Pastoral Prayer & Tribute to Nancy & Barbara, our Family Promise founding coordinators
Posted by Rev Roger
Posted on January 22, 2017
Sunday morning January 22, 2017
Four weeks out of every year, we host homeless families in the classrooms of our education building. As a participating congregation in Sacramento Family Promise, we provide meals, warm hospitality, and a safe place for parents and kids to stay overnight for a week. In the daytime, the kids are at Mustard Seed School and their parents receive support services and employment help at the Family Promise Day Program.
You may not know that we are one of the founding congregations of Sacramento’s Family Promise. Two of our UUSS members have been solid supporters of the program for many years–Nancy O. and Barbara H. Along with other members who have moved away, these two were there on the ground floor. They have built it and they have sustained it. They have coordinated our work as volunteers, our meals, and so many of the logistics of hosting here.
To those of us who have helped out, each one of these women is a rock, a source of strength and reliability. By their time, talents, money and love, these two have given a firm foundation to the program.
This year at UUSS we have a new leadership team doing the work of recruiting, training and coordinating our church members to volunteer for Family Promise. You will hear from this team very soon, since a group of guest families will arrive the 19th of February.
Nancy and Barbara won’t have to coordinate the whole thing anymore, but we know they will still be involved, choosing the work that gives them the most joy.
So, at this moment, we would like to recognize them for their solid, sure and reliable support of this important ministry of our church.
[FLOWERS and APPLAUSE!]
Now any children who would like to help in receiving the Sunday offering, please join Ms. Nancy as she goes back to join with the other greeters. Nancy, we’ll keep your flowers for you.
Every Sunday morning at UUSS, we give away half of our offering to a local community partner. in January, we are sharing with Family Promise. In recognition of the solid support of Nancy and Barbara, I hope you all can make it possible for us to have the biggest, heaviest, and most solid offering ever in our history. I ask you to dig deep. Let’s do it for Nancy and Barbara! Thank you for your generosity. Our shared offering will now be given and received.
After the prayer and reflection, we will sing “I’ve Got Peace Like a River,” which is printed in your order of service, so you may wish to have it ready on your lap. Please join me now for a time of prayer, together in this community of all ages. After I speak we will have a minute of silent reflection, and then will sing.
For now, rest your eyes; close them if you like. Relax your body into the seat holding you. Settle your soul into the support of this this room and this earth.
This planet and its elements have provided all that we need to exist and live. This planet, in its daily rotations and its orbit of the sun, brings us light and warmth, as well as night and shadow. Let us be grateful for the gift of life and the gift of this new day.
O Spirit of Life, on this day we gather with various needs and concerns. Among us here/ are those who feel uncertainty and longing as well as hope and inspiration. At this time, we call to mind our loved ones, our neighbors, this nation, and our own lives. We call to mind those people, near and far, who don’t have a warm, dry place to call home, those who don’t live or work in freedom, those who don’t feel very strong, those who don’t feel safe.
O Spirit of Life, we ask for healing, renewal, strength and courage as we move into the days to come.
O Source of Peace, we ask for wisdom as we strive to build the beloved community… in our neighborhoods and around this planet.
O God of Love, we ask to be grounded in your love as we strive to embrace the whole human family.
Help us to live one day at a time. Help us to ground our every choice, every deed, and every word in mindfulness, generosity, respect and kindness. Help us to remember to give thanks for the gift of life, for every day of life, and for every good gift. So may it be. Amen.