by: Rev. William D. Karg
FLoving and Faithful God, as we gather this day to reflect on our faith and the challenges your Church is facing today, we ask your blessing upon all of us who are gathered in the name of Jesus Christ. Touch our minds that they may be open to the insights of our speaker: lift up our hearts so that we may make it our habit to look for islands of hope in an often desperate world, and work to build bridges between these islands.
Convince us ever more deeply of our call not only to take responsibility to create our islands of hope, but of your faithfulness when we work with our friends to do this. Help us to be loyal critics of our Church, and at the same time to also bring forward the new possibility in which we hold ourselves ready to pitch in with our gifts to take that new possibility into action. Give us staying power in the long struggle for the works of justice and mercy; and infuse all these efforts with the spirit of love for all the people you have created.
Bless our food and all those who helped bring it to these tables, and all who are serving us. Make us also your humble servants in carrying out the work you call us to do. Amen.
by: James S. Shimko
Please join me in an attitude of prayer…..
"Lord, take me where You want me to go
Let me meet who You want me to meet
Tell me what You want me to say
And keep me out of Your way."
With this simple prayer, Lord, the world has come to know of your faithful servant, Fr. Mychal Judge, the first victim of the September 11th terrorist attack on our nation less than 7 short years ago.
A chaplain to the New York City Fire Department, Fr. Judge lost his life as he knelt in prayer over the body of a fallen firefighter during the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Good and gracious God, help each of us in our daily struggle to reach out to others, of every faith, who need us most, wherever they might be. Strengthen us to do your will in all that we do and say. Lead us to those who might otherwise be left forgotten or alone. Use us as instruments of your love in a world filled with misunderstanding and mistrust. Speak through us to those who most need loving words of encouragement and understanding. With our hands, reach out to your children who so need you now, in these dangerous and difficult times. Help us to cross over the divides that separate us from each other, whether is be as a result of differences in faith traditions, race, gender or socioeconomic status. Keep us ever mindful of our commonalities rather than our differences.
Protect those who likewise protect us. Watch over them, give comfort to their families and keep them safe within your loving arms.
And help us, Oh Lord, to live out Fr. Mychal's Message, to let you work through us and to keep us "out of Your way."
We ask all this in your loving name. Amen.