BES is open – thankfully

The Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering has been open to our street neighbors for one week now. I am reminded of Matthew’s gospel (25:35)…When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me…

So grateful for the BES staff and volunteers answer this call to help others.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship Nov. 22:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b_7J2ATIzoI8E843Pr-BE3Uc-0pinpgq/view?usp=sharing

While we wait…

As we continue to wait, these words from Desmond Tutu: “Dear Child of God, I write these words because we all experience sadness, we all come at times to despair, and we all lose hope that the suffering in our lives and in the world will ever end. I want to share with you my faith and my understanding that this suffering can be transformed and redeemed. There is no such thing as a totally hopeless case. Our God is an expert at dealing with chaos, with brokenness, with all the worst that we can imagine. God created order out of disorder, cosmos out of chaos, and God can do so always, can do so now–in our personal lives and in our lives as nations, globally. … Indeed, God is transforming the world now–through us–because God loves us.”

Election Day Prayer

With two hours until the polls close, I am sharing the following prayer from the United Church of Christ.

Dear Friends in Faith,

Election Day is here. We have counted down and shared prayers and steps you can take to prepare and vote. What can you do today?

PRAY
Let us be grounded in God’s love this Election Day. Join us to lift our faith, our votes, and our voice in prayer.

Loving God, we go with your love to exercise the responsibility each of us carries in this democracy to vote. We pray for all people who join with us to cast their ballots even as we pray for hope, equality, wholeness, and health for all people created in your image and for your glorious creation: earth. May your love sustain us. Amen.

God of community, we seek you out today, yearning for your guidance, our minds filled with anticipation. We pray for a safe space to consider the issues and options in this election. We pray for calm in our neighborhoods and on the streets as we continue to cast our ballots and await the outcome of the election. We ask that you rain down your blessings on those who work to ensure that polling places are safe and accessible. We pray for their safety on election day. We know you go with us as we answer your call to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you. In the name of Jesus, the risen Christ, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen. 

As we prepare for the election’s outcome, Loving God, let us not forget that as followers of Jesus, your peace is at work in us and in the worldFill our minds with your praise and our mouths with your songs of faithful witness. Guide us in answering your call to seek justice and provide care for all people. Amen.

Holy One, help us find peace amid the election season campaign messages that often encourage anger and provoke argument. Give us patience to respectfully engage with family and friends who hold differing views from our own and help us to make choices that contribute to the realization of your beloved community. As followers of Jesus, our faith grounds us in your love, and your love sustains us. Amen.

Holy One, keep reminding us to love as Jesus did, especially in times of uncertaintyWith gratitude, we lift our voices through our votes this election season. We pray for those whom we vote to elect and ask you to guide them to serve with compassion for all people. Help us to see where you are leading us and follow on your path of love. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

God of mercy, throughout this election season, we are casting our votes in a world filled with fearForgive us for those times when fear of the other has brought words of anger out of our mouths, when fear of opposing views has caused us to put hurt into the world. Be with us as we vote to bring your love, compassion, and welcome to all people, as we vote to bring your justice, healing, and mercy into the world, and as we cast our ballots for election outcomes that leave none of your people behind. May your love and forgiveness sustain us. Amen.

Loving God, we give thanks for our right to vote and know that the outcome of this and all elections affect our lives. We pray for healing for the divisions among us, patience as some of us wait hours to vote, and calm as we wait for the results of the election. Give us wisdom to make choices that benefit the least among us, and let us unite around the common good, mercy, and justice. May your love sustain us. Amen.

Halloween

There are many things to note on this Halloween, as we wrap up our pumpkin carving and get ready to light them later…while we miss the parades, there are alternative activities in all of our local communities for families….trick or treat is happening in many areas soon, so dress warm and be safe!…take time to check out the blue moon tonight …remember to turn your clocks back an hour.

Grateful for the blue skies today and that it is not raining for our local tick or treaters!