Prayers of the People | Second Sunday in Lent (Year C)

Let us pray to God saying:gracious and merciful God, may your goodness shine upon us.

Holy God, you are our light and our salvation, the stronghold of our lives. Our confidence is in you who created us and creates us anew even this day. On this journey to the cross, show us the guidance and grace that you so abundantly have given to those who have gone before us. Gracious and merciful God, may your goodness shine upon us.

God of the cross, we are no strangers to trials and tribulations. When we are tempted to give in to fear and to give in to the evil that assails us, strengthen our hearts and steady our gaze upon your Son who goes with us in this wilderness. May we not forget the brilliance of his transfigured face and the power of his healing touch as we traverse this Lenten journey. Gracious and merciful God, may your goodness shine upon us.

God of all goodness and grace, your light shines in the darkness and illumines the path ahead. Do not hide your face from us but turn to us, your servants, as we are gathered and sent in the name of your Son. Send your Spirit into this place that we might do the work of his church and carry the good news of the gospel to every corner of the earth. Gracious and merciful God, may your goodness shine upon us.

God of life, we pray this day for your children in places that cry out for your goodness and your grace. We who are [name of community] pray this day for your presence to be made known in those places where justice is needed and violence is far too commonplace. Empower us to speak your Word in the wilderness of this World. Gracious and merciful God, may your goodness shine upon us.

God who hears our every cry, we pray this day for [prayer concerns of the community]. Hear us as we pray, either within our hearts or upon our lips, those we hold this day in prayer... Gracious and merciful God, may your goodness shine upon us.

Holy God, hear our prayers this day and renew our hearts for the journey ahead as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray saying: Our Father, who art in heaven...

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Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.