Weekly Notes September 11, 2020
This edition of the Weekly Notes looks a bit different - there are no announcements or activities listed. Early next week you will receive an updated email of the ways that we will CONNECT--GROW--SERVE in the next several months as we adjust to our way of being church for the next several months. I so appreciate your positive response to the decision of the Reopening Task Force to wait until 2021 to regather for worship - your letters confirm for me that we are truly a church that cares deeply for one another and for our neighbor - and I echo the words I shared from one of our task force members, "our future looks bright!." If you need some help in getting connected during these months - don't hesitate to let us know. And, look for a special 'early edition' of the Weekly Notes next week.
Tomorrow (Saturday) I will drive to Leesburg to serve as one of two sponsors for Pam McMillan as she is ordained as an Elder in Full Connection in the United Methodist Church. What a joy this will be! Will you keep Pam in your prayers - and if you like, you can watch the livestream service Saturday at 3:00 p.m. using this link. You might just recognize the text that forms the basis of Bishop Carter's message!
Finally, today is a day of deep reflection, and I share with you this prayer:
God of the years, we call to you this day when the memories of 9/11 weigh so heavily upon our hearts. We recall with horror and renewed shock that day when airplanes flew into buildings and people perished. We remember our fear and anger, our confusion and sense of threat.
We remember all that was lost to us that day: our sense of security, our peace, our innocence, our belief that we were safe beyond such random violence and death. Most of all we remember those who died in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, their lives of promise extinguished in hatred.
God of all creation, you have taught us that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We live by hope in the future you hold for us and for Earth. Grant us, we pray, hope for the future generations that they may never know or inflict the horror and terror we recall this day. Strengthen our hope when it falters and teach us to strive in all we do to realize the hope that is in your word and witness.
Eternal God, in you our hope is boundless. You renew hope in us through the promise of a future in which no one shall be afraid or lift up a sword against a neighbor. We pray in hope for the peace of the world among peoples and nations, religions and cultures, until we become a beloved community reconciled to one another under your sovereignty.
Empower us to shape a world marked by ways of life that lead to justice and peace. Fashion in us a people who are more ready to grow in understanding than eager to judge those who are different from us. Form us, a people determined to heal wounds rather than inflict them. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus who came among us to show us the way. Amen
May you be blessed with peace and life this day and always,