The Rev. Ben Gosden is the senior pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Savannah, Georgia. He shares these words of wisdom for pastors and churches who are experiencing transition: “I know it’s hard and exciting all at once. Know that none of you are alone. And as John Wesley reminds us, “Best of all God is with us.”
Almighty God, You who called the universe into being,
You who formed our inmost being and called us to be
We give you thanks for your constant presence.
Through seasons of constancy and even change, you are
with us – calling us into deeper waters, calling us
together in your spirit of unity, calling us out of
ourselves into the world to serve others.
Grant that those pastors bring called into new
waters might hold fast to unending love and mercy as a
buoy – a love that promised to hold onto us even as we
go where your Spirit leads us. May the churches that
receive them be communities of mercy and grace.
May the churches experiencing loss and change hold
fast to the promise that your mission is bigger than
any single pastor, local church, or annual conference.
Grant that such a promise would bring both comfort
and discomfort – comfort in a season of change and
discomfort as it drives us all to love you and each other
Strengthen us to be your Church in all times and seasons
of life – a place where all are truly welcomed and
embraced in your love (even new pastors and church
members); a place where we find ways you are active
among us and calling us to join in your saving work
(even in communities that weren’t our top choice to
move to); a place where the story of your love and grace
and mercy are embodied (even if it comes in shapes
and sizes and languages that are new to us). We offer
our prayers in the name of the Triune God, Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Over the next few months, as our church goes through leadership changes, we encourage you to pray diligently and deliberately. Join with us as we emphasize these daily themes:
Sundays – Pray for our guest speakers, worship leaders, and teachers of youth and children.
Mondays – Pray for the persons in our congregation who need to feel God’s healing touch.
Tuesdays – Pray for our church staff and the laity members of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, Finance Committee, Trustee Committee, and Leadership Committee who are responsible for leading us.
Wednesdays – Pray for your friends, your neighbors, and the community around us.
Thursdays – Pray for Pastor Linda, that she will be rested, refreshed, and rejuvenated during her Sabbatical.
Friday – Pray for Pastor Jason and his family, Jenny, Micah, and Eli that their move will be smooth and safe.
Saturday – Pray for yourself, that you will hear the voice of God and lean into His grace.