On May 15 I was honoured to pray the opening prayer, “Giving Thanks” for the Whitchurch-Stouffville Prayer Breakfast. Here is the text:
Blessed are you Creator and Redeemer of all
You have promised to accompany your people
As we gather to pray, to worship,
To greet one another in Christian love and fellowship
To share in good food
And to learn more about Your Love
For those we have imprisoned.
We acknowledge and remember
That our feet are on traditional Ojibway land
And remember the disproportionate number of our Indigenous people
who are serving sentences in our prisons.
We ask your forgiveness
For those times we have imprisoned
Our neighbours and those far from us
With our greed, prejudice, lack of concern for the earth
And our craving for safety, isolation and security
Which all rest in our lack of trust in You.
Every time we have neglected the least of us,
Whom You love the most,
We add another link to their chains.
Forgive us, Mother and Father of us all,
In your love and compassion
As You unlock the gates of our hearts
Fill us with Your passion
To speak and hear words of prophecy
To resist violence
To share all that we have
To love the unlovable
To live in solidarity with all who struggle
To add our voices to those of the oppressed
And to be agents of your transforming love
In the lives of people and the governing systems of this world.
We bring before You this morning
The concerns of those who weigh heavy on our hearts
Of those who are sick, grieving and living in despair.
We entrust them to your care
And open our hands and hearts
To bear your healing grace
As followers of Your way
We have promised to bear your light in our community
To be the voice of the poor, oppressed, vulnerable and struggling
And to bring good news to the discouraged.
Grant us courage and wisdom to take the risk of faith
Entering into the dark and unknown places
Trusting in your Gospel.
As we feast this morning
We pray for those who do not have food
And children who are going to school without breaking their fast.
Every time we break bread together,
Remind us of those who work many times as hard
To put bread on their own tables.
We bless and thank You
Vine and Vinekeeper,
For the bounty of your Earth.
And for the food which we enjoy.
We thank you for the work of farmers and factory workers
Whose toil produced the fruit on our plates.
For the animals who lived to nurture our bodies
For the cooks, servers and cleaners
Who have prepared this meal and this place
Make us ever grateful and humble.
We bless and thank You
Great dance of the Trinity
For the fellowship we enjoy here
The opportunity to build bridges across faiths
To celebrate differences
And the growing diversity of our community.
Your beauty is known
In the listening, speaking, wrestling
Laughter, comraderie and sisterhood
Around these tables.
Stretch us in our understanding
That we might share a greater piece
In the Body of Christ.
As we celebrate our shared desire
For peace and redemption
We ask your loving-kindness on all of us
On Stacey as she prepares to share her words
On all who have organized this event
And the staff of Station Creek
Who have shared their hospitality.
In the name of God,
Source of All Being
Eternal Word and