Prayers of the People for Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (Year C)

Let us pray to our God sayingLord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Holy God, you knew us before we took our first breath. You uttered your living Word and brought forth light, love, and life. You gathered us from the dust of the earth and called us your people. You sent us into the world to proclaim your mighty and wondrous deeds. You are with us even now as we continue our call. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Mighty God, you have done great things; who is like you? You alone are our rock of refuge. You alone are our strong fortress. You alone are our hope and in you alone is our trust. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Merciful God, your love never ends. We confess to you that we do not always share your love as we should. Where you have called us to live as one body, we exist as divided members. Where you have called us to give our Spirit-given gifts, we ignore your call. Where you have called us to forgive, we have forgotten your mercy. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Gracious God, do not be far from us! Strengthen us that we might be givers of your grace and may your steadfast love be known to all of your children. Send your Holy Spirit to empower our hands to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and love all as you have first loved us. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Loving God, hear today the prayers that we lift up to you. Be with those of us who are [name of community]. Give us hearts of courage and songs of your grace to tell others of your righteous acts and deeds of salvation. Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Abundant God, be with those of us that yearn for your restoration and healing. Today, we ask your blessing upon [list names of those in need of healing]. We who are [name of community] also lift up to you those who we bring before you with our lips or within our hearts... Lord, in your righteousness, deliver us and set us free.

Faithful God, your power and your righteousness reach the heavens. Hear us, your servants, as we follow you to the day when faith, hope, and love will be upon the lips of all of us, your children. These things we pray in the name of your Son who taught us to pray saying...

Comment

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.

Prayer for Illumination for Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The following is a Prayer for Illumination inspired by Jeremiah 1:4-10, the Old Testament lectionary passage for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (year C), February 3rd, 2013.

Holy God, you knew us before we knew ourselves. You consecrate us even now to be your servants. Create in us hearts worthy to be your prophets that we might go where you send us, and speak the Word that you give us. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, place your words upon our lips and your grace upon our hearts so that we might pluck up and pull down, destroy and overthrow, build and plant, as you, alone, have commanded. Amen.

Comment

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.