On this day that you have made, O God, full of life, full of memories, full of hope and full of promise, we raise our voices to sing our joy and your praise, and to give you thanks, for your constant presence and steadfast love that has formed us, nurtured us, and been our daily bread. By your grace, we’ve shared in your profound and constant creation, ever forming us, reforming us, and joining us to one another, to this pulsing earth, to countless communities of your children of love, born of every color, bound by every faith, all made in your Holy image and entrusted with your hope for a just and peaceful world where lions and lambs lie down with one another and all things are made new. For such inexhaustible grace and unrelenting hope, O God, we give you thanks.
We thank you for the pathways that have brought us to this longed for day of new beginning. Without your call, we could not have begun the journey; without your help, we could not have found the courage to come this far; without the many hands and hearts and voices, acts of kindness, and embraces that absorbed our tears and fears, we could not stand where we do now on the edge of dreams fulfilling. We give you thanks for those who have cheered for us, prayed for us, stood firm for us, been patient with us, sacrificed for us, and never stopped believing that it is your call to ministry that has turned our lives upside down and summons us to join with you to heal a fractured world and fill it with abundant life and love. For hearts of compassion, insightful, questioning minds, and for the Spirit’s gifts for healing, preaching, teaching, listening and leading, we are deeply grateful.
On our way rejoicing, O God, our Holy and constant companion, we thank you above all that we can trust you will not leave us alone in the days and years to come; that tears in the night pass away in the morning; and your promise to be with us and guide us along paths yet unknown is renewed every day after day after day.
Redeemed in Christ, guided by Gospel, and empowered by God’s calling Spirit, we offer our thanks in Jesus’ name, Amen.