Heavenly Father, we have so many joyous events and moments in our lives. We know that you are the true source for this happiness. You created us out of joy and love. We thank you for the joy of our many volunteers here at Upper Dublin. We pray for the safe journey and successful mission of our ASP volunteers. There job is not easy but they do it with joy and grace. Our youth are our future and we are blessed by their devotion and faith. We thank our adult volunteers who travel and work with them. Their dedication and sacrifice will not go unnoticed by our youth. We thank you for our Vacation Bible School volunteers who will work to your glory this coming week. They will be windows to your love and our children will blossom. We also thank you for our fathers who work so hard to provide and model your love for us. Be with them and restore them when they are tired, when they feel overwhelmed, when they are fearful. Their presence in our lives is essential and so worthwhile. We thank you for our pastors who serve all of us in so many ways and who work so tirelessly to find ways to enhance our own faith journeys. We celebrate Pastor Anderson and his book the Digital Cathedral which leads us to find your good news in so many places and we celebrate Pastor Lawlor who is showing us that your presence and love is found in many places in many cultures and in many faiths. For all of this joy we offer our praise to you because we know that you are its source. Help us to never forget this, help us to live in your love and help us to bring you joy in your creation. Hear us, O God
Holy and glorious God, we are thankful for the gift of visiting pastors and musicians who share their inspiring and comforting message and music with us. Open our ears and hearts to listen and obey your commandment for our daily lives, to love one another as you love us. Help us to translate our faith into deeds. Hear us O God. Your mercy is great.
Eternal Father, as we sang in our opening hymn, you are our help and our hope, our shelter, our guide and our home. Strengthen our faith in you and lead us to accept your gift of grace. Hear us O God. Your mercy is great.
Guiding Father, today we give special thanks for fathers. Like you, they soothe our fearful hearts, wipe our tears, protect us and guide us. Give wisdom and energy to all those who nurture children, so that they can be living examples of your faithful love and sacrifice for us. Hear us O God. Your mercy is great.
The parable of the growing seed, which only appears in the Gospel of Mark, reveals how spiritual growth is a continual, gradual process. We have each seen it in our faith community or felt it personally. We’ve seen the results and changes in our friends and fellow servants in Christ, following a week of hard work and service in the heat of Appalachia. It has been evident as we prepare or serve chicken dinners with Chosen 300. A life of faith and spiritual growth has highs like a feeling of standing on a mountaintop, or it can be the low valley of despair, loneliness or doubt. The good news; God has promised that He will not abandon us, no matter where we are in our faith, in our spiritual journey. And we await that day of our own spiritual harvest, when doubts are erased, suffering is ended and the glory is God is fully revealed to us. For your patience and encouragement as we continue our spiritual journeys, we thank you in gratefulness. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
In joy and wonder, we pray for the church, those in need, and all of God’s creation. It is with wonder that we contemplate and then believe that you, God, came to live among humans as one of us, as a frail helpless infant born to parents who could not provide a luxurious or even a particularly safe childhood. What more could confront us with the fact that we cannot possibly fully understand the ways of God? Who among us would choose to be helpless or to have a beloved child unprotected ? So we say thank you to the God we worship for this mystery. Hear us O God
Lord God, we begin a new year with no idea what will happen in 2014. The fact that we think we are following your will does not mean we are actually doing so. But we know the desire to please you does please you and we strive to have that desire in all that we do. Hear us O God
- Diane Schueler