The Village Church’s prayer in response to the United States Supreme Court decision to refuse appeal in the matter of Bronx Household of Faith vs. N.Y. Board of Education, which resulted in the church’s pending eviction from J.M. Charrette School (PS 3):
Father in heaven, Sustainer of the cosmos, Giver and Taker of life, Determiner of what is and what is not,
We thank you that we have been counted worthy of the honor of bearing inconvenience for wearing Your name. We rejoice at the privilege of this trouble! We bless you for this opportunity to be identified with You.
…For the New York City churches that will now need to find a new home. Make a way for them to meet and glorify You. There are many of that number that do not share in this world’s good. We pray that You reverse their fortunes and lift them up with new accommodations. Through this scattering, place those You would have continue in their neighborhoods such that their witness to You is now even more widely heard.
…For the schools who will lose support and revenue from the churches and instead sit empty on Sunday mornings. We think of the Park Slope Church and the contributions they have made to the physical building of John Jay high school. We think of our service to the parents of PS3 through our Parents Night Out. We pray for the children, Lord, of these schools. In a time of budget cutting, please assist the schools in their mission to care for the young, the most vulnerable of our city, now losing one of the supports in helping them to do that.
…For the neighborhoods that will lose from the absence of these worshipping communities, not only the loss in diversity, but the loss of a witness nearby of what is offered in Christ.
…For the New York City lawyers who spearheaded this effort to oust the churches and for those in the Board of Education who first agreed to deny the right to assemble at a school. Lord, that you would bless them. Open their eyes, lest they fight for years and years for a principle, only to find that it was the wrong one. Do not be angry with them, Lord. As they seek to prop up their wobbly wall between church and state, which wall is the more unstable the higher is rises, as they strive to remove all reference to You from the public square, let their folly be manifest to them. Do not let them completely stop their ears. Do not, in Your just wrath, remove all blessing from their lives, especially that most crucial of blessings, the testimony about the One Who welcomed the children of the cities into His arms, to the very One Who holds out his arms, in the terra cotta bas relief medallion above PS3’s auditorium, to the children of our city.
…Finally for us, only let our witness to You be faithful. We know we do not need a building to define us. We are defined by Your loving embrace. We pray for boldness in speaking and living Your love, that the city would know that the Father sent Jesus.
We live by Your mercy. We walk by Your generosity.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.