Things have been quieter around my house lately. My Debbie has been in New Hampshire the last month-and-a-half caring for her father who is recovering from illness and surgery. Deb and I will be married 35 years this month. As with all couples who have been together that long, we’ve lived and loved through so many of life’s experiences. I am grateful for these years and for whom I have become because of the grace of God named “Debbie.”
But as I was saying, it’s quieter around our house. You see, Debbie has a lot of words, she always has. Her words start first thing in the morning and they continue right through till bedtime. I, on the other hand, am content to be quiet for long periods of time. Thankfully we have learned to appreciate each others personalities. Deb knows when I need “Dale time,” as she puts it. And I know when I need to be a good communicator.
While I’ve been enjoying my extended quiet in the mornings and evenings, I have also been missing Debbie’s voice. I’m grateful for her words for they keep me from believing in my own self-sufficiency. They pull me out and into relationship.
As church we find ourselves in the summer rhythm of life. It’s not quieter in Traverse City, but there is a different pull on our lives. Everywhere nature is saying “play with me!” The wander-lust in us wants to move about. We are enjoying the special grace of God in this short, sweet, time of year. But even though our paths take us in different directions this summer, I ask you to hold each other in prayer.
I’m reminded of the hymn “Here I Am Lord” and a line from the chorus:” I will hold your people in my heart.” This is the balance of our life together. Wherever we go, no matter the distance or days apart, we keep covenant with God and each other through constant prayer. This keeps us connected as the body of Christ.
So this summer I invite you to pray for:
- The homeless and hurting who find help and support through our Outreach Ministry
- The Pastors, Parish Nurse and Parish Visitors who reach out to the hospitalized and homebound
- The Staff that works daily to plan and coordinate ministries
- Lay servants who continue to do ministry
- Those who are hospitalized and in frail health
- Families grieving the loss of loved ones
- Children and youth attending camps and mission trips
- Our Neighborhood Picnic
- A new Youth Ministry Coordinator
- Our worship services
- Those seeking Christian Community that they might find in us generous friends.
- A generosity of financial support that the ministry of the church may thrive
- Friends and new acquaintances that their summer would be blessed.
- Vacation travelers and their safe passage
- The ministry of the coming fall and a new program year
These and other prayers help us hold each other close and, as the Spirit prompts, move us to action. Prayer for others pulls us out of self and into relationship. Prayer draws us into the body of Christ from whom we draw our life.
What are your summer prayers? Please share them so we can hold each other in our hearts.