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August 2000


Loving God, Father and Mother of the human family: We praise you for including us in your gracious covenants and for reminding us, in the sacraments of the church, of our membership in the body of Christ.

In the sacrament of baptism, we thankfully acknowledge our covenant relationship with you and with one another.

We thank you for the water of baptism, symbol of cleansing and forgiveness.

By baptizing little children, we are reminded that your grace includes all of us, regardless of age or size or gender or race or circumstances.

Moreover, we pray to you. O gracious Lord, for a special measure of grace for parents who assume responsibility for the Christian nurture of their children. Grant them integrity and resourcefulness in introducing their children, by instruction and example, to the love of our Lord.

We pray for the children that are dedicated to the Lord. We pray that they may grow up protected and cherished, that they may be loved and able to give love.

We pray also, with deep concern, for children deprived of love. We pray for children unwanted, neglected, starved in body and soul. In the happiness we share in Christ and with one another as the blessed church of Christ, let us not forget those other children -- hundreds of thousands of them in our country, tens of millions of them across the globe. Rather let the celebration of the sacrament of baptism motivate us, both as individuals and as a congregation, to expand our ministries of caring about and for children and families.

These prayers we offer in the name of him who said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs" (Matthew 19:14). In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Last modified October 7, 2000