[Our prayer for Sunday focused on the special UMC General Conference that is meeting in St. Louis this week, Feb. 23 to 26 to decide on issues related to same sex marriage and ordination. We are inviting the congregation to pray the prayer above at 9 am today through Tuesday, Feb. 26. It is slightly adapted from our church’s 4:57 daily cornerstone prayer. For the streaming link of this special UMC General Conference, click here. For the sermon which focused on this upcoming conference, click here.]
Hey, Jesus. It’s us. It’s your church gathered in this beautiful place of worship. And we were just wonderin’…
Do we truly love the way that you love? A love that is all-embracing, all-inclusive, all-welcoming, and all-affirming. We were just wonderin’ if we truly are that church that reflects your love in all that we say and do. With all of our heart, we want to be a church that lives out our welcome statement in being an open and inclusive congregation.
But it’s not just our church here on College Street that’s thinking about this important question. It’s the larger church as well, and specifically the United Methodist Church as delegates from all around the world gather this week in St. Louis to decide on important issues related to human sexuality.
And so we pray for your all-embracing, all-inclusive, and all-welcoming presence to surround the 864 delegates who have the responsibility of representing our denomination in deciding on these matters. Grant them your wisdom. Grant them open hearts and open minds, so that we as a denomination would truly be a denomination of open doors.
Thank you for the lay and clergy members of The Way Forward Commission who over the past three years sacrificially gave of their time time to pray together, discern, and recommend, “The One Church Model” which would help us to be a more welcoming and inclusive denomination. Thank you for all this work which has been done on our behalf.
And Jesus, even as we pray for our denomination this week, help us to each look within our own hearts to see where you are calling us to be more loving, more welcoming, and more like you. Forgive us for when we fail to truly love the way that you love. And thank you for those times when we get it right.
Teach us to pray the prayer you taught your disciples and now invite us to pray together…
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”