What We Experience (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Once again, we join together here in this sacred space.
We thank you for those around us,
our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We lean upon each other in times of pain and stress,
we learn from each other every day,
and we celebrate each others’ joys and happiness.
As we look at one another,
help us to see your image within them.

We are one body, one church,
but as individuals, we do have our differences.
Remind us that diversity builds strength.
We are shaped by our experiences in life.
Remind us that our lives may have taken different paths
than others have explored, but we are one within your love.
Remind us to cherish and respect the journeys of others,
to hear their story without judgement or bias.
We have been called to this place, to celebrate
one Lord, one faith and one baptism.

Father, you sent your son to teach us one truth, one way of life.
We’ve taken that message and distorted it into different churches,
different truths, with each claiming to know the absolute truth.
We admit that we don’t have all the answers,
that we can never have all the answers.
But we know that our truth is that we are your children,
our truth is that we are deeply loved and uniquely cherished,
our truth is that it is up to us to make this world as it is in heaven,
our truth is to work for peace and justice for all, to respect everyone,
our truth is that we know you are with us always.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your healing grace and strength,
naming __.

As we grow together in love, fully supporting each other, defending each other,
we will truly become the body of Christ.
Give us the strength to truly love one another.
to become one with each other.
And be with us, as we use the words Jesus 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…”