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By Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Gracious and Most Holy God, we come before You to worship and praise your Name. We thank You for all the good gifts You have bestowed on us. We seek to be in right relationship to You, so we come before You with our full attention and focus directed to You. We know that Your love for Your Creation is boundless and for that we are grateful.

It is to You that we confess our manifold sins and ask for Your forgiveness. We trust You, O God, and know that You hear our admission of guilt. We have not loved You with our whole heart. We have been selfish and greedy, hoarding goods whenever possible and seeking our own security at the expense of our neighbor’s. We have not drawn the circle wide and we have defined community in a narrow sense.

Even so, we know all blessings flow from You and it is finally in You that we find safety and peace. Therefore, it is to You that we make our thanksgiving and to You that we ask for wisdom and guidance. Bless our leaders that they may forsake the quest for advantage and that they may be humble and truthful. Bless our neighbors that they may not fall sick and if they do that they may recover their health quickly. Bless us, that we may do Your Will and devote ourselves to Your peace and justice.