"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


The Year in Review.

It seems cliche I know, but I feel it must be done. As a milestone passes, it should be acknowledged for what it is. So as we leave 2005 behind and come rushing into 2006, I feel I must sum up 2005. It was in a word....hmmm....frenetic (defined in the Mac dictionary as "fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way"). This year I finished graduate school, and got my first real, with benefits and holidays, job. I got a new and messier roommate. I had friend from childhood die, very unexpectedly. And several of my good friends moved away. And all this happened in the space of about a month. And the rest of the year before and after was spent preparing for the changes that could be prepared for, and then dealing with them as they came.

I was asked to prepare a reflective year-in-review prayer for my church, CCFB, tonight. As I did this today, sitting in front of my television where I do all my best work, it hit me that it was not only my world that was "frenetic". Many of my friends have had whirlwind years, both in good and not-so-good ways. And I think for the world as whole, this year has been very taxing, to say the least. With the numerous natural disasters that have struck many parts of the world and the poor government response to these things, and the continuance or escalation of wars in many parts of the world, we can do nothing but hope and pray for something better this year.

Here is CCFB's prayer for the coming year:
Holy father on this the first day of 2006, we stop to reflect on the past year both in the world community and in our own. Lord we pray that we will be ever mindful of what is going on far outside these walls. That we will continue to be a church that is aware and willing to be involved bringing justice to those left behind.

Holy father, we pray for hope. Lord we remember today the victims of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake in Kashmir, the mudslides in Colombia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We ask that you be with them as they recover from these tragedies and as they mourn the loss of their loved ones and their way of life. We pray that they are not forgotten by the world community, but that we continue to remember them and tend to their needs, even a year later.

Holy father, we pray for peace. We pray for peace in Africa, as many countries are torn apart by civil war and disease and poverty. We pray that people in power will speak up for those who are merely innocent by-standers in these evils. We pray especially Lord for the children of Africa, as many of them have been left orphans. We pray that they are protected from exploitation, that they are allowed to be children. We pray for peace in Iraq. We pray for the young men and women fighting this war to be safe and home with their families soon. We pray for cool heads to prevail and for negotiations to be driven by hope rather than by greed and prejudice.

We now turn our focus to our own community. Holy father, we remember the wonderful events of this first year of Christ’s Church for Brooklyn. We praise you for our newest additions, Jasper Adam Brooks and Ira Lester Hays. We thank you their presence in our lives, for their sweet smiles and their wonderful futures. We praise you for the marriages in our community this year. For Brian and Liz, and Tom and Regina. We pray that you strengthen their marriages and be with them as they build relationships based on faith. We pray for those of in this group who have lost loved ones this year. We pray that your hand be over their families and that they be comforted. We pray blessings over Jen and Brent as they anticipate the birth of their child. We pray that this pregnancy will be easy and the baby will be healthy.

Holy father, we pray that you be with us in the coming year. That you will continue to be present here. That this will always be a place where questions can be asked and matters can be discussed freely and without hesitation. We pray that we will continue as individuals and as a church to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.

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