Dear Members and Friends,

I turn again to the words of Howard Thurman, 20th century pastor, chaplain, theo- logian, and philosopher. This is a meditation and prayer I think of as appropriate for use before worship. It is from his book, The Growing Edge.

How good it is to sit in the midst of the congregation – each with private thoughts and desires, mingling these in one muted chorus with the thoughts and desires of others whom we touch and see. All this we do without the prying eye and the curious stare. All this we expose to the mind, to the heart, to the love of God. We think of the sick of body and mind, those whose names we call in the quietness, and of numberless others whose misery may be known only to God. We think of those across the sea, symbols for power and place, whose decisions may determine for the rest of us long nightmares of anguish or stretches of tranquility beneath the friendly sky. We think of ourselves, the loneliness of our own struggles; the sins of our lives; the limitations, the weaknesses; the mounting hopes, the hills of joy from which we see so far; our families, our children, our friends, our enemies.

O God our Father, we have no words, no words by which we dare express the things that stir within us. We lay bare ourselves, our world, before Thee in the quiet- ness. Brood over our spirits with Thy great tenderness and understanding and judg- ment, so that each of us will find, in some strange new way, strength for our weakness, health for our illness, guidance for our journey. This is the stirring of our hearts, O God, our Father.

Joyful Summer Days to Each and All,

Reverend David R. Harkness, Minister

David R. Harkness
David R. HarknessIPC Minister