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New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer,"" Upper Room Worshipbook

Reprinted by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

 

Today’s Reflection

The wise mind that God ushers us into when we make space for both intellect and emotion yields a wise faith that celebrates the whole person. That kind of faith means that the church can become a place people want to run to instead of from during times of suffering. We need a church we can run to now more than ever.

—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
For more from Angela D. Schaffner, read 10 Tips for Leading a Small Group on Zoom.

Today’s Question

In what ways does your faith community welcome questioning minds? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Listen to advice and accept instruction, so you might grow wise in the future.
—Proverbs 19:20 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God, we praise you for gathering us together like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This Independence Day give back to our service men and women, who sacrifice so much for our freedom. Support The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

5 Comments

  • Jill Posted June 29, 2020 5:32 am

    As welcoming as my small group was – I was still guarded in my transparency and authenticity initially. Part of that, a big part, was on me. But, their willingness to speak very openly about deep felt feelings paved the way for me to open up. The matter of safety in questioning – I think I am still probably guarded here…prideful in not wanting to admit where I lack foundational Biblical knowledge, as I compare myself to others. Lots of bad stuff there…pride, comparison. I am spurred on by the knowledge of Scripture they possess and continue to seek and study. I miss those intimate, safe spaces in our room. Zoom has been such a technological gift, but person to person eye contact and conversation is just so much better. I long to be back in the company of these ladies.
    My church will resume services in the building this coming weekend. I just don’t feel safe going, so will remain at home, attending virtually.

  • robert moeller Posted June 29, 2020 6:56 am

    Three ministries of my church, breakfast with the pastor, Sunday worship, and Burning Questions of Faith Bible Study all on ZOOM have been very .helpful. Many faith questions are being addressed in Bible study and new ones added and explored. My church will not open for services until all feel safe.
    Virtual communion will be celebrated this coming Sunday.. Until a tried and tested vaccine is available safety is not assured. Thank You, Lord, for being with us and sharing Your wisdom regarding our safety.
    You give us the capacity to reason and medical practices to follow. More people are able to worship via ZOOM than if we follow guidelines.

  • Julie Posted June 29, 2020 8:35 am

    Since I stopped attending because I felt each person or family unit was a closed door, obviously I did not have a faith community that welcomed vulnerability. I attended several small group Bible studies and again was made to feel as though I was an outsider, even though I had been attending that church for several years and was asked to be part of several committees.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and their own small group study of the Bible.
    Prayers for Robert and his church as they navigate the new normal. The church I spoke of above is also starting regular church services next weekend. I agree that it is not safe yet and have no intention of going.
    Prayers for Marcy and her health and pain issues.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may they be enjoying time with their family.
    Prayers for April and her family, may they remain safe and healthy despite the close call with the virus.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, may her youngest receive help for her emotional issues and may Lou have the resources to repair the house issues.
    The county government has issued an advisory for anyone visiting the Carolina coasts to self quarantine for 14 days and have 2 consecutive tests that are negatve to be able to end the quarantine.
    Prayers, thank you, and stay safe and healthy dear UR one and all

  • Ally Posted June 29, 2020 9:43 am

    Good morning, all. We are involved in 2 congregations, one where I am choir director and pianist (early morning service) and the church where we are members. Both are small but vibrant faith communities. I don’t know what we would have done without them over the past few months. They have helped with getting David to Dr. appts. so I could work, brought meals, ran errands for me and brought me groceries when I was quarantined. They called me every day to check in. They were certainly the church and I did run to them. The church where we are members has a wonderful Sunday School class. We don’t get to go often due to my duties at the other church, but it is an inclusive environment. We ask questions, share doubts and fears, and receive grace. There are members who came as believers but with battle scars who had given up on church. So it is a place of healing as well. I have missed our times of corporate worship, but we meet via Zoom for Sunday School. It is wonderful fellowship. We celebrate that our Lord is big enough to handle our questions. Amen.
    Jill, I’m with you : For a long time, I was guarded in what I shared in small groups. I didn’t want anyone to think was needy or did not have enough knowledge. Thankful for our Sunday school and it’s openness to everyone’s ideas and to growing in our faith together. Robert, our church had it’s first worship service yesterday. I still don’t feel comfortable with indoor gatherings, though they wear mask and practice social distancing. I do miss everyone, though. Thank
    David continues to progress and is helping with light household chores. He still tires very easily, but is getting stronger. Please pray for healing regarding the possible congestive heart failure. We are truly thankful for how far he has come. I thank God for each member of our vibrant faith community here on UR. Thanks so much for your prayers for us. God has carried us thus far and will not drop us now. I lift all of you up to the Lord, thanking God for the wisdom and insights you have shared. Be blessed today.

  • April Posted June 29, 2020 8:31 pm

    In what ways does your faith community welcome questioning minds? I have been in several groups over the years. Some welcome questioning minds and then try to solve the question that is presented; some welcome questions and leave it at that…..the question was acknowledged but no answer is immediately supplied although comments/ thoughts may be shared. I feel that whenever I have a questioning mind, I am searching, growing, listening and trying to attain peace in my mind. I believe that education and resources are key to my attaining peace. I find that when I hear “you should or you should not” I am prone to rejecting the answer and more likely to not attend further meetings. When I hear “have you thought about” or “we have resources for that topic, I would be happy to get them for you”, I am open to listening/ learning more and staying in the group. I don’t necessarily agree with each person, but it gives me an opportunity to consider other thoughts and pray to understand how we can all live in peace together in this world.
    Thank you for your prayers for my health and that of our gardener. I have not heard more about him so I am hoping that no news is good news. I am on day 10 of 14 and so far, so good. May David and Ally continue to recover without further complications. It is so wonderful to hear of the support your church has provided for you, blessings to all for each action.
    I lift to you Lord, all those who have decisions to make for their/their family’s health or welfare. I also pray that you guide healthcare providers, lawyers, caseworkers, etc., as we come to them for help. Grant them wisdom in helping/healing.
    Our Heavenly Father, you hear us pray. We trust in You. We know that we are each a Beloved Child of yours, and that You always hold us in the palm of Your Hand. Great is Your Faithfulness, Lord unto me.

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