We offer this prayer as the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church meets in its 191st session this week in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Loving God, we offer you thanks and praise! As the week of General Assembly begins, we hold in prayer all who are travelling and making final preparations. We lift up each and every commissioner and youth advisory delegate and ask that you grant them openness, wisdom and courage as they seek resolve controversies and reflect your love in the life of the church. We ask a special blessing on those who have travelled to General Assembly seeking unity and peace. May the whole body find this unity and peace in Christ and may we see in each other the face of Christ. May hearts and minds be open to one another and to the moving of the Holy Spirit. The church means so much to so many and no one wants to lose their church family. Strengthen the bonds that connect us; let love and friendship grow. We pray that the diversity of the church be honored and that restrictive and exclusionary memorials and statements be denied. Give those attending grace beyond measure and the courage to speak up against that which divides, marginalizes and excludes. We lift up your faithful beloved LGBTQ+ members and leaders who only wish to answer their calls and continue to serve God in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Break down the barriers between us and help us to show love and grace in conversations with one another. Keep us all open to continued growth in faith and understanding. Guide and lead us, the General Assembly, the commissioners, the youth advisory delegates, the committees, all the judicatories, and the whole church ever forward into your healing love, justice and reconciliation. God, work in the church and in us to set ALL your people free to love and serve. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.