I was blessed to participate in the Sunday Service at Madison United Methodist Church in Western Pennsylvania. The pastor is Renee Mikell. Together Renee, Donna Gabler, and I–all women clergy in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church–led worship with the Madison congregation. Donna blessed us with a welcome and prayer. Renee brought the word with “Going for the Gold.” And I was grateful to share a Pastoral Prayer:
God, we come humbly to your altar, to the feet of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for all of us so that we might be saved. We praise your Holy name because you are the one and only God, you are the living Word. Glory and honor to you. As a congregation, we come bowing to you. We come to you, knowing that even in all your glory, we can be intimate with you in the holy of holies, a most sacred place, the church in submission to you. We thank you Lord for all you do for us including shelter and food. In thanks, let us strive to unconditionally give 100% of ourselves to you. May we be your humble servants. Scripture in the book of Matthew tells us “In every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.” We praise you Lord that this is the Golden Rule to which we are called as Christians. I often ask: “Am I treating others the way I want to be treated?” I pray that everyone here asks that same question of himself or herself. May we meditate on this word as a Christian community, as a church even after church today. Lord on High, when we experience rifts, when we experience tensions let us remember the Golden Rule. I pray for reconciliation in all areas for this congregation. God calls us to come together as Christians striving to work harmoniously and resolve our differences. God we thank and praise you for reconciling the world to yourself. Your son Jesus died on the cross for us, for our sins. Through Christ, there is reconciliation, restored relationship as the forgiveness of our sins. May we offer the same reconciliation to one another in love, by forgiving wrongs and restoring relationships. If God did it for us, shouldn’t we do the same for one another? In the tradition of reconciliation—love, forgiveness, and relationship—let us pray together as Jesus taught us saying the Lord’s Prayer . . . Amen
As Christians, we resolve conflict through love and reconciliation. What a wonderful moment serving with two other clergy women on at a Sunday service.