The band U2 has some inspiring lyrics in their songs, and the song “Grace” is one of the best. Grace is a concept that many people of faith struggle with, but for me, the line “She carries the world on her hips” shows a hopeful way of looking at caring for the world.

Grace was my starting place for the Giving Tuesday prayer. For many people, Christmas can be very stressful and I must admit that it’s my least favourite time of year! Yet, with God’s grace carrying me, I can see a way of celebrating through giving.

As people of faith, we know consumerism can take away from the idea of giving. As a reaction to the consumerism of the season, many organizations that work across the world have created the gift catalogues which now flood our mailboxes and inboxes every Christmas. Perhaps I am biased, but I think The United Church of Canada’s Gifts with Vision catalogue is one of the best ways for us to make a meaningful gift for our world. Each year I choose gifts for members of my family, and this year one of the gifts I will be giving is from Wesley Urban Ministries, which has been a Mission & Service partner from the beginning. I have worked with people who live on the street and I know what a challenge it can be for women to obtain hygiene products. Wesley’s “Personal Care in a Purse” provides vulnerable women living in poverty with feminine hygiene products—often overlooked, but so vitally important. 

I have always strived to bring more meaning to my giving beyond the latest toy or gadget. A day like Giving Tuesday should be about more than “stuff” — it should be about change and making a difference in the world. I was inspired to write this prayer in hopes that it will offer grace to our partners, and the ministries we are in a relationship with, both in Canada and across the world.

I hope you will use this prayer in your community of faith. May it inspire you, and make you mindful of God’s grace that carries you on her hips!

— Ruth Noble is Mission & Service Engagement Coordinator