Transformation: The Places We Will Go (Acts 2:1-6, 12-21)

Pour out your spirit upon us, Lord.
Fill us with your promise,
with your grace and
with the joy of your teachings.
Remind us as we watch the baptism of ___and ___
of our own baptism.
Remind us that we are your community, your children,
baptized in the living water and
sealed with the participation of God’s grace and forgiveness.
We state today we are your children and we thank you.

Be with us in our daily lives.
Help us to see your active participation in our interactions with others,
in the mundane and in the significant.
Encourage us to spend time with you in silent reflection,
allow us to hear your guidance and your direction in that silence,
open our hearts to better understand your plan here on earth.
As your children, we long for your embrace and are comforted by your love.
We are loved, help us to feel that love and to accept that love.
Be with those among us who need an extra level of support. We name ___.

We have been cleansed by the act of baptism.
We have been filled with Holy Spirit.
Open our eyes to the signs of your involvement in our lives,
and in our future.
Help us to share those signs and your teachings with others.
As your children, we bring our own children to you
and promise to raise them in your teachings.
We pledge our children to you and as a community,
we pledge to support these children and their families.
As we look at ___and ___, remind us of our time of innocence.
Take us back to that time.
Take us back to the age of childish wonder and amazement
and fill our hearts again with that wonder.

As your children, we lift up the words you taught us and
we embrace that feeling of wonder and amazement as we do so,
“Our Father…”

A Mystical Moment (Exodus 24:12-18 ; Matthew 17:1-9)

Glorious Creator, we have all had the experience of encountering
a scene in nature that takes our breath away:
a sunrise, a sunset, the view from a mountaintop,
a rainbow, the dew glistening on a spider web,
the waves splashing up upon the shoreline,
or the lightening strike that lights up the night sky.
The majesty and the mystery of the world you have created overwhelms us.
When we come upon these scenes, we are filled with the mystery of your Spirit
and feel your closeness.

The glory of God settled on Mt Sinai and
a cloud covered the top of the mountain.
Help us, Lord, to see your glory in our daily lives.
Take us to that mountaintop and meet us in our doubt.
Help us to see your beauty and your mystery in the daily minutia of our lives.
Help us to remember the covenant you made with the people of Israel
and help us to keep your teachings.

Like Peter, we don’t fully grasp your teachings.
Help us to truly understand your mystery.
As Jesus was transfigured, we ask that you also change us.
Open our hearts to your presence all the time.
Remind us that you are with us always, and be with those among us
who need your healing grace. We name ___.
Open our eyes to those around us who are afraid or feeling lost,
those who don’t know how they will move forward.
Open our hearts to the needs of those around us
without judgment and without fear.
Help us to protect your creation, to act as stewards of your mystery.
Help us to act as Jesus taught us.

Glorious Creator, the world around us is full of your glory and your mystery.
We remember the baptism of Jesus when we hear the words
this is my son with whom I am well pleased.
We are reminded of our own baptism and
we remember that we are your children,
each of us loved and uniquely cherished.
As we seek you on the mountaintop and in your creation,
we use the words that your son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Arise and Shine! (Isaiah 60:1-5 and Matthew 3:13-17)

We know that you are with us always, Lord,
but this season reminds us that you have chosen to live with us,
to share our human experience.
We celebrate that you have come to be with us, Lord.
The darkness had covered the earth, but now we
shine with the light of your love.
Help us to carry that light forward into the world.

We know that sometimes we focus on the darker side of life.
Remind us, Lord, to see the light and sunshine in our world.
Help us to see the abundance around us.
Lift up our hearts in joy and thanksgiving
for the gifts that you have given us.
Help us to focus on the positive and not the negative.
Help us to carry the light of your truth into the world.

As we focus on your love, we are reminded of our baptism.
Water, life-giving and life-sustaining, is a symbol of your love
and acceptance.
Help us to give that gift to others.
Help us to share the gift of your love to others we encounter.
As we have been cleansed and forgiven,
help us to see others with acceptance and forgiveness.
As members of the body of Christ, we support one another.
We lift up the names of those among us who need assistance, naming ___.
We also celebrate with one another in our times of joy.
We lift up our joys and celebrations naming ___.

We are your children, Lord.
We arise and shine in the light and glory of our Lord.
Be with us as we go through our daily lives and
be with us as we use the words you taught us,
“Our Father…”

Beyond Water (Mark 1:4-11)

Father God, we confess that often our focus is on how we appear to others.
Did we say the right thing?
Did we act like we were in control?
We wonder too much about what others think of us.

Mother God, remind us that we are your children.
As your children, we are deeply loved and uniquely cherished.
Our words please you when we speak to raise others up,
Our actions please you when we work for peace and justice in this world,
Our thoughts please you when we think of ways
to help those who have no power in this world,
and our hearts open to you when we take a moment in prayer.

Spirit God, you fill us with your love and grace.
Your living water washes over us, cleansing us of our sins and shortcomings.
We know that no matter how hard we try, no matter how good we are,
we will never live up to your ideals.
And, yet, we know that you accept us as we are,
you not only accept us, but you loved us before we were even born.
We are your beloved, and we are loved.

We confess that we spend too much time thinking
about the material world around us,
and not enough time in prayer with you, Lord.
Open our hearts to your loving embrace,
Open our minds to desire that conversation and time of reflection with you,
Open our imagination to the possibilities that are within you,
Open our hands to the work that needs to be done in this world.

Mother God, you are with us always, loving us and healing us,
be with those among us today who need your healing grace.
We name ___
As you are with us, filling us with light and love,
open our hearts to desire this time with you,
remind us that we need to spend time in contemplation and reflection.

And, as we spend time in prayer with you, we use the words
that your son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Gather in this Sacred Space (Exodus 3:1-15)

We gather in this sacred space, week after week.
We are standing on your holy ground.

As our ancestors gathered in awe and worship,
we still gather in worship.
Our awe and wonder today may not be a burning bush,
but we find wonder in the birth of the daughters we celebrate and welcome today.
We find wonder in those God moments we encounter in our daily lives.

We gather in this sacred space, week after week.
We stand today in your holy space.
Remind us that wherever we are, when we are sharing your word,
that space is holy as well.
Remind us to find wonder in the ordinary.
Remind us to see your face in the faces of those we encounter throughout our day.
Remind us to hear your story when we listen to the stories of those around us.

We gather in this sacred space, week after week.
We stand today in your holy space,
reminded by the baptism of our newest members,
that we are your children, Lord.
As we cherish our children, you cherish us.
You find wonder in us, even as you know us completely.
Remind us to open our hearts to you to fully receive the love of our parent.

We gather in this sacred space, week after week.
As we celebrate new life in this holy space,
we look forward to our future, to their futures.
There is excitement and anticipation, a wonder for the future.
Use us, Creator, to make this future yours.
Use our bodies, our minds and our hopes and dreams.

We gather in this sacred space, knowing that you are with us week after week.
Be with those among us who need your grace and healing touch.
Celebrate the additions to our family, Allison, Ella, Kimberly, Mic and Laura.
As we stand in this holy space, we use the words that your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Water of Our Baptism (Matthew 28:16-23)

We are often unprepared for the situations we find ourselves in.

No matter how many parenting books we read, no matter how many conversations we have before the birth,
no one is prepared for that moment we realize we are now the parents.
We alone are responsible for this child.
We talk about how to drive in the snow and ice,
but the first time we find ourselves sliding on the ice,
we are never prepared for that sinking feeling and the panic of being out of control.
We say that we stand up for our principles and for what we believe in.
And then we are faced with peer pressure,
opposition from those we believe have power over us,
and we give in.

You have shown us that even Jesus’ disciples faced doubt
and were unprepared at times.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit, prepare us for those unexpected moments.
Give us the strength and wisdom we will need to get
through those moments of panic.
Remind us we are not alone in those cold and lonely moments
in the middle of the night.

The water of our baptism poured into us, filled us with your grace.
Grace we cannot earn and cannot say we deserve.
But as our parents loved us,
you love us unconditionally and without reservation.
Open our hearts to your love.
Fill us again, and always, with your grace.

The water of our baptism heals us.
The water of our baptism flows to and from each of us,
connecting us as the body of Christ,
uniting us as one.
We know that you are with us now as you were with us then.
Be with those among us today who are feeling pain and need your healing touch.

As your baptized children, we know the power of prayer.
We lift our hearts to you in prayer, using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Complete Acceptance (Mark 1:4-11)

Father God, we confess that often our focus is on how we appear to others.

Did we say the right thing?
Did we act like we were in control?
We wonder too much about what others think of us.

Mother God, remind us that we are your children.
As your children, we are deeply loved and uniquely cherished.
Our words please you when we speak to raise others up,
Our actions please you when we work for peace and justice in this world,
Our thoughts please you when we think of ways to help those who have no power in this world,
and our hearts open to you when we take a moment in prayer.

Spirit God, you fill us with your love and grace.
Your living water washes over us, cleansing us of our sins and shortcomings.
We know that no matter how hard we try, no matter how good we are,
we will never live up to your ideals.
And, yet, we know that you accept us as we are,
you not only accept us, but you loved us before we were even born.
We are your beloved, and we are loved.

We confess that we spend too much time thinking about the material world around us,
and not enough time in prayer with you, Lord.
Open our hearts to your loving embrace,
Open our minds to desire that conversation and time of reflection with you,
Open our imagination to the possibilities that are within you,
Open our hands to the work that needs to be done in this world.

Mother God, you are with us always, loving us and healing us,
be with those among us today who need your healing grace.
We name ___
As you are with us, filling us with light and love,
open our hearts to desire this time with you,
remind us that we need to spend time in contemplation and reflection.

And, as we spend time in prayer with you, we use the words that your son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Remembering Our Baptism (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

As we enter into a new calendar year and the church season of Epiphany,
our expectations are high.
We have made resolutions and plans for the upcoming year.
But some of our resolutions have already been broken.
Some have been forgotten and
we have already made excuses for why we will not be able to keep others.
Our willpower can be weak and we know that we are not worthy.

And yet, All Loving and Personal God, you know us to our very depths.
You know our strengths and our weaknesses.
And you love us anyway and in all ways.
You see who we are today and who we could become tomorrow.
You know our thoughts, our deepest desires and our darkest fears.
We are your children, Lord, and as such,
we are deeply loved and uniquely cherished.

Lord, you chose to be baptized within a group, sharing in their sense of community.
We have joined your community, with our baptism, with our confirmation,
and with our pledge to be your disciple.
We ask that you be with us in our journey,
that you help us to see what needs to be done here to make this world your world.
We ask that you give us the strength we need to carry out your plan.
We ask that you support us in our desire to be better people,
to help us to keep our New Year’s resolutions, but most importantly, to be your people.
We ask that you remind us of our baptism, remind us that at that time,
we joined your universal church, the body of Christ.
And as the body of Christ, we support each other and raise each other up in prayer.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your healing touch and sense of grace.
We name ___.

In the act of baptism, we know that you are with us.
You give us the power of forgiveness.
You renew our spirits.
And, you call us to be your people, always.
As your people, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father,…”

What We Claim (Ephesians 4:25-5:2)

We have come to you in different stages of our lives, Lord.
Some of us were baptized as infants
and have no memory of the living water
that welcomed us into this community.
No memory of the promises that were made on our behalf.
Others joined as children, young adults, or even older.
We remember the promises that we made
to unite with Christ,
to unite with this community, and
to unite with the church.

The water of our baptism cleansed us and welcomed us.
Out of the water of baptism we rose with new life,
forgiven of sin, and renewed with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Help us to remember this feeling every day, Father.
Remind us that we are your children and we are to follow your ways.
Remind us to work for the good of the community,
rather than what is best for us individually.
Open our hearts to the needs of others,
open our eyes to see the need for justice in this world,
open our hands to fulfill your plan in our world
and open our ears so that we truly listen to one another.

We come together again this week in this holy space,
as members of your community.
We work together to feed the hungry,
to share the teaching of your word to others,
to live with one another in a committed body of Christ.
Living in community with one another,
we may find that we have different ideas on how to do something,
but remind us that each of us wants what is best for the church,
for your church, for your community of believers.
Remind us of our baptism into the community of believers.
Help us to remember this feeling every day, Father.

As your children, we know you are with us every day.
We feel your presence with us, always.
Be with those we name, those who may need your grace and healing touch,
be with __.
As members of your community,
we work to support one another.
Be with us as we grow in our faith.
Help us to be with one another
with honesty, with forgiveness,
and most of all, with understanding and acceptance.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit.
Unite us with Christ,
with this community
and, with your church.

As your children, as your community, we raise our voices to you,
using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”