Thursday, June 21, 2007

Virginia - Evening Prayer

Earlier this year our congregation was selected to participate in the Summer Collegium for the Small Church at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA.   This is an intimate gathering of 25 small church pastors and many of their spouses to discuss some of the cultures of small churches and the challenges and opportunities for ministry.  It will also hopefully be a time of spiritual renewal for me.  Periodically I'm going to be posting thoughts and observations.

One quick observation:  Last night during a "get to know you" exercise we were each asked to name an exciting thing happening in our churches.  And a silence filled the room.  We've been so trained that exciting things happen at big churches with tons of cool programs that we forget to seek excitement from how God is working among us.   Elisabeth and I did mention program things - myself, the leadership training we are doing in October and Elisabeth the just completed food drive, but perhaps the most exciting thing is how everyone is lifting Mrs. Burns up in prayer and is supporting Joe with the death of his mother.  God works as we relate to one another.

Finally - an evening prayer:
It is night.

The night is for stillness.
  Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
   What has been done has been done;
   what has not been done has not been done.
   Let it be.

The night is dark.
  Let our fears of the darkness of the world
  and of our own lives 
  rest in you.

The night is quiet.
  Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
    all dear to us,
    and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
  Let us look expectantly to a new day.
    new joys
   new possibilities.

In your name we pray.

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