A #heartbeatprayer from the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Gracious God,

As we gather in your name, we give thanks for our families, our loved ones, our church and our church family.  We thank you for all our blessings.  As pastoral visitors we have been blessed from the onset of the formation of our group. Our friend and mentor Father Fred Rhymes listened to us, guided us and prayed for us, paving our way as we began the journey of pastoral visitation.  Today, we give thanks to those we visit and for those who have passed since we began visiting.  They have been and continue to be one of our greatest blessings.

There are many things in our lives as Christians that make our hearts ache: the declining number of children in our church community; times when we have silently endured wrongs when we could have taken action; times when we did not stand up for the oppressed, the disenfranchised.

We also have hope.  As we search for a new rector for our parish, we recognize those who have embarked on this journey with us: clergy who have embraced and accepted us as we are and laypeople who willingly “fill in” when needed. We have  experienced random acts of kindness in our church community and we have reached out to those in need.

We pray for social justice where tolerance and acceptance for all is assumed, no matter colour, gender or creed;  that listening and hearing may lead to love of all this world has to offer.  We need to love more and accept each other, recognizing differences we may not like but respecting those differences.  Our wish for the church is for us to continue to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ:  to welcome and embrace the exuberance of children and make time to love them and teach them; to show patience and kindness to the mentally ill; and to bring light and love to shut-ins and the elderly.  “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven”: that is our heartfelt prayer.

Amen.