Original Posting At http://pastorrobert-nikos.blogspot.com/2018/11/sunday-pastoral-prayer-nov.html
[When Methodists meet, they eat! We did just that for our annual “Thanks for Giving” meal following the last service. The picture above is one of two long food lines with turkey, stuffing, gravy, casseroles and desserts. During the meal, several people went to the microphone to share a brief praise or thanksgiving of how God is present in their lives. It was a wonderful day to be together as God’s people for worship and table fellowship. It was also great way to begin the Thanksgiving week!]
Abundant, gracious, kind, compassionate, saving, loving, redeeming, welcoming, good, creating, sustaining, empowering, forgiving, caring, and merciful God, a pastoral prayer time during worship is nowhere near enough time to thank you for who you are and for all of your blessings in our lives and in the life of our church.
But let me try…
First of all, thank you for this wonderful congregation that I am so honored to serve as pastor. Thank you for their big hearts, their emphasis on prayer, their commitment to social justice, their inclusive spirit, their generosity, and their awesome covered dishes.
Thank you for the growth we are seeing in our church with new people, new members, new ministries, and a renewed joy. Thank you for all of our vital and life-transforming Loving Faith ministries, Learning Faith ministries, and Living Faith ministries. And thank you for giving our church the bold mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our community and world.
And thank you for Peter Jarjisian who graciously donated his lazy boy recliner for me to use during my sermon this morning.
Thank you this very moment, this split second and the oxygen that we are inhaling and exhaling. Thank you O God, for the gift of this moment. Thank you for the awesome miracle that we are all alive at the same time in history and gathered together to worship you in this sacred moment. Thank you, O God.
On a more personal level, thank you for all the deer who made it safely across the road this past week even though cars were going way to fast down the road. Thank you for Jan Slattery who made a prayer shawl which I was able to give to a family member at my aunt’s funeral this past week. Thank you for Jessie Essex whose funeral was this past week and who served as our organist back in the 1960s. Thank you for our current organist, Jeff Daubenmire and for our awesome music ministry we enjoy every single Sunday.
Thank you for my loving wife and my family who will be joining us for Thanksgiving this week.
But most of all, most of all, most of all; thank you for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who offers us life abundantly and by his example teaches us what it means to not worry and be thankful. And it is in his name that we pray,
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”