Most Holy and Righteous creator.
You have done all things well.
We have gathered in your name
And we pray for your blessing
on the church in this place called Chautauqua, its people and pastors.
Here may the faithful find salvation, and the careless be awakened.
Here may the doubting find faith,
and the anxious be encouraged.
Here may the tempted find help,
and the sorrowful find comfort.
Here may the weary find rest,
and the strong be renewed.
Here may the aged find consolation
and the young be inspired;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, we have already come,
Twas grace that brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home.
Gracious God, in the name of Jesus we beseech you,
to hear our prayers, hear our pleas for mercy
and grace in this time of trial, called life.
It is written in your Holy word that we would be
tried, but just as we are tried, we trust you to walk with us
and guide us, along this journey.
Every good and perfect gift comes from you,
So, gift us with joy in times of sorrow, peace in the time of struggle. We lift our hearts and minds to you, looking to the hills from whence cometh our help. Knowing that our help comes from you.
Help us to abide in the shadow of thy wing. Amen.
Then the eagle will carry our prayer for peace and love,
and the people of all communities can sit in the same circle
together to communicate in love and experience the presence of the
Great Mystery in their midst.
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
thou who has brought us thus far, on the way,
thou who has by they might led us into the light,
keep us forever in thy path, we pray.
Let that day be today for our sake, through
Jesus Christ our advocate and redeemer. Amen.
Prayer written by Richard D. Meadows, Jr. (July 2010) for Closing Worship of The New Clergy Program of Chautauqua Institution’s Department of Religion
The beautifully sculpted prayer written by my beloved Ricky does convey this sentiment of need for a fresh spiritual wind, especially during these complex and turbulent times. (I just feel it- the Holy Ghost orchestrated its inception.)
In a final moving Praise and Worship opportunity this prayer was corporately shared. It spoke beautifully to our hearts along with Rev. Will Terry pulling no punches with his timely sermonic message and Rev. Stephen Austin lifting our spirits with his beautiful voice and piano worship selections. God was actively ministering to each of our needs. The feet washing, laying-on of hands and lifting in prayer the program’s major supporters and our exemplary servant leaders: Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Rev. Will Terry, Rev. Cameron Pennybacker and Rev. Dr. Albert Pennybacker was certainly in order for this blessed outpouring. As some might say, “God was in the house!”
God’s presence was not mistaken, it was apparent-surely felt and appreciated daily, especially during the morning messages from the esteemed Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., President and Founder of the Healing of the Nations Foundation of New York and Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church. Rev. Dr. Forbes, Jr. beckoned believers to embrace a holistic heath regiment and appreciate the Great Awakening in our midst.
God’s love was visible in the stirrings and poignant accounts of Daisy Khan, Executive Director, and American Society for Muslim Advancement. Mrs. Khan shared in the Hall of Philosophy and during NCP session/dinner. Hers is a heartfelt commitment of embracing others and reaching across Ecumenical barriers. She lovingly shares her Islamic faith principles, humanitarian endeavors and hope for rebuilding torn lives.
Yes, also the divine was evident when Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership expressed passionately his receptivity and desire to actively engage listeners to embrace new thinking/actions for living effectively in a chaotic world. Not to mention his generosity to all the NCP’s a gift of his most recent literary work: Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life (Hyperion, Sept. 2006).
And Lord knows the creative interpretation of the Preacher Extraordinaire: Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ’s panel discussion and “talk” of our need for the urgency of all Americans to become Jazz lovers, preserving Louisiana, and more importantly not take for granted a rich musical /historical legacy which should be treasured. He creatively said we should start a jazz orchestra inclusive of all, an intergenerational experience-partaking in a united love supreme jazz rendition.
I feel very confident that during our past week’s sojourn the longings of our heart were evident. This private and public awakenings erupted our spiritual and natural gifts, that I am confident of. We can be peacefully assured that God is doing a new thing in us and has not abandoned us! It’s ok to acknowledge that we too are blessed even in the midst of discomforts. Thank God for the discoveries made at this historic landmark! Discoveries of self, our freedom to unmask vulnerabilities and limitations! God’s wonder filled omnipotence is present and presence enough! New leaves are falling, healing is all around.
The table is spread, let’s feast! Thanks be to God!
Sharing in Faith, Linda Mose Meadows,
Urban Views Weekly Columnist and Inspirational Author of:
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises