Reclamation Project

I’m overdue on sharing what’s been going on in worship as we’ve gathered at Newberg Friends.

Two Sundays ago, we came to the first (of two!) endings in the book of John. I was very drawn to the word, “life”. “These (the things Jesus did) are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) We had much sharing on the entire journey through the book of John that morning, and I shared briefly, as God led, so I have nothing to post.

This past Sunday was our look at the second ending of the book of John in chapter 21, and we specifically looked at Peter’s healing. Here’s what I shared. The best part of the day, though, was the way the Spirit led us to pray for and honor those in our church family who are retired.

For a long time, one of our practices at Newberg Friends has been to pray a commissioning prayer for those who are traveling overseas. Friends used to give a “traveling minute” to their members, blessing them and commending them to others to whom God might lead. This is the same idea, to pray for God to use them as they travel abroad.

We’ve been stretching the idea lately, praying for individuals in our meeting who aren’t going anywhere, but are simply going about their regular life. We’ve been commissioning them to live as God leads in the mundane facets of life, recognizing that we all are ministers, we all have a calling to serve God, not just pastors and missionaries. It’s been great! This past Sunday, we stretched it even further. We commissioned a whole group of people, those who are retired. The world we live in often speaks a lie to us, that we are only valuable when we have something tangible to offer the world in work. We wanted to recognize that God values each of us because we are God’s children, and to recognize that those who are older still have much to offer us. It was a wonderful time of prayer that led to great sharing and affirmation from others as well. A good day!

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