“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain…”
—Katharine Lee Bates, 1893
Preparation for worship
Sit in a relaxed position. Take a slow, deep breath (or 2 or 3 or as many as needed) until you feel your body, mind, and soul begin to relax and rest in the Spirit. Take time to reflect as you move through this time of worship…
Opening Sentences Psalm 130:1-2
Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord:
Hear our voice and answer our prayers!
Prayer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray,
but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you.
Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity.
Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace.
Help us to walk together,
and live together
until that day when all God’s children
- Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow -
will rejoice in one common band of humanity
in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray.
Hymn of the Day
We Shall Overcome, by Louis Armstrong. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Amos 5:21-24
21 I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID-19 and by its side effects in our world. Pray for the thousands who are still being diagnosed positive in the U.S. each day, and for the thousands who are dying. Please continue to pray for Frances Gutierez and her daughters, all with the virus, and for Brandon Jantzen and his family— Brandon is experiencing continuing health problems after having Covid. Please pray for the families of the 397,000 who have died in the United States, as well as of the more than 2 million worldwide. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
Brothers and sisters, your dreams should not go unnoticed.
God knows your dreams.
Now dare to dream out loud
So the world may discover what you and God can do.
Release every God-given dream,
So that others may be inspired to do likewise.
To the author of every good and noble dream, we give all honor and praise. Amen.
Becky Downs, pastor of John Knox, started writing daily prayers for the congregation at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, to encourage the congregation in their faith during their time of separation from each other. The daily prayers were posted throughout the year. You might want to choose one a day to read, and modify the specific prayers for self and others to fit your life today.