Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tomorrow's Offering

The week was good. Tomorrow's sermon will focus on Jesus' sending of the 70 disciples into the Galilean countryside to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

I should say something about the reason I write my prayers. I know there are some who think that writing prayers in advance isn't a very good thing. I understand why they feel that way. I grew up feeling that way. I used to think that if a person read a prayer it meant they didn't really believe it. If anybody did that at home church (and I don't recall any brave souls who bucked the trend in my home church) they would have lost serious sincerity points.

That's how I felt before I began leading people in prayer. Leading public prayer is a different animal than praying by yourself in your closet. The goal isn't to express your own thoughts, feelings, or concerns. The goal is to be a voice for the community before God. If I don't prepare my prayers I find that I am even more likely to overlook community needs (even writing my prayers doesn't solve that problem completely).

There is another goal. Language and words are cheapened in our world. They fly around like paper wads in a third grade classroom. There is value in stopping and thinking about how we craft our words before God. Sometimes I accomplish my goals, sometimes I don't, but it is worth the extra time it takes to prepare the words I speak publicly to God.

If I come across as insincere, I am willing to take that criticism. In the long run I think most people know that I mean what I say in my public prayers--at least as much as people who continually repeat the same phrases that roll continually and unthinkingly off their tongues.

That said ... I haven't received any flack of late, though I still hear the occasional word of curiosity about the practice.

Prayers of the Church for Grandview
September 30, 2007

As dew restores the fragile field grass, as sleep restores fatigued flesh, as hope restores life, restore our souls by making yourself known to us through the spoken Word, the sung note, the uttered prayer, the broken bread, the emptying cup.

You have promised to be present where two or more gather in your name, and so we intentionally assemble under this roof as an offering to you. We don’t leave our lives behind us in the outside world; we push them together and raise them to you.

For breathing us into existence and equipping us with the gift of appreciation, we worship you. For the beauty of the earth that reflects your own, we worship you. For providing the light of hope and purpose, we worship you.

Just as we cannot create ourselves, we cannot re-create ourselves. We turn to you for the grace that splashes from your ocean tides of mercy. Forgive us for looking to our own interests, for separating from one another and hoping that would bring us closer to you, for making ourselves into advanced teams of our own agendas.

As you sent the disciples, send us, in unison. As you empowered the disciples to be agents of your healing, empower us. As you gave the gift of the fullness of your peace to the disciples to share with their hosts, give to us. By your power and grace, may the Kingdom of God flower in our footsteps.

May the supremacy and sway of God be made visible in the healing of those who are sick, the comforting of those who grieve deep in their souls, the protection of those who are in such danger that they live on alert, the budding of hope in those who find themselves in prisons of depression, and the realization of your presence and peace for those who stand alone before the dark and imposing face of death.

Hear the requests we make in the silence and help us to hear what you would say to us:


Make our lives and our words your proclamation, O God, that your kingdom has beautifully and powerfully arrived on Earth. We pray as you have taught us …

Friday, September 28, 2007

Blog Silence

Haven't had enough gumption to blog the past couple of days. I took Thursday off, which allowed me to go to the Interfaith Hospitality Network clergy appreciation breakfast (not exactly what I want to do on my day off, but I think IHN is one of the best things we do at Grandview).

Later I made my way to Greenville to meet my Beeson bud, Scott, for lunch (all I do is eat on my days off). As always, it was a treat to spend time with Scott at Stan's Barbecue (pictured below).
That's all I've got for the blog today. Other than my day off it has been normal minister work this week. Tomorrow I should be on schedule to post the prayer. Until then ... peace.

Monday, September 24, 2007

More on Rusaw

First Christian sponsored another Q and A with Rick Rusaw this morning (thanks, FCCJC, for all of the work your staff did to put the convention together). I was surprised to learn that Rusaw once attended worship at Grandview when he was in town (don't know if he liked it or not).

The fire alarm went off in the middle of this event as well! I took a video of everybody exiting the facility, but then I figured nobody wants to watch THAT video, not even in fast motion.

My favorite thing that Rusaw said? Probably that Lifebridge doesn't do the "happy Jesus" thing when they are serving the community. "We don't wear Lifebridge t-shirts, or 'turn or burn' t-shirts. We just serve in Christlike love and let God do the math. We want to be there with non-Christians when the pivotal moments in life arrive. We want to be present when it counts and already have a relationship of trust in place when people find themselves open to God."

That's not an exact quote ... but I'm working from memory here.Here is the Johnson City brain trust. Robbie Phillips from Harrison Christian Church, John Marr from Grandview, Mike Imboden from First, and (of course) Rusaw.Here is Tim Wallingford (our host), who did a great job leading the charge to bring Rusaw to Johnson City. Thanks, Tim.

Monday Miscellaneous

I am ashamed to tell you that I was out-maneuvered by my daughter, Cora, in a conversation last night. Cindy took Cora to see the Barlow Girls and TobyMac in concert while I was at the East Tennessee Christian Convention and while her sisters were at church.

"How was the concert?" I asked.

"Awesome." She said. Being a pestering father, I decided not to stop there.

"Oh honey, I'm sorry it was awful."

"No, Dad. Awesome!"

"Were you full of awe?" I asked, going in an obvious direction.

"Some." She said, with a smile.Yesterday was a good day around here. Last night's East Tennessee Christian Convention was excellent. Rick Rusaw, of Lifebridge Christian Church in Longmont, Colorado was the featured guest and speaker. Rusaw wrote the book, The Externally Focused Church.

I've already written quotes from his book into my dissertation, but now I have more fodder. I think this guy is right on target with what he says. I attended the workshop at 4:30 and then the worship service at 7pm.
Below is a picture of the workshop.I had the pleasure of giving the communion meditation before we shared in the Lord's Supper. While we were taking of the bread and the cup, however, the fire alarms went off and we had to clear the church building (First Christian Church, Johnson City). I then received some good nature criticism for "blowing smoke" in my meditation. The good news is that there was no fire, just a faulty alarm system. I know that had to drive the staff at FCC crazy. Things like that can make you feel like it was an awful evening.

But it was a fine evening, and I'm off now to go hear Rusaw again. More later...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tomorrow's Offering

It's that time of the week again. The sermon is written, but waiting to become little pictures that will serve as my notes for Sunday morning (I should probably do a post on that sometime). Tomorrow we will be examining the Lukan account of Jesus' sending of the Twelve Disciples on their first missionary journey.

Working on the sermon this week was like trying to make a path through fallen leaves. I moved around a lot, made a lot of noise, but accomplished almost nothing. Yesterday I chucked the computer and the office and went running on the Appalachian Trail. Let me tell you ... that's the way to do sermon prep. I needed that. The sermon needed that. I like what we've got for tomorrow. We'll see how it comes out in the pulpit.

A portion of tomorrow's prayer is stolen from my friend Nathan's blog. He wrote a prayer that he heard at a Methodist church in Oregon. It was so good I incorporated it. It's the part in italics.

Prayers of the Church for Grandview
September 23, 2007

O God, whether it be the cry of a baby in a manger or the cry of a man on a cross, you have proven to us that you are willing to walk alongside us. Who are we that we would merit such favor?

Though we listen attentively for your voice in prayer and scripture,
we confess we sometimes hear only half of what you tell us,
unable or unwilling to hear the rest.

We readily hear that we are sinners,
that our life is a journey from dust to dust;

But we too often fail to hear your affirmations:
that we are made in your image, crowned with glory;
that each day we are changed a little more in the likeness of Christ;
that we are your fellow workers and a temple of your Holy Spirit.

Forgive us, we pray, for failing to hear that you are for us,
sustaining us with an everlasting love abiding with us.

Forgive us, we pray, for failing to hear that you are willing to make us co-laborers for the sake of the Gospel, for failing to hear that you would like to get something done through us.

We invite you to make bold statements to the world through us.

We also invite you to make tiny, barely noticeable, statements to the world through us.

Bless those on our prayer list. Their needs are many. Our needs are many—as are the needs of our enemies. Hear our unspoken requests in the silence:

Remember your missionaries. Remember the Coleys, Freelands, Headens, McDades, Nyadors, Veals as they serve you around the world. Be with the Bruens and the Jacksons as they prepare to go. May the sum of our work for you be greater than the individual pieces—that you might be glorified.

The Lords’ Prayer

Friday, September 21, 2007


Last night was the final meeting of this Fall's Christ and Culture class that I've been teaching on Thursday nights at Milligan College. The class seemed to go well. This cohort was a really good one. Nobody whined about the reading (at least not publicly).

I've always been amazed at students who complain to their teachers about the reading for class. When I was a seminarian I saw it regularly. A fellow student would say that the reading was too hard or that there was too much of it. I always thought, "Man ... keep your mouth shut. That's like walking up to your professor and saying, 'Hi, my name is Aaron. I'm not just stupid, I'm LAZY too!'"Well, this group was neither lazy nor stupid ... of course ... I haven't graded the finals yet. I suppose my opinion could change. But I expect they did fine.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Don't Tase Me, Bro!

This was the scene at a recent John Kerry event at the University of Florida (it's a proud moment for us Gators). Apparently a student wanted to cause a scene.

Minor uproar ensued. Students marched. Bill O'Reilly covered it (as did other news/current event interest shows). You can even buy "Don't Tase Me, Bro!" T-Shirts. This guy's publicity stunt, though, might cost a couple of policemen their jobs, two are on paid leave because of it (is that really a punishment?).

My opinion? I'm not upset that they tased this guy. In fact, it got me thinking. If I get pulled over for a traffic ticket and the police officer gives me the choice of a $75 fine with points on my record, or a shot from a taser--I'll take the shot. If it takes me an hour to recover, so be it. I don't make $75 an hour.

I think I'm on to something here. Physical punishment in place of fines is the wave of the future. It will be good for our society.

"Excuse me, Sir. Do you know you were going 41 in a 35."

"What's that gonna cost me?"

"$87. Or I rip a hand full of chest hair off of you."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Another Quote ...

When I can grab a little time to read for fun, I've been cozying up to U2 By U2, an autobiographical account of the group I grew up listening listening to. For me it's been great fun to get a glimpse at what was going on behind the vinyl ... and then behind the hard plastic of the CD age.

I came across this insightful quote from lead singer, Bono. He is commenting on Christendom in the early 80s. Christendom (for those of you haven't been force fed the word) is the joining together of church and state--a model of church that began to fall apart years ago. Anyway, here's the quote from Bono as he's looking back at the 80s and their album "October":

"Christendom is telling us that God is dead, but I'm thinking Christendom is dead and our little combo has been hired to play at the funeral."

It explains the words to U2's song, "October." It makes a nice hymn.

"October and the trees are stripped bare, of all their wear. What do I care? October and kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall but you go on And on."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Just a good quote ...

I've been reading Romano Guardini (are you surprised to hear he is Roman Catholic?). Whenever I return to his work I am reminded that I should spend more time in his books. He was one of the best.

I will give you a SAAAAMPLE:

"[F]undamentally sin and pain and death fuse to form a dark wedge. The name of its edge is sin; of its bulk pain, and its blunt end is death." (The Lord, page 147)

The older I get, the more I see it. Guardini nails it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tomorrow's Offering

Another week is past. It was chocked full like the others. As much as I have enjoyed teaching at Milligan, I'm glad there is only one more week left. Pastorally the week was full as well. As of today, though, we have no members in the hospital for the first time in about two months. Some have been moved physical therapy and rehab facilities and others are home.

The sermon for tomorrow is almost ready. Tomorrow's focus is on the joy that should be a part of our inclusion in the kingdom of God. We'll look at Levi the Tax Collector and his response to Jesus' invitation.

Here's the prayer. Hope to see you tomorrow.

Prayers of the Church for Grandview

September 16, 2007

O God, who prepares for us a table in the presence of our enemies, fill us with the joy you feel when we gather around this table that has been prepared for us with the body and blood of your Son. Fill us with the joy that comes from seeing your gift to us bear fruit in a fallen world. Fill us with the joy of enemies who have become friends and of families who unite under the banner of your grace.

By the power of your Spirit, poured out upon all flesh, help us to celebrate this morning! You created us. We exist. You redeemed us when we were in a dark place of our own making. You called us into the kingdom of God. We have purpose. You are calling more and more people to be a part of your work. We have company in your kingdom, and so we celebrate that in every minute of every day your Spirit works, unseen, like the mustard seed that becomes big enough for tree houses and swings and shelter and shade.

You love us. You want us to be with you. You moved heaven and earth, empires and armies, transgressions and tombs, in order to show us that it’s true. It’s not a rumor. It’s not wishful thinking. The God who made everything there is; everything we can know and everything beyond our senses of hearing, smell, sight, taste, touch is passionately in love with all people.

So forgive us Lord, for despising what you love; for despising our enemies, for despising people who try our patience, people who aren’t like us. Forgive us for despising people who are like us. Forgive us for despising our selves. Give us fresh goggles to see as you see and to love as you love.

Bring your gift of healing to the sick, of peace to the dying, of comfort to those who are grieving, of protection for soldiers and civil servants, and of hope to those who have had their peace shattered. Send a new song for those who need to sing with fresh fire, a spirit of community for those who are inclined to be alone, and bright new challenges for those who have lost the oomph and enjoyment of life.

In the silence we remember our unvoiced requests and we listen for the still, small, voice that whispers love and challenge to us.


Lord, give us the power of your Spirit so that when we invite people to follow you, they—like Levi the tax collector—will spring forward, recognizing the presence of the God who creates, calls, and recreates.

We pray as your Son has taught us:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two 4 Two and Rendezvous

Last night's opening for Two 4 Two was a lot of fun. Here's the video highlight reel that we will show next Wednesday night.

Thanks to everybody who makes the Wednesday night program possible. I've decided that Dana makes about 4000 phone calls leading up to the opening. Ryan is making videos and pulling together leaders. And adults come out of the woodwork to serve.

The video is about 3 1/2 minutes long. Enjoy!

The Gators and Crazy Oklahoma Fan

The Gators begin their defense of last year's National and SEC Championships this weekend againstTennessee (it's the third game of the year, but Western Kentucky and Troy weren't quite big boy football).

I like the Gators' chances against Tennessee, but I'm not onfident we will win. We haven't played any teams with the kind of talent Tennessee has, so I have no idea how good or bad we are. Our defense is very young and it appears UT will use the no-huddle offense to take advantage of our inexperience.

You know I love the Gators, but I am nothing like Crazy Oklahoma Fan. Don't follow this link if you're feeling queasy. It's a story about a bar fight between a Texas Longhorn and an Oklahoma Sooner. This guy was a deacon at his church? I love that the story mentions his religious affiliation. Maybe it would be helpful if the journalist would list Crazy Oklahoma Fan's ten favorite movies. My suspicion is that those movies have had a more profound impact on his character than Jesus had.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday Miscellaneous (on Tuesday this time)

  1. Sunday was a great day at Grandview, but that doesn't mean things went perfectly. Silly little things went wrong. Sometimes the groove just isn't there, but that's okay. God was worshiped
  2. This week marks the beginning of Two 4 Two, which is our Wednesday evening program that runs for ten weeks in the fall and ten more in the spring. Last night Dana (our cracker jack children's minister) told me that we have about 110 kids signed up. That means she is recruiting leaders like crazy. That program just keeps growing. I'll try to upload some pictures on Thursday.
  3. Last night I had a surprise visit from Beeson brother, Scott Layer. He was in the area for a district minister's retreat. Great to see you, Scott! Thanks for coming by. It made my day.
  4. For your enjoyment, I include this little picture that made me laugh. I wasn't an especially bright kid when it came to math (I did OK), but what I'm really disappointed about is that I never thought to do this:5. The next picture cracks me up. I could get preachy and apply it to some of our own unthinking judgments in the church ... but it's Tuesday and nobody wants preaching on Tuesday. Let's just grin and bear it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Reaching Out to Pine Oaks' Residents

Grandview has been serving at Pine Oaks Assisted Living for years now, though you may not have heard much about it. Faithful members have led a Sunday morning worship service for those who need to stay on premises.

Now we're taking it up a notch. Thanks to Carla Dunn (above), the new director of Pine Oaks, we're invited deeper into the community. If you and a friend enjoy doing something as simple as scrapbooking, consider committing to the residents of Pine Oaks a regular (monthly) time where you and that friend will help a someone replay his or her memories while putting them together in book form. The book will something they can share with family members.

The relationships formed during your time together will, hopefully, be the stuff of the kingdom of God. If you're interested, call the office. We'll hook you up for this one too!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reaching Out to Students

Education is important to the people of Grandview ... it's sort of our niche. And yet we live in an area of Johnson City in which only 2/3 of the adults have their high school diploma or equivalence (not 1/3 as I previously reported).

Last week I finally had the opportunity to meet David Egbert, the new director of Science Hill Adult Education programs. He has a vision for turning the Keystone Center into a hub of learning. He invited us to come alongside them in order to tutor selected students. SHAE teaches courses for students pursuing their GED, but some students need extra help in order to keep up. That's where we come in.

You are invited to team with someone from Grandview to tutor a student and help shepherd him or her through the process of gaining a high school diploma. You won't be alone. You'll do this in conjunction with the teacher of the class.

If you're interested, contact the office. We'll hook you up.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Reaching Out to IHN Families

I am excited about the potential for breaking out of the walls of our church building in new ways as a congregation. The Greater Johnson City Interfaith Hospitality Network is blessed by the gifts and dedication of Brian Rosecrance (pictured above). Brian is a member of First United Methodist Church, which is just over the hill from Grandview. His tireless dedication to this ministry on behalf of area churches is bearing beautiful fruit and, I trust, changing some families for generations to come.

After families transition from homelessness to housing, from joblessness to employment, they still need support from our community. As an IHN Family Mentor you and your family will covenant to come alongside these families and be a supportive and listening ear.

The borders will be clearly drawn, so you will be confident when it comes to knowing what you should and should not do as a mentoring family. If you're interested, please contact the church office. We'll hook you up!

Tomorrow's Offering

Putting the weekly pastoral prayer on my blog has become a good discipline for me, a time when I stop and consider what unfolded during the week. This week was full. I preached in Emmanuel's chapel service on Wednesday morning. I'm not at all happy with the sermon because I completely whiffed in the middled of the sermon, leaving the scripture text out. Sigh.

I continue to be pressed with getting together details for the beginning of Two 4 Two. The addition of a time of worship means the need for a band, a sound board operator, a video operator, clean-up, drama (thanks, Carrol!), and brief message that I need to write. Also, I will be teaching an adult class on Wednesday nights with the help of David Roberts (thanks, David!). That requires prep time, of course.

I'm needing to create promotional materials for the "Reaching out in relationships" focus of the church over the next year. My girls will help with that this afternoon (I hope!). Thanks, girls! I had to wait until this week to get the pictures I needed because there was turnover at the top of Science Hill's Adult Education department. The new guy met with me on short notice this week. That was very helpful.

I continue to teach Christ and Culture at Milligan College on Thursday nights (from 6pm-10pm). That takes a chunk of my week as well, especially because I've started making Powerpoint presentations for the class.

That's what is keeping me busy. I know better than to complain. I'm the one who agreed to all of these things. Silly of me.

Busy I can take--including our many hospital patients right now. What's hard to take is when friends come to me with devastating news that will rip their families apart. This appears to be the summer for that sort of thing. Those demons have teeth. It has been a summer of grieving.

Tomorrow's sermon is mostly ready. Like last weekit is a part of my dissertation. The nature of God serves as the basis and model for our reaching out to others (last week's sermon). The kingdom of God serves as the goal of our reaching out. That's what I'll try to proclaim tomorrow.

I covet your prayers.

Prayers of the Church for Grandview
September 9, 2007

Glory to you, O God! In every place, from every tongue, bursting forth from every heart, may the greatness of God be proclaimed. Let each life, created by you, dedicated to you, and transformed by you proclaim the greatness of our God. Let our declaration be undimmed by human failure; undiminished by disease and death. Let our affirmations of your love for humanity be made plain to all by the stopping of war, by the redeeming of failed human systems that enslave, by the restoration of all things under the reign and rule of the one true God.

Before you, O God, we are in awe. Our awe is enfolded by our realization that you are awesome and awful all at once. Before you we tremble in our tiny shoes, only to discover that you have walked in these shoes. How blessed is the earth by your presence, not just in Spirit but in the flesh.

Take this worship service and bless it. Bless words awkwardly spoken, notes poorly sung, prayers clumsily crafted. We offer you best thoughts and broken hearts, highest praise and hurting families, tender emotions and terrifying failures.

Forgive us for not wanting to be like your Son, preferring to become people who are content in our fallen frailty. Forgive us for embracing sinful nature as human nature, when we can clearly see in your Word made flesh that bitterness, hatred, lying lips, and sloth are not really human nature.

You promised the power to heal, God. Give us the confidence that you are true to your word, by the power of your Spirit help us to heal those on our prayer list, by the power of your Spirit move us to give comfort to the grieving, encouragement to the weak, freedom to the oppressed, protection for soldiers and civil servants, and a peaceful death to those who are dying.

God we are about to pray with one voice that you would let your kingdom come to earth; that we would experience here and now what it’s like to live in a place where your will is just what people do. Add us to that list of people, God, who have determined that you are king; that your will is more important than our own agendas. Make us aware of the personal and corporate cost of praying the prayer we are about pray. Let us not take lightly these words that your Son taught us:

The Lord’s Prayer

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Monday Miscellaneous (yes, I know it's Thursday)

Just for my Beeson brother, Bryan, I have to include a quick mention of the Science Hill High School football game last weekend. Bryan, the uniforms for the Hilltoppers are simply a combined nightmare for you and for me. They are the Michigan Wolverine helmets with Florida State colors. For me to be a properly dressed fan I have to wear the two colors I least enjoy.

On the good side, however, the stadium is named after Science Hill and the University of Florida's most favorite alum: Steve Spurrier. That makes up for the colors problem. Anna and Cass enjoying the game.After the game, my brother and his family arrived from Indiana. We had a good day on Saturday. We played some laser tag, ate some barbecue, and marveled at the lack of interesting shops in Jonesborough these days.
We stopped by my old church in Jonesborough and let the kids play in the yard that was my "family life center" when I was the youth minister there. Man ... coming up with games that would work with such limited space used to be so difficult.

I remembered my favorite railing. Favorite railing? Yes. You can see it in the below picture where my nephew, Marcus, sits. If you look closely at the railing you will see that it is DEDICATED!

Look closer! I wonder if Homer would feel very honored? I never knew Homer. I did know some of the Kitzmiller family. They were very nice. When I die you can take up a collection and install a three-step railing in my honor--but leave my name off of it please. I'll be happily anonymous.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


On Saturday night we went with the Miller family to see Science Hill High School (Johnson City's high school) play Elizabethton High School in football--and to see Meghan in the band.

I'll post more on the weekend later (like how glad I am that my brother and his family came to visit). But I am so fascinated by the Science Hill Mascot that I wanted this video to have it's own blog entry.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Tomorrow's Offering

Phew . . . it's been quite a week. Tomorrow's sermon is coming together but is a difficult topic: the nature of God. We're getting there. If you're a Grandview-ian then you may know that Charles and Sam are two people on our family who need prayer. I invite you to hold them faithfully before God.

I'm thankful to report that Jim and Liz were baptized yesterday in a small service at Grandview. It was a wonderful sight to behold. God is good.

Prayers of the Church for Grandview
September 2, 2007

God, you have revealed yourself to us through the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We have seen the way the Father blesses the Son, the way the Son does the will of the one who sent him, the way your Spirit brings your will to full flower and completion. Blessed are you, the One true God, who gave us the bonds between friends, bonds that run deeper than our most selfish desires. Blessed are you for the union of husband and wife, the nurturing love of parent toward child, and the reflective love of a child toward a parent.

Forgive us when we have abused our relationships; when we have thought more of ourselves than we should have; when we have elevated our own wants over the needs of others. Heal us when we have been the injured party in a relationship. Teach us to be united with others, to be people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Each name on the prayer list represents bonds of love that we share. Please heal the sick, bind the wounds of the brokenhearted, free the prisoner, protect civil servants and soldiers, encourage the weak, and help those who are dying to die well, cutting short their time of trial.

The bulletin, Lord, isn’t big enough to hold all of the names of people needing prayer. In the silence we hold our unspoken requests up to your eyes and ears:


Thank you for the ties of friendship we have with missionaries of your Word. Please continue to bless the Orths, Coleys, Freelands, Headens, McDades, Nyadors, and Veals. Bless also the Jacksons and the Bruens as they prepare to go into the field.

Lord, we worship you, the maker of all; you who made our enemies; you who made the people we just can seem to force ourselves love; you who made the people we ignore. Be with your church around the world that we might overcome our hate of enemies, our revulsion toward the unlovely, and our ambivalence toward people who labor under systems of slavery and oppression.

The Lord’s Prayer