The General Conference of The United Methodist Church will be held in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20, 2016. All the congregations of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area will be sharing words of prayer in worship. We want to be a part of this prayer experience! This is the prayer for April. We will use another for May. Please use this prayer to shape your prayers for the conference. This is a huge undertaking for the Pacific North West. They will receive help from Oregon and Idaho Conference and the Alaska Conference.
Lord, as we prepare to welcome representatives of the diverse, global community that is our United Methodist Church, may you be our guide and example in radical hospitality.
All are welcome at the table of our Lord!
You shared meals with the high and the mighty as well as the poor and the lowly. You ate with those in mainstream society, those on the margins and those outside of it. You broke bread with people from cultures different from your own and those whom your own culture deemed unclean. You dined with everyone and everyone had a place at your table!
All are welcome to the feast of grace!
As we welcome and host our sisters and brothers from all over Africa, from Europe and Eurasia, from Germany and the Philippines and from other parts of the United States, enable us to be gracious hosts embodying genuine welcome as people who ourselves have found welcome at your table. May we be tangible expressions of your welcoming grace.
All are welcome and everyone has a place!
As we welcome and host people from different backgrounds and cultures, from different persuasions and leanings, from varying viewpoints and opinions, deliver us from the temptation to relegate people to mere labels. Move us to know others and make ourselves known to them by name. Create in us a deep desire to know their stories and to share our own. Help us to create safe spaces for these exchanges to happen.
All are welcome and you know each of us by name!
Thank you in advance for your prayers. May God richly bless you this Easter season.
It is an honor to be your pastor,