Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prayer for the Election of a Pope

For the first time since 1415, one hundred years before the Reformation, a sitting Pope has resigned.  While many theological issues still divide Protestants from Roman Catholics, as a Presbyterian Teaching Elder, I want to hold my Roman Catholic Brothers and sisters in Prayer as the College of Cardinals begins the process of electing a new Pope.   I could not find in the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship a prayer of intercession for Roman Catholics, however.  There is a prayer for other churches (#51), for Jews (#57) and for Muslims (#58), but none for Roman Catholics, so I have composed my own.

Triune God,
although there are many unresolved differences
between Roman Catholics and Protestants,
there is more that unites us than divides us.
We jointly recognize the canonical Scriptures
and the formulation and adoption of the ecumenical creeds,
notably the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds
with their definitions of the mystery of the triune God
and the incarnation of the eternal Word of God in Jesus Christ.
Our Mutual Recognition of Baptism further expresses our efforts to move towards visible unity.
Therefore we pray for our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters,
and for the College of Cardinals as it meets to elect a new Pope.
May the conclave of Cardinals be led by your Spirit
to recognize in their midst
the next person you have already called to lead the Roman Catholic expression of your church.
May the Cardinal elected as Pope,
bring a fresh spirit of openness and renewal,
and strive to bridge the differences that still divide us.  Amen.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Bus Ride through Queens

Q-58 Lmtd from Flushing
Tall Vanilla Latte in my hand
Asians, Latinos, Anglos,
And one mentally disturbed child, autistic, perhaps

Bump, Rattle, Bump over the Blvd
This Sunday’s salvation is the empty seat next to me
I’m all extroverted out
Need some introverted time within

Under the Van Wyck
Highway of death
World's Fair Flying Saucers have landed to the north
As the child now offers blood curdling screams
           reminiscent of an animal trapped in the wild

Is that Mandarin, Cantonese, or Korean I hear?
Definitely a Spanish newspaper in front of me
The Lemon Ice King of Corona
Rules from its throne at 108 St and 52 Ave

Saris, shawls, and sweat suits grace Corona’s sidewalks
Satellite dishes straddle rooftops
As if there is a world with news
Outside of Queens

Mexican and Dominican storefronts now line Corona’s streets
As LEDs advertise CHUZOS
But Asian Characters still adorn signs
Red and yellow billboards of ethnicity

Across Queens Blvd, making way down Grand
Home is not much farther
Soon, familiar sights and sounds of Ridgewood
No different, but still home