“Mpola mpola, Reverend.” I heard these words countless times in Uganda, in a culture were nothing happens quickly, much to the consternation of Westerners like myself. The phrase means “slowly by slowly.” Our improvements to our service at Gray’s, both in person and via livestream, are growing mpola mpola. This past Sunday in particular the video, sign-ins, seating, and sound were much improved. And, yes, sound needs more improvement! I’m giving up on my clear plastic mask, and moving to a cloth one. (I hear some sighs of relief.) Also, rather than using the projector, we will return to the use of bulletins, safely prepared in advance and available to worshippers at Gray’s. You may also print and bring your own bulletin, or use your phone (download the bulletin at iachurch.org/worship). Please continue to give us your feedback and suggestions.
Regarding prayerwalking, let me begin with these words from Waymakers:
As you pray for others, “noticing” what God is doing in their lives, you allow God to point out needs as well as opportunities. It’s as if He is “noticing” through you. Often those needs work as your cue that it’s your time to play a bit part in the story. In the flow of what is unfolding in people’s lives, God uses small acts of kindness to reveal the great love of Christ.
This is along the lines of the “S” in our A.S.K. acronym (do you have it memorized by now?) – Setting our minds on the things of God. As you pray for your neighbors, what sense do you have of God’s movement in your neighborhood? What is emerging as a need in the life of a person, or family, or part of your neighborhood? How might the Spirit be nudging you – or nudging us as a church – to engage in “small acts of kindness to reveal the great love of Christ”?
I genuinely want to hear specific answers to those questions. The Lord is calling Immanuel to engage in mission locally, and our discernment for how to do so will emerge from your prayer, in God noticing through you the needs of our communities. Please share your insights with each other during the Zoom Fellowship hour each Sunday (see below for details), and share them directly with me and any of our Vestry members.
I also encourage you to ask the Lord nudge you toward one or two specific people in your neighborhood, school, or work over the next couple of weeks. In October, the call will be to invite those people to visit Immanuel in person, online, and/or in reading What’s Wrong with Religion by Skye Jethani. In the near future, I’ll give you details on how we’ll read and discuss this book together.
This upcoming Sunday we’ll reflect on Ephesians 1:15-23, focusing on Paul’s rather surprising statement that we are seated with Jesus at God’s right hand in the heavenly places (1:19-23; 2:6). And then we’ll spend the week praying that our neighbors would experience the authority of Christ.
Your Pastor in Christ,