Today at my internship parish – St John’s by the Gas Station – we prayed for six members of our community who are leaving on Friday for an eleven-day mission trip to El Salvador. This blessing was offered immediately prior to our regular blessing for travelers that we have been offering throughout the summer.
Here is the blessing we used. Feel free to adapt and use in your ministry setting. The final prayer for travel is slightly adapted from the prayer for travelers found in “Responsive Prayer” on page 331 of the pew edition of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and is copyrighted 2006 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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Order of Blessing for Mission Trip Participants
In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, St. Paul writes: So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves . . .
Hear these words again, this time as if they were coming from the mouths of the pastors and lay leaders of the Lutheran Church in El Salvador, whom you are preparing to visit:
Les tenemos a ustedes tanto cariño que hubiéramos deseado darles, no solo el evangelio de Dios, sino hasta nuestras propias vidas.
So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves . . .
Are you willing to receive not only the Gospel from our sisters and brothers in El Salvador, but to also accept the ways in which they will share sus propias vidas, their lives, their stories, their own selves? If so, say Yes, with the help of God.
Yes, with the help of God.
People of God here at St John’s by the Gas Station, will you pray for Jane, Sandy, Kimberly, Kelly, Mike and Chris, that they might be open to see how God is working in and through the Lutheran Church in El Salvador, and that with our sisters and brothers in El Salvador they might dream about how God can work through our partnership in mission? If so, say Yes, with the help of God.
Yes, with the help of God.
Now, let us pray for all who are traveling in this coming week, that they might arrive safely at the destinations to which God is calling them.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
O God, our beginning and our end, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, you led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star you led the magi to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide those gathered here as they set out to travel. Make their ways safe and their home-comings joyful, and bring us all at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ and the life-giving Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.