Thank you, God, for the changes that fall brings:
the sun sleeping in a bit longer each morning,
the cooler temperatures, the quiet dark evenings.
As peaches disappear from the market,
we have early apples, fresh and crisp.
The usual bustle of preparation for school and fall routines
feels different this year.
We are filled with uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are so many conversations about masks or no masks,
social distancing, vaccine passports,
and the upheaval that comes from disagreement about those things.
Normal is elusive, and the only thing we can count on
is how tired we all are; tired of this whole pandemic.
Given all this, hear our prayer for those who labour:
for health workers who save lives every day,
for researchers who track new variants,
for teachers and all who deal with the public,
for church leaders in an ever-changing environment,
for politicians who cannot make everyone happy,
for seniors and the immunocompromised
who want to be safe, but fear the isolation of lockdowns,
for all who don’t know how to pay their rent,
for business owners who are trying to make things go,
for artists and musicians who will crystallize this time for us
and tell us stories of how we survived,
and how we grieved those who did not.
We pray for countries where vaccination is a distant hope,
available first to the rich, and never to the poor.
Great God, give us compassion in these virulent times.
Help us embrace, virtually, those with whom we disagree.
Help our congregation be a community of hope,
worshipping joyfully, sharing your story of salvation,
giving generously, and reaching out to those in need.
For you are our God in good times and bad,
your faithfulness is never ending.
We pray all this in Jesus’ name, Amen