Loving God, today we give thanks for those who have fathered us.
We give thanks for fathers and grandfathers who have nurtured us,
and for men who have been caregivers and teachers and mentors.
They have loved us unconditionally, and made us who we are.
We pray for everyone here who fathers someone.
Give them strength to nurture, protect and provide.
Give them wisdom to be role models.
Give them joy as they watch their children learn and grow.
Give them patience as their children test boundaries.
Help them to father lovingly, fairly and with great tenderness.
We are not perfect people, and in our intimate relationships, we are imperfect.
Some among us have disappointed or failed children,
some among us have disappointed or failed fathers:
give us the grace to say, “I’m sorry,” and the wisdom to make amends.
We know that wherever there is pain and bitterness, you can bring healing.
Thank you God that even though fathers may fail us, you never fail us.
There are other places in our community where people need healing.
We think particularly of the families and communities so deeply affected
by the finding of 215 children’s bodies in unmarked graves
at a residential school in Kamloops, BC.
This sort of evil is incomprehensible, and yet it happened.
Help our country come to terms with this hard truth
which is the only road we can take as we seek reconciliation
with First Nations and Métis people.
We also pray today for those in our community who are missing fathers.
Many have been kept apart because of physical distancing or travel restrictions.
Help us reach out to the lonely.
Be with the sick and those who are in hospital or undergoing treatments.
For those who have lost fathers or other loved ones this year,
we need your comfort.
God of fathers, who created fathers, who came as a child and had a father,
God our Father, your love is deep and true;
we are your children, forever and always. Amen