Immanuel – our Father with us,
We meet on this first Lord’s Day in 2016, confessing we were challenged in this community as the body of Christ in 2015. We have been strengthened in many ways, and we have been stretched and strained in other ways. Our earnest desire has been to love one another as You have loved us as we met people on common ground. We confess that we individually have not always been willing to sacrifice our own personal comfort levels to rise to the higher ground that leads to unity and moving forward.
Nevertheless, we believe that Southwest Central has partnered, is partnering and will continue to partner with You in announcing the Kingdom of God. We are grateful for the women and men on whose shoulders we now (knowingly or unknowingly) stand, those servants who have gone before us. Let us pause in silence to remember.
Reflecting back on the fruits of their decisions and the blessings You have poured on us, we, as a community of believers, look forward with joy and confidence that You will complete the good work You have begun here.
With individually different perspectives, concerns and hopes we return again to the pivotal, uniting phrase of our Mission Statement – Common Ground – that reflects much of our history as a church and continually challenges us to move forward on our journey. May we continue to embrace and maintain unity with the continual desire to avoid “quarrelling over opinions”. (Romans 14:1) More than agreeing to disagree, may we stretch and reach out from ourselves, moving to higher ground by focusing on and deepening our efforts to selflessly serve the immediate community and neighborhood with which we literally share common ground.
May we continue to reconsider and ultimately set aside remaining barriers among us, particularly by moving steadily towards full participation of all in all areas of Southwest Central.
May Your will be done, Immanuel.
*Adapted by Bobbie Huebner