July 24, 2016
Readings for this Sunday:
Hosea 1:2-10 • Psalm 85:1-13 • Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19) • Luke 11:1-13
Learning How to Pray
It might be fair to say there is a "little bit" going on in our culture of late! Black lives matter. All lives matter. Shootings and demonstrations. Uprisings around the world.
Sunday, we'll find ourselves gathering on the Lord's Day between two political conventions. Apropos, perhaps, for the sense of being squeezed by all sorts of questions. Would you like to try to make sense of this, and think about your/our response? Join us after worship.
Conversations about race and privilege have been in the news a lot these past few weeks. A long and tragic history of police shootings have alternated recently with tragic stories of shootings of police. Can we have a meaningful conversation about both? What do we make of deeper political, cultural, and spiritual patterns at play? Can we talk about gun violence without devolving to an argument over the Second Amendment? How can we have seek solutions that keep us committed to the value of all human life, and to the presence of injustice in all its forms? Can we talk about both without finding ourselves divided by slogans or sides? What does the church have to add to the conversation? What should we be doing? How does our faith inform our understanding?
Former King County Executive and Deputy Director of HUD found himself in the headlines again because of his experience of frequent police stops over the years. Listen to his story here. What does it have to teach us about differences between being black and white, even in Seattle? How is his story instructive for you?
The Belhar Confession was adopted by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church recently, making it the first confession from the southern hemisphere, and the first rooted in a story of apartheid and privilege. Give yourselves a few moments to read through the text here. And if you have more time, take a look at the study guide.
Mahatma Gandhi, 20th century
"Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is a daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart."
Martin Luther, 16th century
"Pray, and let God worry."
George Bernard Shaw, 20th century
"Most people do not pray; they only beg."
Mary Gordon, 21st century
"Prayer is having something to say and someone to say it to."
Søren Kierkegaard,, 19th century
"Prayer does not change God, but it changes the one who prays."
Meister Eckhart, 14th century
"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough."