As we begin our work and conversation together, let us pause to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of this opportunity to deepen our understanding of and commitment to the common good through a reading from Psalm 100.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; worship the LORD with cries of gladness;
Come before God with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God, our maker to whom we belong, whose people we are, God's well-tended flock.
Enter the temple gates with praise, its courts with thanksgiving. Give thanks to God, bless his name;
Good indeed is the LORD, whose love endures forever, whose faithfulness lasts through every age.
Lord, you are faithful indeed and you shepherd us through challenge and joy, in times of pain and times of renewal. Knowing that we are yours, we invite you once again to be part of our conversations. Open our ears that we may hear what we need to hear from each other. Open our eyes to see where you are present in all we discuss. Open our minds to new learning and our hearts to deeper compassion.
O God, we commit our lives to your praise and service, seeking always to provide for the needs of others. Send your Spirit into this space that we may continue a dialogue marked by a deep listening and pursuit of truth. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.