Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This coming Monday, August 8th, the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gathers for worship, learning, business and direction. This meeting takes place triennially and brings together, this year, 940 voting delegates along with visitors, Churchwide leaders, Ecumenical Partners, the Press and many, many more. It promises to be an exciting and long week but one filled with the Spirit and hope for our future.
I invite you to be a part of it, if even from a distance. Below are prayers that can be used and I invite you to pray them as you are able. There are two for corporate worship for August 7 and August 14. These can easily be inserted into the Prayers of the People for worship with little fanfare. The remaining prayers are daily prayers that I ask you to pray beginning on Monday and going through Saturday. As you know to be held in prayer by others is to be joined on the journey.
Fifteen members of the Upstate New York Synod will be attending this gathering and one or two others will participate in the Grace Gathering, a gathering that will run concurrently at times with the CWA. It promises to be a great week.
In advance, thanks for your prayers, they are deeply appreciated. May all that is done in New Orleans be done to the glory of God’s holy name.
In Hope and Peace,
John S. Macholz, Bishop
(Aug. 7) Sunday before the assembly
Let us pray for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its members who gather this week in its Churchwide Assembly. Inspire the celebration of God’s varied works throughout the church. Instill your peace in the midst of the work you have called us to and the deliberations that will take place. Shape the work of the church according to your will for the whole world.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For those traveling to the assembly.
O God, our beginning and our end, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage. You led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star, you led the magi to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide us now as we set out to travel. Make the ways safe and the homecomings joyful for those traveling to the Churchwide Assembly and bring us all at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the life- giving Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Week 7 (Aug. 14) Sunday after the assembly
Holy One, you formed the church to announce the words of eternal life to the world. Equip the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which concluded its Churchwide Assembly yesterday, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gather the church together into one body for the sake of our shared mission to tell of the love of God. Filled with your word, turn the church inside out so that we might live lives that proclaim your freedom and renewal to all the world.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Daily prayer during the assembly
Monday, Aug. 8
Holy God, hope of the poor and balm of the brokenhearted, stir up in us the gift of your Spirit that we may hear your good news and proclaim it in word and deed; through Jesus your anointed, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Tuesday, Aug. 9
O God, the giver of every good gift, you set before us the feast of gladness. Gather your fractured human family, welcome us in our weakness, feed us with your mercy, and clothe us with life itself: Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Wednesday, Aug. 10
Glorious God, through the waters of the sea you led your people from slavery to freedom. Through the waters of baptism, you bring us with Christ from death into life. Roll away the stone of our fear and doubt that we may sing your praise and dance to your glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Song. Amen.
Thursday, Aug. 11
Almighty and all-merciful God, you have set us free from every power that would enslave us. Create in us the heart of a servant and bind us to our neighbors with the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Friday, Aug. 12
O Light unseen, O Love unknown, O Life unending, your Word came as one among us to draw us to your loving heart and give us your abundant life. Pour out upon your wounded world grace upon grace through your Beloved, Jesus Christ, our light and our salvation. Amen.
Saturday, Aug. 13
O God, source of all life, you raised Jesus from the dead and gave us the Spirit of his resurrection. Unbind your church from sin and the fear of death. Set us free to praise you with grateful hearts and to serve the world in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.