Just Us, Justice
A Prayer Reflection: Contemporary Anne Lamott, suggests the only three prayers that you really need are ”Help”, “Wow” and “Thank you”. These 3 words are about all I can muster these days.
Our Biblical stories tell us time and again our heritage as the people of God. From our holy scriptures we have stories, and we have sentences. In both of these experiences we can find ourselves. The Rev. Karl Ernest, senior minister of First, Richardson, Texas, took time with me as a child to teach me about prayer. From him I learned that prayer was a conversation of listening and telling it was not a grocery list or a wish list, but it was an experience that was essential to my life in knowing God as revealed by Christ. Prayer was an exercise, an opportunity to discern, learn and be changed by the Holy.
While he shared many stories of the people of God beseeching, explaining, asking, complaining and even whining, he challenged me to ruminate on Psalm 37:7 .” Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Of course, as a child I first read this believing that if I can make God happy, I would get a yellow Volkswagen one day.
Schleiermacher believed that, “If we want to pray in Jesus’ name, we must first of all pray in the spirit and manner in which He was accustomed to praying “our prayers must be like Jesus’ ”. Kierkegaard wrote that “The function of prayer is not to influence God , but rather change the nature of the one who prays.”
Research from Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University, time and again demonstrates the difference between an individual being told that they are being prayed for compared to an individual who actually hears the prayer. So, I no longer promise to pray for someone without saying a prayer right then and there….no more ‘thinking about you’, just praying.
Pray with me right now please: “God above we want to experience your grace, mercy, presence in our lives. Living Eternal Word who is revealed in both what is written, spoken and heard , remind us in these days, and in each of our relationships, to practice knowing the presence of the Holy in both our self and the other. We long for you God. Amen”
Presbytery Meeting is no longer defined by distance drive!
Reminder that Friday, September 25th will aim for our first virtual, Zoom Presbytery Meeting, the 147th Palo Duro Presbytery Meeting to be precise. It will be held from 5-7:30 PM. We will aim for a succinct meeting including a reformed worship service that features PDP seminary intern Carlo Sosa-Ortiz. This has been creatively planned by the Common Life Ministry Team and others. The Zoom Link is below. Commissioner and minister packets will be available on the Web site on September 15. The theme of our unique time together is “Just Us, Justice”.
The third meeting of the Presbytery is the key meeting where we will review and approve the budget, the nomination brought forth by the Nominations and Representation Ministry, and perhaps most excitedly the Preparation for Ministry Team Moderator Rev. Dr. Janice Six will present Ruling Elder Sara Core. She has completed her Certificate in Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Seminary. She will receive questions from the virtual floor of presbytery to in turn be released to seek a call for a potential Commissioned Pastor. It is something to see.
Our Mission project for September
From First Presbyterian Church, Plainview: Our Mission project for September is putting together Hygiene bags for the areas in Louisiana and East Texas that were affected by Hurricane Laura. You can make your own bag or donate money and the Mission Committee will do the shopping for you. Address to send money: First Presbyterian Church, 2101 Utica, Plainview, TX 79072. We need all bags/monetary donations by September 27, please! Here is the link of needed items. Look for hygiene kits only
URGENT Feedback from ministers in West Louisiana is that the humanitarian need is great. There are so many disasters to report currently that the devastation of East Texas and Western Louisiana is unknown to many.
Palo Duro Presbytery’s Karen Hawkins and Sherry Thompson with First Presbyterian Church in Plainview have put out the challenge all of us (individuals and churches) to please send your home-made hygiene bags (your kits may look similar but not exactly. That’s ok. Do kits/bags that you’d want in an emergency) and send directly to the point of need to:
South Louisiana Presbyterian
12909 Old Hammond Hwy
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Or just as important, Palo Duro, – please consider donations via Disaster Relief (you can make it specific to Hurricane Relief). https://pda.pcusa.org/page/give/