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

If you find that people in your group are frequently self-critical, rule-oriented, or rigid, try to extend and model grace and flexibility while respecting their needs and comfort zone and providing structure and predictability. They may need to loosen up, but they need to do so at their own pace. Others may be a bit emotionally loose and will need you to model setting boundaries like ending prayer requests when you say you will, even though they may feel disappointed. Give them time, be patient, and know that you don’t have to expand your boundaries and wear yourself out for them to benefit from the group.

—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

When has a group leader modeled grace for you?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

 If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.
—Romans 12:18 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, God, for the opportunity to grow closer to you and to one another. We ask you to be present in our small-group meetings and to help us become more Christlike. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Our basic need for belonging and connection to other people is magnified during times we have to be apart from others. Licensed psychologist and author of Gather Us In Dr. Angela D. Schaffner offers 10 helpful tips for running a quality Zoom group. Read more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted August 12, 2022 7:25 am

    I haven’t been in many groups and don’t believe I have experienced the grace described here. I’m much more the active participant behind the scenes. I do like to be involved.
    Glad to catch up with NEM and learn how things are going. If I had to pick a word to summarize how things are going I would pick MIXED. There are positives and negatives, People are making progress, Ally & David, Julie, Jill, and April, that’s always good to learn, Health, financial, well-being, and relational issues continue. My experiences with dementia patients saw a lot of argument, feistiness
    as the dementia increased. Very tough to experience while trying to be helpful. Dementia causes people to do things we hoped or never expected to see them do. As much as I want those who love to play tennis to continue as Serena Williams says there comes a time when something has to give. I pray that God’s wisdom helps you know when that time has come. At the same time GOOD LUCK in Toledo! Thank you for your prayers for Erich and me, being patient until the spring is difficult for Erich. Thankfully the weather has cooled, that will be helpful, can get out and do things. MIXED also fits CCUMC, progress here, decline there. It’s the thought of a new pastor on the way vs the aging and passing of the congregation. A day at a time that’s how we are to live. The message, mostly not mine, this week’s scripture was tough, is ready and there has been positive feedback. I passed on Luke 12: 49-56. A house divided against itself can not stand. A very different perspective from Jesus. Blessings, peace, restoration, and thanksgiving to you all. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted August 12, 2022 9:13 am

    One minister who held a Bible study was adept at kindly redirecting people when needed.
    H is getting very difficult. Early this morning he was wearing a winter coat over shorts and a t-shirt when he should have been in bed. He was quite argumentative and has continued to be so. He is not making much sense.
    Prayers for Ally as she cares for David and for David as he continues to work to recover. Prayers also for the kitties. Prayers for Jill’s team to be safe as they travel to and from Toledo. Prayers for Robert and Erich, may Erich learn to be patient and to prepare for the move so that he may be successful in the new location. Prayers for the CCUMC as the members grapple with the changes necessary due to the lack of an ordained minister.

  • Ally Posted August 12, 2022 7:38 pm

    My seminary small group leader consistently modeled grace for our members. In fact, her name is Grace! She is now a missionary serving in Brazil. I have a hard time extending myself grace. Extending it to others is a little easier. I’m thankful God extends God’s grace to all.
    Our sweetheart Lucy came home yesterday. She is doing well . David is so glad to have her home.We love our Lucy! Davis is progressing well in therapy. Please pray for continued progress. I’m doing ok. Managing better with this caregiving thing. David wants to go to a movie tomorrow. Not sure I’m up for it. Jill, thank you for your prayer for caregivers. Touched me deeply. April, I’m going to try your practice of looking at the sky. Thank you for sharing. Praise God your loved one is progressing. Julie, prayers continue for you and the challenges of caring for H. May all we caregivers find time for ourselves to restore and refresh. Robert, praying for your church as you face changes. Thank you God, for our group here. May all who visit UR and NEM receive a blessing. Love to all c

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