who has set us in a world of soaring beauty,
and profound mystery. . .
who has enclosed our years within the eternal context
of fragrant spring mornings,
and sparkling winter nights. . .
who has granted us, over the years,
the lilt of lively companionship,
the provocation of ideas and personalities,
the sheer, clear point of joy
in creating a thing of loveliness,
or of excellence,
the steady, solid support of friendships tried, and tested. . .
we thank you.
Above all we thank you,
for the first flowing of conscience.
We look back,
and we recognize, in ourselves,
the dawning of a conviction that life is not simply
a random series of opportunities and disappointments.
We look back,
and we acknowledge that our life has been a gift,
a gift to be accepted - savoured,
a gift to be lived out,
fully lived out between the twin poles of freedom
And now we step forward in this freedom and this responsibility.,
Free in the knowledge of how little is really essential.
Responsible in the conviction of how much is desperately needed.
Help us, living God,
to maintain this tension,
And in all this grant us grace:
that elusive tenderness
that blesses all it touches,
that lightens every load,
that sings in every song
and dances in every step;
that grace which is the flame of love,
leaping up in our hearts,
and setting our lives afire.
(Barrie Shepherd - from: Alive Now, May/June 1974)
We thank you, O God for your love for us.
Love that reaches out to accept us, wherever we are, whoever we are.
Love that demands a lot, but at the same time, somehow, amazingly,enables us to meet those demands.
Love that reassures, affirms, prompts, challenges, and overwhelms us with the completeness of its response.
Help us, your people, held within the security of your love, to risk showing that same love to others.
May our love, too, be known for its abundance, its readiness to speak out and its healing power.
we give you thanks for the love we have received
from you and from those who love you.
We give thanks for those who love and care for us,
giving us a place of belonging, valuing us for who we are.
We give thanks for the valuable people that surround us here today
for gifts that are shown here in this church and in our community.
We give thanks for those who speak and those who do,
for those who dream and those who find ways of bringing the dreams alive,
or those who write and those who play, those who make and those who clean up,
for those who are always before us and those we sometimes forget.
We give you thanks that we are part of this group of people
able to offer our own abilities and insight.
Show us new ways we can serve them and you.
For the gifts we have received and the opportunity to give in return we thank you.
Our God you have created a wondrous place in which to live.
With childlike eyes we see the beauty and grandeur
of mountain and forest, of river and seashore.
We marvel at the infinite variety of species that form the jigsaw of life
birds and beasts, flowers and trees.
We give thanks for the variety of cultures that weave the tapestry of humanity
east and west, north and south.
We give thanks that in the midst of all this you have a place for us
and we give thanks for the variety of our own lives
things we have done and things we have learnt,
for those we love and those who care for us.
We give thanks for the variety of ways in which people serve us
with advice and learning, with skills and training,
with concern and understanding, with trust and sharing.
We give thanks for all we have received
and that we are also given the opportunity to serve others.
Grant us the vision of who we are and what we can offer others in your name.