October – November 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends 

I sincerely trust that we are all managing to cope with the long absence from meeting together to worship in Church.  We had hoped that, in this edition, we would be able to announce a starting date for resuming worship in line with the wishes of the majority of our members who had expressed preference for cautious approach.

However, as I write this letter, Preston is, like many areas in the North West, an area subject to stronger restrictions than those in force recently. We hope and pray that these current measures will be successful and worship together in Church will not be too long away.  Today, it was announced that the previous 24 hours had seen the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in a day since the start of the pandemic.

In previous Newsletters I have written about my attempts, with considerable help, to take part in on-line communion services, coffee mornings, Zoom and other meetings etc with some success. However, I am aware that not all our members have the necessary computer facilities.

Can I remind you of the Daily Devotions issued daily on-line prepared by ministers, lay-preachers and other members of the URC and others.  These consist of a Bible passage, a short reflection and a concluding prayer. On Sundays a complete service is available.  In recent days, many of these reflections have been prepared by people we know – last Sunday’s service was prepared by Rev’d Ruth Dillon who was at Fulwood, recent daily reflections were written by Rev’d Dr Elizabeth Welch who preached at Fulwood and represented the URC at the 2012 Guild Service, the Rev’d Hiliary Collinson who was at Kirkham Prison and Lytham URC, and by Rev’d David Coaker, formerly at Penwortham URC.  David’s Daily Devotion is included lower in this newsletter.  Paper copies of such reflections can easily be supplied to any members and friends without computer facilities.

Chorley URC has been putting a service on Facebook each week throughout the pandemic, but this is also available on DVD, posted out each week.  The Minister, Rev’d Martin Whiffen, has said that if any of our members would like to receive the service on DVD, they would be added to the circulation list.  As the church normally films their services, the hymns in the current services are taken from previous recordings.

If anyone would like to receive the DVD services or paper copies of the Daily Reflections please let Margery or I know and we will pass your name and address to Martin.

In the meantime … …                    

Stay hopeful     Stay Safe                                                                                                                                                 

              Mac Dunsmore, Church Secretary

 

LECTIONARY READINGS
OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2020

(Prayers courtesy of Roots on the Web)

 

October

4th    Exodus 20: 1 – 4, 7 – 9, 12 – 20; Psalm 19 or Isaiah 5: 1 – 7; Psalm 80: 7 – 15; Philippians 3: 4b – 14; St Matthew 21: 33 – 46

Prayer  We do not thank you for being sure of ourselves; but for being sure of Christ Jesus.  We do not thank you for being able to depend on money, health and happiness; but that we can trust in Christ Jesus.  We do not thank you that the world is predictable and always kind; but for your love in Christ Jesus which goes on for ever.  We do not thank you for faith in the systems and powers of the world; but for faith in Christ Jesus who is the rock on which we build, we thank you. Amen.

 

11th Exodus 32: 1 – 14; Psalm 106: 1 – 6, 19 – 23 or Isaiah 25: 1 – 9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4: 1 – 9; St Matthew 22: 1 – 4

Prayer  Lord God, we never know what the future holds or where life will take us next.  We never know what is just around the corner and what the outcomes of things will be.  But we know that whatever follows on from this moment, you are here with us, by our side, above and beneath us, entwining your life with ours, surpassing all human understanding.  In this moment, bless us and awaken us to your abiding presence.  Amen.

 

18th Exodus 33: 12 – 23; Psalm 99 or Isaiah 45: 1 – 7; Psalm 96: 1 – 9, (10 – 13); 1 Thessalonians 1: 1 – 10; St Matthew 22: 15 – 22

Prayer  Lord Jesus, in my quiet moments, may I offer my innermost desires and yearnings to you, that I may more and more walk my path in life conscious of you being at my side. Amen.

 

25th Deuteronomy 34: 1 – 12; Psalm 90: 1 – 6, 13 – 17 or Leviticus 19: 1 – 2, 15 – 18; Psalm 1; 1 Thessalonians 2: 1 – 8; St Matthew 22: 34 – 46

Prayer  We give thanks, Lord God, for the gentle caring people in the world whose love of you radiates from their lives. For their gentleness of voice and touch, for their gentle smile, their listening ear, their quiet reassurance and understanding, their patience and perseverance with us. We thank you, Lord God, that you have touched the lives of these people and have enabled them to touch our lives and bring us to our faith and enrich our knowledge of you. Amen.

 

November

1st   Joshua 3: 7 – 17; Psalm 107: 1 – 7, 33 – 37 or Micah 3: 5 – 12; Psalm 43; 1 Thessalonians 2: 9 – 13; St Matthew 23: 1 – 12

All Saints Day  Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 131; Hebrews 11: 32 – 12: 2; St Matthew 5: 1 – 12

Prayer  This week, we pray for all who feel isolated.  In their uniqueness, they may also feel alone.  This is most of us, some of the time, but it is some of us most of the time.  God of encounter, may we all turn with love and interest towards those who have been isolated.  God of encounter hear our prayer. Amen.

 

8th   Joshua 24: 1 – 3a, 14 – 25; Psalm 78: 1 – 7 or Amos 5: 18 – 24; Psalm 70; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 18; St Matthew 25: 1 – 13

Prayer  God of consolation, in all the stories of our lives, you are with us.  As we turn to each other, and turn to you, may we give and find all the comfort that we need, knowing that it is in such shelter that we hear the echoes of your great kindness.  Amen.

 

Remembrance Sunday  Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 131; Hebrews 11: 32 – 12: 2; St Matthew 5: 1 – 12

Prayer  God of justice and peace, we pray for those who have been injured or disabled through war.  For those who have lost homes and security through conflict; for those who have lost loved relatives in wars; for those who face danger and take risks for peace; for all those, especially children, caught up in current conflicts; for refugees and all those in need of aid and other help.  God of encouragement and Saviour of the despairing, comfort those who remember past sacrifices and guide us in building a just and peaceful community for all.  Amen.

 

15th Judges 4: 1 – 7; Psalm 123 or Zephaniah 1: 7, 12 – 18; Psalm 90: 1 – 8, (9 – 11), 12; 1 Thessalonians 5: 1 – 11; St Matthew 25: 14 – 30

Prayer  Turning towards you, O God, we also turn towards ourselves.  We think of what we bring, and what we don’t. And we know that even though you call us to be ready, you also support us in bringing the little we have, whether we feel ready or not.  O God of readiness, ready us, as we pray.  Amen.

 

22nd Reign of Christ the King  Ezekiel 34: 11 – 16, 20 – 24; Psalm 100 or Ezekiel 34: 11 – 16; Psalm 95: 1 – 7a; Ephesians 1: 15 – 23; St Matthew 25: 31 – 46

Prayer  Yours is the earth and all in it.  The valleys, mountains, seas and spray; the land, the pastures, the trees and fauna.  All around us, we see stories of your bounty, your exuberant goodness, your flourishing provision.  You have made us to live here, nurtured by this earth, and by work.  We find joy in this vocation, to be your people, living, working, resting, supporting.  We thank you for the gifts of living, and for these gifts of bounty all around us.  Amen.

 

29th Advent Sunday  Isaiah 64: 1 – 9; Psalm 80: 1 – 7, 17 – 19; 1 Corinthians 1: 3 – 9; St Mark 13: 24 – 37

Prayer  God, your name is Love, and in your great love 
you have called us into community with each other.  With you and in you and because of you, we are nurtured in love.  Yours is the name that lasts for ever.  Your love reaches into all corners, confirming those who wait for you – that they wait in the name of Great Love.  Amen.

 

December

6th  Advent 2  Isaiah 40: 1 – 11; Psalm 85: 1 – 2, 8 – 13; 2 Peter 3: 8 – 15a; St Mark 1: 1 – 8

Prayer  God, you have comforted your people, making paths where there seemed no path.  You have gathered your people in the eternal place of love.  You speak to our hearts, and you forgive us for our wandering ways.  Your light and love and faithfulness and work are true, ever true, always lasting.  We praise you, for the goodness you are, and the pathways you make before us.  Amen.

 

13th Advent 3        Isaiah 61: 1 – 4, 8 – 11; Psalm 126 or St Luke 1: 47 – 55; 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 24; St John 1: 6 – 8, 19 – 28

Prayer  In our moments of weariness, or meekness, or pressure, we know God is with us.  In our moments of pride, we know God is with us.  In our moments of demand, we know God is with us.  God is with us, always, already, at once.  Holding, sustaining and creating a new creation, in me, in us, in all.  Amen.

 o o O O O o o

When putting the lectionary readings and prayers together Lancashire had just been put into further restrictions and there was talk about a possible national lockdown to slow down the spread of Covid-19.  This means we do not know when we will meet again in Church but the first few lines of a hymn kept coming to mind so I’ve included it below.

Margery

 

I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see;
yet One stands near to be my guide, He’ll show the way to me:

I know who holds the future, and He’ll guide me with His hand;
with God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow, with its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all.

I do not know how many days of life are mine to spend;
but One who knows and cares for me will keep me to the end:
      Chorus

I do not know the course ahead, what joys and griefs are there;
but One is near who fully knows,I’ll trust His loving care:
      Chorus

Alfred B Smith (1916-2001) and Eugene L Clark (born 1925) © Singspiration Music/Imagem Music Publishing Inc/Universal Music Publishing/Small Stone Media
Adm. by Song Solutions Daybreak, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1QG, UK.  info@songsolutions.org  Used by permission.  CM and refrain  Used By Permission. CCL Licence No. 634729 Copied from HymnQuest: Copyright Licence Users’ Edition HymnQuest ID: 54879  CCLI#: 151130

 o o O O O o o

A good match?

There were not many weddings in the West Country village and when it was not in use, the verger had the habit of keeping the banns register under the seat cushion of the rector’s stall.  One Sunday there were some banns to be called and the rector began the familiar ‘I publish the banns of marriage between…’ before he realised that the register was not out ready for him.  In his very audible Somerset brogue the verger’s voice was heard across the chancel – ‘Between the cushion and the seat.’

o o O O O o o

 Face coverings

 You may remember reading in a previous edition of our newsletter that the URC NW Synod had received a gift of face coverings from the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.  These were shared out among the churches in our Synod to pass on to the members so we have included these with this issue of the newsletter.

 

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NW SYNOD – MEANDERS FROM OUR MENTOR

The season of Creationtide, also known as the Season of Creation, has its origins in the Eastern Orthodox Church which in 1989 declared September 1st as a day of prayer for creation. Over the following decades, as awareness of the present ecological challenges facing our world grew, this single day of prayer developed into a liturgical season running from September 1st to October 4th, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi (the patriot Saint of Ecology). This season of Creationtide has been embraced ecumenically and Christians around the world are encouraged to pray for, and care for, God’s good creation. This is also when we celebrate Climate Sunday and Harvest services in our churches.

If there is maybe one positive aspect that came out of this time of Covid 19, it is that we tread more gentle on God’s creation. The reduced travel by air and land, the reduced pollution from factories etc enabled Mother earth to flourish without the devastating impact we as human beings have on the earth. Many of us forget that the 5th mark of Mission is: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. We are made in Gods image to do as God does, to create and not destroy, to respect and honour that was made good, to repair and to restore and to be guardians of a better future.

There are many modern day prophets in our midst from whom have we heard the warnings of the climate crisis? It could be communities in the global south, on the frontline of the climate crisis and feeling its effects acutely. Or, has it been activists, who have been campaigning on this issue for years? Voices such as Greta Thunberg’s and David Attenborough? Or, is creation itself the prophetic voice we need to hear? Should we be listening to the pain of wildfires, flooding, tsunamis and earthquakes?

Saint Francis the Patron saint of Ecology said: “Preach the Gospel at all times; and when absolutely necessary, use words.” Francis was all about orthopraxy, or living the Gospel, rather than orthodoxy, or merely verbal beliefs.

As the Church, a global body with brothers and sisters around the world, whom feeling acutely the impact of the climate crisis.  Do we listen to these cries? What is our role as local churches sharing this message and addressing it? Please contact your mentor or one of the Green Apostle team members to learn some more.

Rev Daleen ten Cate
Missional Discipleship Mentor for Lancashire & Part of the Green Apostle Team

 

 o o O O O o o

GREEN APOSTLES

 The North Western Synod
of the United Reformed Church

 

Dear Churches in the NW Synod

Are you passionate about the environment? Would you like to make some sort of difference to the way we treat our planet-home? Are you up for exploring how we can tread more lightly on the earth? Do you see that as something connected to following Jesus and making a Jesus-shaped difference to the world? Did you know that the 5th Mark of Mission is: ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’?

We can support you to become an Eco Church.

At the recent Synod Meeting, the North Western Synod adopted the ‘Environmental Charter’ set out below, which encourages each congregation to embrace it in all they do and agrees to bring a similar resolution to the next General Assembly for adoption by the whole United Reformed Church.

  1. We believe that creation reveals the glory of God. That we are called to be stewards of God’s creation working with all people of good will to make sure that His earth remains a beautiful place full of wonder, worship, love, justice and peace by respecting the environment and all creatures.
  2. We challenge ourselves to live simply and in solidarity with the poor not taking unfair amounts of the world’s resources or creating waste and pollution.
  3. We commit ourselves to safeguarding life and living sustainably by taking our environmental impact fully into account.

To find out more about the ECO Church Award, visit ecochurch.arocha.org.uk and contact the Green Apostle Team or your Missional Discipleship Mentor. We can walk alongside you to do an Eco Church Audit in order for you to look through an Eco lens to the following aspects of being church.

  • Worship and Teaching
  • Management and Church Buildings
  • Management of Church Land
  • Community and Global Engagement
  • Lifestyle

Looking forward to hear from you

Blessings

Green Apostle Team

Rev’d Kate Gray: kate.gray@nwsynod.org.uk
Rev’d Daleen ten Cate: Daleen.TenCate@nwsynod.org.uk
Rev’d Dr. Rosalind Selby: Rosalind.Selby@lkh.co.uk

 

 o o O O O o o

ROVING REPORTER

To quote Rabbie Burns ‘The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley’!

Some time last summer my sister & I were talking about one of Chris Tarrants train journey which started in Vienna and went through Switzerland.  He started on the Ferris wheel in Prater Park in Vienna which Dorothy had visited and ended up on the little train that goes up the Jungfrau in Switzerland via the Eiger which I had done on one of my trips with the Guides.  Dorothy asked whether I would like to visit Switzerland again, when I immediately said Yes she suggested we might go together as she hadn’t visited the part of Switzerland where the Guides stayed.  When the 2020 brochures came out we booked our trip for June… 

Unfortunately, Europe (and many other countries) were on lockdown so we didn’t get to Interlaken.

Late last year there was a programme on TV which included a visit to the National Trust property Tyntesfield, shortly after I got an email from my friend saying ‘How about Somerset for our holiday next year?’  We looked further and decided there were a few other NT properties we could visit so started searching for a self-catering cottage and before Christmas had booked one on the  outskirts of Wells for early September… 

Lockdown had been eased by the end of August although Preston were under local restrictions but as Sheila & I formed a ‘bubble’ and we were staying in a self-contained property we could still go. 

The house we rented was just off the main Wells to Glastonbury road so very good for getting out and about but only 15 minutes walk to Wells Cathedral (and very handy for shopping at Morrisons) – so far, so good…

Unfortunately, although many of the NT properties had re-opened, you had to book an arrival time at least 18 hours in advance and there was no guarantee that the property would be open on the day if it emerged that someone with Covid had visited in the previous few days!

We still managed to get out and about as we had found some leaflets on local walks, we had a trip to Clevedon (which I had previously  visited with my family in 1967!) and also had a trip to Taunton.  I had been in touch with Kath & Duncan to say we would be in Somerset although due to the pandemic would understand if they preferred us not to visit, but they said they would be pleased to see us.  Duncan suggested we meet at the drop-off point at the railway station as that is easy to find and he would lead us to a longer stay car park.

The plan went well and we parked on Morrisons car park while they showed us round the town and telling us about it.  As my first encounters with both Kath & Duncan were through the library service in Preston we were also taken on a tour of Taunton library – much more modern than the Harris in Preston!  When our 2hrs free parking were almost up we returned to Morrisons.  Duncan directed us to an alternative car park for the rest of our visit and Kath gave us copies of the Town Heritage Trail which we followed after some lunch.  We passed the original library building which, like many other British libraries, was funded by Andrew Carnegie (eg Fulwood, Sharoe Green, Penwortham), however I understood that there were several basic designs for Carnegie libraries depending on the size required – Taunton library was nothing like the standard design!  The building is much nicer than the usual style.  We also saw St Mary Magdalene’s church where the 163 foot tower was rebuilt in 1862, the leaflet informed us that to get the stone to the top during construction, a donkey operated a pulley system by walking down the street and when the work was complete the donkey was hauled to the top of the tower to admire the view it had created!  How the donkey reacted to this is not recorded.

Eating out was a little different this year too, the cafés were busy as they had reduced the number of tables and everything was waiter/waitress service.  In Wells, the café’s in Market Place had tables on the pavement (the road was closed to traffic) so the staff had further to walk.  In most of the places we ate, the food came in takeaway containers so that was extra expense for the café too.  On the whole, customers were very patient.  On the way home, we found a lovely café in the walled garden at the entrance to Berkeley Castle (off the A38 in Gloucestershire). 

We aren’t planning too soon for our 2021 holiday until we see how things settle down so our plans are less likely to ‘gang agley’!

Margery Pitcher

PS – Since writing this article Sheila & I started talking vaguely about next year and suggested somewhere round the Yorkshire Dales.  When I had a look online to see where we might stay I was surprised how many cottages are already almost fully booked for 2021, so we went ahead and booked a cottage on the outskirts of Ripon for late September!

 o o O O O o o

DAILY DEVOTIONS FROM THE URC    
An example written by someone we know

Sunday 27th September – Psalm 16

Protect me, God, I trust in You
I tell You now, ‘You are my Lord’.
On You my happiness depends.
Protect me, God, I trust in You.

Your people are a chosen race
And I delight in faithful friends,
But pagan ways I will not share.
Protect me, God, I trust in You.

Lord God, You are my food and drink
My work for You is joy indeed,
Glad is the heritage that’s mine.
Protect me, God, I trust in You.

Thank You, my Lord, for warning me,
By night and day You guide my thoughts
With You before me, I stand firm.
Protect me, God, I trust in You.

So now I’m glad in heart and soul
For I have found security
Among the dead I shall not rot.
Protect me, God, I trust in You.

Not death, but life, shall be my path
Abundant joy Your presence grants
An honoured place, and happiness.
Protect me, God, I trust in You.

Paraphrase of Psalm 16, Michael Saward (born 1932)
© Michael Saward/Jubilate Hymns

 

Reflection

I have no defence but God. In the face of all that life throws at me, I place my trust in God. God is my protector, my sanctuary.
God’s ways tend towards goodness, so I strive to follow them. God has my devotion, allegiance and fidelity.

I ask for the strength, courage, and inspiration to truly be a beacon of God’s nature, blessing and joy.

I weep for the world, split by violence, fear and selfishness. I weep for myself as I struggle for unity, peace, comfort and equity.
I give thanks that my life is held within God. Whatever life brings, I will trust in God. There is always a silver lining, a lesson to look back on, an opportunity for goodness. A struggle can bring strength. A mistake can bring wisdom. The moment may be overwhelming but time can give perspective.

I give thanks for the still small voice, the urgings of my conscience, and the insights of dreams.

I strive to keep my focus upon God, to remember God’s presence beside me, to cheer my heart, lift my spirit, and quieten my fears.
In life, and in death, I am within God. The blessing of life is before me and God invites me to experience, share and celebrate its joy and delights.

Prayer

Protect me God, I trust in you.
When it is hard, and when it is easy – trust in God.
When I am safe, and when I am unsure – trust in God.
When life affirms, and when it denies – trust in God.
In life and in death – trust in God. Amen

Today’s writer

The Rev’d David Coaker serves with Grays URC in Essex.

 

URC DAILY DEVOTIONS

Every morning URC Daily Devotions offers a short Bible reading, reflection, and prayer to help shine Christ’s light in our daily lives.  These are written by a team of over one hundred writers of different places and perspectives from around the United Reformed Church.

You can receive Daily Devotion by email by signing at  devotions.urc.org.uk

 

 o o O O O o o

AN ARK FOR TODAY

Some time after the Ark landed, God was in touch with Noah again.  To Noah’s surprise, he was asked to build a second craft. Would it be the same as the first one, Noah enquired. “No, this one is special – it’s just for fish.”  “For fish?” Noah asked, “Any particular sort of fish?“  “Yes, indeed. Noah”, came the reply, “for carp.”  “I see,” said Noah, who didn’t really see at all, “Any special construction requirements?”  “I want a hold, at least ten decks and an upper deck at the top. It has to be a multi-storey carp park!”

 

 o o O O O o o

TICKET TO RIDE

A former bishop of Exeter was renowned for his bad memory.  On one occasion he was travelling by train to a certain part of the diocese. Before he reached his destination, the ticket collector appeared demanding to see tickets.

The bishop groped his was through this pocket and that, inside his purple cassock and out, but no ticket could be found. Finally the ticket collector lost his patience and said: “Tha’s o’right bishop. We all know you’re an honest man. It don’t matter:

“Oh but is does !” cried the bishop. “Without the ticket I shan’t know where to get off this train!”

 

 o o O O O o o

POINTS TO PONDER

Each time you pray you cut off from the present and concentrate on the eternal and gain perspective.

Imran Khan
(Pakistan cricketer and politician)

 

It is when the benediction has been pronounced that the service really begins.

 

 o o O O O o o

FAIRTRADE LATEST NEWS

Back in June, we shared the deeply disappointing news KitKat bars will cease to use Fairtrade ingredients.

Since then, you may have seen, or even been part of, the huge public reaction against this decision.

Over a quarter of a million people signed this petition, started by Joanna Pollard a Fairtrade campaigner in Yorkshire, and supported by a range of organisations, asking Nestlé to think again.

And MPs have spoken out too, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade condemning this decision strongly, after grilling Nestlé representatives in Parliament.

Despite this public response, Nestlé have not changed their decision and KitKat will cease to be Fairtrade from today

But we have been heartened to see so many people standing with the farmers affected by this decision.

There’s been some progress too. And we believe the mass public pressure has helped bring about greater transparency over how the new arrangements will work for farmers, including a greater degree of financial security for cocoa farmers under those new arrangements.

Nestlé’s recent engagement with the Ivorian Fair Trade Network (RICE), a representative group for farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, has also given farmers a stronger voice as the changes are implemented.

Although we’re pleased to see some level of greater commitment to cocoa farmers, we remain concerned that the new deal will still not match the same level of financial security for farmers and their organisations, and will reduce the level of control they have to invest in their communities and businesses into the future.

We know many of you will have lots more questions about the details of what this means for the affected farmers, and you can find more in our blog.

 

MORE ON THE IMPACT OF KITKAT DECISION

This is first and foremost a worrying moment for those farmers affected by Nestlé’s decision. 

But the public reaction we’ve seen shows so many of us want a world with a different – fairer – balance of power.

We want a world where the farmers and workers in the Global South have the power, rights and resources to shape their own future. 

 Making this world a reality is what Fairtrade is all about. And Nestlé’s decision on KitKat serves as a stark reminder of how important the power and financial security Fairtrade offers are right now.

The climate crisis is already hitting some of the world’s poorest people hardest, and COVID-19 continues to threaten vulnerable communities around the world.

Every time you choose Fairtrade, you’re choosing to be part of the solution to these huge global issues. 

Your choosing that better future, where farmers and workers have the financial security and independence they need to choose that fairer world we all want.

Thank you for choosing to back Fairtrade.

Stefan
Fairtrade Foundation, Supporters’ Team

 

PRAYER

Almighty God, we bring before you in prayer all the members and friends of our Church family. Be especially close to those who have recently lost loved ones and are feeling alone. Assure them of your love and nearness.

Be with all who are anxious, those who are unwell, those awaiting hospital results or treatment, those who are house-bound; those who are unable to come to Church.  Make each one of us more aware of the needs of others and more willing to help in whatever way we can.

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen

o o O O O o o

Lord, we ask today for more of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. Lord, it can be easy for us to become consumed with the fears that surround us in life, but we know that just as Your eye is indeed on the sparrow, so also do You care for and see us.

Teach us today to become more reliant on You. Bring us into a greater discernment of how You operate, so that we may come into a deeper understanding that all we see with natural eyes is not all that is. Today we ask for eyes to see Your hand in all matters, and hearts open to Your work. Amen.   (Callie Logan)

o o O O O o o

Lord, help me to hear you saying, “I am your hope” over all the other voices. Lord, your word says, you are the hope for hopeless so I’m running to you with both hands stretched out and grabbing on to you. Fill me up with hope and give me a tangible reminder today that hope is an unbreakable spiritual lifeline (Hebrews 6:19-20). God, you know those things in my heart that I barely dare to hope for, today I give them to you, I trust them to you, and ask that you because I know that you can do more than I could ever guess, imagine or request in wildest dreams (Eph 3:20). God, you are my hope and I trust you. Amen.  (Wendy can Eyck)

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