Inauguration Prayer

Thank you to Pastor Rich Villodas from New Life Fellowship in NY City for his guidance about prayer this past week.  Visit the Missio Alliance website to read Pastor Rich's original prayer.  Pastor Joel Shenk quoted and adapted his prayer (see below) this past Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Toledo Mennonite Church.  Click here to listen to Pastor Joel's complete sermon and prayer from Sunday.  





Lord we come before you in a spirit of prayer.   

We give you thanks for your son, Jesus the Christ, the way you have shaped us as your children, and have called us to be your disciples. 

For the ways you have saved us, healed us, and redeemed us, we give you thanks.  

We come humbly before you today acknowledging our need of you.

In a world of hostility, we need your redeeming and healing love. 

Come among us so that we can be your people; your prophetic and priestly people who proclaim your mighty acts that have called us out of darkness and into your marvelous light. 

In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. 

Lord, you call us to pray for our leaders, those in positions of power and authority.  And so today on this Sunday after the presidential inauguration, we pray for President Trump. We recognize the complexity of issues that face governing a nation.  And so we pray that you would grant President Trump wisdom. May this wisdom flow from a deep place of humility. We pray that President Trump’s life would be one marked by humble searching for wisdom.

We also pray that the words President Trump uses would be tinged with unity, healing, and grace, and not with division, condescension and marginalizing. Touch his heart in such a way that his words would restore hope in our society.

We pray for his protection, his health, and the protection of his family.

Lord, we also pray that President Trump would live a life of repentance. May he learn to turn to you, confessing his sins, and receiving your grace, as we all learn to do in our daily lives.  We pray for him to deeply experience your kindness, which would lead to concrete acts of repentance in thought, in word and in deed.

In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. 

Lord we pray for the incoming administration. 

We pray that it would remember to protect the most vulnerable among us. Whether the vulnerable is found to be the refugee, the immigrant, the unborn, the family beneath the poverty line, a religious minority, or the earth itself, grant a spirit of love and mercy to those in power. We pray that each member of President Trump’s administration would carry the burden of justice and compassion for all, and especially the least of these. 

In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. 

Lord we pray for the church.

This political season has revealed some deep divisions in your body, the Church. We have often chosen the way of judgmental partisanship and lust for power over the way of your cross. 

In moments like these you call us to take on postures of humility, discernment, unity, justice and reconciliation. In humility, grant us the posture that confesses our blind spots and limited understanding. Grant the Church the gift of your wisdom so that we might discern rightly in our world today.  We live by faith and not by sight.  Our faith is rooted in your faithfulness.  

Lord, give us a deep sense of unity in your church.  Give us a deep sense of conviction that what unites us as your body is not our political affiliation. What fundamentally unites us is our confession that Christ is Lord.  May this confession lead us to be people who live in the way of your kingdom. 

God we pray too that you would grand your church courage and boldness in both prayer and action for your kingdom. Form us, like the homeowner in your parable (Luke 11:5-8), who received a knock at the door, and boldly went to ask and seek for provision the neighbor.

God, we have heard the knock of the black community at our doors, and so we boldly come and ask for an end to racial injustice.

God, we have heard the knock of immigrants at our doors, and so we boldly come and ask you to end xenophobia toward outsiders.

God, we have heard the knock of the working poor at our doors, and so we boldly come and ask you for jobs and wages that provide for the daily bread, health, and wellbeing of the working poor in this country.

God, we have heard the knock of women at our door who have faced harassment, assault, abuse, and glass ceilings.  And so we boldly ask that you would heal their wounds and protect them from further insult and abuse. 

God we have heard the knock of the LGBT community and other marginalized groups who are filled with fear and anxiety for the future.  And so we boldly pray that your faith, hope, love, and peace would fill their lives. 

God we have heard the knock of our Muslim neighbors at our door who unfairly bear the blame of extremist religious ideologies.  And so we boldly ask for compassion and understanding between faiths. 

In all these things we ask for your love and justice to transform the brokenness of the world, and inspire your people to courageously act to resist any and all forces of evil that malign your beloved children.  

In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. 

Lord, our society is divided. Families have been torn apart in this past election season. Friendships have been called into question. We have often viewed each other in reductionistic ways. We have often failed to see the fears, the pain, and the hopes of our fellow citizens. We pray for a spirit of goodwill between each other. May this goodwill start by seeing each other as more than who we voted for. May we seek to understand before being understood. 

In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. 

God we pray that your kingdom would come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

And so in all of this, we remain confident in the reality of your inaugurated kingdom, Lord Jesus. In your birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, your kingdom and rule has been put into effect in our lives and in this world. We long for the day when you will fully and finally reign. As we wait for that glorious day, we join together and pray, the prayer that you taught us to pray,

Our Father in heaven,

   hallowed be your name,

   your kingdom come,

   your will be done,

   on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

    as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

    and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours

    now and forever.



Coffee Talk

"You are what you love."  This provocative statement is the title of a book by Jamie Smith and informs much of the current worship series we are doing on the meaning and nature of Christian worship.  We are shaped by what we love and true Christian worship shapes us into being people who love God and love neighbor.  Interested in digging deeper?  Join us Saturday January 21 at 8:00 at Tim Horton's on Dorr and Reynolds.  Pastor Joel will lead a conversation on a short synopsis of this book in 10 sentences.  Click here to read the snopsis.  Grab a cup of coffee or tea, eat a donut, and join in this informal conversation to go deeper in your life of faith this new year.


Click on the book image to the right to see the publisher synopsis and youtube interviews with the author.  


Christmas Schedule

Season's Greetings to you and yours.  We hope God's love, joy, peace, and hope fill your lives as we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth this Christmas.  Below you will find a list of special services at Toledo Mennonite Church (TMC) during this season.  You are welcome to join any of these, or our usual Sunday morning gatherings.  

Friday December 16 at 6:30pm.  TMC Connect: Christmas Caroling.  Dress in warm clothes as we will meet at TMC and walk to go caroling in some of the nearby neighborhoods.  Bring a snack to share after caroling.  Hot drinks will be provided.  

Sunday December 18 at 5:00pm.  Longest Night Service.  The Christmas season can be difficult for many people.  When we are grieving, experiencing loss or change, or simply sorrowful, it can be hard to find the joy in this season.  Join us for this service to acknowledge the difficult times, to reflect, to pray, and to find hope in quiet and candlelight.

Saturday December 24 at 5:00pm.  Christmas Eve Service.  Join us for a service of scripture and song as we welcome the birth of the Christ Child.

Sunday December 25 at 10:00am.  Yes, we are open on Christmas Sunday.  Join us at 10:00 for simple service of celebration.  We will not have our usual pre-service fellowship time at 9:30, so just come for the worship service at 10:00.

Sunday January 1 at 10:00am.  Join us to celebrate the Light of Christ shining into all the world as we welcome a new year.  Come at 9:30 for refreshments and fellowship. 

Goats for Christmas?  Yes.  Goats for Christmas.  Consider spending less on gifts you don’t need this Holiday Season and instead give a gift to help families around the world have enough to eat: goats!  A gift of goats gives families new ways to expand harvests and earn a living on their land, improving nutrition and increasing income.  The cost of one goat is $45 through our partners Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).  The Mission Commission invites you to consider this special giving opportunity.  Please designate “MCC Goats” on your offering.  We will collect these offerings now through January 1st.  



Election Day Communion

On November 8, Election Day, some may exercise our right to vote while other may abstain.  But that evening while our nation turns its attention to the outcome of the presidential election, let’s meet at the Lord’s table to remember the same things.  Let us remember that real power in this world—the power to save, to transform, to change—ultimately rests not in political parties or presidents or protests but in the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus.  Let us remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the Church, a holy nation that crosses all human-made boundaries and borders.  Let us remember that we do not conform to the patterns of this world, but we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). … And let us re-member the body of Christ as we are the body of Christ; confessing the ways in which partisan politics has separated us from one another and from God.

Let this service be a reminder that regardless who wins, Jesus is still King.  And let this service be a reminder that we are still Christ’s church, called and set apart to be a sign, instrument, and foretaste of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. 

Join us Tuesday November 8th at 7:00 for a short service of scripture, song, prayer, confession, and communion.   While the presidential campaigns are at their most intense, may this service be a reminder us all of a more important political commitment to make.  


Guns to Gardens - Saturday Oct 29 from 2-5

Check out this blurb from the Toledo Blade about the Guns to Gardens event taking place Saturday October 29th from 2-5pm at The University Church.  Looks like good weather and we hope and pray that this event will spark creative and prophetic imagination about how to transform the issue of gun violence in our society.  

"A shotgun once owned and used for hunting by a Toledo murder victim will be transformed Saturday into a community garden tool.

The upcoming event, Guns to Gardens, addresses area gun violence through a creative approach. A blacksmith will forge the shotgun into a hand shovel or mattock for agricultural use.

It takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. at University Church, 4747 Hill Ave."

Read More....