A pastor’s prayer for the Church in 2016

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Creative Commons: “St. Vigeans Church (HDR)” by Gordon Milligan

I’ve been writing and blogging off and on for the past three or four years. However, in terms of content and conversation, for me, there’s never been a year quite like 2015.

As a pastor who occasionally writes, 2015 was one which ultimately proved both beautiful and ugly for the church in America. It was a year filled with moments of joy, and moments of deep pain.

From racial inequality, to the Supreme Court decision regarding equal marriage, to our own denominational unrest, 2015 has forced us to take a hard look in the mirror, often revealing things in us that need healing.

While I know it’s 2016, I want to thank each of you for having hard conversations with me, and I want to invite you to continue having them in 2016. It will not be easy, it certainly will not be comfortable, but I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, they will ultimately prove to be worth it.

Let us continue to resist hatred, and fight against fear.

Let us name bigotry and racism, and call out those who seek their advancement.

Let us continue to stand up for our brothers and sisters who are of a different race or different religion, calling to account the system of power which is slanted against them.

Let us continue to provide for the outcasts, and speak on behalf of the voiceless, the outcast, the politically inconvenient.

Let us name the ways our current political structure seeks to hijack our gospel in the name of the Empire. Seeking to justify violence in the name of Christ.

Let us live out peace and forgiveness in a world of harbored grudges and retaliation.

Let us better create space in our churches for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Let us listen to their stories, and seek repentance for the pain we’ve caused them. May we welcome them to the Table, a place they’ve always belonged.

If 2015 showed us anything, it’s that the world doesn’t need a moral majority. It needs a prophetic minority. Church, this can be us. Let us show the world a better way in 2016.

Lets continue pushing into the unknown, and let’s do it together.

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