When the MLT meets for our day-long meetings, we begin the day praying for the congregations of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference (IMMC). Our last meeting occurred the day before Pentecost Sunday. The Covid-19 death toll recently surpassed the 100,000 mark. Protests rose up regarding the death of George Floyd and racial injustice plaguing our country. The evening before our meeting I saw many disturbing images. My heart was heavy that Saturday morning. I did not much feel like leading an MLT meeting.
Naomi Yoder began our “Zoom day” in prayer. At the end of that prayer, I was left speechless. My heart was comforted. I did not want to rush onto the next agenda item. So I sat there. Resting. Soaking in the loving embrace of God.
Naomi incorporated a Jan Richardson prayer titled “This Grace That Scorches Us: A Blessing for Pentecost Day” (from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons), along with one of Richardson’s images titled “Pentecost Fire.” This became for me a prayer of hope and expectation as we delegates will soon gather for our Annual Sessions. After the MLT members took turns naming every congregation in our conference, our prayer continued: