What words do we use to call people together for worship?
God is gracious with blessings.
God’s face shines upon us.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
We sing for joy, for God judges the peoples with equity and guides the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise God!
We praise God, for God’s blessings reach to all people.
Let us worship this amazing Spirit of the Universe!
heaven and earth cannot contain you,
much less this place
which our imagination has conceived and our money has built.
But we come now to pray that you will use it
to fulfil some part of your purposes.
You are the centre,…
the heart of all that exists.
It is your breath which gives life.
It is your love which gives meaning.
You are the centre….
It is toward you that all seekers after the truth walk,
no matter where they start from,
and in travelling toward you they move closer to each other…
You are the centre of all things, God,
and today we dedicate this place to you.
So let it be at the centre of all that matters,
not tip-toeing around the edges of controversy,
trying to build bridges over troubled waters,
but standing with you at the heart of the storm;
not standing on the edges of human life
looking for pretty and pious things
with which to decorate emptiness,
but with men and women and their communities
as they struggle to find new life, new purposes, and real joy…
Behold the thing we have created.
Take it and make it yours….
This prayer was used at the 1986 dedication of the Windermere Centre, the United Reformed Church guest house and retreat centre in Windermere, Cumbria. Its author, Graham Cook, served as the first Director of the Centre.
It might be adapted for use in a local church or community centre.
Words from a woman passionate about gender inclusivity…
Inspired by Proverbs 3:13-15, 17-18
“We come today seeking Wisdom.
If we seek Wisdom,
She will come to us.
Come, Wisdom! ….”
For the full text in a ready-to-print form click here.
Adapted from “Opening Prayer” by Gerardo Oberman, Argentina
(adapted for use at a leader’s gathering, by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA)
L: At this junction on our journey, we heed your call, O God.
P: We gather as your people, looking for new life for our life.
L: We gather, as your imperfect children, aware of our moments of selfishness and ambition, our tendency for cynicism and fear, our times of confusion and doubt.
P: Yet your grace abounds, O Lord. Your everlasting love awaits us.
L: So we come as we are. With our shortcomings, yes, but also with our gifts, remembering that we are created in your image.
P: We come, and your Word nourishes us. Your Spirit calls us.
L: We come desiring to walk your ways of justice, to hear your words of wisdom and renewal,
P: We come to extend, like yours, our open hands…
L: May this meeting renew in us the audacity
P: To follow you and love you, every day, wherever you call us.Amen.
L: Come! And trust that which brought you here.
P: Come! Riding in on the grace of the wind
L: Come! Floating in on the river that feeds your soul.
P: Come! Walking on the path that unfolds in front of you.
L: Come! And be in this moment, this place; welcoming in the love of living.
Used in services created by Christian Peacemaker Teams.
L: “The kin-dom of God is among you.” (Luke 17:21)
P: Let us gather together and search it out.
L: “Your kin-dom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
P: Let us seek to do the will of God and, in doing so, welcome God’s kin-dom
From the service ‘The Bible and Civil Disobedience / Divine Obedience – Part 2 of 3′ created by Christian Peacemaker Teams (Excerpted from Ched Myers, Sojourners May 1983).