Fellowship and Blessings of the NBA Office Space
On June 4, Disciples of Christ friends in the St. Louis area joined with the National Benevolent Association board members and staff for an Open House and Blessing of the NBA’s new office space at Union Avenue Christian Church. The program included several representatives who offered reflections on our shared ministries across the life of the church:
- Rev. Dr. Suzanne Webb, senior minister at Union Avenue Christian Church and member of the NBA Board of Trustees
- Rev. Dr. Penny Ross-Corona, president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mid-America and Southeast Gateway Area minister
- Ms. Jackie Bunch, member of the Christian Church in Ohio Regional Church Council and the NBA Board of Trustees
- Mr. Brad Lyons, president and publisher at Chalice Press
- Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ
Together, the NBA board, staff, colleagues, and friends dedicated the new office space as sacred space and celebrated Disciples health and social service ministries, as Rev. Watkins recalled from Mark 2:22, as “new wine” in “new wineskins.”
Holy, holy, holy God, we rejoice that you make yourself known particularly in the midst of those who gather as your people in Christ’s name. May this NBA office space be a sacred and blessed meeting ground between you and your people. Remind us of your abundant love and care as we dedicate these rooms and ourselves to your service. Open each part of our lives and every one of our lives to you. May we never cease to be amazed and delighted, humored, challenged, and humbled by the gift of life and ministry that you have given. Amen.
Collective Act of Dedication
Living God, we gather as your people in this renovated space; these rooms that have become remodeled and transformed to be a place for faithful work with the National Benevolent Association.
In the name of Christ Jesus, we do this.
We dedicate this office space for those who will gather to meet, to plan, to dream, to initiate the ministries of health and social services for the Disciples church, your church; for all who come with questions, ideas, or simply to be connected with others seeking to compassionately serve and care;
Hear our prayers, oh God.
We dedicate this office space as sacred space, holy to all who will work and serve on your behalf; may each staff person be empowered and supported in their daily tasks; may each volunteer, trustee, visitor, and Disciples member feel the creativity, commitment, trust, and accountability of the NBA in this new place; may the members of Union Avenue Christian Church know deeply our gratitude, collaborative partnership, and blessing that this shared office space will become.
Grant all who enter here the knowledge of your power, love, and peace for all Creation. Remind us of the daily need for liberation and justice especially for our sisters and brothers who suffer; the hungry, the incarcerated, the sick, those who feel forgotten.
Fill this place with your Spirit so that all who work, serve, create, and gather here know your tender mercies and abiding love.
We rededicate ourselves to you, Oh God, in this act of blessing and dedication for the NBA office space. In humble service, Amen.
Following God’s call, the National Benevolent Association exists to inspire and connect the people and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to accompany one another in the creation of communities of compassion and care and to advocate for the well being of humanity. May it be so. Amen.