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Appearing in Union United Methodist Church's April 2015 Newsletter:
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Dear Friends in Christ,
As we work our way through the waning days of Lent and prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we should be mindful of how much prayer was a part of Jesus’ own life and ministry. Jesus prayed in the wilderness and in the synagogues; he prayed for others and they were healed; he taught his disciples how to pray and prayed for them. Jesus prayed with incredible intensity and anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane and called out to the Father in prayer as he hung on the cross. The example set by our Lord is clear: pray always and without ceasing.
We, the people of the Church, sometimes fall into the rut of thinking that if we pray most mornings and every Sunday to tell God our needs and give thanks for our blessings, we have essentially fulfilled the biblical mandate to be people of prayer. We tend to spend more time in meetings than on our knees. We expend more energy worrying about finances and attendance than on practicing prayer. These other things are important, but in order for a church to be faithful and successful, everything we do must be undergirded in prayer. When we pray for the church, we are praying for one another in our need, and for those who have not yet been reached with the Good News.
I, the staff, and the Nurture and Witness teams have been working on ways to help us all focus, not on minutes of prayer, but on ministries of prayer. Our prayer cross and prayer shawl ministry continues to gain momentum, and I thank all who are participating in any way. We will soon begin to address Sunday morning prayer concerns in a different manner. Blue Prayer Request cards will be available at both entrances to the sanctuary and in the pew racks. Use these cards to submit your prayer concerns and praise reports or to request the giving of a prayer shawl or cross. Be sure to fill out the card as soon as you enter for worship and then place the cards in the attendance pads when you register your attendance. Prayer cards will be retrieved by the ushers and given to me. I will have them in my possession as I offer prayer for the people. At the conclusion of each worship service, Prayer Team members will be available at the front of the sanctuary to pray with you for your specific need. Prayer Team members will then take Prayer Request cards home to pray for the needs throughout the week. We believe this arrangement will offer to everyone both the attention and confidentiality they desire.
Remember, it is our Risen Savior who set the tone and gave us the examples of the importance of prayer. As his followers, we called not only to engage in minutes of prayer, but in ministries of prayer. Glory be to the one who hears our every prayer.
Have a Joyful and Blessed Easter,
Maundy Thursday Service will be held at Vermont Street United Methodist Church, 818 Vermont Street.
This is a joint service.... And All are Welcome
7:00 p.m. Service begins
Join us at Union United Methodist Church, Friday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m.
All are welcome
Come join us for Easter Celebration - Christ is Risen!
Sunday, April 5th at 9:00 a.m. Worship Service
Everyone is invited and welcome.