
the potential that you CREATED…
within each of us.

Draw us closer to you…
and draw us closer to one another…

so that when we travel in all directions
back to our homes…
back to the churches we serve…
back to the ministries in which we participate…
back to our task-filled days…
we might be drawn closer to the world around us
that is longing to hear and SEE real good news

that has no conditions…
no punchlists…
no barriers…
and no secret handshakes.

This IS our prayer…even now…
as we sing the familiar words of Jesus’ prayer together…

(We closed with a sung version of “The Lord’s Prayer”)

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY), this prayer was used in a morning prayer service at Unconference East at Stony Point Conference center (Stony Point, NY) on May 23, 2012.

prayer for wholeness: we are not alone

 

Prayer for Wholeness

The signposts of our lives cry out “Danger!” “Keep out!” “Detour!” “Stop!” We’re told to proceed with caution and keep our hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. We hit roadblocks and wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Maybe we need to recalculate the map… but how can we if we don’t know what our final destination is? How can we if we’re so set on our final destination that we don’t see the dirt roads wandering off to possibilities unknown? We want to re-imagine, re-think, re-member; but we don’t want to get stuck in our own journey and forget our siblings who are also struggling or who have walked this journey before. When we lift up our heads, we see we are not alone. A vast community journeys with us—some of whom look like us and think like us and many of whom do not. God created us. Jesus calls us to follow. The Spirit pushes us into places we don’t always want to go, but go we must. We don’t go alone.

Assurance

Beloved, I assure you God is present in this community, has been present during all of Unco, and will be present with us as we continue our journeys. God hears our prayers and longs for us to draw closer… closer to Her and closer to each other. Amen.

 

submitted by Emily Morgan, for Unco12’s closing worship.