By Ashley Johnson, Harrison Morrow & Alexis Carter
Thank You for This New Day
A Call to Worship
One: This is the day that the Lord has made.
Many: Lord, thank you for the gift of this new day.
One: This day may be filled with joys and questions, challenges and tears.
Many: And we know that you, Lord, will be with us through it all.
All: Praise the Lord!
The Minstrel's Prayer
(Imagine having a member of your drama ministry lead this prayer.)
Whatever our lot, whatever our current situation is, you have taught us to say that it is well with our souls. Even in our worst situations, or on our worst days, thank you merciful God, that things are as well as they are. However, even on our best days, we realize that we're still sick enough to die. So thank you, God, for not allowing us to be complacent, not just in ministry, but in our daily lives, in our places of residence, in our place of work and labor, in our place of worship where we serve your people. Do not just heal us; do not just heal our gifts and abilities as minstrels; do not just heal us emotionally or mentally or physically, but God touch us and make us whole. Touch our whole lives as we continue to serve you and meet the needs of your people. Thank you for your presence in our ministries that the oil can continuously flow from minstrel to minstrel and be visible through the lives we live and through the testimony of our families, friends, and neighbors. So come in, Lord, and fill us up. We will speak over ourselves what the Bible says about us and allow the Holy Spirit to come in and manifest those promises in us. Regardless of what we may lack, thank you for your presence. We ask all these things, believing that they are already done. In Jesus' name, Amen!
God, You Are Our Everything
An Altar prayer
Gracious God. God of Love. God of Comfort.
You are indeed our Everything – you’re a shelter in times of storm,
You are the Alpha and Omega,
You are the God of the angel armies.
Thank you for your pure goodness toward us.
Thank you that you did not just arrive to meet us on this Sunday, but you have been with us all week long.
We confess that we have not loved you with our whole being, nor have we always loved our neighbors as ourselves. Forgive us for how we have judged our neighbors, cursed our enemies, been critical in ways that are unloving, been silent in the face of injustice, and put more confidence in ourselves than in you. We ask for your forgiveness when we have said cruel and unacceptable things in certain settings that we hoped would never be heard by those outside of those settings. Forgive us for our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Draw near to those who are brokenhearted, doubtful of your power and presence and in need of healing this morning.
As we embrace this season of autumn, may we not only be mesmerized by the changes in the colors of the leaves, but we plead that you would heal the eyesight of the colorblind.
Set the captives free; please give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
As time is filled with swift transitions and disheartening death,
Teach our hearts to find rest and comfort in you.
Give us strength to submit to your pruning – trusting that you cut away at our lives that we might bear more fruit unto your glory.
May your Spirit blow afresh upon us in this season – moving us not simply to the right or to the left but forward in hope, peace, and justice.
Cover and strengthen our pastor. Give him/her wisdom and a word, protection, and peace.
Bless your church – that we may be the people you've created us to be and do the work that you have called us to do.
Teach us to be the people Isaiah prophesied about when he said, " hey shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:4, NRSV).
In your mercy O Lord,
Hear our prayers.
In the name of the one who gave his life, so that we might know God, abundance, and life eternal. Amen.
Ashley Johnson is a proud alumna of Spelman College. She received a master of arts in teaching from Brown University and has enjoyed serving as an elementary school teacher for more than ten years. In 2017, Ashley graduated from Boston University’s School of Theology with a master of theological studies. She is a provisional deacon in The United Methodist Church and currently serves at Union Church Boston.
Harrison Alexander Morrow is a Memphis native, and a former student of Howard University. He left the mid-south to seek a bachelor of business administration in supply chain management. Harrison also serves as an experienced professional musician. He works diligently to revamp established institutions and revitalize youth by providing organization, direction, and opportunities to serve the community. Harrison is engaged to his best friend, Julissa D. Gearing, future trauma nurse in the United States Air Force.
Rev. Alexis Carter Thomas is a writer, researcher, and adjunct professor who lives with her husband, John, in South Carolina. Her current work includes an ethnographic study of the flourishing of Black clergywomen and providing soul care as a form of reparations to women to give their time, resources, and life to the thriving of Black churches.