New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

“The church that we want to be is a relational church that is built and made by actually just being in relationship with people and being willing to be honest about what’s important and what your priorities are and what your dreams are.”

Using this honest-to-goodness, authentic approach is not about what the new church thinks or says is good, thus pretending that they have everything figured out and that they are the “savior of the world”; instead, it is more about being able to gather people who have been searching for a faith community that is real, authentic, and caring. Being authentic in conversations with people to build lasting relationships with them … requires a “willingness to be who we say we’re trying to be and the courage to let people in the community know who we are trying to be as a church.”

—Bener Agtarap & Curtis Brown, Ready, Set, Plant: The Why and How of Starting New Churches (Discipleship Resources, 2021)

Today’s Question

What priority does your faith community give to developing relationships with new people? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”
—John 13:34-35 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Holy God, thank you for the opportunity to plant a new faith community. Help me to have wisdom and discernment as I develop relationships with the people in this community. Guide me to stay close to you through prayer and Bible study and to love the people who cross my path. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • Ally Posted May 20, 2023 9:26 am

    Our church puts a priority on nurturing relationships with each other and with those in our community who don’t have a community or the support which should come with one. Reaching out to others and building relationships is a priority for us. It has been a great blessing to be a part of this church.
    The psychiatrist at the mental health center changed up some of David’s meds to help manage his depression. Will pick up new meds today. David told me yesterday that he really doesn’t care about anything right now. Please pray that meds and counseling will help him.
    Yesterday started rather roughly. While I was on the phone with a friend, she was pulled over and arrested. It is a long story, but she fled with her children from an abusive situation and the abuser is attempting to weaponize the system against her as a way to continue the abuse and to retaliate. It is horrible and I feel helpless. Please pray for her and her children.
    Thanks to my friends here for your prayers and support.

  • Julie Posted May 20, 2023 9:37 am

    My church is welcoming a new couple and their child into our church family tomorrow. The parents are joining the church and the baby is being baptized. We will have a celebration after the service with a cake.

  • robert moeller Posted May 20, 2023 3:05 pm

    We have a new family at church and are encouraging the parents and their daughter.
    Thankfully they keep coming.
    Am making good progress installing the dishwasher. I removed old copper pipe and have stainless steel flex pipe. Taking a break, will continue tomorrow, going through the checklist of items. Only the old and new stove to deal with once the dishwasher is installed.
    Certainly hope David’s meds are adjusted so as to help him. Prayers too for your friend in an abusive relationship.
    Needed rain expected this afternoon. Sunny and windy weather has dried us up a bit.
    Worship tomorrow. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted May 20, 2023 6:06 pm

    My church is the most welcoming of the churches I have been a part of. It is also the smallest, though I don’t consider it a small church. People of all ages are warm and ready to engage with a new face.
    There is a meeting tomorrow morning before church for those volunteering in a summer camp. I will be doing the tennis camp again.
    Though not fully better, my throat was improved this morning. Night time cold medicine is usually quite helpful to me. The party at my nephew’s was pretty low key. A bit too chilly to be outside, so most of us watched golf inside. I did take a walk when I got home.
    Supposed to be warmer and pleasant tomorrow – and dad and I will be golfing. He is coming over after church and I am fixing lunch – then we will head to the course. I expect it to be very busy, with likely slow play. There are likely to be many foursomes and we will be a twosome. We play pretty quickly when no one is in front of us. Dad grows impatient, and his game shows it. I try to just encourage him to enjoy the weather. It’s not like he has plans later in the day. But – as my mom would say – “it’s like he has ants in his pants”.
    Hard to believe we are at Ascension Sunday already. May we take time to reflect on this, and what it means to us now in our walk and loving others.

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