The Gate of the Year

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)

Sermon Series, December 2020

A Christmas Prayer for Action

When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with the flocks, then the work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit, to feed the hungry, to release the oppressed, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among all peoples, to make a little music with the heart. And to radiate the Light of Christ, every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say. Then the work of Christmas begins.

–Howard Thurman

Prayer for Reconciliation 

Holy One, Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, of story and of song, of heartbeat and of tears of bodies, souls, voices and all relations: you are the God of all truth and the way of all reconciliation. Uphold with your love and compassion all who open their lives in the sacred sharing of their stories breathe in us the grace to trust in your loving forgiveness, that we may face our histories with courage; touch us through the holy gift of story that those who speak and those who listen may behold your own redeeming presence; guide us with holy wisdom to enter through the gates of remorse that our feet may walk gently and firmly on the way of justice and healing. Amen. 
From the Anglican Church of Canada 

Amy Simpson wrote this prayer and it can be found on her website amysimpson.com.  We felt this prayer was fitting to go with our sermon series Mental Health and the Bible.  

May it speak to you.

A Prayer for People Living with Mental Illness

Loving God, I pray for all whose brains have been hurt by disease, injury, stress, trauma, and other factors of human life in a hard world. I pray for all who love them and want to help. I pray for your comfort in their grief, hope amid loss, and the balm of community with people who understand.

For people with mental illness–may they find hope in you and feel your longing for them.
For parents of children with mental illness–may they know the limits of their power both to cause and to cure.
For children of parents with mental illness–may they know you as loving parent and find places where they can grow up in safety, no matter how old they are.
For friends of suffering people–may they resist the temptation to try to “fix” their friends and recognize the simple power of their loving presence.
For spiritual leaders–may they deny both helplessness and overconfidence, courageously serving as first responders and faithful shepherds.
For people who need treatment and don’t receive it–may they recognize their need, believe life can be better, and find people who can help.
For those burdened by shame and stigma–may they walk into the light and find compassionate people.

Lord, I pray for light in the darkness. I pray that people with vulnerable minds will find hope and help among followers of Christ who will love them and point them toward what they need while letting them live with that need. I pray for acceptance and grace–the same kind of grace you offer so freely to all. I pray that many churches will embrace the opportunity for messy and sometimes thankless ministry among the marginalized, in the name of the one whose love knows no margins.

Amen.

Sermon Series, October 18 – November 22

Thanksgiving, October 11, 2020

Remembering Others

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.

– Author Unknown

Sermon Series, September 13 – October 11, 2020

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;  

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  

Amen

Please continue to pray for those in our congregation, our community and in the world around us as we face daily challenges but also the larger pandemic and social issues.

As we pray I hope that you will let us know how we can pray for you?