Today was our start-up Sunday. And you know how start-ups are -- as a former boss of mine observed, they're heck. With All Saints Sunday and New Member Sunday jammed into one worship service, the church packed and the front of the sanctuary filled with candles and kids and bushel baskets of donations for the local food bank, I was reminded of that scene in Ferris Buehler's Day Off where the band marches right into the wall at the end of the cul-de-sac. Even during the announcements, before the service, I could see that folks in the pews were having a hard time tracking what this was all about. But on the way out of the sanctuary I found that some worshippers had indeed filled out slips and placed them into the basket. I put mine in; I took another out.
Some of you had asked if we included a sample prayer on our slips, to help people get into the swing of intercessory prayer if they're not there already. Yes, we did. Here's what our sample prayer says:
Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for all your great and gracious gifts, especially the gift of forgiveness we have through your son, Jesus Christ. I lift up to you in prayer (name/request/concern). Bless him/her with what s/he needs this very day, for you know his/her needs even better than I. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
I'm so happy we're doing this. This is the priesthood of all believers at its most basic, boots-on-the-ground level. And I think as the weeks progress it's going to become more important and meaningful in the life of our parish.