We long to find a place to relax, O God,
to lean into the welcome and the love of real friends
who stay true no matter who we are or what we’ve done.
We want to be known – not just our names, but our selves,
our dreams and longings, our fears and failings
and be warmly, unrestrainedly welcomed.
We yearn to know the joy of opening our arms to others
and seeing them melt and grow soft in the safety
of our acceptance.
And you have created a place like this for us
a place of people, with failings and disagreements
who still look out for one another;
a place of difference and struggle
where we can all belong;
a place of faith and deep doubt,
a place of awkward stumbling toward Christlikeness;
a place of worship, of mystery and of rest.
And though we can’t always see it,
although sometimes it doesn’t feel like it;
this is the place – here.
Not the buildings and the furniture – no, these people
who gather each week in your name
and try so hard to remember each other’s
And for this place, and your being with us
we give our heartfelt gratitude and devotion.