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O Lord, we pray this morning for every congregation connected with our association. Each one is unique and filled with persons of worth created in the image of God to live and to love. The circumstances and capacities of each congregation are unique. Their abilities to respond to the COIVD-19 pandemic are unique.
We celebrate with those congregations who have been able to regather for on-site worship while at the same time having in place various cautions and health safety procedures. We celebrate with those congregations who have also been able to regather in small groups and with programs for children.
We pray that they may continue to use all appropriate wisdom.We celebrate with those congregations who are continuing with online worship as their primary worship. They have learned much about how to connect virtually with their congregation, to continue to reach out and touch people, and to deepen community with one another.
We mourn with congregations who have experienced deaths in their fellowship during this pandemic. We express concern for those congregations who have regathered only to have to close down again due to the spread of the virus in their fellowship.
We identify as sisters and brothers in Christ with those congregations who have not been able to regather in any form due to various factors that have hindered them during this pandemic. We know they are aware of unique circumstances in their fellowship that cause them to be hesitant. Yet, it is difficult for them to see others regathered even when they know that is not yet right for their congregation.
Most of all, we celebrate the obvious ways You, O God, have been at work during this pandemic to draw people who are far away from You close to You. We thank you for the open doors you have provided for congregations to consider their next steps.
We express concern for congregations who may now realize they are no longer viable as congregations. Help us to love them even more and to come alongside them as Your Holy Spirit comes alongside them to help them know next steps.
With the love that characterized the ministry of Jesus we pray, Amen.
George Bullard, September 20, 2020, www.BullardJournal.org