Lord, the Loaf Guardian, you have gathered us like the grain from across the fields of this great state. We are brought as one to this time and this place connected even as our nation is divided. Our Spiritual Bread comes to us, as it always has, from Bethlehem - the House of Bread and we are to share the story of Christ as food for spirit and soul as Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” We, your followers, receive the grain of the field of creation, the water of life, the anointed oil, the salt of the earth, the yeast that rises us up like the breath you gave to Adam, we heat all that holiness into our compassion for our communities. But while blessed we are also often broken and right now we really feel that with Covid-19. Or at times even crummy but we are also still feeding your sheep. And even while we fall to pieces we know we can be mended and twisted and rocked – pushed and pulled into becoming something greater than our separate parts. Rock- the name Peter receives when you claim him as the base for your church. A human rock not confined to pillars of plaster but bones and muscles. We / us / together / the people are the church. Rocks provide foundations and stability in uncertain times – Jesus told us in Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” God, you know we in NH love our sandy beaches but help us to be people of rock even in shifting times and tides– strong and courageous. On this night we become these words for our district Bread and Rock – only because this is who you are and we wish to embody your character and follow your guidance. Teach us to nourish our towns – heat us up so that we can shake the artificial foundations and instead let us rise up in your divine shadow to be the people who can push and pull your churches into the next generation. Be with us on this night and in the years ahead as we strive to live into that calling. In the name of the Lord, Son, and Spirit, Amen.
This Prayer was written by Rev. Shannon Diana Keeney (First United Methodist Church in Littleton, NH) for the Granite District Welcome Meeting on 7/14/2020.