Susquehanna LINK - July/August 2011 A Prayer of Confession
“God, we believe that you have more for us still. We have messed up. But thank God that you are in the business of dealing with messed up folks.”
Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart.
We confess that our lives of discipleship are more often based on convenience rather than a way of life, lived in total commitment. We have failed to be an obedient church.
Lives and statistics do not lie. Membership in the United Methodist Church has declined in the U.S. as a whole, in our jurisdictions, and specifically in our conferences. Jurisdictions such as ours here in the North East have found it necessary to combine conferences, such as with the former Wyoming and Central Pennsylvania Conferences, in order to survive.
We confess that we have not done your will.
We confess that we have worshipped the institution, administration, and finances of the United Methodist Church over the Lordship of your Son Jesus Christ.
We have broken your law.
We confess that in the past we have placed pastors in church settings based upon seniority, politics, and financial compensation rather than matching their spiritual gifts with the needs of the people they serve.
We have rebelled against your love.
We confess we are more often swayed by public opinion, politics, and “the way it has always been done” rather than the love of your Resurrected Son Jesus.
We have not loved our neighbors.
We confess we have moved more into chaplaincy roles in our congregations to keep doors open for those who want someone to do their funeral service rather than creating mission outreach centers to go and make disciples of all nations.
And we have not heard the cry of the needy.
We confess the voices of disgruntled Ad Council members and the comfortable church matriarch and patriarch have drowned out the voices of those wanting to know Jesus in new and powerful ways.
Forgive us, we pray.
Have mercy upon us, Lord. We are sorry that we have allowed the policies of church conference to be more important than living as the living, vibrant body of Christ.
Free us for joyful obedience.
We ask that you give us the strength to truly move into a NEW creation of how we DO conference as the Body of Christ in the United Methodist Church, something genuinely of YOU. Something that reflects you. Something that gives joy to you even as it gives joy to us to be in step
with your Holy Spirit.
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. Amen.
This prayer of confession was led by Rev. Beth Jones and Rev. Matt Lake during the report of the Visioning Leadership Team at the 2011 Susquehanna Annual Conference held in June.
PHOTOS: SANDII PEIFFER 2013
Implement the new Ministry Plan and Initiatives as adopted by the 2012 Annual Conference Session Adjust the structure as necessary to achieve desired results
Begin regional deployment of resources to empower local churches to respond to the plan’s focus — Rev. Matt Lake
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