Bishop Schaefer’s ministry with this synod as bishop officially comes to a close this week. When pastors and deacons leave a call, congregations are encouraged to mark the end of that call with a time of prayer and thanksgiving together. While the end of a bishop’s call is slightly different, it may still be helpful for you and your congregation to include a specific petition in your prayers over the next few weeks to mark the end of Bishop Schaefer’s ministry with us as bishop. His ministry as colleague, friend and pastor is in no way ending, but the relationship changes. Below is a suggested petition for you to include in your prayers over the next few weeks–or in whatever way works for you. You may copy and paste it into your worship resources, or adapt it for your own context.
Gracious God, we give thanks today for the work and witness of your servant, Robert Schaefer, who has enriched the ministry of the Florida-Bahamas Synod in his service as our bishop. Bless and preserve him at this time of transition. Prosper all that has been done to your glory in our time together; heal and forgive all that has fallen short of your will for us. Day by day, guide him and give him what is needed, friends to cheer his way, and a clear vision of that to which you are now calling him. By your Holy Spirit be present in his pilgrimage, that he may travel with the One who is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.