Prayer for the PCUSA congregations in the New Year

This week The Mission Yearbook focused on the church membership of the PCUSA in 2017. For the last 50 years the church has shown a decline in membership.  The sharpest decline of membership has been in the last few years as congregations have been dismissed to other denominations, mostly because of the 2010 action of the General Assembly to allow ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as church officers and the 2014  Assembly vote to allow same gender marriage.

2017 showed a slow in the decline in membership as the loss of congregations has slowed.  Even though our membership continues to decline, this does not mean the church is dying. Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, insists, “The church is not dying, it is reforming…that reformation must be built on a vision of God’s kin-dom that is compelling to people who find us lacking. We have that vision – it is part and parcel of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We simply must find new ways to proclaim it and, more importantly, live it out in our congregations.”

Let us pray for our PCUSA congregations as they move into a new year and new opportunities for God’s mission and ministry

Gracious God, keep us mindful of all those who need your Spirit shining through us, and use us to help your church grow. Through ministries of compassion and service, may we reflect your love. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.