Pray for the Church, by Susan Brown Snook

The Diocese of South Carolina is meeting this weekend in convention to make plans for its future.  This special convention was called after the Disciplinary Board for Bishops certified that Bishop Mark Lawrence had abandoned the communion of The Episcopal Church, and this certification triggered a Diocese of South Carolina fail-safe mechanism that took it out of The Episcopal Church.  Here are some letters that came out in the last couple of days:

Bishop Dan Martins of Springfield wrote a blog post begging both sides to back down.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote a pastoral letter to the Diocese of South Carolina.

I am, of course, helpless to do anything to effect reconciliation.  But here is what I can do: I can pray.  And I can ask all of you to pray.  Because it is a heartbreak when brothers and sisters can’t live together in peace, working for their common mission despite their differences.  So pray for the Church.

For the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Church

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world
see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.