O God, our help in ages past:
We gather in time to celebrate your ripening Kingdom.
Thank you for your steadfast love
Upon, within, without, and through our ministry as the people called United Methodist around Alexandria District.*
Thank you for dancing here with us who lived here first,
who planted not only corn but also roots of a deep spirituality.
Thank you for your abiding with us on the long journey across the ocean;
Both Settler and Slave found new beginnings and freedom on this soil.
Thank you for guiding us to grow more diverse
So that we truly reflect the many hues of your love.
You are our Hope for Years to Come:
Our hope when the Nation was born and Circuit Riders spread the Good News.
Our hope when the Nation was torn and Church spires helped point the way to Heaven.
Our hope when rural pastures became suburbs and the Body of Christ became our family and
home away from home.
Our hope in the coming days when revitalization and resurrection reign!
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come
Be our Guide, our Shepherd, our New Beginning and our Eternal Home. Amen.
By Nathan Decker, adapted from Isaac Watts
Special thanks to Keiko Foster for inviting me to write for this event. *Please feel free to edit the underlined portion to use for you own celebration of ministry.