Leader: Just as God called Ezra to rebuild the temple, God calls us to rebuild our communities,

People: Help us to STAY, not run. Encourage us to INVEST and TAKE RISKS.

Leader: Just as Christ endured the pain of the cross in order to secure for us the Glory of the Resurrection for all humankind,

People: Remind us that we must enter into the PAIN of our communities before we may participate in the JOY of new life through your Spirit.

Leader: Just as you empowered Nehemiah to speak out for the people Israel, and gave him courage to confront those who would oppose God's rebuilding of Jerusalem,

People: Give us POWER to contend even with the principalities and powers in partnership with the poor and powerless. Empower us to SPEAK OUT even when we don't have permission.

Leader: Help us to remember that just as Nehemiah shared the call of God with those he found in Jerusalem,

People: We are to SHARE our CALL with others, sometimes in joy, sometimes in anger, sometimes in sadness, so that others too may have the opportunity to RESPOND.

Leader: Just as you promised the prophets of old that you were in their words, and would not forsake them, though the mountains might be shaken on their foundation,

People: Let it ever be in our minds that the HAND of God is upon us and our work, that our God is a LOVING God, gracious and full of mercy, and that all we do in God's service will be confirmed in God's own time and manner.

All: Loving God, merciful Lord, be with us in our work, send us with your Spirit and confirm in us your Call, that even as we go out, we go with God, we with the whole world at our side. Amen.

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