A Virtual Prayer Memorial to Honor Sargent La David Johnson

A butterfly is attracted to beauty. It clings to sweetness and embraces the aroma of each fresh flower. It does not destroy. It accents and honors life and creation.

We can honor Sargent La David Johnson’s life and preserve his legacy. Let us put away hurtful words. Sacrifice a few minutes today. Pause, “Park and Pray at 1:11 pm” in memory of Sgt Johnson. Say sweet words of comfort for his loved ones. Let us pray:

Loving God, thank you for the life and spirit of Sargent La David Johnson who sacrificed his life in service to our country. God in your grace and mercy comfort those who grieve. Silent the angry hearts who ignite painful gestures and blow harmful words like a hurricane of dissension. Quench the fires that burn through the fabric of truth and wholeness. Rescue us from fire and smoke that clouds our vision and attempts to turn lovers into haters. Shower our nation with your peace. Let your Light shine on the good and the wicked so together we might overcome that which weighs us down. Lift us up so we might truly be “one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” May we remember Sargent Johnson always with loving admiration. Bless us Almighty God to be great lovers of You and one another. In the powerful name of Christ. Amen

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God’s Amazing Grace! Thank You All!

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Isaiah 60:1

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Thankful for All who participated in the Service of Installation as Associate Pastor and Teacher Beneficent Congregational Church 

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Participants: Enno Fritsch, Organist; Rev. Michelle Madsen-Bibeau, Interim Minister, BCC; Earnest Cox Minister of Music, BCC; Delbert L. Collins, Soloist;
Sharon Mazyck, Soloist; Lon Plynton Guitar, Sheila Austin, Flute; CJ Washington, Drums; Ellie Alves, Dominic  Lemus; Lukas Enno; Michael Alves; Pastor Chontell N. Washington, Pastoral Associate, BCC; Diane Chain Cochran, Reader; Christeen Hum Estrada, Director of Children’s Ministries, BCC; April Brown, Reader; Walter Hope, Reader; Valerie Tutson, Story Teller; Rev. Dr. Kathy Henry, Reader; Rev. Dr. Damaris Whittaker, Keynote Preacher; Sylvia Delaney, Reader; Carlos Vega, Soloist;
Kevin Nelson, Chair Deacon, Reader; Rev. Barbara Libby, Interim Conference Minister, RI Conference, United Church of Christ (RICUCC); Frances Munro, President RICUCC Board; Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, RICUCC; Rev. Gary Bagley, RICUCC Committee on Ministry; Rev. Brendan Curran, Prayer of Installation.

Planning Committee Jay Frails (Chair), Jane Eastman, Paulette Littlejohn and family, Faith Washington and family, Rev. Michelle Madsen-Bibeau, Earnest Cox, Community Ministry Team – Kenny Alston, Sylvia Delaney, Jay Frails, Cindy Gorriaran, Gordon Hayes, Shara Plynton Ushers: Chris Alves, Irene Hope, Luke Krawszac, Niya Plynton, Shara Plynton

Cover Artwork Barbara Whatmough;

John Pagliarini Building and Grounds Supervisor; Michele Adamo, Office & Communications Manager; Juan

Special Thanks to Governor Raimondo for her letter and citation; Rev. Don Anderson, Executive Director Rhode Island Conference of Churches; Rev. Maren Tirabassi’s tribute.

Glory to God! Thanks to all present and in spirit for this wonderful celebration!

“On the Occasion of Your Installation by Rev. Maren Tirabassi

While we are limping away

and earthquakes and terrible fires,

and from great failures in compassion,

not to speak of the small

and so personal pain in lives

of all the folks in all our churches,

we do these simple things

that all the world calls crazy —

we put water on children,

and we install a woman of God.

We need your courage, Cleo

someone to send a dove

for an olive branch of peace,

someone to mix in a little leaven

and pulling over to pray at 1:11,

someone to carry spices to every place

where sad people need to hear

about the resurrection,

someone to speak Pentecost words

that does not know “churchy” language

but recognizes the truth in a life

that knows both mess and message,

the rim of the dark horizon

and the dawn of hope.

*************************************************************

God’s grace be with you this autumn day of celebration and every day of your ministry.

– Maren C. Tirabassi, October 8, 2017

PARK AND PRAY AT 1:11 pm

“At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured in a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip during a country music festival Sunday night. It is the deadliest mass shooting in US history.” CNN News

Awesome God we need you every hour, every minute and every second. Cover us with your love. Bless us with your grace. Merciful God, stop the bloodshed and assaults against life and livelihood. We pray for healing in our Savior’s name. Amen

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Holy mystery we name God
and in whom we find rest and shelter,
may your word bring healing
to the broken and bruised;
comfort to the grieving;
and assurance to the fearful.
By your spirit of grace
be present to those
whose troubles are known only to you
and those whom we name
on our lips and in our silence…
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
(Author Unknown)

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm for Houston!

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm for Houston

Lord, we park and pray at 1:11 pm and always for our brothers and sisters in the midst of the storm in Texas. Stop the storm, relieve the floods, part the waters and rescue all the people. Dry the land and rapidly recover the losses. May peaceful clouds rest over Houston and surrounding areas. In Christ name, we pray. Amen.

God stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalms 107:29

A Prayer for Ministers who Traveled to D.C.

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. Psalms 50:15

Dear God, just as Jesus sent his disciples into a worn, torn and weary world, we call upon you to bless the ministers who gather at our nation’s capital. Bless their feet as they stand for justice. Bless their hands as they rest their paintbrushes against a new canvas. Guide each stroke with your words of wisdom. Bless their hearts to bear the burden of time. Help all to see the silver lining of righteousness flowing throughout the portrait. Merciful God, bless their minds to imagine your promise of love divine, a blazing gold frame. As they step away from their canvas bless them with peace, knowing that you’re a God that delivers and fulfills all your promises. God, we thank you for answering our call. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray.  Amen

Rolling Back America

Photo by Dr. Lloyd Masumoto

How can we measure the kind of hatred that propels someone to ram a car into a peaceful crowd, murder and maim innocent bystanders?

What inspires a group to adopt hatred as a central platform? 

Why have we tolerated their hateful venom that disrupts so many lives? Some people want to roll back America to a horrible, oppressive and painful time. It seems to be a motive that resonates beyond their group and breaks the heart strings of our democracy. Others want to “Take our country back!” While still others sing, “This land is your land, this land is my land…This land was made for you and me!” We sing, “My country tis of thee…” It is a sweet and sour land that promises liberty and opportunities. But many folks unite and declare hatred will no longer hold us down. 

Rolling back America is truly about rolling America forward. It’s about rolling up our sleeves and working together to dismantle and stop the hemorrhage of lawful hatred. Lawful hatred is often unrecognized and barely vindicated. 

As America struggles to recover from another Stroke (an assault on our heart and brain power), we will never fully recover without a prayerful intervention. Waiting for our leaders to denounce the culprits is not the answer. I find too often the response is tepid and heartless. The answer lies deep within each one’s heart and soul. Let us unite and seek wisdom and strength from Almighty God. Let us pray for Agape love, a selfless love that inspires us to love God, love ourselves and share our love. We can begin by discovering our neighbors and loving one another perhaps one neighbor at a time. Let us park and pray at 1:11 pm then, fasten our seat belts and allow the Divine to navigate the path forward.

Let Us Pray

Almighty God, storm clouds are hovering over America and many are depending on self serving and ill prepared leaders to guide us. Some of us who try to navigate the rough terrains on our own become frustrated. After exhausting all options known we turn to you. We pray until we find relief and give up praying. God, although some of us stop praying and give up on you, you never give up on us. You love us unconditionally. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Almighty God, we need you to fight battles that are centuries old. Many of our gains are threatened. God we desperately need you. Hatred and fear are lethal weapons that are eroding our society. Lord have mercy. Show us the way. O God, break the chains of hatred and deliver us from evil. Inspire us and equip us with the tools to work with you to dismantle and eradicate racism, fascism, xenophobia and all threats to our society. Our name is powerless. We pray in Christ’s name.

Biologist affirms Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

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“Everyday prayer is a cleansing and healing spiritual experience”  Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto
http://www.ric.edu/biology/Pages/newsMatsumoto.aspx 

Several months ago, Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto, a renowned RI College Professor of Biology, sent the following Blog for Park and Pray affirming it as an everyday prayer that “is a cleansing and healing spiritual practice.”  He retired, June 2017 after 34 years of service. Dr. Matsumoto is a remarkable liver transplant recipient, whose method of transplant contributed to the advancement of science. Matsumoto joined a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital, and he became one of three patients to participate in an experimental method of organ transport.  Lloyd and his wife Terry are members of Beneficent Congregational Church United Church of Christ. IMG_1361Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto appreciates the power of prayer through his own personal experiences and relationship with God. His high risk surgeries and significant medical and surgical challenges didn’t change his commitment to pray daily. Lloyd believes God’s grace and his faith in the Divine saved his life. Prayer is a staple in his life.

Scientific Evidence Suggests Prayers Positive Effect

In 1988, Cardiologist Randolph Byrd conducted a landmark study at San Francisco General Hospital on the positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer on cardiac care patients.  The control group or patients who did not receive intercessory prayer required ventilator assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the Intercessory Prayer group. This study and other data suggest that a prayer mediator or intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU. This study laid the ground work for other related studies.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3393937

Try the A-C-T-S Prayer Method 

Adoration Loving God you're amazing!
Confession Merciful God I confess my sins and ask forgiveness.
Thanks Lord I come before you with praise and thanksgiving 
Supplication Almighty God help, save, heal and bless me.
I ask in the powerful name of my Savior, the Christ. Amen.

Prayer Chants (spoken repeatedly):

The Jesus Prayer – “Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me.”

A Prayer for Mercy & Thanks – “Lord have mercy.” and “God, we thank you.”