Honoring Our Elders

An elderly white man sits in a cozy green chair, smiling, surrounded by children around seven years old, two white girls and two black boys part of a larger group of kids.

We give thanks for your presence among us.
You are living examples of courage and perseverance.
We give thanks for the stories you have collected through the years.
By sharing your stories, you help shape ours.
We give thanks for the many tasks you have undertaken for the betterment of others.
We know that we have all benefited from your gifts and your labor.
We give thanks for your patience and your forbearance.
We know that getting older is not easy. Thank you for modeling aging with grace.

We promise this day to do what it takes to make your continued participation possible.
Your presence matters.
We promise to listen carefully when you speak.
Your stories matter.
We promise to carry forward the work of this community.
Your contributions matter.
We promise to journey with you in the years to come,
and to support you in ways that you deem helpful in the years you have left on this earth.
Your life matters.
You matter to us, and we know that we matter to you.

Let us be grateful for the gifts that come as generations meet and mingle.
Because in this community of memory, caring and hope,

(all:) we believe that love matters most of all.

Note: this was written as a responsive reading, but could also be read in unison or by different leaders' voices.