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.
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.