By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, September 29, 2016

This Sunday we will worship together in our amphitheatre. Creation itself will be the backdrop for our worship, as the beauty of Shirley Hills surrounds us. And yet, I am reminded that such beauty does not happen on its own. Good and faithful families dreamed with God and offered their gifts to create a worship space so beautiful. God has created a world with the potential for great beauty. Yet, God does not create alone. God works in and with and through us to create the kingdom of God on earth. The amphitheatre is a living embodiment of that. Creation’s beauty combined with a critical eye for architecture, for the skill of a trade, for the work of the people, a liturgy of sorts.

We are instruments of God and the people through whom God works to make the world more loving, more just,and more beautiful. Heaven and earth come together when good people act in good faith. Such is the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi whose life work and thought will shape our worship on Sunday. May this prayer inspire you as you prepare for the work of the people during this worship
service.

Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.