The Rev. Nolan Donald gives the sermon during the Galilean Beach service, a ministry of Foley (Ala.) United Methodist Church at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Ala., while a beach attendant lays out beach chair cushions in the background. The 7:30 a.m. service is over before most other beachgoers arrive. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.


We are thankful for:

  • the vast expanse of North America with its resources and varied landscapes; may they be preserved, enjoyed and used wisely

  • those who were its original inhabitants – First Nations and Native Americans

  • church-related organizations that strongly advocate for justice, and those that provide for new immigrants and refugees today, as well as for others who are poor and vulnerable

  • ecumenical and interfaith engagements which are occurring in many communities that previously were mainly white and Christian.

We pray for:

  • churches facing new challenges, that they may continue to witness boldly to the gospel in evolving multicultural, multireligious and secular contexts

  • indigenous peoples in their long struggles for survival, land and rights; and for ongoing healing and reconciliation with those who have come after them

  • new immigrants, that they will continue to be welcomed in these countries, and that policies will serve the common good

  • effectively countering systemic greed that exploits communities and natural resources

  • government leaders that they would advance justice, human rights, and peace for all within these countries and in the rest of the world.


Breath of the Four Winds
Come from the four winds, O Breath,
And breathe upon these slain, that they may live. (Ezekiel 37:9)

Come from the South, O Breath,
blow your life-giving promise of hope
to our sisters in ponchos, Mothers of the Disappeared, political prisoners and exiles.
Come from the South and breathe justice that they may live.

Come from the North, O Breath,
blow your Word, in Spirit and truth,
to our brothers and sisters who have lost their languages in residential schools.
Come from the North and speak freely, so there may be healing.

Come from the East, O Breath,
blow your message of peace
to children in countries shattered by war and division.
Come from the East with morning’s promise of a new day.

Come from the West, O Breath,
blow in the tongues of fire in the sky at the setting of the sun.
We are your church, kindled in your Spirit, fired in the mystery of your coming.
Come from the West and pray in us, Holy Spirit, our ending and our beginning.
(Wendy MacLean, United Church of Canada)


To wake from sleep into this day
is gift enough for thanks.

To hear a child’s delight in laughter
is gift enough for thanks.

To sip a glass of clean, cold water
is gift enough for thanks.

To watch the sunset paint the sky
is gift enough for thanks.

To share a moment with a friend
is gift enough for thanks.

To smell the fragrance of moist soil
is gift enough for thanks.

To feel the comfort of clean clothing
is gift enough for thanks.

To form the words that make a prayer
is gift enough for thanks.

(Keri K. Wehlander, also published in Wisdom Is Calling, comp. Geoffrey Duncan, Canterbury Press, UK, and United Church Publishing House, Etobicoke, Ont., Canada 1999,pp.126-27,142)


Prayer for life in freedom

God of all hope;
hear our prayer.

When money becomes a prison:
free us to choose life.

Where wealth turns into addiction:
free us to choose life.

When income determines worth:
free us to choose life.

Where poverty equals invisibility:
free us to choose life.

When economies deepen injustice:
free us to choose life.

Where greed invents new oppressions:
free us to choose life.

when finance rules every decision:
free us to choose life.

where consumption replaces compassion:
free us to choose life.

(Keri K. Wehlander; used with permission)