Given by Cricket Potter On Sunday, January 1

This first morning of the new year
We gather as a community of hope and faith,
And we celebrate the blessings of the previous year
   thankful for all that has been given to us
Even as we hold one another in love and compassion
   acknowledging the struggles and losses some of us have faced.

In the larger world,
This has been a year to test our faith --
Some have said that God is punishing us
through earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods;
Some have said that God is on their side
   in bombings and attacks, war plans and political strategies;
Some have said that God is guiding them
   as they judge, divide, and abuse.

And right here at home,
This has been a year to challenge many of us --
We have faced physical and mental pain,
doubt and anguish;
We have suffered through separation, broken relationships,
   the loss of ones so dear;
And we have held on
just because at times thatís the only thing we could do.

So once again we gather as a community to pray
for new life and new beginnings --
We pray for healing where we are in pain
   in mind, body, and spirit;
We pray for strength to go forward
    as we know we must;
We pray for courage to live boldly each day
   and live out the love that has been given so freely to us.
And we give thanks for this healing place to come to,
   this community to share with,
      the love that unites and sustains us all.

Holy One, Wellspring of all that is good,
We turn to you now
In all our humanity,
   frayed and beautiful as it is.
We seek the abundance of your grace
   remembering that it is a gift freely given.
We seek peace and wholeness for ourselves and the world
   trusting that with you all things are possible.

May the new year find us
Moving from anger into love, from fear into hope,
   from resentment into compassion.
And may we discover with open hearts
   the many blessings both big and small
That are before us and among us.    Amen.

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