The 24 Hour Prayer Vigil wrapped up this morning at 9am. 50 people participated in praying over the course of 24 hours! Some prayed in the sanctuary with dimmed lights, candles, and 11 prayer stations to help prompt their prayers when words seemed hard to find. They could sit in silence, walk a labyrinth, rub a a prayer rock, make blessing bracelets, draw or paint, write down confessions and rip them up into tiny pieces... Or any number of other ways they found to talk to God. We also had people praying from their homes - and one from a beach in Florida! We had 7 people volunteer to come in and watch over the building - enabling the peace and quiet for our pray-ers. A huge gift!
The Education Hour seemed to be bustling:
* The Children practiced for their performance during worship, and made "getting to know you posters." Be on the look out in future weeks for these fabulous posters in the fellowship hall!
* The Confirmands talked about the story of Zacchaeus, and what it means to take the bad things we've done and turn towards a life with Jesus... and how to make amends for our mistakes. We had some great discussion about things that happen in our everyday lives!
* Wired Word talked about a community that invited people to move there (with land and financial incentives)... and when one family moved there they were not welcomed or wanted. The discussion was based on how do we make visitors and new members feel in this faith community - what are our motives for welcoming, and how can we do a better job?
* Tom and Mari started their class today! They focused on the Christian writer, Kathleen Norris. I heard it was a great discussion - with background, quotes, and stories.
Worship was lively and meaningful. Our District Superintendant, Liz Lopez joined us and shared her thoughts about finding "stillness" in our prayer times... Really quieting ourselves to listen for God in the difficult moments. The children sang - and did a GREAT job! The choir sang a lovely version of "What a Friend We Have In Jesus." And the mood was all around uplifting!
Following worship, we had a tasty fellowship time. Many people gathered around the table with Liz to ask questions and hear how the Methodist church is doing. And lastly, following that time, was the first Israel meeting! We found out some more details and saw a power point of some of the places we will be visiting. If you're thinking about going on this trip, be sure to let Pastor Penny know!
God is doing great things here - I'm so glad to be a part of it!
Director of Youth and Outreach at St. Paul's United Methodist Church AND a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, an aunt, a god-mother, a volunteer, a woman of faith, and one who chooses to live in joy and gratefulness... Here I write mostly about faith and life - and would love to hear your comments and stories, for I believe that is how we learn and grow together!