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One: In this space, we bring our whole selves to worship God.
Many: In this place, God affirms us for who we are today.
One: Even when drifting away, God calls us back by name.
Many: Even when doubts settle in our mind, God walks with us.
One: In our times of flooding and fire, we are not alone.
Many: In our despair, God nurtures our wounded hearts.

Invocation (Unison)
Divine Designer, you constructed creation and called it good.  You formed all humans in your image, and you celebrated with joy.  Whether we join you here in this place at a time of joy or sorrow, we thank you for your steadfast presence.  May we focus our attention to listen to each other’s stories, and may we grow to understand one another as Jesus the Christ understood the people of this earth.  Amen.

Prayer of Reconciliation
One: There are distracting messages around us which sidetrack our authentic journeys with God.  We believe we are not good enough until we change our looks or our socioeconomic status.  We constantly compare ourselves to our neighbors, wondering why our lives are not as successful.  We will even pressure others to live into society’s shallow principles.

All: We do not follow the Divine’s call to be authentic.  We take our cues from the world’s fondness for superficiality.  Forgive us for placing this pressure upon ourselves and others.  Help us to live an authentic life, and nudge us to encourage our neighbors to live true to themselves.  We are all made in your image, God.  May we allow this genuine picture of ourselves to shine in this world.  Amen.

Assurance of Grace
One: God says “you are mine!”  God knows us throughout, and God is willing to join us on our journey through floods and fires.  Let us embrace grace, knowing that all of your children are integral part of our communities and this earth.  Amen.

All: Amen.  Thanks be to God!

Call to Offering
One: The gifts of God embolden us to serve our world with love and understanding.  How is God calling us to serve in this new year?  With thanksgiving, we explore our gifts from God and seek ways to share them with God’s children.

Prayer of Dedication (Unison)
In this sparkling new year, Divine Designer, we thank you for all we have.  Impart wisdom upon us.  Give us the humility to listen for the best use of our gifts.  Allow the courage that comes from you to enter our hearts so that we, too, can face fires and floods to comfort your children.  Amen.

Benediction
One:  May the God of Courage restore your hearts.
May the Christ of Compassion renew your minds.
May the Spirit of Continuous Presence replenish your souls.
Throughout this new year, may you each remember that God will always exclaim “You are mine!” and accompany you wherever you journey.  Amen!

Conversation: If you could write a note to your eighth grade self, what would you say?  If you could tell a pre-teen, teenager, or young adult words of encouragement, what  would you say?

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