A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Prayers of the People, Stewardship Sunday, 6th Sunday in the Season of Creation

for November 16, 2014, 6th Sunday in SoC, Readings: Presiding Bishop John Hines*, Ps 16:5-11, James 1:17-18, 21-27; Luke 6:37-38

For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror...and on going away, immediately forget what they are like. [James 1:23-24]
       It's TRUE, my grandmother always said so but I didn't believe it until I knew it for myself: The days may be long, but the years are short. Time passes so swiftly now that we hardly have time to catch our breath before it's suddenly summer, then autumn, then Christmas, then another year going and coming. So much that we planned to accomplish in a given time period lies unfinished or even un-started. And some of us, younger and older, have confronted our mortality this year in many and unexpected ways. It is time to take a moment and reflect on what we have and what we do and how we connect them to our claim to faith in God. 
        Faith is strengthened and multiplied in a welcoming and spiritually-centered church community - and many hands accomplish more together than separately. We are each called to unite in fostering the mission and ministry of Christ as we are able. Let us give to God by giving to our church in ways that extend the work of God today, tomorrow, and as the foundation for those who come later. Let us look in the mirror to see ourselves as a community of faith and remember, when we look away, that we are each part of the whole Body of Christ. Let us be a witnessing community of unquestioned integrity*  that keeps from worrying over temporal issues and gives generously in thanksgiving for the continuing presence of God for now and for the future.  

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy God, our Portion and our Cup, we come together to honor and worship You for the generosity of life You have given to us and those we love. Today, especially, we pledge our continuing commitment to You, by our participation in the mission and ministry of this community of faith, in generously offering our temporal currencies of money, time, and abilities.

                                  Lord of Lights, Creator of All Life     
RESPONSE:      Strengthen our willingness to hear and act upon Your Word
           
~ Holy God, our Portion and our Cup, as we strive to be faithful to Your call and live unstained by the externals of this world, we must also be active in our role as Your stewards by often reminding the political leaders everywhere of their duty to prosper Creation for everyone. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                        Lord of Lights, Creator of All Life
                        Strengthen our willingness to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Holy God, our Portion and our Cup, renew the strength of those who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit so they may rest in hope. May they, and those who minister to their needs, know You are with them on the path of life even in the darkest of times. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                        Lord of Lights, Creator of All Life
                        Strengthen our willingness to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Holy God, our Portion and our Cup, may those who grieve this day feel Your blessing return seven-fold for every tear that falls, and know that those who have entered into Your glory, now rejoice for all eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                        Lord of Lights, Creator of All Life
                        Strengthen our willingness to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Holy God, our Portion and our Cup, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently …

                        Lord of Lights, Creator of All Life
                        Strengthen our willingness to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Holy God, our Portion and our Cup, for the faithful stewards of Your Church, who keep us on a spiritual track in daily life and guide us in living the mission of Christ on earth, we give great thanks and prayerful gratitude. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                        Lord of Lights, Creator of All Life
                        Strengthen our willingness to hear and act upon Your Word


The Celebrant adds: Creator of All that is seen and unseen, grant us the vision to realize that as we seek to repay You with our offerings, we also pay forward for the continuing legacy of Christ’s love. We ask of You as we pray to You, through Jesus, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our fount of Wisdom, who live and reign together with You, forever and ever. Amen.


*1st Reading: A READING FROM PRESIDING BISHOP JOHN E. HINES
What I hope for has little to do with growth in communicant strength, though I would rejoice at a multitude of conversions possessing integrity. This has little to do with bigger budgets, nothing to do with maintaining a respected place with the carriage-trade clientele of our society. I hope for a witnessing community of unquestioned integrity. It may – in the future, this Church of ours - be an even smaller Church because of its witness; less powerful, and less influential - as a secular society gauges power and influence. For the essential question is not, “How shall the Episcopal Church grow?” - but rather, “How can the Episcopal Church be faithful?” For that is the heritage worth sacrificing for – worth passing on to our children and grandchildren. God forbid that they should come to a time and place unashamed of the Gospel, but ashamed of us.   [Kenneth Kesselus, John E. Hines, from Farewell Sermon in Granite on Fire, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, 1995. Bishop Hines served as the 22nd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church from 1965-1973]








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