I continue to pray for our willingness– both as individuals who are following Jesus and as a church that is wanting to be salt and light in the community around us. Our willingness precedes our discernment. May God give us willing hearts that bear the fruit that comes from faithful courage.
Praying for the hard places
Our staff team gathered for our weekly meeting yesterday and spent a chunk of time praying for all of the vectors that we are pushing into places of spiritual work:
- Alpha, which is starting tomorrow night
- Restoration+Reconciliation, whose next prayer meeting is October 3 at 5
- Apex, where our students are studying personhood and ‘being human’ from Genesis 1-3
- Adult Small Groups, which have started and are pressing into issues of sexual healing, suffering, grief, justice, dementia, and the Biblical texts from our sermon series.
These are hard places that are ripe for redemption.
We are proud of you and we are praying for you.
Hunger for the words and teaching of God.
Pray earnestly for His power and healing and grace.
Be willing to do what He calls you to do.
Let’s not grow weary of doing good. Let’s not give up (Galatians 6:9).
We need each other and each other’s prayers in order to persevere.
Learning to Pray at The Fall Retreat
We learn to pray from those who have prayed. We learn to pray by praying the Psalms and by praying with others- those who are with us today (small groups and prayer meetings that are led by the Holy Spirit) and those who have gone before us (our collected prayers in the Book of Common Prayer, a gift to the church historical).
I invite you to join us at The Fall Retreat as we take a deep dive into psalms of praise and psalms of lament for the purpose of growing prayer. The Fall Retreat will take place over the weekend of October 8-10, on N. Quincy Street and around town. You can read the details of the schedule and sign up here.
Here are some highlights:
Friday night we are talking about and writing our own, psalms of praise. On Saturday morning, we are doing the same with psalms of lament. Do you sometimes have a hard time expressing your appreciation or your grief to God? Would you like to have language to God that helps you say the deeper things that are happening in your heart and soul? I know I do. That’s what we are learning to do.
Our speaker David Taylor is so engaging. He created a video greeting for us. You can meet him, here. I can’t wait to hear him teach on the psalms and then jump into small groups to ‘work on’ psalms together. Fantastic teaching and a practical lab exercise. Friday night and Saturday morning are going to be great. I recommend joining us in-person, but you can also watch on our YouTube Live channel! We will even have a Zoom small group option for those who are participating from afar. So, feel free to invite distant friends and family.
This year our Apex students will join us for the content with David Taylor on Friday and Saturday.
Our kids, 5th grade and younger, will have their own program with Ms. Louise on Saturday morning, only.
There is a catered Chick-Fil-A lunch option on Saturday. Then, Saturday night, we have about 12 different bonfires that are happening around the area. They start at different times. Some are open to kids and some are not. All of them will have abundant s’mores!!!
David Taylor will return on Sunday morning to preach at our normal 9am and 11am services (with Kids’ Small groups from nursery to 5th grade). We will close out The Fall Retreat with a bring your own picnic lunch in Oak Grove Park on Sunday afternoon.
There will be so many opportunities for us to be together, to listen to what God is doing in the lives of our friends, to learn more about prayer and the psalms, and to be reminded of how good God is to give us friends, laughter, sweet treats, and Restoration.
I hope you can come.
Our space is limited– especially the activities for kids. So, I encourage you to do what I just did- sign up today and make sure you get a spot.
“Come, bless the Lord. All of you.” (Psalm 134:1)