Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Prayer for St. Luke's (Annotated and Illustrated)

Joe Scarry leading prayers at St. Luke's Lutheran Church,
Logan Square (Chicago) - October 25, 2015 (Photo: John Gress)

I had the privilege of leading the members of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square (Chicago) - October 25, 2015 (Reformation Sunday). It was the day we took leave of our historic building and moved to worshiping in interim space (2837 W Armitage) as we figure out our long-term facility needs.

Below is the text (written by the St. Luke's worship team) -- together with some links and photos to suggest the stream of consciousness of the reader!

In the spirit of our prayers at St. Luke's - I invite readers to add their further prayers and other comments below!

(PS - lots more pictures of the day on Facebook!)

Passing the peace - St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan
Square (Chicago) - October 25, 2015 (Photo: John Gress)
Made alive with God in Christ, we pray for the church, those in need, and all of God's creation.

For the one holy catholic and apostolic church in all times and places, of which this congregation and its building have been a part. 
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

For the women and men who founded this congregation, who made personal sacrifices in order for it to grow and flourish, and who used their talents and skills in building up a community of faith.
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

For this congregation's ministries throughout its life, its gatherings for praise and prayer, its faithful use of the means of grace, and its study of the scriptures. 
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

Palm Sunday 2015 in Chicago: "We Who Are Many
Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table"
For the work of mission this congregation has supported:

from the Lutheran work camps of former years
and today's Young Adults in Global Mission
to our participation in the wider church's call
to end sexism, racism and homophobia
and to end hunger and treat diseases around the world;

for our local partners in ministry:
Elijah's Pantry and Community Dinners
Lutheran Volunteer Corps, the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance
the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and all those working
to end violence in our homes and on our streets;

and for all the lives that have been affected by God's work through us. 
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

October 25, 2015: the congregation on
the steps of St. Luke's (Photo: John Gress)
For this building that has sheltered the people of 
St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square for 115 years,
that the memory of this place will continue to inspire devotion to the God who makes all things possible. 
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

For all who hold special attachments to this congregation and to this building;
for those who have been baptized, nurtured in faith, confirmed, or married in this place;
that the Holy Spirit's gifts continue to sustain them
even as this congregation's outward expression takes on a new form. 
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

For the members of this congregation,
who will continue gathering as a people of God in a new place,
that today will mark not only the end of an era
but also the beginning of new opportunities for worship and service.
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

Rev. Erik Christensen and others tell about
Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
For the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, its present and past bishops and staff,
for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and the Extraordinary Candidacy Project,
and for all other leaders who have supported this congregation throughout the years,
especially as they have led us to be faithful in our proclamation of the gospel.
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

People of God, for what else do we pray?

For all who have been apart of the ministry of this congregation throughout its life,
those who have remained constant in the face of challenges, 
those who have moved away, and all who have died and now rest in you,
we give you thanks, rejoicing that we are joined together in one eternal communion.
Reforming God, we give our thanks and praise.

Gather these concerns and all who are in need into your abundant care, O God, remembering your promise of mercy, through Christ our Lord.

Related posts

As I walked home from today's service, I replayed the service in my mind. "The part about the visitor card was pretty good . . . " I thought, "and yet . . . visitor card . . . ? Maybe it's not really a visitor card . . . . Maybe what we should be calling them is participant cards."

(See Being Church in Logan Square, Chicago: An Ecclesiophilic Reflection )

"Could it possibly be that we're not supposed to try to hang onto people? Is is possible that we're supposed to prepare people, and then let them go?" 

(See What I Learned in Church (7 Habits) )

In gratitude to John Kass, and in keeping with what I perceive to be our shared desire to place our faith "in the world" and share the good news (while at the same time not turning people off with too much Jesus talk) -- in short, keeping my tough guy cred intact -- I herewith share some scenes from my Holy Week 2014.

(See Holy Week 2014 in Chicago - Making a Spectacle of Ourselves )