On Sunday morning January 8th, the Rev. Canon Paul E. Donison was installed as the second Rector of Christ Church in Plano, Texas*. It was a glorious service of praise and thanksgiving. I had not attended Christ Church since I had left in August in order to give Paul and the congregation some space (Okay, me too.). I went back on Sunday to sit in the church with my wife and praise God for this transition. At the appointed time, I came forward to pray a “Founder’s Prayer”. I had thought carefully about the topics and words I wanted to use in this prayer. As I wrote it and rewrote it, I realized that I earnestly and honestly desired the success of my successor. (I will write more about it later.) The prayer is below. Here is a bit more background to the prayer and a link to LeaderWorks, the new ministry I have begun. DHR
The Founder’s Prayer
Almighty Father: Blessed is the church that holds to the Word of God, that keeps the Faith close at heart, and seeks to follow and obey the Lord Jesus in all things. As the Founding Rector and First Lady this parish, Fran and I offer this prayer:
As the new Rector, may Paul seek you in all things and not stray from your call upon his life. Make him a godly priest, pastor, and teacher; may your Truth always be in his mind and on his lips. As Rector of this Table, may He celebrate this Feast to be food and comfort for any and every disciple of your Son our Lord Jesus. As Rector of this Pulpit, may your Word dwell in him richly and be at the center of his meditation, deliberation, and delight.
Make him a godly leader for the people of Christ Church.
May Monika be so loved and esteemed here that she counts her days as times of joy and blessing. Refresh her daily with your Word as she reads and meditates upon it and as she cares for and loves her family.
Deal bountifully with Paul and Monika in their marriage, that they may live together in love and happiness. May their marriage be a model and example for others to see.
We ask for special graces for their beautiful young daughters: Anabelle, Sophie Jane, Erika, and Kirralee. Be Teacher, Protector, and Friend to each one. Deliver them from all evil and any snares of this world. Give them each the strength of a deeply personal faith in your Son Jesus.
And for the parish of Christ Church: Fran and I pray with deep affection and love: Thank you, Father, for allowing us to see your Word and Sacrament lived out among these people. May this parish go from strength to strength, always standing upon their sure foundation and living out the Gospel mission. Empower their witness and service in our Diocese and our Province as partners, servants, and leaders. May they continue to love the lost, the weak, the stranger, the skeptic, and the broken. And may they grow in work and prayer as they reach the nations in this community and around the world.
And now, in these days filled with opportunities anew, may Christ Church, its new Rector and renewed parish, be eager and able to embrace its future with ever more obedient and generous hearts, to the Glory of God alone! AMEN.
Soli Deo Gloria!
A.D. January 8, 2017