French Polynesia – map
Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this “Templewhich] calls the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ’s peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls.” Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c
Today in our prayers we remember the people of French Polynesia comprised of 118 dispersed islands in the South Pacific stretching over an expanse of more than 1,200 miles. French Polynesia was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Scientists believe the Great Polynesian Migration happened around 1500 BC.
Scripture Reading — Isaiah 58:6-12
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator[a] shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.
Prayer for Peace
Steven L. Shields
Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth,
How often do we forget the unity of your creation? The world seems as though it is coming apart at its seams, and we feel so helpless that we fail to respond in any way except with utter despair. We become complacent when our own needs have been fulfilled. We experience compassion overload, and so tune out those very people, those very places, and those very problems that we may well be able to alleviate. We feel somehow detached from those “others” as long as they are far enough off so as not to confront us with their needs in a direct manner. Yet, you created humans as one species. Our destinies individually are inextricably connected with our destiny collectively. May we always remember this essential truth about ourselves.
We acknowledge, O God, those of our sisters and brothers who are suffering this day from strife and tyranny–we have soft hearts and willing hands to do what we can do to help them. We think of our children and families, and long to be with them. Our love for those we know is great, magnify our love so that it can extend to even those we do not know. We pray for our world that peace may prevail.
In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Divine Presence. Amen.
You are invited to share in the hymn for today, #67 in Community of Christ Sings, “Fountain of All Revelation” by singing or silently reflecting on the meaning of the text as it is played. Hymn #67.
Prayers of the People
As we enter into a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People this day begin with ourselves and move outward, in rippling waves to those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, to all of creation. We begin by noticing our breathing. We breathe in Spirit and exhale those things that separate us from you, O God. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Please enter into the silence with me as we pray for peace remembering God’s promise to be with us and to work in us. Listen for the sound of the Beloved’s voice.
God of creation, in the beginning your breath moved over the waters and brought calm and peace to a chaotic world. Breathe into my being this day; bring respite to my frenzied soul. Refresh my frayed sense of self and bring alive my hope for peace through words and actions inspired by your Spirit. Breathe on me, Breath of God.
God of reconciliation, two thousand years ago you breathed and the Word became flesh among us, teaching us the way of forgiveness, mercy, compassion and peace. Breathe into our relationships this day; allow us to enflesh the teachings of your Son within our family, friends, neighbors, and even our encounters with those we do not yet know. Breathe on us, Breath of God.
God of sacred community, your Holy Spirit seeks to blow through the discord, disruption, and disease of the world to bring healing and wholeness once again. Breathe into the peoples and leaders of all nations, including those of French Polynesia, the country for which we pray today. Remind us that many of your children lack the basic needs of life, including freedom, space to grow, and love to support them. Breathe on your people, Breath of God.
God of all, your planet is gasping for breath, heaving under the pressure and weight of unbridled consumption of resources and greed-driven destruction of your world. The earth groans from forces of chaos that destroy what we have been given as a gift for all creation. Awaken us to our responsibilities to heal and bring peace to our earthly home. Breathe once again over the waters, skies, land, and all that inhabit them, Breath of God.
May the awareness of our own breathing connect us to you, O God, and to all that lives because you create it, love it, and call it good. In and through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
Take the peace you have found today in this sacred space with you into the world – renewed and inspired to act.
Go in peace.