We need to celebrate the existence of our congregation. Many churches plan days to commemorate their tradition, history, and legacy. We are nearing the fourth anniversary of the beginning of this marvelous adventure, and so a prayer of thanks is in order:
O Lord, we praise you for the mighty ways in which you have worked among us, bringing us together as believers committed to Christ to live out our common faith as Disciples' Fellowship.
We thank you that a number of Christians met initially to begin this ministry without clear ideas of what to do, and that we have remained, by your grace, in that state ever since. May your Spirit, rather than our wisdom, shape our walk as a congregation.
Your provision has been evident in the two places that we have used for our gatherings. You have allowed us to use both vacated offices and an old car dealership. May our uncertain leasing situation keep us mindful that we are aliens in this world.
We praise you for the Hispanic Ministry that we attempted to begin, and which failed to materialize. We praise you for the Angel Food Ministry, DF Housing Ministry, service to veterans, ministry to Jessie's Place, Honduras mission, and other good works that have continued, and may we always remember that only you give the increase.
We are thankful that you have kept the theft of items from our worship place to a minimum, as we continue to live openly as a community. May those times in which we lose something remind us not to put our trust in material things but rather in you alone.
You have been gracious, O Lord, in that we have never had a serious incident when we've gathered and some of us have been under the influence of something other than your Spirit. May we continue to practice an acceptance of one another however we come in search of you, and may we gently and humbly help one another to grow in holiness and devotion.
We thank you for all the disagreements that we have had, many of which remain differences among us to this very day: whether to have signage, whether to have formalized leadership structures, worship styles, wine for communion, etc. Through these we have learned, by your grace, to be patient with one another, to allow for others' consciences, and to keep Christ central.
We praise you, God, for smashing any aspirations we might have held for Disciples' Fellowship to become a large, attractive, and prominent church in Birmingham. Obviously, that's not going to happen. Continue to teach us humility through our unpretensious existence as a congregation.
As we celebrate our unflattering past and look forward ot an uncertain future, be our All in all. Your hand of grace has transformed us through every difficulty, according to your mercy.
Glory be the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.