The following prayers were written by Amy for the Wine Before Breakfast service on October 4, 2022. The image of God we were exploring was God as mother. As that can be a messy image for some, Amy was asked to pay special attention to gender in the prayer. Thus her prayer focuses less on the image of mother and more on parenting and children, and I hope it is welcoming to people for whom the images of God as father or mother can be complicated. God, Source of all life, you oversaw each of us being knitted into being, within that dark place of mystery. We are, only because You are. You oversaw us being stitched together from the very substance of our parents' bodies. You knew us when we were carried in secret, beneath the rhythm of a reassuring heartbeat. You provided us with what we needed for growth within that mysterious sanctum until we were birthed through great straining, and we drew our first breaths, and took our first taste of milk. Our bodies now separate from our mothers, at birth we became vulnerable, dependent on others for all our needs. In our dependency, we learn what it means to be loved and cared for. May ALL children experience loving care at home, in the church, at school, in society. May all little bodies get what they need. [Prayers, spoken and silent, for children, care-givers, and all those for whom childhood and parenting has been painful] God, Three-in-One, El, Creator, You transcend and encompass the genders you created us in, all to be Image-Bearers of your own being. Holy Source of all Life, you are Parent of us all. May we reflect you. May others see how we resemble or 'take after' you. May ALL people know, deeply, that they bear your image, regardless of sex or gender, or skin tone. May we each learn to seek to see this in one another. God, you are neither alone nor lonely, And you knew it was not good for people to be alone. Thank you for designing us to be in relationship, with yourself and others. May our human connections reflect your love, your compassion, your presence, your very essence. [Prayers, spoken and silent, for all our relationships: family, communities, companionship, and other partnerships.] God, Three-in-One, El, Creator, Teach us to love each other as you have loved us, like a mother with her nursing child. Teach us to forgive as you forgive, to create joyfully, and to be good stewards of Creation. Amen.