Leader: Blessed be God, who loves all creation!
All: God’s love has no exceptions, Alleluia!
Voice 1: We are the body of Christ!
Voice II: Justice seeking, bread breaking, hymn singing, risk taking
All: Body of Christ!
Voice III: Baptized by one Spirit, we are members of one body
All: Many and varied in culture, sexuality, age, class and ability, we are members of Christ’s beautiful body.
Voice I: None of us can say to another, “I have no need of you.”
All: For only together can we find wholeness.
Voice II: None of us can say to another, “I will not care for you.”
All: For we are connected like muscle and bone. If one suffers, we all suffer. If one rejoices, we all rejoice!
Voice III: Come in, all are welcome, come into worship! Come with your longings, your questions, and your fears. All: Come with your dreams of a better day, one with dignity and safety for all!
Voice I: Thanks be to God who in Christ has made us one! All: Let us worship God! Alleluia!
Prayers of the People Let us pray.
Holy One, we believe that your love will find a way to heal our wounded world, and that suffering and poverty will end. For we believe in your persistent love.
All: God help us be your love in the world. Send us to those who suffer.
We believe that you have made us who we are, in your image, a beautiful community of race and culture and sexual identity. You declared us ‘good’. We celebrate this diversity, for we believe in your creative imagination.
All: God help us make it safe for all to live with integrity, for barriers to tumble down, and for all to live in peace. Send us out to change the world.
We believe we are all members of one body. We share a heart with those who suffer violence, who live in fear, who are cast out because of their sexuality or any other reason. We ache with them, for we believe that you love without exception.
All: God help us reach out in love. Send us into the world proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel.
We believe that we are not yet perfected. We fear. We judge. We cause harm by our action and our inaction. But we still turn to you for help, for we believe in your forgiveness.
All: God help us to receive your forgiveness. Send us into the world to forgive.
We believe that the liberation of those in captivity did not end with Moses leading slaves out of Egypt, it did not end with Jesus’ death and resurrection, but even today you are still pulling humanity out of darkness into the light. For we believe in the Reign of God on earth.
All: God give us courage and stamina. Send us into the world to lead.
We believe it is not too late for those filled with hate to learn to live in love. For we believe in your heart-transforming power.
All: God help us love even those who hate. Send us out with love for all.
We believe that our prayers do matter, and so we offer them now for the people and places that long for relief from suffering. (pause for people to add their own intercessions, silently or aloud). For we believe in the power of prayer.
All: God remind us that we are not alone. Send us into the world to be a soft landing place for all who suffer.
We believe in gratitude. We offer thanks to those brave souls who risk much for others. We offer thanks for all the moments of grace that sustain us, which we name now, silently or aloud. (pause while people add their own intercessions) For we believe that your love and grace surround us on every side.
All: God give us eyes to see your goodness in the world around us. Send us into the world in gratitude.
We believe that church is an imperfect but well-intentioned collection of souls. Even though we often fail to understand your Gospel, even though we often lack the courage to take risks for justice, even though we have not always welcomed your beloved outcasts, still we see that you have not abandoned us. For we believe that you still hope in us.
All: God help us to be a better community. Send us into the world as the life-changing, liberating church you imagine. All this we ask in the name of your Holy Trinity. Amen.
The Lord be with you
And also with you
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give God thanks and praise
Holy One, we gather this day as one people, members of the same body, grateful for your many gifts, and carrying the hope within us for a world filled with love. This hope was given by you, from the very beginning of your creation.
You made the earth, and all that lives on it. You inspired prophets and widows and slaves, to seek liberation from all that oppresses, so that we might be released to love fully. You became incarnate in Jesus Christ, so that through him we might experience the depth and width of your unquenchable love.
And so, joining our voices with the ancestors who have gone before us, we praise your name in song:
While Jesus lived among us he stood up for women and children, he touched the untouchable, healed the sick, and welcomed those who had given up hope of being included. Through him we see a path not only to our own freedom, but a path to the liberation of the whole world.
He taught us that it will not be in the brutality of violence that our world will be saved. Rather, it will be in showing kindness to our neighbor, in standing up against injustice, in returning hate with love, in transforming one heart at a time. It will be in the simple but holy task of dining together, sharing bread and wine, truly seeing one another as beloved by you.
We know this because on the night before he was murdered, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to you, broke it, and gave it to his friends saying “Take, eat. This is my body broken for you. Do this to remember me.” After dinner he took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and gave it to them and said: “Drink this all of you. This is my blood of the new promise, poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Do this to remember me.”
Send your Holy Spirit, we pray, into these gifts of bread and wine. Please send your Holy Spirit into us, that we may recognize each other as members of the same body, Christ’s hands and feet and heart, sent for the healing of the world.
All this we ask in your name. Amen.
Once again you have given us what we need: sacrament, one another, hope for a better day. With renewed energy we offer ourselves to be sent out in your name; hopeful, grateful, useful, leaders of liberation, proclaimers of your love. Amen.
You may use this resource with permission. The opening sentences and collect were adapted from materials by Ann B. Day, and materials used at Dumbarton UMC. The prayers of the people are adapted from an adaptation of a song written by Tim McGinley for the Reconciling Congregation Program. The Eucharistic Prayer and the post-communion prayer were written by the Rev. LeeAnne Watkins for use at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, with special limited permission by Bishop Prior to use at all services during our LGBT theme.