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VIRTUAL SUNDAY, January 2

Friday, December 31, 2021 Posted by Sally Sarratt
VIRTUAL SUNDAY, January 2

VIRTUAL SUNDAY, January 2: 10:30 a.m.

Bulletin can be found here.

Audio will be uploaded here.

Prayers of the People 2022

These prayers were offered by Calvary members in remembrance of the year behind us and in preparation for the year ahead. We hope they can be a source of strength anytime you need them this coming year.

 

A Prayer for immigrant justice in the U.S., Diana Pliego

Lord, we’re grateful today for a new year, another year of life, of hope, and of opportunity. We’d like to begin this time of prayer by uplifting those who have come to this country seeking better opportunities for themselves and their families. Opportunities of a better future that are oftentimes blocked by heartless policies and unjust systems.

We see the injustice still ringing in the lives of immigrants as they are denied opportunities for safety, stability, and belonging. Too many still live in fear and uncertainty while many others continue to face closed doors at our border. Muchos siguen esperando su oportunidad.

We ask that you bring  change to this nation and it’s people, especially those who hold power. Open their hearts and minds.

Te pedimos Senior que toques  el corazon de aqellos en poder sobre esta nacion. Te pedimos que abran puertas de seguridad y oportunidad a aquellos que vienen de lejos y han hecho este su hogar. May we, as a nation, welcome all who knock on our door wholly and without condition. May we embrace our neighbors as you have called us to. May we emulate the welcome of your kingdom and boundlessness of your love. Amen.

A Prayer for public health efforts as life with COVID continues, Lu Shan

Lord, we wrap the year 2021 in a heavy moment for public health. Millions of our brothers and sisters face infection every day, and not just from a deadly virus. Our world also faces a pandemic of poor discernment and lack of empathy for the vulnerable among us. Disinformation and misinformation have led to rampant resistance to vaccines and masks, while many places around the world are still eagerly awaiting theirs. Hundreds of lives lost to preventable causes. For communities like ours who have endured isolation and suffering, anxiety and frustration have turned into anguish and rage.

Lord, we raise our voice and ask you to pour mercy on us, wrap our world in your healing hands, and restore health into our bodies and minds.

Still, we take a step back to remember the hope and anticipation we felt in the early days of 2021, as we celebrated the unprecedented feat of producing vaccines of outstanding and proven safety and efficacy, just less than a year after the onset of the pandemic. For hope and the realization of hope, we give you thanks.

For the years of scientific advances and the lessons learned, the resiliency and ingenuity of the minds that went into the development and distribution of vaccines, diagnostic tools, PPE and medicine, we give you thanks.

For the global community of experts who exemplify our connectedness, to share their latest learning of the ever changing virus variants, even at the risk of being marginalized, we give you thanks.

For healthcare workers and public health leaders who have worked tirelessly, who have persevered, who have risked their lives, who have lost their lives, we give you profound thanks.

For the 85% of the adults in this country who were vaccinated this past year and the minds that have changed to believe in science, we give you thanks.

In this new year, teach us humility, grant us patience, help us care deeply, give us hope again, and lead us to make a better path forward, together.

A prayer for Calvary’s economic and social justice efforts, Jess Lynd

God of Abundance, who has crafted our bodies out of the very earth that provides all our material resources.  Let us share our resources, just as you share your body in holy communion – joyfully, humbly, in solidarity, as one.  Thank you for the precious seeds of economic justice that you’re growing in our hearts and minds – seeds growing us towards a more peaceful existence for all.  Peaceful because economic justice is non-violence, – is peace.

We know this is a practice. We know we have blind spots and weaknesses. We know this is a practice. We know we don’t always get it right and our impact overall may seem small. We know this is a practice.

We crave to end suffering for our brothers and sisters and to end our part in causing that suffering.  Untangle us, oh Lord, from the systems that contribute to economic injustice and bless our efforts at each step along the way.  Help us trust that though our part may be small, it is no less vital, no less needed, and no less blessed.

Bless our EJF and Solidarity Partnership Projects in 2022.  May the refugee project ease the suffering of a family, bring them peace, healing and even joy as they make a new home.  May our contributions to arts and healing spread sacred beauty that brightens our city and the hearts of our community. May our deepening connections to worker owned cooperatives change our vision of work and capital, more closely aligning our hearts and intentions with yours. So many projects and beautiful yearnings are springing up amongst us – water them, oh God, that they may grow, and grow us into a holier people.

We want to align ourselves more and more with you in all ways. Show us how to do so with our resources and economy. We open our hearts to you in this area. We open our economy to the audacity and generosity of the Holy Spirit. Guide us, oh Spirit. Show us how.

Amen.

A prayer for our children, Tim Shaw

Mother, father, parent god, we lift up a prayer for our children. There is tremendous uncertainty ahead for the lives of our young ones. As parents and caregivers we worry every day, as we live through a pandemic that has gone on longer than any of us expected and taken so much from us, as we see daily the effects of a changing climate, and racial, economic, and all manner of oppression continues to show itself in the structure of daily life. And we wonder sometimes, what world have we brought our children into?

This season, we are reminded that you brought your child into a world that was no better. As a baby whose life would

Immediately come under threat by those willing to do anything to keep their power. To a family forced to become refugees under threat of violence when he was only a child. To a people suffering under the weight and oppression of empire, with no end in sight.

And yet, for Jesus, you chose life. In his life you give us the constant reminder that our bodies, our love, our joy, is still enough. That through the way of love, we can even conquer death. And so we ask for blessings for our children. That you give them the resilience they need for the road ahead. That you give them joy in daily life, to light up their lives and ours as they discover the beauty of creation. That you give them the hope represented in the baby Jesus, for a better world for them and all children. And that you give them a heart for your people, to go forth to love and serve their neighbor, who is all people. Amen.

A prayer for displaced people around the world, Rick Goodman

Dear Jesus,

In this season of remembrance of your humanity we are mindful, that in a world with millions of displaced persons, you and your parents had to flee in terror from an Empire and its servants.

Grant us hearts of solidarity with people who today are displaced, from Palestinians to Salvadorans, from persons in South Sudan to Honduras. Also, grant us open eyes and minds so we can see the causes of the displacement, an economic system that values property over people. Here, in the heart of empire, may we both challenge the forces that cause displacement, while we also make room in our hearts and in our homes for you and your parents. Amen.

A prayer for Calvary’s staff, affiliates, and the business of the church, Courtney Miller

Loving God, thank you for the resilience, diligence, and boundless creativity of Calvary’s staff and lay leaders who have shepherded us through the many challenging transitions of recent years, some anticipated and others unforeseen. This morning, as we begin anew the business of the church for what will be Calvary’s 160th year, we lift up by name our beloved staff and professional affiliates. We pray for and give thanks for Pastor Sally and Pastor Maria, for Zack, for Al, Jojo, Janice and Terry, for Julie, for Chris and Rhea, for Betty and Theresa. We also commend to you our wonderful new slate of board members and deacons. Please grant all of these folks wisdom and vision, a spirit of cooperation, and the strength to persevere through whatever 2022 may bring. And for those of us without an official role at Calvary this year, please show us how we, too, can contribute our time and talents in meaningful ways.

God, we understand now more than ever that a church is not defined by the place where we meet but by the people who gather to worship and work together. We pray that the business of our people, our beloved Calvary family, will be pleasing to you and transformative in our world. May our work focus on the pursuit of justice, peace, and sharing the great news of your abiding love.

A prayer for the ways we’ve changed over the course of the pandemic, Will Brummett

Dear God,

Pardon us if we begin this prayer at least 6-feet away.

We’ve been trained in the pandemic to need distance to feel safe. We need enough space for all the potential germs, fears, uncertainties and griefs to land between us when we cry out in lament and frustration.

Oh God how we have changed. Our concept of time has both slowed and expanded simultaneously so that today is both January 2, 2022 but also the 660th day of March 2020. We have both survived a political coup and shown we will rise again and again to proclaim Black Lives Matter. Zoom has become an active verb while handshakes are distant memories. Pajamas are now business casual and unmasked coughs on the Metro are viewed as death threats. Weddings or graduations are dependent on wifi connections than in-person ones and Greek letters sound like supervillains every time they are attached to a new variant.

We’ve chosen to leave the house with mask on to protect our community, but we’ve also frankly been unable to unmask ourselves when we get home: a triple layer mask of our distrust of others, our numbing of ourselves or disconnection from you.

We’ve been second-guessing every single thing in our lives God and yet if every single family or  friend that has been lost during Covid were a mere moment of silence for just a second, we would not speak God for more than 63 days.

Gone is who we were or what we could be and in place we are now what is, and what we don’t know will come. We are exhausted, angry, doubtful, and frankly, as hollering out with Job—where have you been oh God? Have you changed, too?

Maybe, God, you were in the hands of the grocery store worker working a double shift to feed his community or maybe you were in the smile of a grandmother holding her baby granddaughter for the first after her vaccination; maybe you were in the healthcare workers, exhausted but holy, or the teachers resiliently calling out for each child’s name. Maybe you were with us all along even when we could not be with each other.

Or Maybe you were in the learning. In the lessons that healthy boundaries can be beautiful and sanctuaries can be found in Zoom rooms. That everyone is in fact essential and the value of our worth truly is not connected to the value of our work. Maybe you were in the learning that what we truly understand is much less important than knowing we all belong to one another.

Wherever you are oh God. Be here now with us in 2022. Come hear our cry, hold us close, and walk with us as we are changed. Call us to notice your presence in the people around us, the learning within us, and the love that is between us. Resurrect our spirits to show us death is not the end; change has come; change is here; and change is on its way. And so are you.