Friends, sisters and brothers,
welcome to this new and wonderful space.
Welcome to all your new beginnings–
a new year, a new home, a new perspective.
Let us take a moment to acknowledge this space and time.
This morning, let us welcome a brilliant,
new understanding of God’s presence.
Let us welcome all the ways God will
show up during this time of transition.
May we welcome all our fears and suffering,
for God is with us in those places, too.
And may we hold sacred space for what
God has to give us in this new place,
today and all our days to follow.
In the name of God, our Creator,
Christ, our Redeemer,
And the Holy Spirit, our Breath of Life.
Holy One, we long to be faithful
stewards of your abundant grace.
To serve each other in love and humility.
To serve your world with wisdom and energy.
Forgive us when we stumble over pride, when
our words and actions are not guided by love.
Turn our hearts when we act in folly.
Restore our energy when it is gone.
Sometimes, many times, O God, our efforts fail.
But your abundant grace is strong and eternal,
And forgiveness is ours through Jesus Christ.
We ask and pray in the name
of you, the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Sermon and Reflection
What if God continued to expand our vision of love for ourselves and others?
How can I welcome all parts of myself?
Friends, sisters, and brothers,
take a moment to look around
and savor God’s goodness.
Let this place and these people
be a reminder throughout this week
of what God can do and is doing.
This week, when old wounds reopen
and old habits re-emerge, remember:
Healing is slow, but it is beautiful.
God is at work, and you are not alone.
Your community is surrounding you.
And when you return next week, may you
bring your process of healing with you,
and may you make this place shine.
Go now, in the name of
our loving God,
the forgiving Christ,
and our guide, the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Sayaka Minemura @ Flickr]