The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

God, you know our hearts.
You know our inmost thoughts.
You know us and you trust us,
and so we can trust you.

We can, with vulnerability,
hand over to you the worries of our lives,
the worries and the deepest joys,
so that in conversation with you,
we might know again in a new way
that you treasure us,
that you hold us,
that you carry our burden
and weep when we weep,
that you are never remote from us,
you are always near,
even as your love extends beyond us
to the farthest reaches of the universe.

God, hold our yearning to reach greater heights,
our strive for excellence,
our determination to do more.

Let the fire burn within us to make the better choice,
to take the more excellent way.

When a significant trouble crosses our path,
when a toxic relationship overturns
our ability to hold steady,
when unforeseen events muddle
our hopes, dreams and efforts,
give us your spirit,
your tenderness,
let us rely on you
and one another,
so that we do not need to fix it alone,
we do not need to solve it alone.

Give us gentle traveling partners,
companions on the journey,
a friend who becomes for us
the light on the next section of the path.

As we think of Jonah,
who is called to support not just individuals
but a whole nation in the work of change,
let us remember that the weighty troubles of the world
are held in your tenderness,
that you send someone here today even
to care for the city,
to arise and go,
to be the embodiment of the light of the world
and the salt of the earth,
to be Christ’s body at work
for the sake of justice and peace.

Let us be one of the called,
one who is asked to participate
in such weighty work of goodness and mercy.

Even in the impossible struggles in our city
—racism, hunger, housing—let us arise and go.

Even in the impossible struggles across the globe
—public health, war, climate change—let us arise and go.

Let the language of your spirit arise within us, so that we can hear your call.

Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit, O God,
on your people gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.

By your Spirit make us one body in Christ,
one in mission and ministry to the world.
Nourish us in faith, hope, and love,
and strengthen us for service,
until we feast with you in glory.
All praise and honor and glory are yours,
holy triune God, now and forever. Amen.