Daily Prayers

6/3

Holy Trinity, who creates, redeems, and sustains us.
You who are filled with wonder and splendor,
You who made us in your image and call us your children,
You who brought us out of the darkness into your light,
You who dwells among us and guides us to the fullness of life.

As we begin this day with heavy hearts for what’s happening around us,
We turn to you in a desperation and with righetous anger,
Without your presence and peace, we lose our way. 

God of mercy and grace,
Forgive us for our silence and ignorance about systematic racism and injustice,
Humble us so we may repent our sin against you and our siblings, 
Open our eyes, O God, so that we may see your own image in all of whom you have made,
Give us your prophetic words and courage to speak out against injustice, 
Strenghten us to confront unjust systems so we may dismantle racial prejudice,
Help us to embrace one another with love as we work towards equality for all races,
Impart your peace and comfort unto those who have deeply been hurt by the sin of racism,
Heal us all, your precious children, and bind us together by the power of the Holy Spirit,

So that …
In our generation, 
We may truly celebrate one another for all that we are,
We may live out more fully your kin-dom here on earth,
We ask it in your Triune Name — the name above all names, now and forevermore. Amen. 

By Rev. Taesung Kang, New Hampshire District Superintendent
Psalm 8; Genesis 1:1-2:4a

6/2

Triune God,
  whose reign encompasses all that was, is, and shall be,
holy is your name.
May your reign be so clearly apparent to us, 
   that your will becomes our action,
       here, on earth, as it is true in the realm of heaven.
Give us what we need this day to be sustained throughout the day,
  as we are sent out to teach and baptize in the name of your Son.
Release us from those things that bind us 
  and cause us to fall short of your vision for our lives,
     just as we release others from their own shortcomings.
           Lead us. 
                        Don’t let the distractions of this world interfere. 
                                  Deliver us. 
So that in our witness we are able to resist evil, injustice and oppression 
  wherever and whenever we encounter it. 
For it is your kingdom.
It is your power.
It is for your glory.
Today and every day.
Amen.

By Rev. Rick McKinley, Director of Congregational Development, based on Matthew 29:16 – 20 and The Lord’s Prayer.

6/1

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, 
Standin’ in the need of prayer. 
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, 
Standin’ in the need of prayer. 


We stand before you, O Lord, hurting, confused, angry, fearful, and ashamed. We stand in the need of prayer, for we have sinned. 

Today we pause to recognize especially our shame and to seek your forgiveness, so that we can forgive one another. We come before you to seek the grace and wisdom that will empower us to be justice-seekers. 

Forgive us for the sin of racism and for failing to make justice the way of life for all people. 

Forgive us for permitting the differences that make us special to become stumbling blocks of division. 

Forgive us for not using our power responsibly. 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that “a riot is the language of the unheard.”  

Forgive us for not listening to the voices crying out for freedom, for mercy, for justice.  

Forgive us for tuning out stories of those whose lives have been needlessly lost and the voices of those who live in fear, anger, and despair. 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called out our complacency, observing: “our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay.”  

Forgive us for waiting for a riot to pay attention to the anger and the hurt. 

Forgive us for caring more about our own comforts than the full humanity of your beloved children. 

Forgive us for our satisfaction with racist systems, policies, laws, and institutions. 

Forgive us for thinking “if things are fine for me, they are fine for everyone.” 

Through growing wisdom, and penitent spirits for our own provincialism, enable us to make a difference, and to demonstrate the way of love. 

Show us the way to justice! Show us the way to mutual respect and trust! Enable us to see value in those different from us, and to celebrate your Beloved Community. 

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, 
Standin’ in the need of prayer. 
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me, O Lord, 
Standin’ in the need of prayer. 


We are all standing in the need of prayer. 
In the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Jacquelyn Brannen
Bill Burnside
David Calhoun
We Hyun Chang 
Jill Colley Robinson
Ted Crass
Beth DiCocco
Andrew L. Foster III
Taesung Kang
Rick McKinley
Karen Munson
Erica Robinson-Johnson
Megan Stowe
Rene Wilbur

Dr. King quotes excerpted from 1967 “The Other America” speech at Stanford University, full text found here: https://www.crmvet.org/docs/otheram.htm 

”It’s Me” is in the UMH #352 

5/31

O God, we admit too often we are hidden behind locked doors:
Doors of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, xenophobia.
We hear our neighbors say they can’t breathe,
but are we truly listening? 
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Venha, espírito santo, venha. The violent rushing wind from heaven comes to stir us up.
People are crying out “I can’t breathe.”
Our nation is on fire,
are we willing to respond?
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Ven, espíritu santo, ven

Send your ruach* to your people once again,
turn our lives upside down.
Help us repent of our individual and communal complicity in the racism in our society,
to care for those gasping to catch their breath.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.  Your Holy Spirit gives abilities beyond our wildest imaginations,
to see and hear our siblings when they cry out, unable to breathe.
Give us the courage to take a stand and speak,
so that all can hear and understand in their own language.
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Njoo roho takatifu. Amen.

* Ruach is the Hebrew word for the breath of God, the Holy Spirit.

By Rev. Megan Stowe, Central MA District Superintendent
Based on Acts 2:1-21

5/30

Mighty God,
in whom we know the power of redemption,
you stand among us in the shadows of our time.
As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life,
uphold us with knowledge of the final morning
when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son,
we will share in his resurrection,
redeemed and restored to the fullness of life
and forever freed to be your people. Amen.

Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.

5/29

Spirit, we cry to you today. We are thirsty. 
We are so dry; as dry as Ezekiel’s bones. 
Jesus knew thirst too, and Jesus promised us
that In the day of our deep thirst, you would be there.
Jesus told us that if we believed, we could drink from your living waters 
and find refreshment for our weary souls. 
This is that hour, Spirit. 
We thirst …
we believe …
we drink …
Thanks be to God. “Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free;
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness;  Wind, Wind on the Sea.”

By Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Brannen, Northern Maine District
John  7:37-39
Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness James K. Manley 1978. 

5/28

Lord God, you know us too well. You know that we would be like the disciples following the crucifixion and even the resurrection. We would rather hide and mutter and weep, than proclaim the power of your love. 
 
The world is a difficult place. We fear so much. We want people to like us, and so we hold back on our proclamation of our faith. We don’t want to offend anyone. But your love and presence are not offensive. They are empowering and healing. 
 
Bring your holy fire upon us this day to ignite a spark of joy in our hearts and our voices. Bring the power of your rushing wind through our spirits that we may be turned in new directions for service and witness. 
 
We pray this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
  By Rev. Nancy C. Townley
Selected by William V. Burnside II, Conference Treasurer

5/27

Gracious God, 
we will not 
gather in one place this Pentecost
wearing red, standing close together, 
crowded in sanctuaries adorned with symbols.  

We will gather  
in separate rooms 
amidst a pandemic,
literally, people from every nation
speaking in countless languages.  

As we stand in this unusual place 
amidst uncertainty and fear
we pray that we will re-member 
the first Pentecost, our Story,
that we will hear afresh the witness of Peter 
proclaiming Joel’s prophesy of God — 
people of all ages and stations, 
seeing visions, dreaming dreams, 
witnessing signs and wonders —
even in days clouded by sickness and worry.

Like the early apostles
fill us with courage, 
to be your beloved global community,
to read and proclaim the signs of the times, 
to demonstrate your Good News with our lives.

Make us the Church of the Pentecost 
embracing people of every hue, accent, and theology, 
hearing about your deeds of power 
spoken by many witnesses in many languages —
and our joy shall be full 
and our hope be proclaimed.  

Consume us with refining fire.  
Redeem us with your unending love.
Propel by your holy wind.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, who lives and reigns with You, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

By Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar 
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-21

5/26

O God, we open our collective souls to your presence, and we bow before the mystery of your creative power. We lift our hearts to you as the source of our creation, and our help in every time of need. As we find ourselves at the dawning of a new day, we ask for your continued strength as we reach for greater knowledge. Impart upon us the spiritual gifts that we need for this day; and for all of our tomorrows.  Though we encounter the trials of life, you, O God, remain our constant companion. Be with those undergoing difficulties in coping with the challenges of life today. You know our fears when life seems unfair and when we feel faint of heart. You know the angst that obstructs us, the temptations we resist, and the limitations we must overcome. Help us to release our resentments, and fill us with your peace. We live in the assurance that you free us from that which is destructive. Preserve our lives according to your will, and for the sake of your realm. Help us to seek your good for the world, and to serve one another in the fellowship of our Christ like spirits. Give us courage in the midst of this pandemic, and grant us peace as we are walk through uncharted valleys. Make us valiant in our service to you and the world. Grant us with a sense of your presence, and fill us with courage as we come again to a greater certainty.  We thank you for the qualities of goodness, mercy, wisdom and love that you have blessed us with; and may we be a witness to these things.   Amen and Amen  

Saranam, Saranam

Refrain: Jesus, Savior, Lord lo, to thee I fly; Saranam, Saranam, Saranam; thou the Rock, my refuge that’s higher than I; Saranam, Saranam, Saranam. In the midst of foes I cry to thee from the ends of earth wherever I may be; my strength in helplessness, O answer me: Saranam, Saranam, Saranam. In thy tent give me a dwelling place and beneath thy wings may I find sheltering Grace; O lift on me the sunshine of they face: Saranam, Saranam, Saranam. O that I my vows to thee may pay, and that by faithfulness to me each day may live, and on they love my burdens lay: Saranam, Saranam, Saranam. Yesterday, today, forever the same, lo the heritage of all who bear thy name; to ransom them from sin the Savior came: Saranam, Saranam, Saranam. 

By Rev. Dr. David V. Calhoun, Superintendent Connecticut/Western Massachusetts District
John 17: 1-11 & Acts 1: 6-14
Words: UMH Trad. Pakistani; trans. By D.T. Nilkes. 1963 (PS 61 Heb. 13:8)
Music: Trad: Punjabi melody; arr. By Shanti Rasanayagam, 1962

5/25

Our holy and gracious, God, help us to remember.
Help us to remember the sacrifices bravely made
in which one has given life for another and for all.
Help us to remember those that stand in the breach
where there is trouble and in which conflict threatens to undo your good creation.
Help us to remember that we look for the day when every sword will be replaced by a plow,
that all may be fed and live in your peace.
Forgive us every sin that makes for division and for war,
and bring us all into your kingdom on earth as in heaven. 
This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Prayer of Remembrance by Douglas B. Paysour, lead pastor at Windsor Hills UMC in Roanoke, VA. 2013. Selected by Beth DiCocco, Conference Director of Communications. 

5/24

On this Ascension Sunday, it reminds me that it is proper and right to pray for yourself before you pray for others; after all, Jesus prays for Himself (The Real Lord’s Prayer) and afterward he prayed for His disciples …

17:1 “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” O God, during this pandemic, you have slowed me down and reminded me to be still and know that you are God. You have given me opportunity after opportunity to look up to You for You are still my help and my salvation. Thank you for your protection, your provision and for your presence in my life. Thank you for caring for my family during this seemingly long season of waiting and anticipation of when we will see each other again beyond Zoom, Hangout, Skype,  FaceTime and other on-line platforms. Father continue to grant me your wisdom, knowledge, and favor as I strive to walk worthy of your perfect will for my life and lead all to you.  “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me, and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” Loving God, as your children all over this world continue to suffer and grieve, I ask that you remind them of the hope of resurrection. Remind them that nothing will separate them from your great Love. I pray that you continue to protect their hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit. Let them see each other as your beloved creation – Make them one. In the words of Carol Cymbala, “Make us One” Make us one, Lord, make us one; Holy Spirit, make us one. Let your love flow so the world will know we are one in you. Make us one. This is my prayer, in Jesus’ name, So Be It.

By Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III., RISEM District Superintendent
Scripture: John 17:1-11 (NIV)

5/23

Your people, O God, know your great love and care,
Yet in days of pandemic, we live with despair. 
All over creation, the pain is so real,
And many are sounding a heartfelt appeal
For a way to combat this scourge of each life
That’s causing all nations to struggle with strife.
 
O Holy One, walk with those, we pray,
Who endure the dangers and stress of each day
While meeting the needs of those who are ill.
We plead with you to in them instill
The resolve and the courage to do what is right
‘Til the world, once again, is winning this fight.
 
Thus, we turn to your Word, as we always must,
To read again of your gifts to us —
The loving gifts of strength and power
That help us endure each painful hour.
It is that promise that helps us cope 
As we wait for news that gives us hope.
 
So we thank you, Creator, for your amazing grace 
And the blessed assurance that every place
And every heart that cries out for your care
Will receive an answer to each fervent prayer.
May your voice be heard with such solemn trust
That our faith remains strong and our power is just.
 
By Rene Wilbur, New England Conference Lay Leader
Based on Psalm 68:32-35 NRSV

5/22

O wonderful God of possibilities
The hour has come for us to glorify you
Jesus has made you known to us…and we have kept your word.
My heart sings for companions in Christ who are working so very hard to share your good news
I am in awe of pastors learning new ways of shining your light
For retired clergy embracing Zoom 
 bivocational pastors reimagining pulpits
     preachers’ kids volunteering as production assistants
          choir members uploading their songs for anthems
               laity reading your word from living rooms and front porches
                     the greatest generation navigating conference calls and social media
In all the remarkable ways that your children share the good news of your eternal life and love, I give thanks. And I pray with Jesus that you would protect them (and heal them, and strengthen them, and empower them) so that we may all be one in you.

Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Connectional Ministries 
Scripture: John 17:1-11

5/21

Ascension
 
Rising Christ,
 
Couldn’t you stay just a bit longer?
Couldn’t you teach us more about the scriptures?
There is so much in this life that we still do not understand.
Couldn’t you sit down to one more meal with us,
keeping us company while we keep our distance from others?
Couldn’t you tell us one more time about forgiveness —
how it changes everything and sets us free?
Couldn’t you hold off on sending the promised power?
We want you here with us.
We know you.
We need you.
Are you sure you want us, with all of our inadequacies,
to be your witnesses?
If indeed we must be your witnesses
stay, and show us more of what you intend.
Please stay.
 
Why does it always feel like there is not enough time —
like we should have known then what we know now and made different choices?
….. These are yesterday’s questions — even last night’s desperate requests.
But in the light of today, in the most graceful way imaginable,
you lift our doubts and longings and uncertainties
and take them with you.
We are unburdened and ready, just as you hoped.
…..
 
If in the future the old ache creeps back in, as it invariably does,
help us to once again embrace today’s final, miraculous gesture
as we lift our faces to the stunning spring sky —
you
blessing us.
 
Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift.
 
Amen.
 
By Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Vermont District Superintendent 
Inspired by Luke 24.44-53, and referencing 2 Corinthians 9.15.

5/20

“This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:4b-8
 
God of Heaven on Earth,
Like disciples we feel urged to turn to you with questions that are in our troubled and anxious hearts even after you have promised the gift of the Holy Spirit in and among us. 
 
Is this the time for you to restore the booming economy and the stock market? 
Help us remember our baptism and empower us to be the witnesses to your deep concerns for the poor and the neglected among us now.
 
Is this the time for you to restore the worship in the buildings?
Renew the baptism of the Holy Spirit in us and help us grow to worship you in spirit and truth regardless of where we worship. Is this the time for you to restore our freedom to move and gather as we want? 
Help us remember Jesus who has freely bound himself to the path of the cross for the sake of all. Shower the Holy Spirit on us that we may bear the fruit of patience and self-control
for the sake of all.   Is this the time for you to restore the way things were before this pandemic?  
Restore in us the power of your Spirit that we may restore in every heart and in every land
the way of love that scatters every fear,
the way of empathy and compassion that unites all, 
the way of patience that spreads hope,
the way of freedom that serves others,
the way of peace that expands the justice to all, 
the way of worship that delights God, 
the way of prayer that moves every heart closer to God’s,
and the Way of Christ that redeems and makes all things new.  
 
Amen. By Rev. We Hyun Chang, Metro Boston Hope District Superintendent

5/19

Loving God,
Thank you for these Spring days that explode with new life.
For the flowering crab apple, cherry, dogwood, redbud, and plum
For the buds that pop with leaves that unfurl
For warblers, phoebes, grosbeaks, and indigo bunting
For the blue skies and warm sun.
I thank you that this same Spring comes in the diversity of other plants, trees, birds and signs in other lands, too.
And that the warmth of your sheltering love can be felt all over creation.
This morning, I bring to mind the faces of friends in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceana, South America, the Middle East, and also here in my little corner of the world.
Whether welcoming the same Spring or facing the same pandemic,
They are my sisters and brothers.
Today, I pray a prayer of peace for these my siblings, for their land and for mine.
Help me never to forget 
That their joy is my joy and that mine is theirs,
That their suffering is my suffering and that mine is theirs,
That we cannot fully realize our own being without each other.
O God, help me never to forget our shared oneness in Christ 
As I enter this blessed Spring morning.
Amen.
 
By Rev. Ted Crass, President of the United Methodist Foundation of New England
John 17.7-11
“This Is My Song” UMH 437

5/18

Holy and living God,
In you “we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28)
In you we find our shelter and strength,
In you our hearts are being filled with joy each morning, 
In you we sing praises with a new song,
In you we trust that your promises are the way.

Like those disciples in Acts 1 experiencing the time in between,
Witnessing Ascension of Jesus Christ and awaiting the decent of the Holy Spirit, 
A time in between staring into heaven and staying in one place.

During our time in between, 
We wait with hope for you are the source of every hope,
We wait with patience for your timing is always perfect,
We wait with prayer for you are listening intently,
We wait with praise for you take all our anxieties as we cast them on you.

During this time, we pray especially for…
Those who are graduates with uncertainty hindering their future, 
Those who lost their jobs and are finding ways to meet their finanical needs,
Those who lost their loved ones, and their funeral services are limited or postponed,
Those who are fighting against addiction and are unable to meet with their recovery groups,
Those who feel fear as hate crimes and incidents arise. 

During this time, O God,
Enter into our sorrows, worries, addictions, financial burdens, fears, and injustices, 
Fill us with your grace, hope, and joy abundantly, 
Turn each home into a place of peace, unity, and love for each other,
Renew our hearts and minds to seek the knowledge of your mercy and love,
Help our souls to be united in incessant prayer.

Let us receive this prayer of Apostle Paul:
“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing [God] personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is [God] is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life [God] has for [you], oh, the utter extravagance of [God’s] work in us who trust [the Lord]—endless energy, boundless strength!”
Let it be so. Amen.

By Rev. Taesung Kang, New Hampshire District Superintendent
Acts 1:1-11; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; Ephesians 1:15-23MSG Translation

5/17

Holy Spirit

Come to me!
Fill me!
Inspire me!

No, that’s not right.
Be the source of wisdom in my life.
Become the spring of discernment throughout my days.
Mature in me as the Spirit of God.

Not just while my hands are held high in worship
But while they are cuffed by hardship.
In drudgery and setbacks,
In delays and interruptions,
Interminable waiting.

Yes, that’s right, Holy Spirit. While life batters and bruises
Be the source of wisdom.
Become the spring of discernment.
Mature in me as the Spirit of God.

Amen.  
From “Holy Spirit I Pray” by Jack Levison, pg. 74, Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA © 2015
Selected by Rev. Rick McKinley, Director of Congregational Development 

5/16

Oh God, this week we feel tested.
We feel as if you have sent your refiner’s fire to purify us.
We, your people, have been through fire and floods, wind and snow, pandemic illnesses, and unemployment, food insecurity and fear.
As I read the Psalmist, I hear promises that you will bring us out to a spacious place.
Those who were in exile will return home.
Those who had no home find a home in you.
I live for those promises.
I am comforted that you have listened to our cries, our pleas, our prayers.
Thank you for not removing your steadfast love from us. Amen.

By Rev. Megan Stowe, Central MA District Superintendent
Scripture: Psalm 66:8-20

5/15

Holy One in Three,
We are so very eager to do good.
We are even willing to suffer in that doing. 
But we confess to being afraid,
now and then,
of the harm we might feel 
and the harm we might do.

We grow intimidated
by social pressure,
by the scale of a problem,
and even by our own ambition.

May our hearts become your sanctuary
where you seek to make a home,
where we sacrifice our fear as a praise offering,
and where our desire to success
is converted into longing to serve. 

When we are challenged for decisions we make 
and actions we take, 
in your name.
When we are called to account,
may our defense not be defensiveness
but gentle and reverent sharing of the hope 
you implant in us 
as you abide with us. 

Holy, Holy, Holy 
Lord God almighty
We praise you for the mighty love made possible in Christ
Who suffered for the good he, did and does, was and is.

The Body of Christ suffers again,
not only as we are cut off from familiar worship spaces,
but also, as you draw us to your true calling.
Let us be no longer our own but yours. 
Put us to doing. put us to suffering.
Let us be put to work for you or set aside for you.
Let us be praised for you or criticized for you. 

As we, like Noah, seek signs that it is safe to come out, 
suffering disappointment in the ark when the message is “not yet,” 
let us be full,
let us be empty.
Let us have all things, 
let us have no thing.

Even when love takes us to the hardest places,
just as Christ descended to Sheol’s prison 
with the piercing light of God’s good news,
we do freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, 
You are ours, 
and we are yours. 
claimed in our baptism.
So be it. 

By Rev. Dr. Karen L. Munson, Mid-Maine District Superintendent 1 Peter 3: 13-22

Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.  Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

5/14

Lord, during this pandemic, life has become so confusing.
There is fear, grief and so much anxiety.
And yet, your Spirit resides within me. Sometimes, I feel you as near as my breath.
Sometimes, I long to feel you but cannot. 
Today, I will trust that you are here. I will trust that you are with me even when my emotions hide your presence.
Today, Lord, I will concentrate on keeping your commandments and I will trust that the Spirit that resides within will help me with that, for I do love you God.
Thank you for loving me. 

Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Brannen, Northern Maine District SuperintendentScripture: John 14:15-21

5/13

Maker and giver of all,
forgive us when we are too preoccupied
to notice your presence in our lives:
when we walk through this world
and fail to see the wonder
of you upholding our lives and all creation;
when we walk through our lives
and fail to see you abiding with, within,
and around us;
when we walk through holy moments
and fail to savor your presence,
instead feeling abandoned
in the vast sweep of life
as each day rushes at us
with its demands.
Open our eyes to your presence, God of love,
that we may lean on you—
for you uphold all of creation
in tenderness and power. Amen.

Prayer by Rebecca Gaudino.Selected by William V. Burnside II, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services

5/12

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” ~ John 14:15-21 (NRSV)

“Growing up in India, I saw orphaned children daily. I saw first hand the sadness, the longing, and the experience of abandonment.That vivd childhood memory comes back to me when I read the promise, ‘I will not leave you orphaned.'”
     — Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar.

Merciful God,
We stand in the midst of 
   sickness, death, and grief;
we see people 
   without jobs, standing in mile-long food lines;
we witness the unjust distribution
   of resources and racial discrimination, 
we watch health care providers 
   exhausted and overwhelmed
   farmers with no market for their crops
we wonder … 
   have they, have we, been abandoned?

   Jesus promised …
that we would not be orphaned*
that you would send your Spirit
that, because he lives, we shall live
that you are not gone from us
that we have not been deserted
that you abide with us, 
and in us.

   O God our Help, hear our prayer —
to love you
to keep your great commandment to love others
to know you revealed through our loving acts
to see you —
here and now
with us and in us,
forever. 

   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 
Amen.

5/11

Creator God, as your spirit dwells within us we feel a sense of peace and calmness. We thank you for your abiding presence as we lift our voices in praise. We thank you for installing within us the desire to enjoy life as well as the impulse to call upon your name. We give you thanks for the time to rest in your spirit and ask you to be a part of this day. Walk with each of us, and assist us in our tasks. Keep us ever under the canopy of your care, and let not our hearts be troubled. We pray for wisdom when life becomes difficult in every imaginable way. We ask not to be separated from the stresses and strains of this life, nor kept from problems and pain; but to be guarded by your grace amid all sunshine and shadow. Shelter us through the passages of life and encourage us daily that we may be used to advance your kingdom.  We lift our hearts to you as the source of our strength and inspiration, and we are grateful for the many challenges and possibilities that lie within this new day. Let your spirit push us onward O God, and help us not to become discouraged by difficulties in life. Help us instead to become inspired by what might be. Instill within each of us a desire to face every challenge in life with the possibility of excelling and transforming adversity into victory. Calm our minds, and soothe our spirits as we sense your presence among us. We thank you for the many qualities that you have endowed humanity. We thank you for our capacities to experience the senses of touch, sight, sound, smell, to express ourselves as your creation; each in our own way; and to be attached to the earth and to feel the rhythms of time. In all these ways, O God, we are grateful for the gift of life, and we thank you for your abiding presence as we lift our voices in praise. We pray these things in your Name, and we rejoice in your Spirit.   Amen  

Morning Has Broken
Morning has broken like the first morning; blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning! Praise for the singing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven, like the first dew fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden, sprung in completeness where his feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation, praise every morning, God’s recreation of the new day!   

By Rev. Dr. David Calhoun, CT/Western MA District Superintendent Morning Has Broken pg. 145 UMH Words by Eleanor Frajeon Music: Carlton R. Young 1988
United Methodist Hymnal: The United Methodist Publishing House Copyright 1989 

Psalm 31:1-5. 15-15, Acts 7:55-60, John 14: 1-14

5/10

God of Provision and Unconditional Love, On this day when we acknowledge the importance of motherhood among us, we first give thanks that you are a loving parent to us all. From your being all life was born, and in your bosom all creation is nurtured. You have formed us in your image as your children, and gathered us together as a brood under your wing. You have united us as kindred members of one human family, and we are grateful to be your offspring together. We celebrate your divine love, reflected in human expressions of motherhood. We give you thanks for the mothers among us, and ask that you strengthen them in their daily tasks. Grant them wisdom in the lessons they teach, patience in the discipline they foster, and persistence in their promotion of decency and compassion, both by word and example. May they be given the honor and thanks they deserve but often do not receive. We thank you for all motherly figures: grandmothers, aunts, sisters, wives, step-mothers, foster mothers, guardians, babysitters, teachers, health care providers, neighbors, friends, loved ones, and many others, who practice self-sacrifice and embody compassion to all who are privileged to be in their influence. Grant them vigor to carry on their work, and the satisfaction that the holy privilege of their task affords. We acknowledge to you, O God, that even amid our grateful celebration, many of us come with restless spirits, reluctant to name the difficulties of this day. For some, this day brings the sorrowful awareness of their own inability to conceive biological children. Draw your tender spirit near their feelings of self-betrayal, impotence, and grief, and remind them that those who struggle with infertility have always shared a special place in your heart. We pray for those who have suffered miscarriages, those fatigued by fertility treatments, and those struggling through the process of adoption. May they remember that in your power and through your church, they can still leave a lasting legacy beyond themselves. For some, this day is marked by loneliness and grief, as they spend this first Mother’s Day as a widower, an orphan, or a parent who has lost a child. To those who today live in the wake of the death of a loved one, grant glimpses of the resurrection. Bring to them a steady restoration of their broken hearts, allow them to live into their future with hope, and empower them to carry out the legacy of lessons instilled within them. For some, this is a day that surfaces ongoing tensions that exist within our personal relationships and family dynamics. We ask for healing from the wounds of our past, a path of forgiveness for wrongs both experienced and committed, and the rebuilding of trust forged in honesty, authenticity, and love. We give you thanks for the wide spectrum of motherhood represented among us today: new mothers and young mothers whose children are in their most tender years; mothers of grown children who transition into empty nests and a new chapter of self-discovery; mothers and grandmothers of advanced years, whose twilight of life is marked by frailty of body but a potency of spirit. Theirs is a cumulative reminder that though our lives are marked by transition and change, your nurture and affection for all your children remains the same. Therefore, remind us to live with a child-like faith, curious to every wondrous mystery, attentive to your every instruction, obedient to your every command, and willing to share with every one of your children. We give you thanks, O God, who is a loving Mother and Father to us all, and in whose name we pray, Amen.

This prayer was written by Rev. Magrey R. deVega, Senior Pastor of Hyde Park UMC in Tampa, FL. Shared by Beth DiCocco, Conference Director of Communications

5/9

O Lord, we have recently experienced a National Day of Prayer, however, as your creation, we should always pray without ceasing. 

The Psalmist declared these words: Psalm 31:1-5 (NKJV)
“In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.
2 Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me. 3 For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me. 4 Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. 5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth”.

A Prayer for Adverse Times …

Gracious and All-Knowing God,

You are never surprised by what happens in our lives.  You are not numb to our personal pain and tragedy experienced during this COVID-19 season. You are not insensitive to what nurses, doctors, grocery store and essential workers are dealing with on a daily basis.  You fully understand the hurt and disappointment of the high school and college graduates that will be unable to physically walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and degrees after all the hours of study and preparation as well as the financial sacrifices their parents and families have made.  

Remind your creation as you reminded the prophet Jeremiah of these words: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Let the unforgettable words of William Williams reassure us during these challenging times:

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Increase our ability to trust you and lean not to our own understanding. Allow us the grace to see your mighty hand moving us through this pandemic. Pull us out of the net of disease and illness and deliver us for you are still my rock and my redeemer, Amen. By Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III., RISEM District Superintendent
Scripture: Psalm 31:1-5

Some Pleasant Thoughts send to us by Bobby Brown

Well folks,

Do you think we can use some PLEASANT THOUGHTS in an unpleasant world, yu think !!!

“…Little darlin’, it’s been a long cold lonely winter. Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s alright… ” The Beatles- George Harrison 1969  

“…Lo, the winters are over (Jan and Feb), the rains have come and gone (March and Apr), the flowers appear, and the sound of birds is heard in the land…”  The Song of Solomon 2

“…Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party”!… ” The comic genius Robin Williams 

“…Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely. Sunshine almost always makes me high…” John Denver

“…Behold, if any man be in Christ, he is A NEW CREATION. Old things pass away. He makes all things NEW…” 2 Cor 5:17

I’d like to hear every priest and pastor in every church across the planet read this verse very slowly three times to their faithful from the pulpit. I wonder if we really understand the implications of this verse. I wonder if it would get our minds out of neutral, going through the routine and ritual of church as a duty. Something to ponder for sure.

5/8

O God, I awake this morning, as all mornings in these days, with an ache in my heart so strong that it permeates my whole being. The monster responsible, the pandemic that has raced around the globe, holds us hostage and demands that we maintain “social distancing,” a term previously unknown to us that has come to rule our lives.

Like so many others, I am yearning for the physical closeness of family and friends, to kiss my daughter’s beautiful face, to hug my son and feel his strength as he hugs me in return. I want to play on the floor with the babies and watch them as they grow and change.
My brother is miles away; my sister lives over the mountain. We used to find occasions to travel and sit together over a meal, sharing memories and laughter.
I miss my friends and the hugs that were our greetings to one another. How I would enjoy having a face-to-face chat with neighbors about what is going on in town or down the road or up the street. I want to shake their hands and pat them on the shoulder, ask about what they’re planting in the garden this year, and part with a friendly, “Have a good day!”
None of that can happen right now, and it all seems so unfair, God!

Oh, Gracious God, forgive the blindness of my self-pity! The virus that has overtaken our thoughts and our attention throughout the world has affected so many more than I, and so much more severely. The suffering is great in so many ways and so wide-spread, and the whole earth screams for mercy!

You have said you would never forsake us, and I am reminded that I promised to trust in your word. The scriptures assure us of the great love you have for your children, a love so deep that you sent Jesus to save us. He is truly the “cornerstone” – the foundation for the building of your kingdom. Down through the ages, you have called forth faithful servants and honored them as “living stones” willing to be included in the work of enlarging the structure designed to welcome all who believe in you, the Architect of Our Existence. Now I, along with all your servants of the here-and-now, pray that we may be the “living stones” of this time, even in these moments of uncertainty. You have placed the blueprints in our hands, and we seek to honor you with our work. Guide us as we seek to carry “living stones” to those places where they are most needed to bring strength to your holy structure. Be with us as we guide those whom we meet on the pathways of life to the wide-open doors of your dwelling-place. Be with those who are making it safe to navigate the route and join us inside the comfort of your arms. May we offer the blessed life-giving food of bread and wine as  a sign of hospitality.

Accept the sincerity of my promise, I pray, to continue trusting that you are with us through all the present trials. Keep me constantly aware that my fortitude is in you and the assurance of your faithfulness to all people who commit themselves to you. Give me the endurance and the solid strength of a stone to never waiver in my belief in your amazing goodness. Most of all, help me to set aside self-pity and to, instead, find ways that I may bring some comfort and peace to those who are suffering and struggling.

In the name of Christ, our cornerstone, Amen.

By Rene Wilbur, New England Conference Lay Leader
Based on 1 Peter 2:2-10

5/7

God, your house has many rooms, plenty of room for all … and for that, we are grateful.
When our hearts break at the loss of loved ones, you remind us that they are just moving into your place, and that helps heal the hurt.
We can envision them mingling in the kitchen while you prepare a feast 
Seated around the dining room table breaking bread together with friends
Sitting at your feet in the study seeking all their unanswered questions
Gathering in the living room with all the other saints, in a great family reunion
And when the day is done, retiring to the bedroom for a final, fulfilling rest from life’s labors
Comfort us in our loneliness, console us in grief, and remind us that there is room in your heart for each of us and room for everyone in your eternal home.
Amen

Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Connectional Ministries 

Scripture: John 14:1-14

5/6

Loving Christ,
You say to us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
I guess our hearts are troubled, or you would not need to say it.
You say to us, “Believe …”
I guess we struggle to believe, or you would not need to remind us.
Tell us again that you go to prepare a place for us.
Tell us again.
Tell us you will take us to yourself —
that you will be with us no matter what,
that we get to be with you,
that your way will be made plain before our faces.
Love us the way you loved Thomas
who so often gave voice to everyone’s doubts.
Love us the way you loved Philip
who needed to be shown again and again.
Dwell in us so that we can be about your greater work
?of finding your way,
?of speaking your truth,
?of honoring your gift of life,
even now …
?especially now.
We ask all of this the way you teach us to ask — in your name,
believing that you will make it so. 
Amen.

By Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Vermont District Superintendent
Inspired by and quoting John 14.1-14, and in honor of our Loving, Mothering Christ

5/5

Today’s prayer is offered for the children and the child within each of us. Please use it to pray with children and with a childlike heart!

Good morning, God,
Thank you for such a wonderful and warm day yesterday. 
Looks like today will also be nice. Thank you for making the beautiful sky, the shining sun, green grass, budding flowers, birds in the air, dogs and cats in our houses, and all toys we can play with and books we can read.

We have been home with our parents and family for so-o-o long. It is not easy and sometime very boring. But we know that there are people who are very sick and that we need to stay home and stay away from people to help one another. Help us remember that you are our best friend. We believe that we can tell you anything in prayer and you will do your best to answer our prayers.  

Our parents are doing their best. Help us remember their love for us even when we get little antsy and bored. Be with our teachers also. They are trying their best too! We pray for all who are helping people to stay safe and get better. Cheer them up every time they may feel tired. 

We miss our family and friends at the school and the church. Until we can see and play with one another, please keep them safe. We pray for many people who are hurting and sad all over the world, especially children who do not have homes or are very afraid. Please be their best friend too. 

Dear God, you’ve got the whole world in your hand. Please keep all the people in the world safe and healthy in your hand. We will make sure to wash our hands, wear our masks, and remember to pray to you always. Amen.

By Rev. We Hyun Chang, Metro Boston Hope District Superintendent

5/4

Holy One,
Source of my faith, continual learning and understanding,
Thank you for this day. I want to rest my being in you.
In the old days that ran together, we would ask ourselves: What’s the difference in a day, anyway?
We could not recognize ourselves as your people.
We were nothing but stones in the road – trod on by fate, flight, and fancy.
But now we understand that we are your people, chosen and alive.
Now we are your people who see – empowered by your grace and love.
Living stones to be built into a temple of love, justice and mercy.
Living stones humbly building with loving kindness, friendship, and service.
Guide our thoughts into actions so that we can find ways to bring your blessing
to those around us.  
You call us to this mission.
Forgive us when we lose the plot and keep getting sidetracked by impatience, lies, resignation, fear, and blame. 
How can we confront the loss of our collective living as families, as workers, as communities, and as people connected to those living around the world?
When Stephen understood your presence with him even in the midst of a terrible death, he knew that you were with him.
When Jesus called to you and trusted your work even in the midst of crucifixion, he knew that you were with him.
In the uncertainty of our emotions, the exposing of our systemic injustices, the devastation of lost jobs, and even in the midst of death, we give thanks for our knowing that you are with us – for never letting go.
Loving God, you call your Easter people to practice resurrection.
I will quiet my heart and mind.
I will listen.
O God, reveal yourself to me this day.
In my life, right here, right now, on this day, in this very moment …
I will let you write your hope on my heart.
Amen.

Rev. Ted Crass, President, United Methodist Foundation of New England
Scripture: 1 Peter 2.2-10, Acts 7.55-60, John 14.1-14

5/3

“This is the very day God acted — let’s celebrate and be festive!” (Psalm 118:24 MSG)

Our Shepherd of every hope,

As we gather this morning in our own sanctuaries, virtually connected with each other in the presence of the Holy Spirit, 

Help us to praise you for all the blessings that we have in the midst of all the negatives.
Let your people realize that you guide us throughout our lives as our Good Shepherd,
Let your children learn to lean into the relationship we have with you and with each other.
Forgive us when we do not pay attention to your voice and guidance,
Forgive us when we do not spend enough time with you even as we so desperately need it,
Forgive us when we do not trust you when the worries of life lead us into despair and impatience.

Assure us that you are our constant companion, ready to forgive, and able to lift all our burdens.
Assure us that you are beside us.
When loneliness creeps in, fill us with the warmth of your love,
When sadness is unbearable, embrace us with your gentle comfort,
When our pain is severe, soothe us with your healing power,
When depression darkens the soul, touch us with your eternal joy.

Call us out from the darkest valley,
Call us out from the many dangers, the fear of contraction and an uncertain future,  
Call us out from the turmoil of this viral disease,
Call us out from the survival mindset of institutionalized religion.

Call us to rededicate ourselves to the essence of the Church,
Call us to live out a radical Christian life as they did in Acts 2,
Call us to be a sign and affirmation of hope for a disoriented world,
Call us to redefine the Church post-Coronavirus,
Call us to reach out to the world with new possibilities, expressions, and forms of communication,
Call us to praise you with great joy and demonstrate your goodness to everyone,
Call us to “have real and eternal life, more and better life than [we] ever dreamed of.”

Amen.

By Rev. Taesung Kang, New Hampshire District Superintendent
Scripture: Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23 (UMH 754 or 137); John 10:1-10 MSG Translation

5/2

Life. Life! LIFE! 
This is your promise — your intention for us. 
“I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly,” Jesus said. 
Abundantly. 
Over the top.  
Excessively abundant. 
Disproportionately bountiful. 
Extravagantly exuberant.  
God, we really need some of that right now. 
When the thieves around us and within us 
   threaten to kill it, 
When worries and fear build to the point 
  they begin to strangle it, 
When our own tendencies toward selfishness and dark things 
   begin to smother, 
O God, call us. Call us again. And again. And again. 
Call us back to life. 
Call us to dwell in your words, the words of life. 
Call us to sit in silence, listening for the heartbeats of life all around us. 
Call us to love our neighbor, in whom you dwell. 
Call us to the table, where in the breaking of bread, you are to be found. 
Life. Life! LIFE! Abundant, extravagant, wonderfully, disproportionately full LIFE! 
Amen. 

By Rev. Rick McKinley, Director of Congregational Development
Scripture: John 10:1-10

5/1

O Good Shepherd,
We seek and listen for your voice.
We are thankful that you guide and protect us.
Be with us these days when we are literally walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Restore all of us who are struggling body, mind and spirit.
Lead us alongside the still waters.
We look forward to the day when we can feast at the table you have prepared for us.
Your mercy comforts us.
All of our days, we are reminded that you are with us. Amen.

By Rev. Megan Stowe Central MA District Superintendent
Scripture: John 10:1-10 and Psalm 23

4/30

Holy One, this day starts with the noses of your children pressed up against 
a transparent barrier between us and kindom reality
of your first followers:
            devoted
            listening
            learning
            sharing meals
and prayers
together. Thin for us that layered barrier of
            time
            distance
            distrust
            uncertainty
            hurriedness Guide us to that devotion which will form us with 
            scripture
            fellowship
            the breaking of the body
            the nourishment of the body
            prayer
            witness In these troubled days may our devotion lead us to praise you.
Give us glad and sincere hearts to share what we have
With those who are in need.
Instill in us awe at the wonders of generous service around us.
Help us believe in the kindom coming all around us, even in this time of altered togetherness.
  2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

2:43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.

2:44 All who believed were together and had all things in common;

2:45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.

2:46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,

2:47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.  

Rev. Dr. Karen L. Munson, Mid-Maine District Superintendent
Scripture: Acts 2:42-47

4/29

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
Lord even in the midst of this pandemic, you have supplied my needs.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul.”
Lord, thank you for our homes to shelter in and the ability to rest when we grow weary.
 
“He leads me in right paths for his name sake.”

Thank you, Lord for giving us neighbors to care for and neighbors to share the good news with.
 
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.”

Lord, this virus is relentless, and we are anxious, yet we sense your presence with us and that brings us peace.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows”
Lord, thank you for the bounty that I have been given.  Remind me of all the ways I can share what I have with those who may be in need.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.”

Thank you, Lord, for being my constant companion in every season of my life. Thank you for all the ways you have used this time of trial to broaden my perspective, used me as your servant in my community, given me the impulse to pray for those who are sick, dying and in need, and for allowing me to see you, my Good and Faithful Shepherd. May the gifts of this season be with us long after the pandemic is past. Amen  

By Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Brannen, Northern Maine District Superintendent
Scripture: Psalm 23?

4/28

Consoling and Guiding God, we bring our very lives to your altar this morning.
Many of us come feeling like we are in the midst of a storm,
with disagreement and discord buffeting us from all directions.
Help us to hear your voice in the midst of this, your call to serve,
and your encouragement to endure for the work of the kingdom.
Lead us to the light and hope of this Easter season,
so we can joyfully and faithfully serve you in the world! In the name of Jesus,
our rock and redeemer, we pray. Amen.  

Adapted from Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church

Offered by William V. Burnside II, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative ServicesScripture: I Peter 2:19-25

4/27

“Good Shepherd, we are not alone,  For you protect and love your own, And we, responding, know your voice; We hear you calling and rejoice” ~Carolyn Winfrey Gillette God of Compassion —
we give thanks for Jesus, the Good Shepherd
who knows us
who leads us
who loves us
who calls us by name. While we are occupied …
following Twitter,
posting messages on Linkedin and Instagram,
checking Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat — While we are busy …
choosing “Favorites”, 
making friends on Facebook  
         and unfriending others — The Shepherd calls, and 
         we hear his voice
we know it well, and 
we turn toward the sound of our name. Lead us to the Shepherd — 
whose voice we know
whose love knows us
whose way leads through dark valleys, 
whose goodness restores our souls … 
that we may find our true home. Creator God, who revealed yourself in the creation of every living thing, we pray not only for ourselves but for your whole creation. These days of human sequestering and quarantine have cleared the skies …  so the Himalayas are visible again 
wild animals have space to roam,
lions take rest on roads in Africa,
         elephants stroll in parks and 
         peacocks dance in the streets of India.   Teach us, O God, how to share this beautiful earth with all that you have made.   Hear us now as we pray the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen. 

By Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Scripture: Psalm 23; John 10: 1-10

4/26

O Eternal One, we have come to you from the ordinary hustle and bustle of life; to look inward, outward, and upward. We open our collective souls to your presence. Like those sojourners on the Emmaus Road, we frequently walk along the paths of life in despair and without hope. Speak to us through our silence. We are grateful for the freedom to commune with you in a manner which seems to best suit us.   As we look inward we seek greater purity of thought and intent; greater self-awareness and understanding; wisdom to know better how to use what we learn; strength to accomplish the greatest possible purpose for our lives; and a serenity which amplifies the wonder of life to us. As we look outward we become increasingly amazed and concerned, realizing more fully, that we are co-creators in this experience that we call life. Remove our blindness so that our eyes might be opened to your resurrected presence. Help us recognize that others share some burdens which we also carry, and that some carry burdens about which we know little or nothing. Enable us to look outward, to find more effective means of reaching others with a sense of our concern, hope, and support for that which is consistent with the principles of love and compassion.  As we look upward we do so knowing that you are no more up, than out, or within. We do so symbolically, striving to make our lives more solid in whatever it is that you are about; and whatever it is that we can best be about in living our lives in harmony with you.  Through this time of prayer, give us a glimpse of additional resources which we can utilize in becoming more nearly that what you would have us to be. Fill us with your words: “Peace be still.” May the peace that comes with this kind of communion provide a rest for our soul, which will sharpen our vision and amplify our appreciation for all good; and all possibilities of a greater good. We pray for our world. where there is uncertainty and anxiousness bring inner quiet. We trust these moments of communion with you as a real resource of spiritual nourishment. May our personal growth bring your human family a bit closer to what a family ought to be.   We pray in the spirit of openness, confidence, and humility, which we believe characterized the Life of Jesus.   Our Father and Mother, who is in us here on earth, holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song. Your Kingdom come, which is a generous land. Let us do your will, standing up when all are sitting down, and raising our voice when all are silent. You are giving us our daily bread in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn. Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice, and for not sharing bread and wine, love and the land, among us, now. Don’t let us fall into temptation of shutting the door through fear, of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice, of taking up the same arms as the enemy. But deliver us from evil. Give us the perseverance and the solidarity to look for love, even if we fail; so we shall have known your Kingdom which is being built forever and ever. Amen

By Rev. David V. Calhoun, CT/Western MA District Superintendent 

Acts 2:14a 36-41; Psalm 116: 1-4,12-19 (UMH); Luke 24: 13-35

UMH Hymnal Copyright 1989. The United Methodist Publishing House
The Lord’s Prayer (Liberation Theology version) source unknown

4/25

Gracious and loving God,
You walk among us every day.
You are alongside us as we labor,
behind us when we need comfort and support,
and in front of us, guiding our way.
But how often our eyes are kept from recognizing you.
It was the women who proclaimed the good news of your resurrection.
But how often we fail to see those who are undervalued or under-represented.
Help us to keep step with you, our creator, and recognize you
in every face we see, on every step of our journey.
Amen.

By Beth DiCocco, Conference Director of Communications
Scripture: Luke 24:13-35

4/24

Almighty God, another day has faded into history, faded into the fabric of our sheltered in communities. Each day, we hear of the increased number of victims to this disease. We continue to wonder how long it will be until we are safely able to venture out and gather in. We like the brothers traveling on the road to the village called Emmaus are often caught up in our own feelings and circumstances of the day that we become myopic in our vision. Increase our visual and spiritual ability to see beyond our current surroundings.  Deepen our resolve to be our brother and sister’s keeper. We all are guilty of failing to notice that the very One that can turn our situation, turn our community and yes even turn our world right-side up is with us. We seek your wisdom on this COVID road to healing and restoration.    “Open My Eyes That I May See”
Excerpts from United Methodist Hymnal #454 “Open my eyes that I may see 
Glimpses of truth Thou has for me
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, open my ears, open my heart,
Illumine me, Spirit divine!” As we continue this journey, open our eyes to see and appreciate our medical providers, grocery workers and emergencyresponders. Open our eyes to see parents who are struggling to ensure their children are properly educated. Open our eyes to see those persons who are not able to be present with their dying loved ones. Open our eyes to see the students whose graduations have been cancelled. Open our eyes to see what we have neglected to do.  Open our eyes to take this pandemic season seriously. Forgive us o Lord for not seeing to our neighbor’s needs
Forgive us o Lord for not trusting in You
Forgive us o Lord for hoarding and not sharing
Forgive us o Lord. Open our eyes to see and learn how to be better at being your beloved community.
In Jesus’s name, I pray, Amen, So Be It.

By Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III., RISEM District Superintendent
Scripture: Luke 24:13-35

4/23

Out of anguish, frustration and anxiety, we plead with you, O Most Holy God, as we turn to you in prayer~~
            While flowers are wet with dews,
          Dew of our souls, descend;
          Ere yet the sun the day renews,
          O Lord, Thy spirit send.
 
Our earth, O God, has passed from the cold of winter to the promise of springtime and warmer days. Yet, we are frozen with fear because of a pandemic that has spread sickness and death across all boundaries of the earth. Living apart from those we care for and love, we feel we are living in exile. We plead for your spirit to give us strength to endure these days.
 
           Upon the battle-field,
           Before the fight begins,
           We seek, O Lord, Thy sheltering shield,
           To guard us from our sins.
 
We plead for your merciful presence to be with those who are in the front lines of the battle against this heretofore unknown enemy, COVID-19: the doctors and nurses, the emergency personnel and the researchers, and all others risking their lives to save us. Fill them with a sense of how much their care means to those who cannot get close enough to fully express gratitude. Above all, keep them safe.
 
            Ere yet our vessel sails
            Upon the stream of day,
            We plead, O Lord, for heavenly gales
            To speed us on our way.
 
As each day passes, we continue to put our trust in you. We are confident in your love and grace and, therefore, filled with hope for a speedy end to the days of deep yearning for relief. May the knowledge that is necessary to see us through this crisis be bestowed upon our spiritual leaders, officials in governments around the globe, medical professionals, and all the laborers who selflessly share their expertise to restore comfort and peace to your creation.  
 
             On the lone mountain side,
             Before the morning’s light,
             The Man of Sorrows wept and cried,
            And rose refresh’d with might.
 
Especially in this Eastertide, we are reminded that it was the precious blood of Christ that was shed so that we might have life and have it abundantly. Recalling that amazing act of sacrifice and resurrection, we place our most ardent hope and faith in you, O God.
 
            O hear us, then, for we
            Are very weak and frail;
            We make the Saviour’s name our plea,
            And surely must prevail.
 
Trusting in your living and enduring word, O God, we turn to you and pray all our pleas in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

By Rene Wilbur, Conference Lay Leader
Based on 1 Peter 1:17-23
Poetry by C.H. Spurgeon; from “Gems of Devotional Poetry,” published by DeWolfe, Fiske & Co., Boston, ca. 1880.

4/22

In our wilderness wandering, so often our eyes are kept from recognizing you. 
Instead we focus on our fear, our sadness, our grief … 
because our screens are filled with dire predictions, heart-breaking stories, and death tolls. 
You try to remind us that we’ve been here before … 
That you were there and still are here … 
You try to feed us with bread that sustains … 
But we don’t see it, or it is too fleeting … 
There are signs of the Rising … people making face masks, health care heroes, first-breaths after days on ventilators, extravagant generosity, shared art, spring’s burst of new life … 
Keep appearing, Risen One … don’t stop walking beside us and urging us to follow you toward life … 
to remember,  
to smile,  
to eat,  
to embrace your hope,  
to see you, 
and join with you as your Easter people. 

By Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop

Scripture: Luke 24:13-35

4/21

Luke 24.15-16
Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
 
            Their eyes were not open, but they thought they were. 
            They thought they knew what had happened in Jerusalem.
 
Luke 24.22-24
Some women … were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.
 
            The tomb was open, but he was not there.
            They thought they knew what had happened at the tomb.
 
Luke 24.27
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
 
            He opened the scriptures to them, but they did not know why.
            They thought they knew what had happened in the past.
 
Luke 24.31-32
Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 
 
Let us pray.
 
Eyes-opening,
tomb-opening,
scripture-opening,
heart-opening God:
 
We think we know.  
 
We think we know what is happening. We watch the news, fake and real.
We think we know what has happened in the past
        enough to live fully and courageously in the present. We learn about earlier pandemics.
We think we know so much. We make decisions and criticize those made by others.
 
And then, when we least expect it,
on the worst days and in the worst situations,
when we think we know everything and cannot bear it, …
 
You open the sacred story to us all over again.
You open and empty the tomb all over again.
You come and sit in the empty seat at our table in our home with bread in your hands
         and open our eyes all over again.
 
And the only words we can muster
to describe this stunning recognition of our own unknowing are
Hearts
Strangely 
Warmed.
 
This is our prayer — for hearts strangely warmed —
because this is your gift not at the end of the day, but at the beginning of all things —
for the opening up of everything you are, everything we are, and everything that comes next.
 
Eyes-opening,
tomb-opening,
scripture-opening,
heart-opening God:
 
Let it be so.  Amen. By Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Vermont District Superintendent

4/20

Loving God,
On this morning, we are needing you.
We will listen.
Like the disciples, we are behind closed doors,
Click, click, click – all locked up.
Doing our civic duty …
Not wanting to acquire or spread the virus.
We are thankful for our health workers.
Some of us are told we are essential,
and some of us are told we are non-essential and have the privilege of lock-down.
Holy One,
The virus does not discriminate among us,
But its impact makes visible our sin and the systemic wounds we inflict
through mortality across race, age, nationality, economic status
and the growing drumbeat of scapegoating.
A beat you know intimately.
O God, thank you for coming to us through our closed minds and fears.
You invite us to touch your scars to discover they are very real.
Dare we touch them? Forgive us if we pause…
We will try.
We hear you say to us, “Peace be with you.”  Peace be with you … All.
O Lord of Love,
In this unknown time with our inexperience,
When we don’t fully understand the ramifications of our situation,
And when our next steps are uncertain, we acknowledge your presence with us.
Remind us that our hope is in you and that we are all essential personnel
in the building of your kin-dom of justice and love.
Today, instill within us the courage
To offer our own hearts, minds, hands, feet, and woundedness –
In the smallest and greatest of ways, for your peace.
Holy One, we thank you for your love that will not let us go
and for the peace that you bring.
In the name of Jesus, the Risen Christ, we pray.
Amen.

By Rev. Ted Crass, President, United Methodist Foundation of New England

Scripture: John 20.19-31

4/19

O God, whose ear is always open to hear our cries,
We cry out to you in the midst of deep distress and anguish that seem to have no end.
 
Grant us the gift of faith that all our fear may turn into ardent prayer and all our sighs into praise to your listening and commiserating heart.
Hear the cries of all who dearly and desperately pray as they step out of comfort and safety to help end this pandemic. 
 
Grant them and all the gift of the Easter Good News: that nothing can keep your people in the shadow of fear and death forever, and that with you the end is always all redeeming. 
Hear the cries from this land and all lands.
Spread your resurrection power over this and all lands to slow the spread of the pandemic and stop the spread of the forces that make us afraid and divided. 
 
O Christ who has journeyed from death to life everlasting,
As our journey in the midst of this present darkness gets longer and more tiring,
Come and join our journey. 
Help us open our hearts to you as our constant sojourner that they may be burning again with blessed assurance and resilient hope. 
 
While we deeply thirst for more human connection, family, friendship, and fellowship in the midst of this forlorn season,
Come and meet us in our loneliness and create a sacred space of solitude in us so we remain rooted in you even more deeply. 
 
While we still prayerfully yearn to worship together in our familiar sanctuaries,
We invite you to come and stay in our homes that all may be ever more united in the presence of your compassion and the power of your resurrection. 
 
While we still dearly miss coming to and sharing together at Your Table, 
Come and sit with us at our daily table; break bread and share your risen presence with us all.
 
While the leaders discern when to reopen this land,
Reopen the eyes of their and our hearts to your love of the most vulnerable, ignored, and discriminated against among us. 
 
As we still search for which way to turn and seek to move away from the present challenges,
Come and inspire us anew as your resurrection people that we may turn toward one another to join you on the path of resurrected faith, hope, and love. 
 
In the name and spirit of the Risen Christ on the Road to Emmaus,
 
Amen. By Rev. We Hyun Chang, Metro Boston Hope District Superintendent
Guided and inspired by Psalm 116:1-4 and Luke 24:13-35

4/18

Everlasting and eternal God, 
 
Who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  
Who saw the pain of the people of Israel and redeemed them from slavery, 
Who heard the mourning of the captives and ransomed them from their lonely exile, 
Who watched Your Son Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and raised him up from the dead. 
 
We were so grateful for the celebration of this Easter Sunday that was like no other; 
Singing Hallelujah at home, at the top of our lungs, along with a virtual choir, 
Watching the powerful story of the empty tomb from the couch, 
Sharing a Love Feast with family members, 
Recognizing how greatly we needed the spirit of Easter and living it out as Easter people. 
 
Now, only five days later, after being filled with the great joy of Jesus’ triumph over death,  
We feel like those Israelites who were in captivity, 
We feel like Thomas who doubted your real presence, 
We find our daily life compromised by anxiety, fear, and doubt. 
 
There are times when we wonder, “Where is God in this pandemic?” 
There are times when we feel that God seems so far away, 
There are times when we think God is absent from our midst, 
There are times when we ask, “How long, O God, do we need to endure?” 
 
So continue to have mercy upon us, O Lord, 
And redeem us from the doubt and despair that is within us and around us, 
Deepen our faith so that we may remain pure and genuine through this trial, 
Grant us your peace and restore our true Easter joy, 
Help us to understand that “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” 
Help us to love you, O Lord, “even though we do not see you now.” 
 
Risen Savior, 
We choose to trust in your ever-present love, 
Our faith will remain “strong through many trials” 
For “it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 
Amen. Hallelujah!  By Rev. Taesung Kang, New Hampshire District Superintendent 

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31 NLT

4/17

Almighty God, That is what we call you, for you indeed are unlimited in power,
  or so we confess.

In this season of Easter, we recall the mighty deeds,
  the things you have done in Jesus.
We recall that, just as you raised Israel out of Egypt,
  you raised Jesus from the grave.

And yet …

we read the stories of those
   who encountered your Son after he was raised.
We see their reactions to the risen Christ.

We see Mary, weeping by the empty tomb, eyes so filled with tears
  she is unable to recognize him.
Only when he speaks is she able to see clearly.
Sometimes, God, it feels like that now.
Tear-filled eyes, over-worried brains, anxiety-ridden days
   that get in the way
   of seeing Jesus clearly, if at all.

We see the Beloved Disciple and Peter, running to the empty tomb
   upon hearing the news.
The Beloved Disciple is ready to accept the truth: He is Risen!
Peter is not so sure, and walks away, needing something more.
Sometimes God, it feels that.
For some of us, we are ready to shout: He is Risen?
But some of us walk away unsure, unsteady.

We see the 10, minus Thomas, gathered in fear.
Mary has told them, but they still need assurances.
And Jesus comes, not bothered
   by the locked door
   or their fear
   or their doubt.

But once Jesus is with them, all is well.
“We have seen the Lord!” they exclaim.
Sometimes God, it feels like that. 
We are ready to believe.
We want to believe.
Others have told us we can believe.
But we need you to come.
Come, Lord Jesus.

We see Thomas, who has heard the news
   from his brothers and sisters.

And yet …

he still is not ready to believe.
He must see you, He must touch you. He must have first-hand proof.
Sometimes it feels like that.
Give us a sign, Lord.

And yet …

Almighty God, we know there is one more group
   you are inviting respond.
The group beyond the pages.
The generations to come.
The Church Universal.
Us. Today.

Jesus says, “Blesses are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
No greater praise could be given.

Lord, help our unbelief.

By Rev. Rick McKinley, Director of Congregational Development
Scripture: John 20: 1-12

4/16

Below you will find the Bible reading for Sunday’s service.  And after that is a prayer composed by Megan Stowe, who will be our new district superintendent starting this summer.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’  But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’  A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. Prayer of Confession based on John 20:19-31 We confess O God,
We find ourselves hidden behind closed doors, like the locked doors of the Upper Room where the disciples hid. We are afraid for our safety, but rather than being fearful of crucifixion, we are worried that we will be unable to breathe, on a respirator, separated from family and friends. We need our mentor and guide. We yearn for normalcy. We are grieving. We need your peace.(silent reflection) Words of Assurance: Hear the Good News! Closed and locked doors cannot stop Jesus Christ. He enters into the places where we are fearful and breaths into us the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Amen.

“Breathe on Me, Breath of God”
Words by Edwin Hatch and music by Robert Jackson

Breathe on me, Breath of God, 
fill me with life anew, 
that I may love what thou dost love, 
and do what thou wouldst do.

By Rev. Megan Stowe, Central Massachusetts District Superintendent

4/15

Peace be with you.
Enter the locked spaces of our homes and hearts.
Do Lord. 
As you did not shrink from the terrible difficulties before you,
Show us how to rejoice now even in the presence of pain. Peace be with you
Breathe on us, breathe of God.
Forgive us our fear, our reluctance, our willful denial
So that we may forgive others
And live.  Peace be with you
It’s me, it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. 
Stand with me again and again
Until I recognize you
And believe I may have life.  

Rev. Dr. Karen L. Munson, Mid-Maine District Superintendent
Scripture: John 20:19-31

4/14

Lord, we sang loud Hosannas on Easter morning.
We praised your holy name and celebrated your victory over death.
We all confirmed that you have Risen Indeed!
And yet today, we are still huddled in our homes; locked in for fear of death.
Like Peter, John and the other disciples, we are not quite certain about our future.
Are we still in danger?
What does your resurrection mean for us as we shelter in place?
Our dreamers and visionaries tell us not to fear.
They share the good news that all is well and all will be well.
Like Thomas, some of us still doubt. Is the resurrection for us as well?
Through the cracks in our homes, the cracks in our souls, Jesus enters.
“Peace, just as the Father sent me, I am sending you. Blessed is the one who believes without seeing.”
“My Master, my God! Send me!”

4/13

O God of the Last Supper 
God of the Cross 
And God of the Empty Tomb 
We come before you now and we pause. 

We inhale the scent of snow white Easter lilies. 
We see the rain as it falls in veils and sheets of April showers.
And we listen. 

Holy Week has passed. 
But how we long to live by the marvelous story we have heard.

Let us remain ever beside you at the table of the Last Supper.
Show us who is hungry. 
And give us the courage to offer them bread from your table.
Show us who is thirsty. 
And give us the strength to lift up the cup of your love. 

Most of all, show us how to linger at the table, serving others—
Doing ALL that we do 
In remembrance of You, 
And the way You were when You walked this earth. 

We lift these simple, limited words 
Up to you, O God. 

Amen

By Erin M. ClineFamily and Community Ministries at Baylor University.

Offered by William V. Burnside II, Conference Treasurer/Director of Administrative Services

4/12

God, our Creator,

Thank you —
     for your generosity and mercy,
     for your power and grace,
     for the resurrection of Jesus,
     who lives among us.

This Easter — 
     we will miss traditional
     gatherings at sunrise,
     voices raised in unison hymns,
     the sound of organ, drum, and trumpet;
     our sanctuaries adorned with fragrant Easter lilies.

This Easter —
     there will be no
     community Easter breakfast,
     no Easter parades or bonnets,
     no neighborhood egg hunts,
     no extended family at our tables.

In the midst of our disappointment, fear, and anxiety,
     in the face of a pandemic that has brought
     illness, death and economic hardship,
     our Easter traditions will not comfort us —
     our idols of wealth, sports, pride, and competition,
     will not save us.

This Easter —
     we need to hear the voice of Jesus;
     we need to see him and hear him ask,
     “Why are you weeping?”
     “For whom are you looking?”
     Like Mary, we need to hear him
     call us by name.

Come to us again, O God —
     to shatter our idols;
     to melt us and mold us,
     to challenge and inspire us;
     to raise us up from the tombs
     where we have stayed too long.

Speak to us once more of —
     your message of life,
     your plan for creation,
     that Easter may be the miracle
     that we live every day.

God, this Easter, we pray most especially
     for people everywhere —
     physicians, nurses, medical support staff,
     pharmacists, scientists, transportation personnel,
     cashiers, farmers, first responders, clergy, civic leaders, and public servants—
     who are risking their lives,
     giving their best,
     leaving self-interest behind,
     in order to take us from a Good Friday world
     to an Easter world;
     we pray for people who are moving us toward
     the vision of your peaceable kin-dom:
     watch over them and their families,
     and grant them your protection and peace
     in this challenging time.

Creator God, we see your majesty all around us —
     robins, crocuses, spring buds and blooms.
     So may our hearts, minds, and souls
     experience resurrection;
     So may we be released from
     apathy to service,
     bitterness to love,
     fear to courage;
     So may we tell the resurrection story
     with our lives.

Holy God, hear our prayer —
     Make us bearers of Good News in the midst of bad;
     Bring us hope in our hour of despair;
     Grant us your peace, in Christ, through the power of your Holy Spirit. 

In the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who taught us to pray:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

By Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar

Scripture: John 20:1-18

4/11

Eternal God, from whom we belong and in whose fellowship is our peace, we worship you today. Speak to us through our silence; and speak to us as we offer our prayers. We are thankful for this time which brings rest and reflection We look to you as the one who gives us life, and provides all the resources with which our lives can be meaningfully sustained. We stand in special need of an extra measure of wisdom, grace, and love. We perceive ourselves to be your human children, all sisters and brothers in one great family, regardless of the distinctions which create such wonderful variety among us. We are in trouble, and we therefore join our hopes and concerns, in a common prayer to be nurtured in finding a solution to a bacterium that threatens; and leaves your creation vulnerable. We pray for wisdom in every imaginable way. It is here that the solution of the problem must begin. You have blessed us with memories of times gone by, and you point us toward a future that is full of promise. Fill our lives with challenging and interesting opportunities. As we prepare ourselves for the greatest mystery of the Holy Season, enable us to dream and be inspired with the knowledge of your eternal love. Though we still encounter trials in life, you, O God, remain our constant companion. You know the fears that we combat, the temptations we resist, and the limitations we must overcome. We live in the assurance that you will free us from all that is destructive, and preserve our lives according to your faithfulness. For the sake of your earthly dominion, help us to seek well for the world, and serve one another in the fellowship of your spirit.  Remind us of the many human needs which are never met and of the struggles among so many people in this world. Let your compassion be upon all who feel suffering and sorrow. Through growing wisdom, enable us to find ways to help that which makes a difference. Enable us to demonstrate the way of love through the expression of our lives, and may the attractiveness of our personal example influence others.  Empower us to look to the future with confidence and hope. It is in the spirit of the One who displayed the great value and power of love, that we offer this prayer. Amen.                                 

Hymn of Promise
In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed, and apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise; butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery.
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see. 
In our end is our beginning, in our time, infinity.
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last a victory,
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see. By Rev. Dr. David V. Calhoun, CT/Western MA District Superintendent

Romans 6: 3-11; Psalm 114 (UMH 835); Matthew 28: 1- 10

Hymn of Promise: UMH 1989: Words and Music by Natalie Sleeth. 1986

4/10

Faithful God, 
we are longing for resurrection,
but are standing in the shadow of the cross
We remember the pain of your cross,
and of those we have carried and carry now. We call on you; incline your ear to us and hear our cry: 
For a world swept by a pandemic
For those suffering this illness
For those charged with their care
For those who go hungry
For those who are lonely 
For those who despair We weep for our savior and for a world in peril.
We wonder, like the disciples,
what will become of our dreams for the kin-dom. Help us, God, to know that you hear us as we live in the tension 
between this painful death 
this dreadful silence
and the joyful resurrection. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Beth DiCocco
Scripture: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-1

4/9

Today is Holy Thursday or Maundy (Commandment) Thursday. 
Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34).
 
Abba Father, Daddy God, it’s me, it’s me, it’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. As this new day unfolds, a day filled with new mercies, I bring your people to your throne of grace, those whose heads are bent down with pain and despair. Those whose lives seem isolated and unbearable. I bring those who miss and even crave the physical fellowship of the sanctuary.
 
As the song writers, John Thompson and Randy Scruggs, wrote, “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true, with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.” Give them the strength to see beyond the natural, temporary world we live in and increase their faith to sing to the rafters, that You are Lord.
 
On the night before you were led to a cruel death on a cross for our sins, you not only shared your body and your blood, but you modeled true servant leadership. Just as you washed the dirty smelly and tired feet of all your disciples including Judas, the one who betrayed you with a kiss and 30 pieces of silver. I ask that you provide a healing touch to the souls of all of your creation who are worshiping you virtually.
 
As we fast approach Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, I also ask that you grant those who have lost loved ones (first responders, family members, colleagues) during this pandemic season your overwhelming peace and presence as you remind them that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints” (Psalm 116:15). Give them solace to know that nothing will separate them from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
 
Please don’t let their faith be weakened during the season of waiting rather increase their ability and desire to seek you even more. Give them strength to run on and see what the end will be.
 
I seal this prayer in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen (So Be It).
 
By Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III, RISEM District Superintendent, Servant Leader
Scripture: John 13:1-17 and Psalm 116:15

4/8

Loving Creator of all that is,
We fall on our knees before you in the middle of this Holy Week with the plea of Palm Sunday still resonating in our very beings: Hosanna! Save, please! Oh, how we implore you, Saving God, to hear our petition this day!

Kneeling before you, our minds wander to years past when we waved palms and repeated the cry for salvation. We remember the ways in which we moved through Passion Week with ceremonies that guided us to solemnly remember the path of Christ to Calvary. We did so with confidence that the week would culminate in a joyous celebration of the resurrection of Jesus signaling victory over suffering and death.

This year, O God, as we turn mid-week to the days ahead, how differently we approach the Day of Resurrection. Your people are in the grip of fear because of the pandemic which is sweeping across this world. The daily predictions from health experts and governments fill us with dread: the rising statistics of people contracting the deadly COVID-19, the scarcity of equipment and medical personnel to fight the disease, the climbing death tolls, and the worrisome ignorance about keeping safe in an unsafe environment.

O Giver of Peace,
   In these days of crisis, may we be reminded of these words of a hymn:
Unsettled world, where people long to find their way, to feel secure,
from lives of turbulence and rush we come, to seek your peace,
our God, your word to hear, our faith to live…
… with trust in you.

Father and Mother of us all,
We, your children, put our trust in you. We rejoice in your amazing powers. May our faith stay strong with confidence in your saving grace even as constant words of doom fill our days and make it hard to remain hopeful.

And so it is, O Holy One, that in today’s unsettled world and in our distress, we are moved to plead for your mercy with these timeless words: Hurry, God, to deliver me; hurry, Lord, to help me! ... Hurry to me, God! You are my helper and my deliverer. Oh, Lord, don’t delay. Just as the ancient world needed the hope embodied in the resurrection of Christ, we need you now!

Amen and amen!

By Rene Wilbur, New England Conference Lay Leader
Based on Psalm 70:1 and 5, CEB; and excerpts from the hymn, Unsettled World,

FWS 2183; Words: David Sparks; Music: Hal H. Hopson

4/7

Holy One, 
It is Tuesday of the holiest of weeks. And yet our thoughts are far from holy.  
We are grateful for the psalmists who give us permission to cry out to you from the depths of our souls, with honesty, no holding back. 
Take #71 … she speaks my truth so well this day: from belief, to fear, to hope … and back again 

In you, O Lord, I take refuge 
         Deliver me 
                     Rescue me 
                               Listen to me 
                                              Save me 
You are my hope, my fortress 
                     Do not cast me off in old age 
                                Do not forsake me when my strength is spent 
                                                Do not leave me 
I will not give up hope … I will praise you even more.

Thank you God, for psalmists, poets, preachers, prophets, and for your Spirit which intercedes for us when we just don’t have our own words to express the prayers in our hearts. 
In you we take refuge … our strength and redeemer.  
May it be so. 

By Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop

Based on Psalm 71:1-14

4/6

Lord,
This morning as we wonder how to remember and celebrate your entry to Jerusalem while away from our sanctuaries, help us remember and celebrate that you always desire to enter into a sanctuary — not in our buildings, but in our hearts. 
 
Enter every anxious and fearful heart and renew a sanctuary of your peace that all may dwell and worship with you today and always.
 
Enter every lost and no-longer beating heart and renew a sanctuary of your eternal life that all may dwell and rest with you today and always.
 
Enter every afflicted and virus-stricken heart and renew a sanctuary of your healing that all may dwell and be restored in you today and always.
 
Enter every broken and mourning heart and renew a sanctuary of your consolation that all may dwell and be comforted in you today and always.
 
Enter every helpless and despairing heart and renew a sanctuary of your hope that all may dwell and endure with you today and always.
 
Enter every restless and frustrated heart and renew a sanctuary of your patience that all may dwell and take one day at a time with you today and always.
 
Enter every little and young heart and renew a sanctuary of your joy that all may dwell and play with you today and always.
 
Enter every helping and courageous heart and renew a sanctuary of your strength that all may dwell and prevail with you today and always. 
 
Enter every praying and seeking heart and renew a sanctuary of your compassion that all may dwell and share the burden of suffering with you and with all today and always. 
 
Enter every ruling and governing heart and renew a sanctuary of your servanthood that all may dwell and serve in humility, truth, and justice with you today and always.
 
Enter the heart of this nation and all nations and renew a sanctuary of common humanity that all may dwell and rebuild a Kin-dom of one human family with you and with all today and always.
 
Enter the heart of all fear-mongering and profiteering powers and renew a sanctuary of your love and life that all may dwell and take one single life more precious than the whole world with you today and always.
 
Lord,
We are spreading the cloaks of trust and waving the branches of hope in you this morning. 
Enter into the Sanctuary of Heart. Come to dwell and save us and all today and always.
 
Hosanna, 
Blessed is the One whose sanctuary is in every heart! Amen.
 
By Rev. We Hyun Chang, Metro Boston Hope District Superintendent

4/3

Daily Prayer

O God of Creation,
You are indeed in our world.
From dawn to dusk; from mountain tops to beneath the sea; and from west to east.
When we gather in the sanctuary to sing to you songs of joyful salvation,
When we scatter to our own homes to offer our cry to you for help,
You are near us and surround us.
Have mercy on us, for in you we take refuge.
Help us to “see the Sovereign Lord is on our side.”
 
O God of Wisdom,
You are at work in our world.
Through the leaders of our world who make life-altering, community-shifting decisions for our nations,  
Through the hands of first responders, medical professionals, caregivers, and researchers, responsible for fighting the new coronavirus,
Through the hands of grocery store workers and delivery drivers,
Grant them your guidance, wisdom, and protection.
They are how we “see the Sovereign Lord is on our side.”
 
O God of Peace,
Who transcends all our understanding.
May your abiding peace and comfort come upon
Those who lost their loved ones,
Those who are infected with COVID-19, 
Those in quarantine,
Those at a higher risk of contracting the disease,
Those who lost their jobs and are facing financial crisis,
Those in undocumented communities,
Those who are adjusting to their new ways of life,
Give them your peace so that they may have no fear and their hearts may be at ease.
Help them to “see the Sovereign Lord is on our side”
 
O God of Comfort,
Who never grows weary.
Awaken us each morning with your hope and clothe us with your mercy,
And “open our understanding to your will.”
Give us your perspective and teach us how to pray.
Fill us with your comfort
So that we may share your comfort with the weary.
 
“Even if we are walking in darkness without a ray of light,
May we trust in the Lord and rely on our God.”
We trust God’s help is here.
God is indeed in our world.
“See, the Sovereign Lord is on our side.”
 
By Rev. Taesung Kang, New Hampshire District Superintendent

Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9a NLT

4/2

Jesus, during Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses. Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them. Dear Lord, we lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty and, for many, preventive isolation from loved ones.

from World Vision

4/1

Be gracious to me, O God, for I am in distress:
      Financial resources are depleting, and grocery shelves are bare.
      Some jobs are closing, while others are forced to work in unsafe environments exposed to the virus.
     Children are out of school.
     Loved ones are ill and I cannot visit them at the hospital.
     Loved ones have died and we cannot schedule the funerals.
Be gracious to me, O God, for I am in distress:
But I trust in you, O God;
     The sun will continue to rise and set.
      Helpers will care for the most vulnerable: the elderly, the immunocompromised, the homeless, the undocumented and recent immigrants.
      You call us each your beloved child.
I trust in you, O God.
I say, “You are my God.”
       Even when we cannot worship together in the sanctuary.
       Even when we are not allowed out of our residences.
       Even when the world seems to ignore you.
You are my God.
Save me in your steadfast love (hesed*).
      Forgive my rebellious nature, forgive my trespasses.
       You have been with me at my best and you are with me at my worst.
       You are the God who hears and responds with hesed.
       I place all my confidence in your steadfast love.
Save me in your steadfast love.

By Rev. Megan Stowe, Central Massachusetts District Superintendent
Scripture: Psalm 31:9-16

*hesed: (Hebrew) that can be translated as mercy, compassion, steadfast love, faithfulness or grace.

3/31

Holy One, 
   awesome creator, beloved Christ, inspiring Spirit,
All creation acknowledges the gift of this day,
   a time of your own making as spring edges into our consciousness.
Love floods our hearts as spring edges into our senses,
   hints of tree buds, jaunty crocuses, birdsong.
Longing for life in all its fullness, 
   we look to your steadfast love.
Everywhere, we see and feel the needs of your creatures
   we are hemmed in by danger and distress.
Listening for safety and assurance
   we hear confusion, fear, compassion, dedication, ingenuity 
Understandings escape us even as hope floods our prayer. 
   Our world constricts even as our prayers and efforts widen. 
Judge of all nations and of every soul,
   Do not reject us.  Be our strength.
All of us in our own way cry for salvation. 
   The righteousness that eludes us beckons by your hand.  
Here we are, LORD, held in your day, 
   captives of your mercy, blessing your name.

By Rev. Dr. Karen L. Munson, Mid Maine District Superintendent
Psalm 118

3/30

Daily Prayer & Shared Thoughts

Hosanna, Son of David! 
Hosanna in the highest Heavens!
 
Jesus, we gather around you, praising you and acknowledging that you are the Messiah.
You are the one who has come to save us. We may be confused, burdened and even sick but we know that it is you that we need. You come to us, humble and yet King. You reach out to us as we shelter in our homes, or as we serve as doctors, nurses, helpers to the needy. Lord, we remember the events in the days before your Crucifixion. We know that you suffered as you showed us how to love. Teach us your way, O Lord. Teach us to love you and love each other even in the midst of our fear and our anxieties. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Amen.

By Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Brannen, Northern Maine District Superintendent
Philippians 21:5-9 NIV

3/29

To see video from Pastor Peter click on file ⬇︎    

https://mcusercontent.com/2b25afd2820dc3cc89f857162/files/afc61e80-da92-4d9e-bbae-9b35f1094bba/IMG_46446196.mov


O holy one, we pause to express our appreciation for another day of life, and to give thanks for the privilege of participation. We are learning more about the complex interconnectedness of our world. We are learning more about the ways in which we human beings are a part of that interconnectedness. As we learn more, our sense of awe increases and our understanding of personal and corporate responsibility expands. We are challenged to make our part of this connectedness that which is most harmonious with your way and purpose. We are made to realize that all of life is a source of religious nourishment and that religious faith is expressed in every aspect of our living. 
 
We long to feel a closeness to you. With these thoughts in mind, we remind ourselves that we come to you for spiritual nourishment. We humbly ask for the spiritual gifts that we need for today and for all of our tomorrows. When we are weary and feeling isolated, and when our spirits are dry; sharpen our awareness and teach us to pray. 
 
Touch us with a fuller sensitivity to the fact that it is in you that we live and move and have our very being. Strengthen and nurture us so that we will increasingly become better participants in the experience that we call life. Give us a consistent kindness and compassion for others. 
 
As our spiritual needs are partially met through the communication of our spirits with you today, may the spiritual needs of the world be more fully met through the communion of our common life. We thank you for every word of truth which has come to us through the life and ministry of Jesus. We trust that this spiritual inspiration can make us more nearly what we can and ought to be. Restore our faith, renew our visions, and lead us to a better world. Be our God and be our Guide.
 
We express this prayer in the same Spirit which we believe characterized the life of Jesus.  We pray in your name. Amen.
 
By Rev. Dr. David V. Calhoun, CT/Western MA District Superintendent
Ezekiel 37: 1-4; Psalm 130 (UMH 848); Romans 8: 6-11; John 11: 1-45

3/28

When we aren’t sure, God,
  help us be calm;
when information comes
  from all sides, correct and not,
  help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
  slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can’t touch with our hands;
  help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
  help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”
Help us, O God,
that we might help each other.
In the love of the Creator,
in the name of the Healer,
in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all,
we pray.  Amen.
Part of a prayer by the Right Rev. Richard Bott, originally posted on Facebook

Offered by William V. Burnside II, Conference Treasurer/Director of Administrative Services

A poem for our times: 

And the people stayed home.  And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.  Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.  Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Katie O’Malley 

3/27

Gracious and faithful God, you who are unchangeable, unwavering and everlasting,
In these uncertain and challenging times, we seek your face, we seek your direction, we seek your protection, and we desire your perfect will in our lives. We acknowledge your omniscient spirit and are thankful that you are not caught off guard by COVID-19.

We are living in a world that is full of dry bones that desperately need a fresh outpouring of your Holy Spirit. Grant us wisdom as we care for the temples, our bodies that house your Holy Spirit. Help your creation to refrain from finger pointing and blaming others. Remind us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Teach us to discern the purpose of this season and time in the life of the church and even this world.

Give us the desire to seek you more. Come Holy Spirit and revive your dry bones. Come Holy Spirit and breathe hope into these seemingly hopeless situations. 

Make us more aware of those with food insecurity, the homeless, first responders, healthcare professionals, local, state and federal governmental leadership, church leadership, small business owners and those in prisons both physically and mentally.

Grant us creative ways to be your hands and feet in the communities we are called to serve. Instill in us the ability and the willingness to be better to your creation and to your planet.  Forgive us of where we have fallen short.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer, Amen.

By Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III. – RISEM District Superintendent/Servant Leader

3/26

God of compassion,
as we stand alone on this vast plain
surrounded by dry bones 
we recall the prophecy:
“When I put breath in you, and you come to life,
you will know that I am the Lord.”
Your breath brings life;
breathe on us so that we can
     wait out this season in hope, even as we struggle
     feel your presence, even in our fear
     open our hearts in love, even as our doors are closed
     hear your wisdom, even as so many voices surround us
     dance, even if it feels like our bones are dry and our souls are weary, and be restored by the joy of your salvation. Amen

By Beth DiCocco, Conference Director of Communications

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14

3/25

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Our minds are consumed by a virus that threatens our bodies  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Our band-with is stretched thin as we try to gain control   Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Our minds are filled with fear about how we will pay the bills  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Our brains are tired of seeking answers to unknown scientific solutions  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Our attention is devoted to 24-hour news cycles while our families still need us to see them  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Our minds are overcome with worry about how bad things may get  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Melt our fear 
Mold our faith 
Fill us with hope 
Use us to share the good news that you are the source of life and peace.  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Draw our attention to new life budding in the trees and flowers outside our windows  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Focus our minds on gratitude for breath that sustains us  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Shape our instinct to find you in everyone we see in a Zoom meeting  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Set our thoughts on what is pleasing and good  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Cultivate our creativity to find new ways to connect with our community  Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
Make space in our brains for meditation on your presence in us   Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us 
May it be so    
By Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop 
With phrases borrowed from “Spirit of the Living God” by Daniel Iverson (UM Hymnal No 393)  

Scripture: Romans 8:6 “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

3/24

Creator and Healing God, we cry out to you in our distress as we experience these days of uncertainty and fearfulness.
  O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us,
 revive us now with life and power.
O Breath of Life, come, cleanse, renew us,
and fit us now to meet this hour. O Breath of Life,
      Where there is despair, let there be hope.
      Where there is sorrow, let there be solace.
      Where there is grief, let there be faith.
      Where there is brokenness, let there be healing.
  O Wind of God, come, bend us, break us,
till humbly we confess our need.
Then in your tenderness, remake us;
revive, restore, for this we plead.  O Wind of God,
     Where there is hardship, let there be comfort.
     Where there is blaming, let there be forgiveness.
     Where there is worry, let there be peace.
     Where there is loneliness, let there be connection.
  O Breath of Love, come breathe within us,
renewing thought and will of heart.
Come, love of Christ, afresh assure us,
revive our faith in every part. O Breath of Love,
     Where there is panic, let there be calm.
     Where there is leadership, let there be wisdom.            
     Where there is healthcare, let there be fortitude.
     Where there is research, let there be breakthrough.
                        Holy Spirit, breathe into our trembling and troubled souls the assurance of your presence so we may remain a people of faith, hope and love.
Amen.   By Rene Wilbur, New England Conference Lay Leader
Hymn adaptation from “O Breath of Life” by Bessie Porter Head (Lyrics) and David Ashley White (Music). (UM Hymnal No. 543)

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:5b – “I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”
   

3/23

Holy God,
            infinite and eternal,
            constant and patient,
            everlasting, and the beginning and ending of all things …
 
This is a season of waiting …
            for the fast to end,
            for signs of spring to unfold,
            for palm branches and foot washings and worship at dawn.
 
This year, we are focused on different things – more things – in this season of waiting …
            for the time when distance and isolation will no longer be required,
            for the rescheduling of things that must be done in person,
            for life to return to normal,
                          though we know we even trust – it will never be the same.
 
This year, we wait with a kind of desperation …
            for paychecks that may not come,
            for test results,
            for the cure.
 
This year, we wait for gifts of the soul we find ourselves in aching need of …
            forbearance,
            courage,
            hope.
 
In our waiting …
            You accompany us,
             You are with us,
             You are always with us.
           
Your Spirit calls down through the ages in the voice of your Beloved who beckons to us …
            to sit and wait while he prays,
            to stay awake and remain and pray with him,
            to wait and watch and wait some more.
 
And it is enough. It is enough …
            to be this vulnerable,
            to re-learn what it is to be church and love neighbor,
            to wait and watch and pray with Jesus
                         for the morning. 
 
What a morning it will be. Amen. By Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Vermont District Superintendent

Scripture: Psalm 130.5-6

3/22

Ever present God,
     we find ourselves awakened to a new reality—
our daily routines disrupted
our loved ones at risk
our health in jeopardy
our faith tested.
 
     we find ourselves
           cut off from family and friends
restricted in our mobility
missing the services we have taken for granted
living with anxiety and unanswered questions.
 
     we find ourselves 
touched by a virus that is crossing all boundaries
sharing a fight for life with people we do not know
staying connected by love and fear
praying for the common good which is our good
 
     we find ourselves 
           frustrated
critical, 
looking to blame
wanting a quick fix.
 
 Ever loving God
      we thank you 
          for Jesus who did the messy work of loving
          who made mud from saliva and dirt 
          spread it on a blind mans eyes
          and healed his sight.
          
     we thank you 
          for public officials and health professionals,
          researchers, neighbors, caregivers, 
          a thousand volunteer medical workers in NY,
  and all who embody your love in the midst of this crisis. 
 
    Ever merciful God,  
Keep us in your love.  
Help us to see what is ours to do.   
Give us courage and calm. 
Gather us into one 
and lead us through these challenging days. 
 
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.