Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of October 19, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

When we do not know how to pray as we ought, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words … (Romans 8:26) 

O God, you know that oftentimes when we bow our heads and close our eyes, we have difficulty coming up with words. We think of your Holy Spirit sighing on our behalf, but we hear an exasperated sigh. A sign of weariness or disappointment is what we imagine. Is that not just like us, O Loving Spirit, to assume you are already displeased with our prayers before we begin. 

Why do we judge ourselves so harshly? Forgive us! The verse is couched in other verses saying that nothing can separate us from your Love! O God may we start over. When we do not know how to pray or when we do not have the words or even know what we want to say, may be hear the gentle sigh of your Spirit praying for us.  

May we imagine the peaceful sigh of a parent holding a child who has finally gone to sleep; the child finally giving in to rest and trusting the arms that hold him. 

May we imagine the sigh of an artist who takes a step back from her work to get a better look and sees beauty yet to be revealed; a sigh of possibilities and hope. 

O God, could we imagine the sigh of a student who lays the pencil down in relief; he knew all the answers!  

Can we hear the sigh of a grandmother who has just finished canning all those beans; wiping her brow and untying her apron? Her sign is one of fulfillment and satisfaction knowing that her family has delicious food for the winter ahead. 

O Breath of God, as we close our eyes to pray our own prayer, may we feel your presence in an encouraging way. May we know that we do not have to have the words, but that your Spirit moves in and out and around and through, connecting us to You, pleased that we are longing to be with you. May that enough as we bow our heads, close our eyes, and breathe …. 

Breathe on me Breath of God; fill me with life anew… 

Breathe on me Breath of God; fill me with life anew… 

We offer these petitions on behalf of our church family ….. 

We pray for ….

  • A member to find new job opportunities …. 
  • Parents of adult children who are dealing with mental health illness
  • Greater understanding and less stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • Church member injured in bicycle accident; prayers for smooth healing of body and spirit!
  • Folks who are interviewing for jobs and those who are doing the interviewing
  • The people of Ukraine
  • A sister who is moving from an assisted living facility to skilled care …
  • Spouses and adult children making decisions about long-term care and short term solutions in health situations
  • Those who are dealing with various forms of dementia and grappling with reality of diagnosis
  • A family burying their father and husband this afternoon
  • Friends and family who have the flu; may we all be safe and well!
  • Friends who need encouragement and strength in difficult situations
  • A mother who is in rehab for PT and now has Covid

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for ….

  • New members who have joined our church
  • Birth of a new granddaughter
  • Physical Therapy that is helping a member regain strength and ability
  • Flu vaccinations and boosters that are available
  • A young couple engaged to be married
  • A member who has gone home from many months of hospitalizations and rehab; so thankful to be home to see beautiful fall colors out or her own window!

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Flu Season Ahead Image

The COVID Community Tracker will no longer appear in The Messenger since transmission levels continue to remain low. But, remain diligent with hand washing, staying home when ill, and social distancing from others that appear unwell because . . .

Flu is Here!

The first “Flu View” from the CDC already shows high levels of influenza in Tennessee. Now is the time to get a vaccination if you haven’t already. Remember it takes about 2 weeks to develop adequate antibody levels for protection, so don’t delay!

Age                        Recommendation

6 mos.-6 yrs.:      1 or 2 doses based on whether child has had flu vaccine in past

≥ 7-49 yrs.:          1 dose of any influenza vaccine

≥ 50-64 yrs.:       1 dose of any injectable influenza vaccine

≥ 65 yrs.:              1 injection of high dose influenza vaccine

The flu vaccine administered as a nasal spray (Flumist®) is NOT recommended in people < 2 or ≥ 50 years of age or anyone with a condition that compromises the immune system. Flumist® is a weakened version of the live virus.

Pneumonia can develop along with or subsequent to a viral infection. Particularly at risk are those ≥ 65 years of age, as well as people of any age with compromised immune system, or other conditions that increase risk. If you fall into one of these categories make sure you are also up to date on the pneumonia vaccine. There is a new version so recommendations have been updated to include it.

Recommendations for Pneumonia Vaccine

  • Age ≥ 65 and no previous pneumococcal vaccine: One dose of the new PCV20
  • If PCV20 vaccine not available: One dose of PCV15 followed by one dose of PPSV23 at least 1 year later.
  • Age ≤ 64 and special situations to warrant vaccination: discuss with your healthcare provider.
  • If you have already received a dose of PCV13 and/or PPSV23 discuss with your healthcare provider to decide whether you might need a new version.

Additional information can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines, including precautions/contraindications for each and complete schedules for all adult and childhood vaccinations.

Submitted by: Vicky Shelton, D.Ph.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of October 12, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

Fall Break! Praise God for Fall Break!  

O God of refreshment, you have heard that prayer from teachers, parents, students, and grandparents. Even those who are not in school sense the need for time away. 

We pray blessings on families who are able to travel. We pray for their safety. 

We pray blessings on families who could not get away because of finances or job responsibilities of parents. Dear God, may children know the joy of ‘staying home’ and getting to snack and stay up a little later. Simple pleasures; restore the goodness of simplicity to our lives! 

We pray for school administrators who may be off this week but who are already thinking about standardized testing that comes in the spring and needs for next fall. Student teachers who are trying to get assignments done and portfolios completed.  

O God of new beginnings and fresh starts, may all those returning from Fall Break feel a sense of renewal. 

This weekend is a big deal, O God! Media and all of the commotion and excitement of a football rivalry. Some are even praying, “Dear God, let us win!” We trust you are an impartial fan, God of all tribes, teams, and people! In the midst of all this fun and in the midst of all the hype, we do pause to pray for sanity and safety. We pray for young men who want to play and do not get the chance. We pray for the families of all coaches – children and spouses – who know the pressure and the lack of privacy and hear the jeers and cheers. We pray for members of marching bands who work as hard as the athletes do. It may seem silly to pray about an upcoming football game, dear God, but we do pray for all the people coming to town. Prayers for safe travels. Prayers for good judgement. Prayers to know that these young men on the field – whether wearing orange or crimson – are sons of parents who work hard and are proud. Bless us all! 

Dear God, who stirs up in us the volunteer spirit, we want to say thank you for volunteers in our church. Greeters, ushers, choir members, teachers; folks who come early to plug in coffee pot and to make sure Sunday School is ready. We pray for churches everywhere this weekend, that it will be a good day of worship and fellowship in your Holy Spirit. 

As our eyes move from our own church and our own city to the rest of your world, we pray desperately for the madness in Ukraine to stop. We are bold to pray for your intervention, O God! We know that you desire peace in your world. We hurt for soldiers of any uniform who are tired, hungry, and longing for home. May each of us be a beacon of light and peace wherever we are this weekend. 

We offer the following petitions on behalf of our members …. 

We pray for ….

  • Church member whose father died; so thankful all of his children were able to be with him as he peacefully slipped into Eternal Light and Love.
  • A member who was in a minor car accident and is dealing with the pain and healing of a broken sternum. May she feel God’s presence.
  • A member who has been hospitalized and is waiting to go to rehab.
  • A member who fell and shattered hip; prayers for encouragement and wellbeing as she prepares to go to rehab.
  • A church member’s husband will have another scan soon; prayers that it will show he is still in remission! 
  • A young man whose wife just died is now in the hospital with heart issues. Prayers that he can feel God’s strength and healing presence even amidst such grief.
  • A member’s nephew who serves in the Coast Guard and was involved in an accident while repelling from a helicopter. Thankful for successful knee surgery! Prayers for continued healing and strength in the three-month rehab.
  • A Sunday School teacher who seeks God’s wisdom each week in how to share and what God wants her to teach.
  • A member’s husband in the death of his father … prayers for peace.

We continue to pray for ….

  • Member whose beloved dog died in cabin fire; everything destroyed. Prayers for emotional healing during such grief.
  • Members who continue to move through grief after deaths of spouses, parents, children, and, friends….
  • Brother of a member whose livestock and barn were destroyed in a fire in Illinois.

We give thanks for …..

  • A member who was released from rehab and has returned to her home!
  • Successful surgeries in the past weeks and continued healing!
  • A beloved husband, father, and grandfather who is celebrating ten years of being cancer free!
  • Rest! Fall break was so needed for this family! Thank you God for change of scenery!
  • Blessing of the Animals! Thankful for the special love and grace that our pets show us!

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Brian Tillman poster CSUMC

Rev. Brian Tillman was Church Street UMC’s coach and mentor last year during the Racial Reconciling Cohort with the Western North Carolina Conference. The six-month journey of learning and reflecting inspired our church’s cohort (ten members and Rev. Catherine Nance) to continue the conversation. One of the group’s dreams was to invite Rev. Tillman to our church home.

On November 13, Church Street is thrilled to welcome Rev. Tillman to our worship services and to teach us more about the work of racial reconciliation. He is the Director of Inclusion and Advocacy for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

He will be leading a workshop on Sunday afternoon for all who are interested titled “The 6 R’s of Racial Reconciliation: resistance, recognition, repentance, repair, reconstruction, and restored relationship.”

This workshop is free, but we ask that you please register below to give us a headcount for resources and food/beverage.

  • Learn more about Rev. Tillman’s work, linked here
  • To register for the workshop on November 13 at 4 pm, click here

On November 13, Rev. Tillman will be preaching at both the 8:30 and 11:00 worship services in the nave. The workshop begins at 4:00 and will last approximately 2 hours. Room assignment TBD.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of October 5, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

We pray for our church this evening, Gracious God. 

It is busy in this church building today, O God. As it was yesterday. And the day before. 

Of course, we were here on Sunday singing praises and offering prayers; learning lessons and sharing fellowship. We shared the Body and Blood of Christ at Your Table and felt the communion of the saints around the world and throughout eternity. 

It is our prayer that what happens here on Sunday reverberates with us throughout the week. The nourishment we received at the Table strengthens our spirits to receive and share your grace. May our behavior, thoughts, and words reflect that we have been with the Lord. We thank you, God, for Sundays! 

We thank you for the clerical that happens on Monday. Counting offering, reading through friendship pads. Noting names of visitors and rejoicing at names of members we have not seen in a while. Checking the hospital board for who has gone home and noting names of members’ loved ones who have died. God of details, you know how important this work is. In each offering envelope sealed, in each name written, and in each phone call received, there is a story and a disciple. Thank you for the tasks that remind us. 

God who has called some to ‘church work,’ we thank you for staff and volunteers who gather on Tuesday to touch base, look ahead, celebrate, evaluate, and encourage. May each one know your presence in a very real way as they do their work of making your presence known to others. We thank you for the laity who come on weeknights to attend meetings and provide leadership and enthusiasm for the mission and ministry of this church. Thank you for their commitment of time and service. 

God who sang out the first words, thank you for choir members who come tonight to tune their hearts and voices together. May the anthems sung mirror their devotion to the music of the Holy Spirit. O God, who gave us the ability to hum a melody, may the music we sing here echo in our lives throughout the week. Recording worship for those who cannot attend happened today. May the effort be pleasing to you and may those who watch know they are connected here.  

And, there is tomorrow … Soup Kitchen and other gatherings. 

This is a busy place, O God! May all of our movement and conversation and interactions in this place be pleasing to you! Amidst the activity, may we know that it is holy work and not just busyness! For those who are here only on Sundays, may their lives be made more meaningful because of worship. We do not desire busy lives, Precious Redeemer, but meaningful lives steeped in your grace and love. 

We pray for …

  • The friends and family of a young woman who died of cancer this past week. Thankful she was surrounded by so much love and support.
  • Church members who have been hospitalized recently. Prayers of thanksgiving for successful surgeries and treatments.
  • Church member who had a heart attack last month is beginning cardio rehab. Prayers that he will regain strength and energy. 
  • For mother of a member who had cancer surgery today; prayers for family as they make decisions about care.
  • For members who are grieving 
  • A member who has lost so much in a fire this past week; his beloved dog, a family cabin, all the treasures. May he be restored to health and hope.
  • A brother in Illinois, whose farm had a horrible barn fire. Prayers for the family as they suffer this great lost of property and livestock.
  • A member who is in the hospital anxious to begin physical therapy; prayers that he walk ‘steady on his feet’ again!
  • A 16-year old classmate who is in Children’s Hospital suffering from Crohn’s Disease; may the doctors help her manage pain and symptoms.
  • A baby at Vanderbilt undergoing surgery
  • A family whose husband and father died suddenly; prayers of thanksgiving for opportunity give organs so others might have life.

We give thanks for …

  • The A. Orin Bishop Lecture event and Dr. Kate Bowler
  • Beautiful weather!
  • Good medical care and doctors who genuinely have a sense of calling

We continue to pray for ….

  • Those with chronic illness.
  • Those who are grieving whether loss occurred last month or years ago; be with us in our grief.
  • The people of Ukraine and Russia
  • Clean up and rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Ian

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Kate Bowler

On Sunday, October 2, Church Street UMC was thrilled to welcome Dr. Kate Bowler to the nave for a presentation about “Deconstructing our Cultural and Spiritual Scripts”.

About the Bishop Lecture Series

Kate Bowler and Dr. Asa and Skippy Bishop

Kate Bowler and Dr. Asa and Skippy Bishop. The Bishop Lecture Series has provided funds to bring authors like Dr. Bowler to Church Street for spiritual growth.

The event was made possible thanks to Church Street’s Bishop Lecture Series. Dr. Asa Bishop created an endowment in memory of his father A. Orin Bishop, called the Bishop Lecture Series, and over the years, the series has underwritten more than 20 lectures and extended the legacy of the Bishop Family and their passion for biblical and spiritual enrichment into the future.

About Kate Bowler

Kate Bowler is a three time New York Times Bestselling author, and she is a professor of history at Duke Divinity School. Her academic research has focused on the history and culture of American Christianity, exploring the phenomenon of the Prosperity Gospel, the idea that God will show favor to some of us for our faith and bless us.

She is known for her popular memoirs Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved) and No Cure for Being Human (and other truths I need to hear), her book of devotions Good Enough, and her podcast EVERYTHING HAPPENS, where she has interviewed everyone from authors Barbara Brown Taylor, Anne Lamott, and Richard Rohr to the Archbishop of Cantebury and Reverend Will Willimon, to actors Stanley Tucci, Matthew McConaughey, and Alan Alda – among many others. She has nearly 150,000 instagram followers where she shares hope and humanness about what she has called “our chronic lives”.

Kate Bowler at CSUMCKate Bowler full naveKate BOwler Catherine Nance Q and AKate Bowler BlessingKate Bowler reads blessing

Kate Bowler and Tom HoodKate Bowler greets Rev. Tim Best and family

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of September 28, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

Gracious God, 

On this Wednesday evening, our hearts and minds are with all who have been and will be in the path of Hurricane Ian. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.  

Often, when we hear world news, we have to look on a map or perhaps we dismiss the news since we cannot picture where it is. (Forgive us Lord!) But, we all know where Tampa is. We know Jacksonville. We have been to Orlando. We have relatives and loved ones along the path. We have friends who are scheduled to travel and we worry. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

In the midst of news about landfall and surges, we hear the phrases explaining how climate change plays a role and then, how we have played a role in climate change. Forgive us Lord, in our shrugging, our denying, our simply hoping for things to be better. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

We see people on the news who, yesterday, were political candidates. Today, they area governors and other officials in charge of emergency maneuvers. Bless these leaders Lord. May all work together to promote safety and clarity of information. Thank you for the employees who show up each day at National Weather Service and provide information for us. We are grateful to for science and technology that informs and supports their work. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

O God, these weather-related terms apply to our own lives as well. Some of us are expecting a ‘landfall’ – some impending crisis – a diagnosis, a conversation, layoff. Others of us have no idea of what is ahead but will experience the ‘surge’ and the ‘impact.’ Dear God, your Holy Spirit connects us to each other. May we be mindful of how our decisions, our words, changes in our lives, do not affect us alone. But there are ripples and consequences and aftershocks. May we be kind to one another and understanding of those who find themselves caught in a deluge they did not know was coming. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Along with all of the people of Cuba who are without power, the people of Florida, and all those in the path, we pray for these concerns shared by our church family: 

We pray for …

  • A dear friend who has undergone so much cancer treatment and now has pneumonia and other complications. Prayers for her family as they hear and grapple with prognosis from doctors about the weakness of her body. Prayers that she feels the love and prayers all around her.
  • Those who are traveling out of town for work
  • For a coworker whose cancer has returned. Prayers for her three sons; one teenager and two young adults. This single mom needs the assurance that ‘her boys’ will be fine.
  • Clarity from medical tests results and that a healing plan will be made clear
  • A man who has had heart attack; prayers for good rehabilitation
  • A family whose mother is in hospice care; not expected to live many more days. Grateful for Eternal Light and Life!
  • Those who have been recently hospitalized and are doing well at home.

We give thanks for …

  • The scriptures which give guidance about how to live; especially First Corinthians 13
  • God’s wisdom and purpose in our lives
  • Third graders who received Bibles and that Ms. Katryn was able to hand them out in person!
  • New members joining and two baptisms this past week!
  • The opportunity to hear Kate Bowler. Thank you to the A. Orin Bishop Lecture endowment!

We continue to pray for ….

  • A Sunday School class member who has to travel to Africa several times this month for work
  • Families making decisions for loved ones
  • A woman recently diagnosed with cancer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of September 21, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

He’s got the whole world in his hands …He’s got the whole world in his hands ..

He’s got the whole world in his hands …. He’s got the whole world in his hands!

God of the world, many of us heard this song sung on Sunday afternoon as we gathered to talk about caregiving. It reminded us of children singing this song at VBS and doing all the hand motions: Itty-bitty babies – you and me sister – whole world. These songs we learn as children are full of truth and create in us a firm foundation on which to stand later in life when we cannot recall the words we are looking for.

You have the whole world in your hands O God …

We have seen beautiful images of your world this week. Friends have shared pictures of hiking trips and cruises. We see your majesty in creation with the Smoky Mountains and beautiful rivers and lakes in our line of vision each day. While we are lifting our eyes to the hills, we know there are others who are looking over flooded homes in Pakistan. There are farmers who are looking at crops that have burned up from heat. We love the beauty of your earth, O God. Forgive us when we use and abuse this earth and do not take care of it. We pray for communities, industries, and countries to be aware of how we pollute and then convict us, O Maker of Heaven and Earth, to change our ways. May we not so selfish and self-centered; may we sing about your world instead of our world.

He’s got the whole world in his hands ….

We have seen stark contrasts of your world. There were pictures of majesty and beauty and order and reverence as we watched Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession with all of the bright and beautiful colors. Then the images that all appear to be grey; Russian and Ukrainian soldiers and the bombed remains of cities. We have no words to fill in the in-between. We know that the funeral was just a snapshot in history and not all of the history is beautiful. Images of war often leave out the images of hopeful and happy families struggling in the midst of war – Russians and Ukrainians alike. Help us to imagine a place where order, beauty, color, and peace is the reality. May we honor one another’s humanity and see each other as your children in your world.

He’s got the whole world in his hands ….

We sometimes say things like, “How can God care about me when God has the whole world?” But, you do care. You care for us as a mother cares for her children. You have promised to be with us and to hear our prayers. We do pray for your world, O God, but with confidence that you know all we care about, we offer now the prayers from our part of your world – the people we know and live with and care for. Thank you for hearing the prayers we offer from our church family …

We pray for…

  • A friend who is traveling to Africa several times this month
  • A friend who is dealing with depression; may upcoming medical appointment help with answers
  • A wife and mother recently diagnosed with cancer
  • An aunt grieving the death of her niece
  • Those who are dealing with chronic pain
  • Those members who are acting as caregiver; give them strength and the courage to ask for help.
  • A time of rest, healing, and hope for a couple who are waiting on test results and calls from medical team
  • Caregivers who are tending to family members each and every day; prayers for their health. May they find some rest and peace.
  • For a young daughter who had surgery this morning; may her healing be swift! And parents experience relief!
  • The people of Puerto Rico and all those in Hurricane Fiona’s path
  • The people of Pakistan
  • Families who are making decisions about future health care needs for a beloved family member

Continued prayers for…

  • Young adults making the transition from high school to college and career; changes in families
  • Those in between scans and tests; those who have been cleared ‘for now’ and who are always aware of disease but living in hope and health
  • For peace of mind for those dealing with difficult situations

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for…

  • For Children’s Hospital and the wonderful staff there!
  • For a new house and a new job!
  • For the leadership and life of UMC Bishop Bob Spain (retired) who died last week at age 96! 
  • For strides our church has made in being accessible to all people
  • For Pastor Hank’s sermon and presence last Sunday
  • For the Parish Health Ministry Team and the Caregiving workshop they offered. Thankful for resources!
  • Safe return back home and the ability to sleep in one’s own bed after a long journey!

 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of September 14, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

With just a hint of cooler weather in the air, we are reminded that you are the God of All Seasons. You created your world, O God, with the beauty and gift of autumn, winter, spring, and summer. Sometimes we speak of these seasons as if they end one day and begin the next. Our calendar will tell us the first day of autumn is just one week away. We give thanks for scientists who can measure and map where Earth is in its orbit and explain the seasons. We give thanks for preschool teachers who teach songs about the four seasons. We are thankful for memories of early artwork – large sheets of paper divided into four equal quadrants – one with orange and red leaves, one with snowflakes, then bright flowers, and the last with a bright, smiling sun! These divisions and measurements give order to our lives and help us plan; your order has given us days to look forward and a sense of knowing that things always change. But there is beauty in the change. 

We know that the seasons do not stay in the bold lines of our kindergarten four-square season chart, but that you allow us time to prepare, to anticipate, to hope, and yes, even to be disappointed when a hot summer day appears in October or we need a sweater and scarf on an April afternoon! Thank you for caring for your Earth and for us that we do not abruptly land into a new season, but that you allow for gradual changes. May we take time to savor, to appreciate, to accept right now as the time you have given us.  

O God of All Ages and Stages, remind us that you are with us as we go through changing seasons in our lives. There are cycles we anticipate and celebrate and then the not-so-subtle changes we thought we would never experience. May we be graceful and feel your grace as we go through the stages and seasons of life. When we see others around us in different stages and places, may we offer prayers: 

  • For children who are so curious and demand attention right now – bless their sense of wonder 
  • For young parents who are burdened to think they must do everything perfectly – ease their self-imposed stress 
  • For graduate students and young adults figuring out ‘what’s next,’ – let them feel your guidance and peace 
  • For adults who are wondering ‘is this what I wanted?’ – give them clarity of your love and purpose 
  • For those who feel alone – may we be open to those who need a gesture of kindness 

Thank you, O God, for the subtlety of change of seasons that gives us time to appreciate, time to give thanks, and time to prepare. We thank you for all of the seasons you have given us.  

We turn towards the evening with a grateful heart for your presence and we open our heart in prayer as we share these concerns and thanksgivings from our church family…

We pray for…

  • Church members who are traveling to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville; particular prayers for one who is dealing with neuropathy and another who is awaiting diagnosis and a clear path of treatment.
  • A family who is in the midst of new beginnings: new house, new job, selling house! Prayers that stress be transformed into positive energy!
  • A young father who is following up with doctor about GI issues
  • A dear aunt, aged 96, that she remain in good health
  • Those in our church family with COVID
  • A church member who is a beloved mother, mother-in-law, and friend who is struggling with health concerns and weakness.
  • A best friend who has been recovering from cancer and now has a new diagnosis. Doctors say this one is treatable. Prayers for her body to receive this intensive treatment well. Prayers for her husband and friends as well.
  • The nieces and nephews who celebrate the life of a church member; thankful for the gift of Eternal Rest and a life well lived!
  • A member meeting with cardiologist Thursday morning after experiencing some concerns recently
  • A friend having dental surgery on Friday
  • A little girl having tonsils removed next Wednesday morning; prayers for parents!

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for…

  • Family in Texas … and for all who know how important it is to keep in touch!
  • A good report from CT scan
  • A successful surgery of the 8-month old who had club feet amputated. The surgeons were able to leave enough bone for the prosthetics to be possible.
  • A brother who had a stroke this past week and is doing so much better thanks to excellent medical care. Prayers of thanksgiving for local hospitals and for loving family!
  • A group of young couples who have been visiting our church and met together last Sunday to plan for getting together; may their desire for Christian fellowship and study inspire us!
  • Recent high school grads who have gathered to plan a Bible study; may their desire for deeper discipleship inspire us!

Continued prayers for…

  • Those undergoing radiation treatments and chemotherapy
  • A sister who is struggling with high blood pressure
  • A friend who has been diagnosed with macular degeneration
  • City officials and agencies and churches as we address our houseless population
  • A son who has gotten a new job in the field he majored in.
  • A member awaiting procedures and results and relief from back pain

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of September 7, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

A prayer inspired by Psalm 139 

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 

These words from the psalms should be a comfort to us, O God. We often complain that no one truly knows us, but yet you know us through and through. Perhaps the psalmist was overjoyed with this intimacy; instead we are embarrassed or ashamed. We would prefer that our thoughts were not so clear to you! Sometimes they are a jumbled mess to us – and yet you are able to discern them. You created every living thing because you desired life around you and through you. May we open ourselves to your loving and living presence and not recoil in fear or shame. Here we are O Lord, you know us so well – and continue to love us!  

You pursue me behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  

O God who walks alongside and ahead and behind, we want to feel your companionship and your presence. When we wander off clear paths may we feel your hand leading us home. When we hurriedly move past our family and friends, we are thankful for your hand that reminds us to slow down and pay attention. When we feel immobilized with fear, or boredom, or depression, or anxiety, may we feel the nudging and pushing along of your loving hand on us. You are indeed acquainted with all our ways, O Lord, and what a relief it is to us that you continue to choose to walk with us. 

Where can I go from your spirit? Where shall I flee from your presence? 

Forgive us, O God who breathed into creation every conceivable place and space, when we say I am all alone. Whether we are feeling the despair of loneliness or fleeing to hide from you, your Holy Spirit breathes on us and reminds us of your steadfast presence. You created us and called us good. May we live into your goodness, O God, and trust that you desire to be with us. May your love for us make us loving toward others. Lift our eyes beyond the confines of our daily world to imagine others in your world, people of all nations who are also loved and cherished by you.  

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! 

We truly want to be disciples of Jesus Christ! Sift through our hesitation and our doubting. Sift through the selfishness and the justifications. As we open ourselves to you, may you transform us into disciples who rejoice in the grace you offer. Your love and acceptance of us should cause us to rejoice and yet we often grumble and accuse others who think differently or have experienced you in a way with which we are not familiar. Oh God, lead us in your way! 

How profound to me are your thoughts, O God! 

It is with a sense of profound awe that we lay before you the concerns and petitions of our brothers and sisters … 

We pray for…

  • Bishop Bill McAlilly of the TN-Western KY Conference of the UMC who is recovering from surgery after an automobile accident …
  • The people in Jackson, Mississippi who have no water. Pray that leadership will see the plight of the poor and forgotten. Prayers for help with infrastructure.
  • A son who is struggling to find a job that is meaningful and for which he has prepared and trained; prayers for ‘in the meantime’ as he deals with rejection
  • A forty-four year old man who has melanoma in several organs and the friends and family who love him
  • A church member who was involved in a car accident. No injuries (Praise the Lord!) but the inconvenience and all the aftermath with repairs and insurance. Praying for peace through a difficult time
  • A church member who had surgery today
  • A five-year old who is battling brain cancer and for the people who tend to him.
  • A family who is dealing with major medical issues; prayers that insurance will approve next steps and that logistics of receiving care are met with ease
  • Prayers for a son concerned about his parents and their hesitancy in asking for help. We pray for all parent/child relationships as caregiving becomes an issue
  • For a sister who has completed radiation treatments but is so fatigued from them.
    A ten-month old who is having both feet amputated this week because of severe club feet.
  • A colleague who is planning to move; prayers for clear answers about timeline and logistics as retirement nears
  • A member’s sister who is having health concerns due to extremely high blood pressure; prayers for a path forward to deal with the issue.

We continue prayers for…

  • Our college freshmen and their parents! Both are making adjustments! We pray for all students from kindergarten and up who are past the Labor Day break and adjusting to the new normal of routine.
  • Those who are undergoing treatment for cancer, who are waiting test results, and who are waiting on follow up appointments. Prayers for patience and hope in the waiting.
  • Members of a Sunday School class who are concerned about one another’s finances.
  • Friends and family who are simply trying to survive each day

We give thanks for…

  • Opportunities to learn through the LIVING FORWARD event and the BRIDGES OUT OF POVERTY training. Thankful for committee members who work to promote education and advocacy in our families and our community.
  • For upcoming Stephen Ministry training and for hearts that are being stirred to serve in this caring ministry.
  • Our Stephen Ministers – especially our newly commissioned ones! May God bless them!
  • Members and staff who have felt the relief of student loan debt forgiven. Thankful for the opportunity during stressful financial times to have a sense of hope and rearranging budgets.
  • Two of our Soup Kitchen neighbors who have found housing
  • The completion of infusion therapy after a year; prayers of thanksgiving for God’s healing presence

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.