From Our Pastor

Ministry of Prayer

Posted 10 August, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

Scripture from Genesis 18 and Luke 11 speak to us of prayer as we worship this Sunday, and these words of scripture do so in interesting ways. In Genesis 18, Abraham "haggles" with God regarding the fate of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah; in Luke 11, a pesky man gets his way because he annoys his neighbor relentlessly. Not exactly models of prayer to which we are accustomed, but models of prayer before us in worship this week.

Last Sunday, as we spoke of the ministry of prayer, we learned of "Five-finger" model of prayer. In recalling this time of worship, I share that pattern of prayer again: our thumbs invite us to pray for those closest to us, our index fingers invite us to pray for those persons who "point the way" in faith for us, our middle fingers invite us to pray for those most visible in society, our ring fingers invite us to pray for the forgotten and vulnerable in our communities, our pinky fingers invite us to pray for ourselves. I find this model of prayer to be helpful and memorable; I hope you find this helpful as well. I hope - and pray - the ministry of prayer will be strengthened for each of us and for this church as we give attention to the ministry of prayer in these services of worship.

As we speak of prayer, please keep in prayer the students, faculty, and administration returning to school this week and in the weeks to come. During worship at each service on August 27th, we will share in a "Blessing of the Backpacks." As we do this, we witness to our concern for and support of families and faculties of local schools.

Small group ministries are quickly approaching! The "Women of the Bible" study begins at noon on September 12th in the Uptown Ministry Center. At 6:45pm on September 12th, a race-themed study, "Take the Flag," begins in the fellowship hall. I am excited about these studies and know such time in study and conversation draw us closer to God and to one another. Information about "Take the Flag" is found here on the church website and you may also register by way of a link provided on our website's home page.

The kickoff for our Youth and JAMZ children will take place following worship on August 27th as the youth and children take part in a family bowling outing. On September 10th, there will be a youth and parent planning meeting following worship in the Uptown Ministry Center. It is our plan to begin again the ministries of the children's choirs and puppets on the afternoon of August 28th.

On October 19th, in the Uptown Ministry Center, a day-long workshop on evangelism will be held. This event takes place as part of the Virginia Conference 5-Talent Academy. I expect this to be a valuable and worthwhile event and look forward to taking part in this; I invite you to do the same.