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a prayer

The following prayer was offered by Rev. Nora Minassian at the 24th Annual MLK Community Prayer Breakfast on April 7th, 2018 at the Phoenixville Middle School in Phoenixville, PA.

Let us pray:
Dear Lord, we come to you with gratitude for all your creation filled with wisdom and beauty. You send your light to us. You give us air to breath, bread to eat, water to drink and ground on which we walk. They unite us all.

We come to you with humility. For we know not what we do with your works, with your creation, with the gifts of life that you give us. We claim them to be ours and deny them to our fellow men. We draw borders and deport our fellow men. We pollute the air, take down forests and build mountains of trash. We impose sanctions so we can consume. We kill so we can drive. We look at the speck in our brother’s eye and become blind to the log in our own eye. Forgive us and open our eyes.

Help us stop turning against your creation. For our fight is not against flesh and blood like the Apostle Paul says (Eph. 6) but against the attacks of the adversarial forces tempting us with fear, lies and greed. Help us seek justice not by revenge but by forgiveness, by imbuing ourselves with truth, with you, Lord. Help us protect each other with the knowledge that you are in each one of us; you are in our diversity – whatever height, gender, sex, race, faith, religion, age, language, color. You are in all of us. If one of us suffers, we all suffer; if one of us is honored, we all rejoice. (1. Cor. 12)

We thank you for our diversity. Our differences are not there for us to just tolerate but to embrace and celebrate. Open our hearts to find you in each other. You call us your friends and give your life for us. Help us be each other’s friends and lay down our lives for each other. Help us love those who hurt us, as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Your love unites us all.

Teach us that beautiful timeless prayer that you taught your disciples, that makes us your and each others’ brothers and sisters. We pray with you Lord:

Our Father, who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as above in the heavens, so also on the earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

Amen

This prayer was published in the Spring 2018 North American Newsletter, which can be found in its entirety here.

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See what’s so great about summer camp!

Looking for a place where your children can have a great time, live in nature, learn life-building skills and make lifelong friends? Look no further! The Christian Community children’s camp offers a wonderful program.

We have camps on the west coast, in the midwest and on the east coast. Visit our summer camp page to read more about our offerings this summer.

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but instead they looked up

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. (Mark 16:2-4)

That the women walking to the grave only realize a short distance from their destination that they cannot move the stone away! Yet, they might have bemoaned their lack of foresight and, without ever reaching the tomb, turned around. Or perhaps they could have quickly decided to search for someone who could move the stone, but instead they looked up! It is only then that they became aware: the stone has been moved already, and the passage is open to the place where they received further clues leading them to the resurrected one.

Lamenting that the world and all knowledge of the world, like the mighty unmovable stone, leaves no room for the real working of the spirit, or the constant tendency to search for someone who will help or take the step for us: before these, the Easter deed must remain hidden.

The wakeful perceiving of world phenomena within the upward gaze is the key.

The practice of wakeful perceiving of world phenomena within the upward gaze, through which we gain clues leading us to the resurrected one: for this purpose the renewed mass, the Act of Consecration of Man was given.

-Engelbert Fischer
Priest of the Christian Community in Graz, Austria