Excerpt: “What follows are seven potential potholes for the way forward for all groups. A pothole, by its very nature, is like COVID 19 and God, i.e., no respecter of persons. A pothole will bend the frame and blow the tire of a Lexus, a go-cart, a Cadillac or a Kia. These are issues that do not transcend theology, since theology by its very nature is the stuff of transcendence. “
Cardinal Community Schools are ramping up to receive students this week, so members of the church community decided have to gather and bathe the schools and people in prayer. Join us in the south side high school parking lot, or from the comfort of your place at 6:30pm today and pray for our schools and everyone’s return.
Here are some prayer prompts if you need them:
We pray that this school will be a place of safety and learning, a place of encouragement and excellence, a place that supports those who are vulnerable, that defends the weak and the fatherless, a place that upholds those who are poor and oppressed, and cares for the afflicted and needy.
May this also be a place of adventure and great discovery, a place of learning and creativity, and place of mutual support and encouragement. May each student that attends these schools develop a thirst for learning, a respect for each other, and a deep love of the truth. Lord, there is nothing more important for our school than that You are kept in your rightful place, and we pray that in all things You may be magnified and glorified. This we ask in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
That God pour out his blessings on, and protection for: this place, the students, the educators, the faculty, all who walk through the doors and walk the grounds.
That God grant wisdom, discernment, and compassion to those who are making decisions which will affect the lives of all here.
SAMPLE PRAYER for SPECIFIC STUDENT:
Lord, as I say this back to school prayer for [child’s name] I ask that you would sustain and guide him/her. Please help him/her to perform well academically and to learn more socially, all through the lens of loving You and loving others. Rather than getting distracted by the things of the world, I ask that You would give him/her Your heart for those around him/her. Please take his/her life and do wonderful things for Your will. Please also guide me and grant me the resources I need to support him/her. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
I know it’s short notice to procure the elements, but my friend, Rev. Dr. Richard Boatman, pastor of Oakwood UMC, will be sharing online communion tomorrow during a service starting at 6:30pm. You can find their livestream at http://oakwoodlife.org.
You have likely seen in the news that the UMC has proposed a split. This is categorically false. The only body which can speak for the UMC is the collected voice of the delegates to our General Conference. What actually happened is that the leaders of many factions inside the UMC got together and
mediated a proposal
to serve as a framework
to base legislation on.
It is true that the intent of the proposal is for the UMC to separate along traditional/progressive lines, but there is special work involved in getting legislation which has been proposed this late before the General Conference. Until it gets there, they can’t vote on it. When they vote on it, IF they vote on it, then, and only then, will it justify a headline, “The UMC has decided [not] to split.” Theirs is not the only proposal to split the denomination, just the latest, and apparently the one with the best marketing.
A colleague has put together a video that offers a very helpful explanation of things and has shared it publicly. I include it here.
The reason for the proposed split has been framed by the mainstream media as being over differences of thought in the denomination regarding same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ clergy. I believe that to be a simplistic, misleading framing. While that is the issue that looms large in our culture, and has been the focus of specific legislative battles, the theological divide between progressive and traditional is deeper and wider than just LGBTQ issues.
What is absolutely true is that this needs to be a time of devoted prayer in all of the churches across our denomination and in the Church Universal. Please pray.
The killing of 26 people, and wounding of dozens more at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, yesterday has sparked a cacophony of emotions: heartbreak, fear, anger. But even in the midst of these, we also find love – love and concern for one another. I’ve seen many people, using social and traditional media, denigrate #thoughtsandprayers expressed by folks from all walks of life. They claim that thoughts and prayers are a worthless response to such an act of violence. I don’t believe that. We, of the Christian faith, believe that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. They are an expression of our love and unity with those suffering, and can even express our lament to God. The reality is that outside the geographical area of Sutherland Springs, prayer is all we can offer right now. The local people will have to care for the survivors more directly with food, hugs, acts of service, and an ear to listen. It will take time to learn of the circumstances of the attack, and determine what, if any, future actions might prevent similar tragedies. Meanwhile, disregard the naysayers, confess your own sins, and pray fervently for our brothers and sisters at the First Baptist Church.