CALL TO WORSHIP
We gather today to celebrate our coming together within the (company or system name) to better serve the mission of Jesus Christ — to heal, to comfort, and to serve those who are suffering, especially those who are suffering with no one else to care for them.
We do not know exactly what our future together holds, but aware of the rich histories and resources that we bring, we have every reason to trust that God is about to do something wonderful here. As a sign of the gifts that we each bring to this convergence, making it fertile ground, I now invite representatives from each of the partners in this new moment to bring forward their personal artifact — symbol of gifts that they understands themselves contributing to this new whole.
REFLECTIONS OF PERSONAL ARTIFACTS
(select 5-7 to people share their personal artifact story)
We at (company or system name) would now like to present each of you with a cactus as a reminder of the work that we have done together. The cactus is a strong and hardy plant, able to survive and even thrive in climates that others deem harsh and barren. In the desert, it gives nourishment and life to those around it. Many animals and even people can flourish in the desert only because of the gift of the cactus. To the native peoples of the Southwest, the cactus was a sacred plant. It is a sign of healing, a sign of God's presence among them.
May this cactus be a symbol of courage and sustenance for you in the seemingly harsh climate of health care. May it remind you of our call to be a sign of life and hope in a culture that can appear dry and barren. May it challenge you to be a source of nourishment in your communities. And may it remind you that God is always present with you in your struggles to live out the mission. Receive it with our blessing and gratitude to be collaborators in this mission with you.
Presentation of Cactus (instrumental music in background)
When we each offer our gifts to the community, we discover a new fertility in the desert that we did not know before. Where our paths converge, we find a rich soil in which we can plant the seeds of ethics, spirituality, and social justice. This space that we are entering into together is a space in which the desert can bloom. A space where abundant life can come forth.
As we close, let us give thanks to God for bringing us together, with a promise toward uniting us ever more closely in the future. And let us ask God's blessing on this future:
God of the Desert,
As the prophet Hosea reminded us so long ago, you call us into barren places so that you can speak softly to our hearts and draw us closer to you. When this happens, we come to discover that the places that looked barren are indeed places of great potential and power.
We give you thanks for calling each of us by name to spend time “in the desert” these past several days. In our time here, we have drawn closer to each other, but also closer to You. We see new possibilities for ourselves and our health systems that we did not see in quite the same way before. And yet, we know that this is just a beginning.
We ask you to continue to bless that work that we've started here and bring it to its fulfillment. As we strive to collaborate more deeply, may your healing presence reach persons who never otherwise would have known your touch. May your comfort and love bring solace to those who feel most on the margins of society. In union with one another, may we bear ever greater fruit as a system, giving you greater glory and honor.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, who spent forty days in the desert before beginning his ministry. We ask this in the power of his spirit, still with us today. Amen.