Joys & Concerns
Someone will close open worship by asking everyone this question, "Are our hearts clear?" This is an honest question! We want to make sure we are not interrupting anyone who is still preparing to give us a message. If no one stands or raises their hand then we will transition into a time of sharing our Joys & Concerns. As a community, we think it is very important that we know what is going on in each other's lives. We create some space for people to share if they are celebrating or carrying something heavy.
As you listen to other people express their joys & concerns, please consider offering a prayer -- even as you continue to listen. Your prayer can be short. Words may not be necessary. Simply offer each situation into God's loving care.
Sometimes, what another person shares may trigger an emotional response in yourself. Invite God to speak to you through your discomfort. What is this situation teaching you?
When you speak, please keep the focus on yourself. If you ask the meeting to pray for a person you know, or for a situation in the world at large, let us know why this is a personal concern for you.
Please be mindful of others' privacy. If you are talking about someone else, it may be more respectful to solicit prayer for "a medical concern" than to describe his or her situation in detail. After all, the extra detail doesn't make our prayer more effective.
Please be careful to guard the reputation of your children (and other members of your family).
Please remember there are other ways you can ask for prayer. If you need more time to formulate your request, feel uncomfortable speaking in front the group, or sense your request may not be appropriate for all listeners, you are invited to seek out the Elder who closed worship today or to contact Mike to activate the "prayer chain."
Consider limiting yourself to a single joy or concern. Consider how to express yourself concisely before you speak. Brevity helps create the space for others to speak.