LUCC Corona Daily Prayer

photo 3In response to the COVID-19 virus, the congregation is recommending that everyone in the church family pause at 9:00 a.m. each day, light a candle if you can (or put on the light on your cell phone. . .), and offer the prayer which follows.  Doing this together in spirit will help us to feel connected and bonded as a congregation.  You are encouraged to respond with a comment as part of our connecting as a church family and beyond.    

This devotion is based on the mission statement of Lakewood United Church of Christ.

The mission of Lakewood United Church of Christ as part of the Church Universal –

In this time of global pandemic we realize that around the world people are facing the same threat.  We are in solidarity as a species with common vulnerability.  We are all at risk and we are all needed to cooperate in our response. 

May we celebrate the presence and power of God in our lives and in our world –

We see the presence of Infinite Love the world over as people comply with drastic restrictions for the good of family, neighbors, friends, strangers, and even enemies.  We give thanks for the sacrifice of so many especially in the medical science and healthcare professions.  We are grateful for the generosity of compassion and care that we see around us. 

May we offer the hospitality and inclusive love of Christ to all people –

In this time of social distancing, isolation, and quarantine may we reach out in love especially to those who feel lost, alone, and forgotten. 

May we be mindful of the hardship this situation creates for children and families as well as elders.

May we extend kindness and compassion to those we encounter and may we convey support to our leaders, healthcare workers, and all those working to sustain society.

May we work for God’s peace and justice throughout Creation –

We realize that the restrictions and limitations forced upon us by this threat hit some people much harder than others.  Disparities in access to healthcare, technology, and financial resources magnify the suffering facing humanity at this time.  May we be aware and responsive to the needs of others as we are able.

We are also mindful that this time of reduced human activity is providing respite and renewal for the natural world which sustains us.

May this experience of unprecedented global threat strengthen the bonds of the web of life and deepen our connection to Infinite Love.  Amen. 

2019 Advent Devotion 21

Home for Christmas

Who hasn’t heard Bing Crosby croon, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”? Even if you don’t call it up from your music source, you will inevitably hear it in a store or on the radio. It’s virtually unavoidable this time of year.

And while some may find it sappy, it’s actually quite poignant. The song was recorded in 1943 during World War II. The song was popular because it expressed the sentiments of soldiers stationed overseas during the war. They wanted to come home for Christmas but for most it would only be in their dreams. The song made the top 10.

In this song, home is described as the place where the “love light gleams.” When we think of home in this way, we realize that Christmas is about the love light of God gleaming on earth for everyone. Welcoming everyone. Inviting everyone home not only for the holidays but always. Jesus shows us what it means to make our home in God’s love. We are invited to live and grow and find our highest good in the unconditional, universal love of God.

Yes, we may experience that kind of love in our actual physical homes. And we ideally share that kind of love with our families. But that kind of home, that love, is what the church is about. Or it should be anyway. Church should always a place where the love light gleams; welcoming and accepting everyone. That is the message of Christmas. Divine love at home in humanity and made manifest in community, especially the community of the church.

So, I hope that church is on your agenda for the Christmas season. Home is waiting for you. And not just at Christmas. Whatever battles you are facing – in your daily life, in these challenging times, with your health, in your relationships, with your finances, with addiction – you can always come home to church where the love light is gleaming.

Prayer
We spend our lives looking for home. We want to be at home. A place of love and comfort, acceptance and growth. May we find home wherever we live as well as in the faith community. May we see the love light gleaming. And may we shine that light for others. Amen.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Peace Prayer

Prayer for Peace
Delivered by Rev. Kim Wells
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Service
Sunday January 17, 2016
Maximo Presbyterian Church, St. Petersburg, FL

As we gather this day, we join our hearts in our desire for peace: Peace that is not just the absence of immediate threat, but peace in which justice reigns, all life is sacred, and the earth is revered.

We unite in our intention for peace rooted in human rights and civil rights for all people:
Where all live in safety and security,
all have meaningful work and fair pay,
where all are free to love, marry, and raise a family with whomever they choose,
where everyone has the opportunity to be creative,
and to enjoy recreation and self-determination,
where those who are vulnerable have access to needed resources.

We envision a world of peace where there is no discrimination and no privilege based on color, education, class, how you were born, language, or culture.

We gather our hearts in celebration of peace where all people thrive and flourish in a context of mutual respect and dignity. This is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived for and died for. May we, too, live for this dream. And may we love peace so much that we, too, are willing to die for it. May it be so. Amen.

Prayer for the Pinellas County Commission 2/9/16

Prayer delivered by Rev. Kim Wells at the beginning of the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016.

Let us pray –

In these quiet moments we remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who reminded us that everyone can serve regardless of where we are on the social, educational, or economic spectrum. This is important because serving affirms human dignity and ennobles the human spirit.

In the call to service, King echoes the teachings of Jesus which invite people to find their highest good in serving the common good.

This day we give thanks for all who serve especially those who serve in government and through the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners. May all seek to create a society in which everyone, regardless of past or class, has the opportunity to serve; to make a positive, constructive contribution to the greater good.

So may we all learn to live together justly and in right relationship with one another and the Earth. Amen.