Archive for July 2012

God of Love and God of Power   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, Georgia, December 11, 2011

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://picasaweb.google.com/114749828757741527421/BishopWhitmoreVisitsTheChurchOfTheEpiphanyAtlanta#5685294792036265394)

Hymn Source = The United Methodist Hymnal:  Book of United Methodist Worship (1989)

Words (circa 1939) by Gerald Hamilton Kennedy (1907-1980), a U.S. Methodist bishop from 1948 and a United Methodist bishop from 1968

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1.  God of love and God of power,

grant us in this burning hour

grace to ask these gifts of thee,

daring hearts and spirits free.

God of love and God of power,

thou hast called us for this hour.

2.  We are not the first to be

banished by our fears from thee;

give us courage, let us hear

heaven’s trumpets ringing clear.

God of love and God of power,

thou hast called us for this hour.

3.  All our lives belong to thee,

thou our final loyalty;

slaves are we whene’er we share

that devotion anywhere.

God of love and God of power,

thou hast called us for this hour.

4.  God of love and God of power,

make us worthy of this hour;

offering lives if it’s thy will,

keeping free our spirits still.

God of love and God of power,

thou has called us for this hour.

As the Bridegroom to His Chosen   Leave a comment

Above:  A Statue of Jesus with Votive Candles, Baltimore, Maryland

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011634914/)

Hymn Source = Supplement to The Book of Hymns (1982), of The United Methodist Church

Original text by John Tauler (1300-1361), a Dominican mystic

English translation (1858) by Emma Frances Bevan (1827-1909), translator of many hymns into English, daughter of a Church of England bishop, and wife of a London banker

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1.  As the bridegroom to his chosen,

as the king unto his realm,

As the keep unto the castle,

as the pilot to the helm,

So, Lord, art thou to me.

2.  As the fountain in the garden,

as the candle in the dark,

as the treasure in the coffer,

as the manna in the ark,

So, Lord, art thou to me.

3.  As the music at the banquet,

as the stamp unto the seal,

As the medicine to the fainting,

as the wine-cup at the meal,

So, Lord, art thou to me.

4.  As the ruby in the setting,

as the honey in the comb,

As the light within the lantern,

as the father in the home,

So, Lord, art thou to me.

5.  As the sunshine in the heavens,

as the image in the glass,

As the fruit upon the fig tree,

as the dew upon the grass,

So, Lord, art thou to me.

At a Convention/Conference   Leave a comment

Above:  Delegates to the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, Illinois, September 19, 1910

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007661783/)

Prayer Source = Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The Methodist Episcopal Church existed from 1784 to 1939.  Today its legacy continues in The United Methodist Church (1968-).

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We give you thanks, our God,

for these days of name convention/conference:

for the mingling of minds and personality,

for the clash of provocative thought and expression,

for the great variety of skills, talents and gifts represented here.

Let your Holy Spirit flow into our lives,

that all these abilities may be used to fulfill your purposes

and extend the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

When There is Division in the Church   Leave a comment

Above:  A Steeple

Image Source = Wikipedia

Prayer Source = Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

I found the prayer first in Chalice Worship, the acknowledgments section of which says of it, “source untraced.”  Subsequent flipping through the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (1993) turned it up there also.  That discovery led me to The Worshipbook–Services and Hymns (1972), where I also found it.

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In Unison:

Holy God, giver of peace, author of truth:

we confess that we are divided and at odds with one another,

that a bad spirit has risen among us,

and set us against your Holy Spirit of peace and love.

Take from this congregation mistrust, party spirit, contention,

and all evil that now divides us.

Work in us a desire for reconciliation, so that,

putting aside personal grievances,

we may go about your business with a single mind,

devoted to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

For Unity in the Church   Leave a comment

Above:  Delegates to the 1858 General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003666383/)

Prayer Source = Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1845-1939), a forebear of the The United Methodist Church (1968-) broke away from the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) over the question of slavery; the Southerners were for it.  In particular, the question was whether a bishop (namely James Osgood Andrew) could own slaves and continue in his office.

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Help each one of us, gracious God,

to live in such magnanimity and restraint

that the head of the church

may never have cause to say to us:

This is my body, broken by you.

Amen.

A Prayer for Reconciling of Divisions   Leave a comment

Above:  Statue of Reconciliation, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry, England, United Kingdom

Image Source = Rebecca Kennison

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UK_Coventry_Statue-of-Reconcilliation.jpg)

Prayer Source = Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

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O God the Father of all, you ask every one of us to spread

love where the poor are humiliated,

joy where the church is brought low,

and reconciliation where people are divided:

father against son

mother against daughter

husband against wife

believers against those who cannot believe

Christians against their unloved fellow Christians.

You open this way for us,

so that the wounded body of Jesus Christ, your church,

may be a leaven of communion for the poor of the earth

and in the whole human family.  Amen.

Presbyterian Prayers for a Session of a Denominational Convention   1 comment

Above:  Henry Van Dyke (Circa 1920-1921), Architect of The Book of Common Worship (1906)

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/npc2008010402/)

I have adapted (ever so slightly, mainly updating possessive pronouns) two prayers for “A Session of the General Assembly” from The Book of Common Worship (1906), of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (1870-1958).

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Almighty God, who by your Holy Spirit inhabits the whole company of the faithful;

Graciously regard, we beseech you, your servants gathered before you at this time,

in the (name church assembly here) and chief council of this Church.

Shed down upon them heavenly wisdom and grace;

enlighten them with true knowledge of your Word;

inspire them with a pure zeal for your glory;

and so order all their doings through your good Spirit

that unity and peace may prevail among them;

that truth and righteousness may flow forth from them;

and that, by their endeavors

all your ministers and congregations may be established and comforted,

your gospel everywhere purely preached and strengthened,

and the whole body of your elect people grow up into Him

who is Head over all things to the Church,

Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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Almighty and everlasting God,

who by your Holy Spirit enlightened the minds of your servants the Apostles and Elders,

met together at Jerusalem to take counsel for the peace and unity of your church,

and has promised by your Son Jesus Christ to be with your faithful ministers to the end of the world;

Grant us, we beseech you, the same enlightening and life-giving Spirit,

that those things which seem good to the Holy Spirit may also seem good to us.

Let brotherly love continue,

and in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than himself;

save us from all uncharitable judging and rash speaking.

Let the peace of God rule in our hearts, and the law of kindness dwell upon our lips;

and of your great mercy vouchsafe, we beseech you,

so to direct, sanctify, and govern us in all our doings,

by the indwelling of your good Spirit,

that the Gospel of Christ may be truly preached,

devoutly received, and heartily obeyed in all places,

to the breaking down of the kingdom of sin and evil,

till at length the whole flock of your dispersed sheep being gathered into your fold,

under the one Bishop and Shepherd of our souls, shall become partakers of everlasting life,

through the merits and mediation of your dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

to whom be glory in the church, world without end.  Amen.