From the Pastor - December 2019
Dear People of God, “Peace I leave to you, my own peace I give to you; a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.” –John 14:27 Things that make for peace: Evenings of Peace and Prayer Saint Stephen has a history of mid-week worship during Lent, which has taken many different forms. This Advent season we invite you to join us for a different kind of mid-week service. During the Tuesdays in Lent (December 3rd, 10th, and 17th) we will gather at 6pm for prayer for peace and God’s sha-lom -wholeness- for our lives, our community, and our world. We will spent about 30 minutes together with time for candlelight, structured prayer, worship, and space for silent prayer. Henri Nouwen, in his book Peacework: Prayer+Resistance+Community states,
"When we want to make peace we first of all have to move away from the dwelling places of those who hate peace and enter into the house of [the One] who offers us peace. This entering into a new dwelling place is what prayer is all about. The question indeed is: ‘Where are you staying? To whom do you be-long?’ ‘Where is your home?’ Praying is living in the House of the Lord."
The Shalom Team has been discussing ways to learn and practice peacemaking as a congregation. Pray-er is at the heart of it. Learning to dwell first in God’s house—the place we belong, the place of peace, the source of all strength is the beginning and end of peace.
We invite you to join us as we seek to dwell in the House of the Lord, our Peacemaker, Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. If you have questions just ask! There are no magic words. No perfect prayers. No special language. Just come as you are. Bring your heart. Bring your openness. God will fill you with all good things. You already belong. You are already praying the prayer. God will make you whole and show you where God is already at work in your life, in our community, and in our world.
These are the things that make for peace…God’s work that we can be a part of in our community. Receive God’s gift this Advent. Come. The peace of Christ be with you, Pastor Rebecca