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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

Our focus words for 2023 are “prayer” and “connection.” When I shared them with our leaders and congregation in January, I invited everyone in the grace-filled family at Memorial to seek to deepen both their prayer lives and their connections with one another in 2023. One way we have been at work to help with that has been our Sunday morning worship services in which we have spent time thinking through the Wesley Covenant Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. Both prayers have been handed down to us by our forebears, and for many people they are prayers that hold a great depth of meaning and significance.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day – a day of celebration for the Irish diaspora (and those who claim connection to it) the world over. Although we do not know much for sure about Patrick of Ireland, there is a common understanding that he was the first (or one of the first) to share the gospel on the island of Ireland. Another great prayer of the Christian tradition is St’ Patrick’s Breastplate prayer – a prayer he is believed to have written and prayed as he sought God’s providence and protection as he shared his Christian faith. I want to share some portions of this prayer with you today and I hope you will take time to sit with it and make it part of your own devotional moment:

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today, through the strength of heaven: light of sun, brilliance of moon, splendor of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,

God's host to secure me: against snares of demons, against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature, against everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in multitude.

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness of the Creator of creation. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May your salvation, Oh Lord, be ever with us.”

See you Sunday!

Pastor Charlie

  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

Have you joined us for our Lenten Pastor Study online on Wednesday nights?

We have had great response to the class this season and amazing participation in the community feed.

If you haven’t joined us yet, and honestly aren’t sure how it works. Your clergy team are pairing up with one lay person each week to discuss the chapter of the book The Lord’s Prayer. These discussions also build off the sermon of the previous week in church.

As the clergy and the lay person discuss the chapter over Zoom we broadcast it live on the churches Facebook page and you are all invited to tune in and participate in the comments

. For the last two weeks our conversations have been deeply rooted in scripture and our experience. I find myself thinking about the conversation we had for the rest of the week and looking forward to next week’s class.

It is not too late to join us, and to go back and watch the first two weeks (found on our Youtube channel). Additionally, we have amazing news!

The author of our book, Rev. Adam Hamilton, will be joining us for the 1st half of class this upcoming Wednesday!!!!!!!!

This is quite a gift and we hope you will tune in and be prepared with questions! I challenge you this Lent to try something new and join us for class and seek experiences to commune with God and each other.


Pastor Carrie

  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

When I was in seminary preparing for ordained life, one thing that filled my fellow students and myself with fear when we considered our future ministries was the thought of leading memorial services. We were all worried that we would get something wrong and let a family down, or that our own emotions would get in the way and create a problem.

As it turned out, I had to face that fear rather quickly after I was commissioned as a Pastor in summer 2010. On my second day in the parsonage I received a phone call from the local Funeral Director, inviting me to lead a service for a family in the community. With some help from my friend and fellow Methodist minister in the community I wrote a service, the skeleton of which I have been using in similar situations since.

At each service, the very first words I speak are always words of Scripture – a reminder of the God’s unconditional grace and mercy. One of the passages I always read is this one:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

What a wonderful, comforting, hope-filled word, right? And it is not only for those who are grieving a loss. It is a word for all people; it’s a word for you!

Whatever is happening in your life right now – whether all is well, or you find yourself in distracting struggle – the foundational reality of our faith is this: God’s love and mercy are never ending, and God’s faithfulness is great. Always.

I’m looking forward to celebrating that goodness of God in worship this Sunday, when we continue our Lenten journey with The Lord’s Prayer. Make sure you join us for that. See you there!

Pastor Charlie

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