Help us make this church a refuge from the world
O God of life, help us make this church a refuge from the world, a place where the rules are different.
May this be a place (for example) where no experience is necessary—where people are encouraged to risk new things: where a university administrator can try her hand at plumbing, if she wants, or a plumber can help manage the finances, or a banker can teach five year-olds.
May this be a place where people always feel that their efforts have been worthwhile, and their energy well-spent. And may this be a place where, as in a children's baseball league, everyone gets to play.
O God, help us make this church a refuge from the world, a place where the rules are different.
May no one feel invisible here, or feel worried about what others might be thinking of them. May no one be bored here: if a person isn't interested in what the minister is talking about today, may he or she be excited by the music, or by a conversation at coffee hour.
May this be a place where people are touched—if not by something said, then perhaps by something sung, or by the light coming through the windows, or by the sense that the people who come here support one another.
May this be a place where everyone feels safe: safe to follow their thoughts wherever they lead, safe to believe whatever they must, and safe to share whatever is on their minds and whatever is in their hearts.
O God, help us make this church a refuge from the world, a place where the rules are different—a place where our wells can fill up again, where we can be refreshed and renewed, so that, when we return to the world with our batteries recharged, we can help transform the world into a place where the rules are different. Amen.