For many congregations, Sept. 8 launched the beginning of a new Sunday school season and marked Christian Formation Sunday with a focus on “remembering each other in our prayers.”
But Christian faith formation and the act of praying for each other shouldn’t be relegated to a single Sunday celebration; it is a lifelong calling for the entire faith community. This ministry of cultivating and nurturing Christ’s disciples involves our homes, our congregations and our Mennonite schools—for those from pre-school through post-secondary levels. Faith formation also involves each individual’s mysterious, creative dance with God’s Holy Spirit.
There are a number of ways we can remember and bless each other through prayer as we engage in Christian formation throughout the year:
- Consider offering regular dedication prayers for Sunday school teachers and students from the “Sunday school teacher dedication litany”
- Remember the significance of intergenerational relationships in your congregation and pray: “We commit ourselves to being spiritual grandparents and grandchildren in this family of faith. We will help each other find and enjoy our place in God’s big family. We will help each other discover God’s love and truth, and nurture it in our hearts, minds and actions so that God’s blessings can keep on flowing through us and our friendships,” from the 2013 Christian Formation Sunday: Grandparents Day resource (http://mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/2139).
- Share these words of blessing from a letter to our congregations offered by Karen Martens Zimmerly, Mennonite Church Canada’s denominational minister: “We bless all those who are called to the church’s ministry of faith formation that cultivates maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. We invite you to take some time to reflect on the significance of ‘Why Mennonite education matters’ and pray for our Mennonite post-secondary schools who are partners with the church.”
- Remember our Mennonite church schools in your prayers. Learn more about our schools through the brochure, “Mennonite education: Real faith for real life” (http://mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/2140).
MennoMedia’s Mary Ann Weber offers this prayer of sending in the 2013 Formation Sunday bulletin resource: “As we leave this space, may we remember each other in our prayers, and give thanks for the joy and encouragement we receive from one another. May we be strengthened to share our faith with others as fellow adventurers on the journey with Jesus. May the grace of God lead us in right paths so that we forever love the Lord and observe the Lord’s commandments. May we choose the life the Lord offers us.”
Indeed, let’s remember each other in our prayers!
Elsie Rempel is a Formation consultant with Mennonite Church Canada.