Trustee Meeting Pauses for Prayer

On Saturday, October 27, the Bethany Seminary board of trustees meeting was halted when news came of a tragic shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Jeff Carter, president, led the trustees, faculty, and staff in a moment of silence, simply to be with one another in stillness, then offered the following prayer.

You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
You are the God of Peter and Thomas and Mary.
You are the God of the faithful, those who wonder, and those who look into deep spaces.
You are the God of creation, who brought chaos to order.
And you are the God who touches our souls and nurtures our hearts and cares for our spirits.
May our silence be heard in such a way that it draws us together—not words heard as a noisy gong but a place of emptiness, which you fill with your spirit and with your hope, with your grace and with your comfort. And not just in our silence now but in the silence of moments that come to those that this tragedy has touched today.
We pray for this faith community [Tree of Life Synagogue], in the midst of a naming celebration. And we pray for your world in the midst of violence. May our prayers and our actions, our words and our deeds, our thoughts and our deep desires all point in the way of peace so that we might join you in this vision of a peaceable kingdom among all peoples and in all places.
On this night, be with all those who mourn. And as we mourn with them, for what is lost in this world, may we gain a firmer knowledge of your presence and those with whom we join in a faithful call for peace.
For this we pray,

When the trustees gathered for Sunday morning worship, it was recognized that the weekend was one filled with hate and violence. Our prayers continue for the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, the African-American families in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and all those affected by the ongoing violence we experience. May we continue to follow—and to embody—the way of the Prince of Peace.