Prayer for MCUSA Executive Board

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The Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA is meeting this weekend. They will be discussing the denominational response to Mountain States Mennonite Conference (since they licensed Theda Good) and talking more generally about issues of denominational structure and maintaining unity in the midst of theological disagreements–particularly related to our varied understandings of faithful sexuality.

If you know me at all or follow this blog, you know that I do not agree with the current denominational “teaching position” on sexuality. You know I have been frustrated with the failure of the Executive Board to make a clear and safe space within the denomination for LGBTQ Mennonites and their allies. You may not know that¬† some of the board members are people I consider friends. I know that they are feeling a heavy weight as they enter into these meetings. I have a deep respect for the work that the board is called to do this weekend. It is hard–and hopefully holy–work.

So, for those of you on the board,  my prayers are with you.

For those of you not on the board, I encourage you to join me in prayer this weekend–beginning on Thursday evening. You may pray the prayer below if you like. You can also go to the MCUSA Executive Board page and pray for the board members by name. I would love for those joining in prayer to leave a comment–or even a prayer–below.

Eternal God,

May those gathered for the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board meeting this weekend know the powerful presence of your Holy Spirit. May the Spirit dwell in each breath, each word, each silence.

Lift the heaviness that weighs on the board members’ hearts and replace it with the easy yoke, the light burden of Jesus.

Let them discern the false wisdom of the world from the true wisdom of God, which we know in the foolishness of the cross.

Lead them not into temptations of people-pleasing and conflict avoidance, but hold their feet on the path of Christ.

Do not let the obligations they may feel to rules and institutions get in the way of their faithfulness to the Gospel.

Burn away their fear and let them be inflamed with courage.

May each word that is spoken come from love and be heard with love.

May those who are present speak for those who are not at the table, so that even absent voices may be heard and held.

Remind these leaders, and us, O God, that our church is not our church; it is your church.

And because it is your church, we pray that your life-giving, death-defying, justice-making power will be at work within and among the MCUSA Executive Board members this weekend. We cling to the promise you give–that your power is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or even imagine. Amen.

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Categories: GLBT Concerns, Mennonites | Tags: , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Prayer for MCUSA Executive Board

  1. Karen Cox

    amen. and amen.

  2. May the God who formed us, designed us, made us unique and beautiful, guide the Executive Board, as they affirm the rights of all God’s people.

    • Helena Larios

      Perfectly stated! God loves the whole world; no exceptions!

  3. Thanks Joanna! I’ve printed a copy to carry with me this weekend.

  4. Ben Anderson

    I’ll be praying this as I prepare for the PinkMenno action this Thursday and as I’m present during the meetings. Thanks!

  5. Arlene Davies-Fuhr

    May God our Loving Creator who conceived of such marvellous diversity throughout creation help us to appreciate and celebrate diversity and creativity within the human family. May we rejoice that we are not all the same but have so many varied gifts and approaches to life. Our faith communities are enriched by a different perspectives and lifestyles. Why are we so threatened and uptight by what God has deemed acceptable and good?

  6. Arlene Steffen

    Amen.

  7. wendon74

    Reblogged this on Progressive Rubber Boots and commented:
    As a person who used to attend a Mennonite Brethren church in Canada, this is something that we should be watching. I left for the reason of the lack of compassion and safety for our LGBTQ brothers and sister.

  8. Lovely prayer, Joanna. I will pray it. What I found interesting is that after I read it through my own eyes and heard it in my own heart, I tried to read it through the eyes of people who feel strongly the other way. I think they would embrace every single word and apply them all to their own feelings and beliefs. . . . up to the words “justice-making.” I don’t know what to do with that observation, I just know it is where we diverge.

    When God is about justice-making, then God is Love. God is the most difficult and important kind of Love. That’s something I feel in my bones.

    I think people who hold the opposite view on this issue would replace “justice-making” with “soul-saving.” Again, I don’t know what to do with this observation.

    Will be at WDC assembly next week. Look forward to seeing you.

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