A very personal note from Pastor Marilyn

A very personal note from Pastor Marilyn…. Everyone, please read!

March 5, 2021

Rev Marilyn Bowens 2020Greetings, Beloved:

As the first Sunday of March approaches, it occurs to me that this month marks two very significant anniversaries for Imani MCC. I’d like to share some thoughts regarding each of them.

The first Sunday of March this year marks the 8th anniversary of my service as your Pastor. Some of us have journeyed together that entire time; some have become part of Imani since my arrival; and some discerned that it was their time to move on during my tenure here. I am grateful for each and every person and experience that has contributed to making the Divine assignment of serving this church the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done.

This month of March also marks the 1-year anniversary of the suspension of our in-person worship necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ll be honest with you - we’ve weathered some storms and rough times together, but from my perspective as Imani’s pastor, this one takes the prize as the biggest challenge. I don’t think anything that we’ve experienced has had the potential to be a greater threat to the cohesiveness of our congregation.

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Imani MCC Communion Liturgy

CommunionPastor (P): The Lord be with you.
Congregation (C): And also with you.

P: Lift up your hearts!
C: We lift them up to the Lord!

P: Let us give God thanks and praise
C: It is right to give God thanks and praise

P: It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to You, Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When our loved failed, and we turned away, your love remained steadfast. And so, with you people on Earth and all the company of Heaven, we join in their unending hymn saying ...

All:   Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of power and might!

Heaven and Earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

P: Holy are You and blessed is Your Son, Jesus Christ. Your Spirit anointed him to preach good news to the poor; release to the captives; recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those who are oppressed; and to announce that the time had come when God would save God’s people.

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we come to the table remembering that night when Jesus shared a meal with His disciples. He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them saying, “Take; eat. This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, He took the cup of the fruit of the vine, blessed it, and gave it to them saying, “Drink all of this. This is the sign of the new covenant; sealed in my blood for the forgiveness of sin.”

And so, with praise and thanksgiving, we offer ourselves as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of our faith - Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

[Blessing of the Elements]

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of grape and grain.

Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world. Amen.

Like all Metropolitan Community Churches, here at Imani we celebrate an open Communion. That means you don’t have to be a member of this church, or of any church, to be welcomed at this table. We understand that these are not our gifts to give, so they are not ours to deprive anyone of. These are gifts of our loving God; intended for all of God’s children.