At the last meeting of Montreal and Ottawa Conference Executive, Rev. Trisha Elliott from Ottawa suggested that we pray intensively for the Comprehensive Review's work. She wrote and circulated a prayer for the month of November; here is my (very late) contribution for December, the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Please pray for the work of the review, and the questioning and visioning in which United Church folk are engaged - and sign up for United Future updates.
God, the prophet Isaiah tells us, “a shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots.” As we look for signs of your coming, your peaceable realm where the wolf will lie down with the lamb, we overlook stumps. We want to find the green shoots of new life. But Isaiah says to look at stumps.
God, in your Spirit help us to search for the stumps. Remind us to ask where something in our church is solid and old, like a stump. Prompt us to recognize where you are inviting us into the old to discover the new.
We pray for participants in the Comprehensive Review: the members of the task group, the staff who support them, the facilitators who have interviewed local ministries, everyone who has been interviewed and contributed and awaits results. During this waiting time of Advent, assist us in our watching for stumps and signs of new life. We pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, who has come, is coming, and will come again to make all things new. Amen.