Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The weekend is fast approaching and with it many of us are making plans to celebrate the 150th year of confederation here in Canada. Wherever you are across the Maritimes, be blessed and be safe.

As we celebrate unity as a country, celebrate also the 92 years of unity that we have in the United Church of ours. And in the midst of our cheering and singing, I invite you also to take some time to pray for our sisters and brothers around the world for whom unity, peace, and security are not known entities.

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that our many denominations might find common ground in that man who many name as Lord. Pray also that in the sharing of that common ground, we celebrate the diversity of our faith, the many ways we have come to know God better through Christ.

Pray for our sisters and brothers who work in settings and situations enriched by a multitude of faiths. In discovering the faith journey of others, we can also come to better know the road that we walk. Pray also for those places around the world where a difference of faith can mean life or death.

Pray for hands around the world that are so often raised in conflict to be offered in friendship. As we prepare to celebrate, many do so in the shadow of fear because of threats made against this country and it’s unity. Let not our fear prevent us from living the abundant and diverse life that God has created and Christ has called us to walk. Pray for an end to fear and a flourishing of trust.

Pray also for this country, for while we celebrate the founding of a nation, we do so on the land of those who have been here far longer. Pray for a strengthening of relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples of this land. Pray and work for right relations with one another that all might share in the abundance of this place we call home.

In the midst of our prayer, may we also be driven to action, praying for trust, peace and unity, yes, but also living lives that reflect those goals.

150 years is definitely worth celebrating, and I hope that wherever you are you are celebrating with friends and family. And while you are all praying, please take my prayer for you with you as you go.

God of Unity and Love, walk with us in the days ahead. As the light of your love pours over us, inspire us to reflect that light onto all that we meet. Remind us always that each one who walks upon this Earth bears a part of your reflected image, and it is only in our coming together that we can find wholeness. Walk with us, O God. Act through us, O God. AMEN

 Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Richard Bowley
Maritime Conference President