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.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Prayers of the People: Our Role as Stewards, Season of Creation VI

for Sunday, November 15, 2015, Season of Creation VI, Readings: Verna Dozier*, Ps 116:10-17, James 1:17-18, 21-27, Luke 27-38

      Ministry is serving the world God loves.  The people of God are sent to love the world -- the people of the world -- not the kingdoms of the world... One of the bitterest choices the people of God have made is to try to figure out a way to have both, the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God. [Verna Dozier*]

     But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 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 were like. [James 1:22-24]

We know what is expected of us. Any of us who attends church understands what is meant by Stewardship, inside the church setting in support of the worship, physical plant, and congregation, as well as outside the walls, in all manner of ways. All of us, each of us in our many ways are to give of our selves, significantly, from what God has given us. As John Wesley said, "Not, how much money will I give to God, but how much of God's money will I keep for myself." And that equation works equally well with the other two elements of the stewardship trio: time and talent. 
The Rev. Eric Law, in his book Holy Currencies: 6 Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries, shows us a different way to think about the flow of currencies in our lives. Within the usual offerings of time, talent, and treasure, is contained a breadth and depth of re-imagining and discovering our personal gifts for ministry that takes us well beyond the scope of a seasonal directive (or harangue, in some cases). In looking at Time and Place, Gracious Leadership, Relationship, Truth, Wellness, and, of course, inevitably, Money, we can see the interweaving of all of these blessings within ourselves and each other. Stewardship - Missional Ministry - is not merely a specific program for a specific time of year, but rather it is a way of life. Of course, as children of God, we are free to choose how to be - or not to be - a true steward, or caretaker, of God's kingdom and all who are in it. And as we well know, we cannot serve the kingdom of God AND the kingdom of the world. So let us be doers of God's word - or, not. There is no try.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Loving, Patient God, You call us in every time and place, to enter into a generous and caring relationship with You, and all the people of this world. Revitalize our sense of ministry that we may each be an island of refuge, by word and deed even through our own distress, a supportive resting place for each other and all Your creatures.

  O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
RESPONSE:   Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, as we were born by the word of truth, give us voice to witness to more positive ways the governments of our World, our Nation, and our Community, can relate to one another, and can earn and spend money to serve the common good of all humanity. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, grant wellness and healing to all who suffer from chronic illness, fear, or alienation. Give strength and energy to those who care for the daily needs of others. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, lift the veil of tears from the sorrowful as the glorious gates of Your Kingdom swing wide to receive all who are beloved in our hearts.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

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

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

~ Loving, Patient God, we give You thanks for all who have shown us gracious leadership and guidance as we seek to fulfill Your purpose for our lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Refuge and Salvation
Help us to hear and act upon Your Word

The Celebrant adds: O God of Earthly and Eternal Life, as we look into our own mirrors, encourage us to see ourselves as an active reflection of Your dream that our human time is spent as grateful, loving stewards for all of Your Creation. We ask through Christ Jesus, our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Sustainer, who together with You are One God, now and forever. Amen.



*A reading from Verna Dozier’s The Dream of God

Ministry is serving the world God loves.  The people of God are sent to love the world--the people of the world--not the kingdoms of the world, not the way of life that exalts one person over another, greed over giving, power over vulnerability, the kingdoms of this world over against the kingdom of God.  Jesus made the choice for the kingdom, the choice that led him to the cross.  One of the bitterest choices the people of God have made is to try to figure out a way to have both, the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God.  We...feast at the tables of the empire six days a week and then bow down to rituals the seventh day as a kind of death insurance, in case there really is a sweet by-and-by.  The people of God are called to a possibility other than the kingdoms of the world.  They must be ambassadors…in every part of life.  They witness to another way that governments can relate to one another; that money can be earned and spent; that doctors and care-givers and engineers and lawyers and teachers can serve their constituencies; that word smiths and musicians and artists and philosophers can give us new visions of the human condition.  All of them need the support system of the institutional church.  There must be those resting places where the story is treasured and passed on in liturgy and education. There must be those islands of refuge where the wounded find healing; the confused, light; the fearful, courage; the lonely, community; the alienated, acceptance; the strong, gratitude.  We have all failed the Dream of God. The terribly patient God still waits.

Dozier, Verna, The Dream of God-A Call to Return, Cowley Publications, Cambridge, 1991


** for more information on the origin and application of the Season of Creation see: http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2015/10/prayers-of-people-in-beginning1st.html





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