'A prayer for this sad week with some real thought behind it...
In the wake of the deadly Ash Wednesday school shootings in Parkland, Fla., Dean Randy Hollerith offers a prayer of repentance:
Almighty God, whose wisdom is ...beyond our understanding, surround and comfort all those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Grant to those who lost their lives eternal rest, and may the consolation of your love surround and comfort all who mourn.
In this holy season of Lent, as you call us to examine the parts of our lives where we fall short, grant us forgiveness when we become numb to the scourge of violence in our homes, schools, houses of worship and neighborhoods.
Forgive us, Lord, when our leaders fail to take action to protect the most vulnerable from the dangers of gun violence. Give to them, and to us, your strength.
Forgive us, Lord, for the times when we lack the courage and political will to work together. Open our eyes and our hearts to work across our divisions to end the plague of gun violence.
Forgive us, Lord, when we think that “thoughts and prayers” are enough. Grant to us the resolve to act, and the compassion to care for the mentally ill before they descend into violence.
Forgive us, Lord, when we cling to the idea that more weapons somehow make us more safe. Cleanse us of the arrogance that leads us to believe the right to bear arms trumps the right to life.
Forgive us, Lord, when we too easily divide ourselves into left or right, red or blue, black or white. Help us tear down the isolation that separates us from one another, from our better selves and from the loving God who created us.
Forgive us, Lord, for the times when we feel helpless and overwhelmed in the face of violence. Give us your peace, and sustain us in the work ahead.
Lord, in your mercy, protect the vulnerable, comfort the mourners, inspire our leaders and equip your children to build your peaceable kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven.
All this we ask through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
On Thursdays during Lent, we'll be having Evening Prayers and an "African Bible Study" at 4:30 p.m. In this time together, we'll be praying for our life and mission as a congregation, as well as reading and reflecting upon the scripture lesson for the following Sunday's worship. Everyone's welcome, so spread the word and come join in (the service should last about 45 minutes).
We're marking the beginning of the Lenten Season this week with an Ash Wednesday Service in the sanctuary at 6:00 p.m. on February 14. 'Hope you'll be able to join us...
Our February celebration of the Lord's Supper will be on Sunday the 11th, as we mark the Transfiguration of the Lord and look ahead to the beginning of the Lenten season.
A Prayer for Social Justice
from the Book of Common Prayer, pg. 823
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and espec...ially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Here's a sign we have on our building, telling passersby about our identity and mission as a church. This week, we'll begin a sermon series that will take us to the beginning of Lent, reflecting on what this implies about our life together. Sunday's message: "FPCS: 'A School of Love...'"
This Sunday evening at 6 o'clock, we'll be partnering with the folks who are heading up Exit 0's work in Scott County to provide a hot supper for our homeless and or hungry neighbors. This weekly meal will be served in our church basement through the cold winter months and will likely move back to an outdoor location when warmer weather arrives this spring--stay tuned for developments... (And feel free to drop by to lend a hand, provide some FPC-S hospitality or just say "hello...")
In worship this Sunday morning (January 7 @ 9:30) we'll be remembering Jesus' baptism with a renewal of our own baptismal vows and a celebration of the Lord's Supper. 'Hope you'll be able to join us...