EChurch@Wartburg – 10.5.14

Welcome to a Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg view of Lake Gennesaret [Sea of Galilee]

Here is our Order of Worship

The Prayer Kettle link

Today we are featuring prayers from our African American brothers and sisters. You might find the history of the prayer kettle interesting as well as sad. However, prayers happen in defiance of men and their unjust laws.

A Prayer kettle is a traditional religious worship item of many enslaved African Americans in the United States. Under slavery African Americans were forbidden to read or write, which made organized religious writing and reading the Bible difficult.

To overcome this legal barrier to their practicing of religion, the slaves would use a traditional kettle or cauldron to pray. Prayers for freedom were whispered into the kettles, which were often hidden beneath floorboards of slave cabins to keep them out of sight from their masters.

Slaves would also often use the kettle to hide precious items and shiny metal trinkets carved in the traditional African arts and crafts style. Property ownership was forbidden of slaves and these items would have been taken away if the white masters found them.

A Beautiful Prayer by Martin Luther King Jr. link

Thou Eternal God,
out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being,
we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds,
and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us.
 We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses
rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ.
We often give in order to receive.
We love our friends and hate our enemies.
We go the first mile but dare not travel the second.
We forgive but dare not forget.
And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact
that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you.
But thou, O God, have mercy upon us.
Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be.
Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will.
Give us the devotion to love your will.
In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray.

A Prayer of Mary McLeod Bethune link

Father, we call Thee Father because we love Thee.
We are glad to be called Thy children, and to dedicate our lives to the service
that extends through willing hearts and hands to the betterment of all mankind.

We send a cry of Thanksgiving for people of all races, creeds, classes, and colors the world over,
and pray that 
through the instrumentality of our lives the spirit of peace, joy,
fellowship, and brotherhood shall circle the world.
We know that 
this world is filled with discordant notes,
but help us, Father, to 
so unite our effort
 that we may all join in one harmonious 
symphony for peace and brotherhood,
justice, and equality of 
opportunity for all men.

The tasks performed today with forgiveness for all our errors, we dedicate, dear Lord, to Thee.
Grant us strength and courage and faith and humility sufficient for the tasks assigned to us.

Luke 5:1-11 (NASB Bible Gateway)

The First Disciples

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God,
He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake;
but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.

And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land.
And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, 
“Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch."
 Simon answered and said,
“Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”

When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break;
so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them.
And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.

But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying,
“Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;
and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

And Jesus said to Simon,
“Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.”
When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

A Pastoral Prayer: Martin Luther King Jr. link

O God, our Heavenly Father, we thank thee for this golden privilege to worship thee,
the only true God of the universe.

We come to thee today, grateful that thou has kept us through the long night of the past
and ushered us into the challenge of the present and the bright hope of the future.
We are mindful, O God, that man cannot save himself,
for man is not the measure of things and humanity is not God.
Bound by our chains of sins and finiteness, we know we need a Savior.

We thank thee, O God, for the spiritual nature of man.
We are in nature, but we live above nature.
Help us never to let anybody or any condition pull us so slow as to cause us to hate.
Give us strength to love our enemies
and to do good to those who despitefully use us and persecute us.
We thank thee for thy Church, founded upon thy Word,
that challenges us to do more than sing and pray,
but to go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us
and not upon thee.

Then finally, help us to realize
hat man was created to shine like stars and live on through all eternity.
Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace, help us to walk together, pray together,
sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children, Black, White, Red, Yellow,
will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God. We pray.

Paul Dubar "A Prayer" link

O LORD, the hard-won miles
Have worn my stumbling feet:

Oh, soothe me with thy smiles,
And make my life complete.

The thorns were thick and keen
Where’er I trembling trod;

The way was long between
My wounded feet and God.

Where healing waters flow
Do thou my footsteps lead.

My heart is aching so;
Thy gracious balm I need



EChurch@Wartburg – 10.5.14 — 3 Comments

  1. As I look for a faith community because, like a few people who are atheists have told me, I make a very lousy atheist / agnostic. These are the most important posts of several blogs I visit. These E churches are very helpful. They keep me at least tacitly connected to the faith. Above all they are safe, that is very important to me. I have become tired of living in the shadows and I refuse to leave the faith or maybe its the grace of God that keeps me, I tend to think the latter. So thank you for these posts, it really helps, I think people dont post much to them because it seems strange, but it is helpful.

    You know back when I first became a Christian, I use to bring radios, small transistor radios to people who lived in convalescent hospitals, they could listen to to Christian radio, preachers, and sermons. I use to like to go in and read the bible to them. One of the radio programs I use to love listening to was unchained radio. I got rid of tv about two years ago, good riddens. The only thing I miss is the worship videos late at night, and RFD tv. The rest of it was a waist land for the most part. But I can get them online for the most part.

    When I was in a motel next to the hospital when my sister was sick with cancer I heard a Christian radio station that just played music and a soft voice quoted some calming verses, it helped me get some sleep. So what you fine folks do does have a grater impact than you may realize.

  2. @ brian:
    Well, Brian, you sure know how to bring tears to my eyes along with a laugh. I loved the line “I make a lousy atheist/agnostic.

    There are many people who will not go to church and most have some very good reasons. We understand that and created EChurch to be just as you described it.

    brian wrote:

    They keep me at least tacitly connected to the faith. Above all they are safe, that is very important to me. I have become tired of living in the shadows

    I am glad that this makes you feel connected and safe. That is our hope and purpose.

    brian wrote:

    I refuse to leave the faith or maybe its the grace of God that keeps me, I tend to think the latter.

    That grace is always there and I shall pray today that you find peace and joy in your life. You sound like a deep thinker who has an incredible amount of compassion.