Prayers have been put together by Robert, this year's emerging leader, and contain language borrowed from Gathered and Scattered: Readings and Meditations from the Iona Community and Presbyterian Church in Canada Worship Resources. God of power, You speak to us words of challenge and comfort. You stand among us, calling us to acts of mercy. Even now, the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst, filling us with hope and inspiring us to faithfulness. And often we, in arrogance and insecurity, will play our part in preventing others from seeing your justice. When justice fails and no one heeds the cries of agony, You speak to us: “Be not afraid.” You ask us to walk with you on the path to Calvary And take the risk of showing that we’re not afraid to be. Compassionate God, you open your heart to those in need, and to your aching creation. We confess we often turn away so that we do not have to see pain, suffering or injustice, right before our eyes. We don’t like to feel uncomfortable or pressed into service. Forgive us and give us courage to love others as you love us and reach out with the care we have witnessed in Jesus. God of faithfulness and surprise, we look at ourselves and sometimes doubt we can make a difference or have an impact. Challenge us to recognize the kinds of power we do have: love and compassion, courage and commitment, laughter and friendship, generosity and mercy. In all these gifts we know your power. Through all these gifts, our lives have been changed. Using these gifts in our lives, bring Christ’s love and mercy to the world you love. [Prayers for this city, the University of Toronto, and this country.] “The Lord is our strength and salvation.” “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” [Exodus 15:2; 13] Help us to see you not as a partisan God, but a God who died on the cross out of love for the world. So Christ within and Christ without, Christ in whom all are one, Teach us not only how to be but also to become. Amen.