PASTORAL PRAYERS

 
....Faith in a Time of Fragility, Grief and Loss

Even as we pray daily for health and healing during this pandemic, we know that death is a part of life, even beyond the new realities of this moment.  As a church community, and as ministers with you, we have a unique role to help comfort one another in loss through rituals of prayers, funerals, memorial services, and burials.
 
For the moment, while the church is closed, we are not able to hold any in-person services, including funerals and memorial services at the church.  But, of course, we want to continue to provide pastoral support and care to you individually and as a community as best we can.  We trust that we will feel our way together through these circumstances as they arise.
 
In the current context it bears repeating, that we are available to talk with you pastorally, including on concerns, fears or questions about death and dying.  In addition, you may be led during this time to talk together with loved ones in your families about their feelings, concerns, hopes or desires.  While these can be challenging conversations, they can also be grace-filled opportunities.  
 
Because each of us grieves in different ways, there is no one way to approach loss including death and dying.  But, please know you are not alone.  Let us encourage one another in faith and hope knowing “the love of God is broad like beach and meadow, wide as the wind and our eternal home.”
 

Grace and peace,
 
Pastors Jennifer Knutsen & Scott Winnette

 

. . . Prayer for Worship
 

Help us to believe

in the power of your divine imagination

   which does not shrink in the face

   of pain and injustice,

but persists in bringing forth life,

   restoring the world

   to the wholeness you intend.

 

For still we carry daily hurts and sorrow.

   We live with loss and worry and illness,

Still we live with violence and terror

   born out of hate and fear

Still we devise systems of oppression,

   and tell stories based on lies

   and deny some of our siblings

   their full humanity —

their birthright as your beloved children,

each one made in your image.

 

On this day we remember

   the gift of love you embodied in Jesus. 

And we remember our loved ones

who lived and died and live on in our hearts

   and in your embrace —

friends and relatives known to us

in this community of faith and beyond.

We name them in our hearts before you.

 

As the earth comes alive at daybreak

and the shadowed shrouds

   of night are lifted,

so let our spirits rise with you,

   on this holy day

that we might meet you

   in the Risen Christ in our midst—

and so may we lend our voices

    to songs of praise

and proclaim with gladness

    the hope of your promise,

    that all may have life

    and have it abundantly.

Amen.