It is a gathering of civic minded people working to better their community. You are a clergy, committed to “loving your neighbor as yourself.” Then the question comes “Can you pray a no-sectarian prayer?”
As a Boy Scout charter representative I have been called to public prayer on several occasions and simply close without an “..in the name of” and go straight to “amen.”
I must admit, it is a little strange.
I belong to Rotary and love it. Working to build community and loving thy neighbor is at the heart of any service organization. And at my first meeting, I hear the opening prayer: “ Let us pray silently together each of us according to our own individual beliefs.”
Respecting our diversity and uniting in prayer is good. This was even better. No longer generic and “nonsectarian,” but truly interfaith prayer.
Prayer can divide but it can also unite. The simple phrase acknowledges our individual faiths makes all the difference.
The Rev. Jeffrey R. Gross, pastor of Living Lord Lutheran Church, ELCA, 11107 Palmbrush Trail, Lakewood Ranch, can be reached at 941-753-9365 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.