Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of December 28, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow …

Your love of beauty and your love for your earth was vividly stark and bright to us this last week.

Most of us stayed in and admired the glory of the snow; thankful it was on a day when most of our loved ones did not have to go to school or work. There was no rush. In the freezing temps, we were adamant about staying in and keeping warm. In these moments, O God, when we are forced to be still, we confess that we are uncomfortable with stillness. We measure our days with accomplishments and tasks done; to be still seems a waste. But it is in those moments, O God, if we allow you to help us quiet our inner voices and our anxiety, that we can feel a peacefulness and assurance.

We are reminded that we are not alone … we are loved ….you are Lord of heaven and earth which includes our quiet place ….there are others who are sitting quietly enjoying the warmth of a mug and the familiar smell of the crocheted blanket.

On this Fourth Day of Christmas – four calling birds — what are you calling us to, O lover of our souls? Calling us to worship, calling us to give thanks, calling us to be still, calling us to pay attention …what other calling is on our lives from you? Calling to forgive ourselves, to forgive others, to move on, to tarry?

We thank you, gracious God for the experience of worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. How glorious to go from the quiet of Silent Night, Holy Night, to the joyful singing of Good Christian Friends, Rejoice! May these Days of Christmas linger a bit for us – even if we are back at work or heading back to routines – may the glow and warmth of all that was holy remain with us, abide in us.

We know that the cold and snow was not a time of quiet reflection for everyone. It did inspire us to ask about others, to wonder how those who live outside most of the time manage these days. We thought of folks who have to choose between running the heat or buying extra food. We are grateful for bursts of giving and spontaneous shelters. Thank you for volunteers who helped at Magnolia Avenue UMC and for the staff at KARM. Thank you for those who freely gave of their abundance so that others would have warmth. When the weather turns more pleasant and it is warm, may we not forget. Help us to work with the agencies and systems ahead of time, O Lord. We thank you for the day-to-day work of Beacon of Hope and Compassion Coalition and Volunteer Ministry Center and so many others. Thank you for our volunteers at Soup Kitchen who give of time and heart.

This first half of the twelve days tends to be a time of both-and. Both quiet reflection and a call to service; both quiet gratitude for what is past and planning ahead for ways to show more gratitude.

As we prepare for tomorrow and the long vowels of ‘Fi—–ive go—–olden riiiiiiings,’ may we appreciate lingering a bit more, feeling your presence and knowing that it is enough for the day.

We offer these prayers on behalf of our church members and friends …..

We pray for….

  • A mother who has fallen and broken a rib; prayers that pain will be relieved
  • A wife and mother who is under hospice care; prayers for family as they deal with the ups and downs of Lewy Body Dementia…
  • A family who has kept vigil by their grandmother’s side; prayers for comfort now in her death on the day after Christmas
  • Two different families who  had a mother die on Christmas Eve; prayers for them as they gather this week for burials.
  • A neighbor whose house was destroyed by fire
  • Those who have had heart caths and other procedures during the holidays; prayers that these will lead to a healthy new year!
  • Friends who are dealing with new diagnoses, maneuvering through unfamiliar language and territory; thankful for volunteers on Parish Health Ministry Team.
  • A couple who has suffered another devastating loss in attempts for pregnancy; prayers for all who love them.

We continue to pray for….

  • Members and friends who are beginning treatments for health concerns
  • Those who are hoping for pregnancy
  • Those who are healing – slowly! – after surgeries; prayers for patience!
  • Young adults struggling with the economy and job search

Prayers of thanksgiving for….

  • All of the wonderful music over the Advent and Christmas season
  • A good semester
  • Family being able to travel for Christmas

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

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