Holy God, we give thanks for this day of grace and for gathering us from different corners of this city to do the work you have put before us. Before we begin this holy work, we pray for your mercy.
Forgive us, for self-centered living and failing to walk with humility and gentleness, for longing to have what is not ours, for an unwillingness to see your image in others.
The COVID pandemic has shown us the best of humanity: health care professionals adapting treatments, scientists creating vaccines, neighbors caring for neighbors. The pandemic has also revealed the gaps and inequities in our society. We lament the gaps between the rich and poor, the advantaged and marginalized, which have been revealed. Forgive us for our parts in in this inequity, for the work we have left undone.
Tonight, we lift before you all who govern. May those who hold power understand that it is a trust from you to be used, not for personal glory or profit, but for the service of the people. Drive from us cynicism, selfishness, and corruption; grant in your mercy just and honest government; and give us grace to live together in unity and peace.
Guide our elected leaders in their discernment during this meeting. Help them to imagine what is still possible. Give them creativity in their labors. Grant them courage, patience, and vision. And strengthen all of us in our vocations of service to others.
We pray with grateful hearts. Amen.