Before Passing a Budget: A Prayer

Holy One,

We gather this morning as your people — as church. We are here to elect leaders and approve a budget for the coming year. We are here to learn about the program cabinet and our role within the Disciples of Christ denomination. Open our hearts and minds to your ways that we are mindful of one another and your teachings. Focus us on your expectations to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly in your presence. Hold us. Nudge us. Remind us. We are yours and we are called to follow the teachings of the one in whom we pray, Jesus the Christ. Amen. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Keep Our Hearts Steady; Our Minds Upon You

O God, we gather together mindful of your always presence

The trees, the breeze, the sunshine, and even the passing cars remind us that all people are created in your image. We are here to re-member, to re-connect with you and with one another.

[moment of silence]

Seeking to be fully present in this time, we acknowledge that we bring our worries, our grief, depression, anxieties, and busy minds with us. We are still in the world even as we reach out to you, your word, and tremendous mystery. 

[moment of silence]

We ask for your special awareness of

[insert petitions]

Keep our hearts steady. Focus our minds upon you and your ways this morning.

In confidence that you are with us now and always. Amen.

Posted in Old Testament, Pastoral Prayer, Prayers, Psalm 119, Psalms

Still our spirits

Here we are, Lord.
Gathered in relationship,
One with another.

Each with gifts and 
perspectives of our own.

Each with experiences and fears 
and hopes and baggage.

Still our spirits in a world of noisiness,
that we can perceive the Holy Spirit among us.


Posted in Call to Worship, New Testament, Romans, Romans 12

Call to Evening Prayers (and Conversation)

Be present.
You’re among friends.

Take a breath.
The day is ending.

God is here.
And you are God’s beloved.

Posted in Call to Worship, Sabbath

Called to Embrace Our Essence

In the pre-church they argued over whether you had to become a Jew first to follow Jesus.
Human boundaries started springing up almost from day one. 

Paul reminded them that rejecting their essence as a Jew or a Gentile was not the path to following Jesus. 
Following Jesus, we are called to embrace our authentic selves and that of others.

We struggle to this day with this simple truth. Whether gay or straight, trans or cisgender, stranger or born in this place, we are beloved by God. Our ancestors can come from Africa or Europe, Asia or the Americas and we can still be full-fledged followers of Jesus.
Open our hearts and eyes to the path of extravagant welcome and love of Jesus. Make our actions like that of the Christ who embraces the image of God within all of us. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Galatians, Galatians 1-2, Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21, narrative lectionary


Open our minds.

May they be fertile soil for your word and ways.

Open our hearts.

May they be filled with love of neighbor & a passion for justice..

Open our hands.

That we use them to build a world of compassion & hope.


Posted in Call to Worship, Church Meetings, opening prayer

Impassion Us With Desire to Include All Voices

In the early church a complaint arose as it does when human beings worship together.
With the Holy Spirit’s guidance the people came to an agreement. Striving to be one people, they chose participation in God’s expanding love in the world.

In the world a conflict arose as it does when human beings live with one another. 
Falsehoods and lies spread in the community against others. And Stephen was stoned to death.

Let us pray,
Guide us to see complaints and conflicts as opportunities to listen to one another. Impassion us with deep desire to hear and include all voices that we might live into the one human family you created us to be. Amen.

Posted in Acts, Acts 6, Acts 6:1-7:2a, 44-60, Acts 7, Call to Worship, Invocation, New Testament

Lenten Prayer During Pandemic

Divine Energy,

We have been unsettled this year,
And we don’t like it.

Routines shattered routines,
Keeping us from friends and family.

Yet for most of us, 
Our privilege has kept us whole, 
While around us others have suffered.

Deeply embedded racism, 
inadequate safety nets for the poor,
vindictiveness among neighbors, 
and a politics of selfishness,
Led to death and suffering.

As we yearn for,
As we move toward,
A semblance of normalcy,
Keep our eyes and hearts on
The poor, the immigrant, the oppressed.

Disrupt our desires to live unaware
of the pain and suffering in our fragmented world.
Motivate us, to love and act as Jesus taught.


Posted in Prayers

In a Time of Pandemic & Insurrection

In this scary time of pandemic and insurrection, focus us on what we can do. When our neighbors are in need but we are unable to solve their problems, focus us on prayer, on love, and on doing what we can. As your people, we remain imperfect and, yet, desirous of living into the ways of Jesus, our teacher. Guide us to do what we can and strive to do more all while forgiving ourselves for what we do not or cannot accomplish. Amen.

Posted in Prayers

May We Do the Same

She wept as her only son’s body was being carried away.
When he saw her, Jesus had compassion.

He wept as he sat outside the hospital while his wife was inside dying of COVID-19.
When he saw him, Jesus had compassion.

She was too empty to weep or even get out of the bed. Loneliness and isolation overcame her.
When he saw her, Jesus had compassion.

Anger boiled over as facts became fluid. Hatred stirred, and hope faded.
When he saw them, Jesus had compassion.

The front line medical and grocery workers alike were exhausted from the tension, the fear, and daily risks.
When he saw them, Jesus had compassion.

Jesus had compassion. Out of his love and compassion, Jesus acted to bring hope and healing.
May we do the same. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Luke, Luke 7, Luke 7:1-17, New Testament
Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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