Friday Evening Worship Service
By the Rev. Michele Fischer
After an afternoon of Faith Practices, the assembly gathered at Mount Tabor Lutheran Church in West Columbia, SC. The service began with hymns that link us to our three Companion Synods. We sang hymns from Tanzania and Japan, right from our hymnals; we also sang two Spanish hymns in honor of our brothers and sisters in Colombia.
Following our confession, we entered into a time of prayer for the nations of the world, using the “For the Healing of the Nations” prayer by Susan Briehl and John D. Becker. This prayer requires a map of the world, set in the front of the worship space, with candles. Participants are invited to come and light smaller candles and place them on the map, as we pray for every nation on Earth. It is a sung prayer that is powerful and moving.
In keeping with the global theme, the prayers of intercession alternated between Spanish and English. And Pastor Thulie Beresford offered the final blessing in her native language.
A mediation was given by Bishop Job T. Mbwilo, Bishop of the South Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. In his remarks, he spoke of how many ways we, the people of the South Carolina Synod, have been peacemakers in cooperation with his diocese. The wells we have built has made lives much easier for families in remote villages. “Peace has a sister. The sister of peace is love.”
Following the communion, the congregation lit candles and sang, “Let There be Peace on Earth, and Let it Begin with Me.”